A high school principal, objecting to a story about an “achievement gap” instate test scores between white and minority students at his school, censoredthe article this month by literally having it cut out of the student-producedpaper.
Hillsborough High School Principal William Orr asked staffmembers of the Red & Black to stay after school and physically cutout the article in question from every newspaper before distribution. Theadministration initially offered to pay the cost of a reprint, but the staffdecided that getting the paper out in a timely manner was more important, andopted to remove the article.
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SPLCView: It’s hard to say what is more troubling about cases like this: thecensorship itself or the lasting and sad civics lesson imprinted upon thosestudents affected by it. The story here was entirely accurate; no one is arguingotherwise. There is a gap in test scores between white and minority students.But rather than confronting the issue honestly and openly — and perhapsgenerating solutions as part of the discussion — a government official whodidn’t want the story to run required that scissors be taken to the newspaperbefore it was distributed to the student body. That’s an image that is,unfortunately, likely to stay with students far longer than a news story aboutpoor test scores.