VIRGINIA — A controversial editorial that caused AlbemarleHigh School administrators to destroy the May edition of the student newspaperhas finally been published.
The editorial, which suggests that student athletes should be exempt fromphysical education classes, ran in the October issue along with a news storydetailing county and school PE requirements.
Principal Jay Thomas saw the original editorial and shared it with the PEdepartment, which complained it could cause disruptions in class. The paperswere removed from the stands and reprinted without the editorial two weekslater.
Ellie Leech, who wrote the editorial as a staff writer and is now editor inchief, said the teachers’ initial reaction shocked her because shedidn’t expect them to get so angry.
“The point of an editorial is to state an opinion and that’swhat I did,” Leech said.
Over the summer Leech said she met with school and county administratorswho told her she would be able to publish the editorial.
Leech said the community was very supportive of the whole situation and shewas very grateful.
“I learned that when there is a controversy, people can have yourback and support you,” she said.
Former editor-in-chief Sean Cudahy said he was happy to see the editorialfinally made it into the paper.
“There was no justification in taking it out in the firstplace,” he said, adding that censoring it in May was very short sighted.
“It has a clear direction and it was a good idea brought to thetable, which is exactly what a student newspaper is supposed to do,” hesaid.
Student Press Law Center Attorney Advocate Adam Goldstein asked if holdingthe editorial was worth it.
“So now that the editorial has come out, has the sky fallen? No, theworld didn’t end,” he said. “It’s almost as if ideas arenot dangerous.”
Albemarle administrators could not be reach for comment by presstime.
Journalism adviser Kim Aust declined to comment.