More high school censorship updates

Paper back to normal after officials confiscate some copies of ‘sex’ issueNEW HAMPSHIRE — Production and distribution of Winnacunnet High School’s newspaper is back to normal after administrators pulled the February “sex” edition of the paper from the district’s middle schools.Inside the issue, students wrote stories about contraceptives, sexual activity among high school students and an anonymous custodian who said he found a vibrator in the girls’ shower. There also was a photo of two women kissing with the headline “Why men love women who love women” and a true-false sex quiz that mentioned anal sex.In response, Principal Randy Zito allowed copies to remain in the high school but not in the middle school. He told the Nashua Telegraph that he did “not feel all articles were appropriate for the school newspaper” but that he had “addressed the issue.”After Zito’s actions, the paper returned to its regular routine.”Essentially it was a non-issue with the principal, the school board chairman and the superintendent,” said Carol Downer, the Winnachronicle’s adviser. “The bottom line is that we had our say and nobody squashed us. We went on as usual.”IN THE COURTSNapa district settles after judge strikes down dress code that banned pictures, patternsCALIFORNIA — The Napa Valley Unified School District reached a settlement Dec. 14 with five students who said the school’s strict dress code violated their free-expression rights.The district had announced in August that it would not appeal a July state Superior Court ruling that Redwood Middle School’s dress code violated the First Amendment. Several parents of Redwood students, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, challenged the code, which banned all pictures, logos, words, stripes and patterns. One student was disciplined for wearing socks with a picture of Tigger from “Winnie the Pooh.” The lawsuit alleged other students were disciplined for wearing items such as a D.A.R.E. T-shirt and a breast cancer awareness pin.Judge Raymond Guadagni enjoined the school from enforcing the policy. Shortly before school started in August, the district issued an “interim” dress code designed to comply with the injunction. In a written statement, Superintendent John Glaser said the district believed it could prevail in court but decided not to pursue further litigation. Instead, Glaser urged Redwood parents to voluntarily observe the old dress code and to consider implementing a full uniform policy.Under the settlement agreement, the interim dress code will remain in place for the spring, and any stricter code in the future will be part of a uniform policy that parents may exempt their children from, the Napa Valley Register reported. The students who sued — and other students punished for dress code violations in the past six years — also may have references to those infractions removed from their records.Students suspended for posting suggestive video of teacher on YouTube drop suitWASHINGTON — Students suspended for posting a video on YouTube that made sexually suggestive comments about a teacher withdrew their lawsuit in September.A group of students at Kentridge High School videotaped a teacher as she was bending over and added comments questioning her hygiene to the recording before placing it online. School officials suspended the students for 40 days. A federal judge denied the students’ request to eliminate their suspension. The students withdrew their claim shortly after.