Ohio student newspaper resumes publishing following censorship of suicide story

OHIO — Stow-Munroe Falls High School’s student newspaper, TheStohion, has resumed publication after being put on hold since late 2009 dueto administrative censorship.

Administrators prevented the publication of an obituary and photograph of astudent suicide victim in October. The student journalists of The Stohioncontinued to produce content, but decided to put their publication on hold dueto the censorship.

Mike Brickner, communications director for the ACLU of Ohio, said acompromise was reached between the administrators and the student journalists torun the article without the photo of the student in a back issue that wasreleased earlier this month.

Brickner said the most important part of the agreement was the removal ofthe principal’s ability to unilaterally make changes to the newspaper. Theagreement also includes an appeals process for potentially sensitive material,which goes through the faculty adviser, the principal and thesuperintendent.

In an interview with the Akron Beacon Journal, The Stohion‘sEditor-in-Chief Lyndsey Sager said she is satisfied with the agreement.

”The principal is going to take a look at the paper [beforepublication],” Sager said, ”but she’s not actually taking a pen to it.”

“We’re happy with that because we feel that that that’ll much betterprotect their First Amendment rights and ensure that they won’t be unnecessarilycensored, and give them an actual process to be sure that if something is keptout of the paper, it is done so in a fair and just manner,” Brickner said.

Brickner said The Stohion has been printing its back issues to catchup and so far has not had any problems. The paper should be on schedule inMarch.