Stevenson High School adviser resigns position after prior review policy enforced

After articles about students’ dating habits atStevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill., sparked policy changes includingmore oversight of the student newspaper, adviser Barbara Thill resigned her rolefor next school year.

Thill will finish remainder of the academic year as the adviser to thenewspaper, the Statesman, but will not continue to teach journalism inthe fall. The students have been vocal about her resignation. Jamie Hausman,managing editor of presentation of the Statesman, wrote a letter to thelocal paper, the Chicago Tribune, to express his displeasure with thesituation.

“All that has happened in the past months has not only drained my staff andour supporters of emotions, energy and hope, but it has stripped us of aneducator, and thus our education,” Hausman wrote.

The policy changes in February included Communication Arts Program DirectorDavid Noskin reviewing each issue before it goes to print, which according toNoskin, is making his role “more formal.”

Jim Conrey, director of public information at Stevenson High School, saidThill “chose to step down as adviser of the Statesman,” but had nofurther comment on the situation.

The Jan. 30 issue of the Statesman featured a series of articles andsidebars about “hooking up” and what the dating scene is like for teens today.The articles included student, teacher and professional perspectives on issueslike the psychology behind “hooking up,” relationships beyond high school life,and the popularity of “hooking up” in the teenage community.

Conrey said the concerns with the Statesman go back to last schoolyear and that the new oversight policy was not created because of the Jan. 30issue.

“It’s something that has been under consideration for some time, and Iguess you would say that the Jan. 30 issue made it clear that we need to takethis step,” Conrey said.

For More Information:

  • Ill. school district revises prior review policy after ‘hooking up’ issue of student newspaper News Flash, 2/17/2009