California high school newspaper’s articles about sex draw ire from parents — again

We wrote last week about parents who have complained that articles in Mountain View High School’s The Oracle were inappropriate and obscene. One of the articles in question was an inforgraphic titled “What they teach you in health, and what you really need to know” that dispelled myths about sexual activity and gave information about safe sex.

The topic came up at a school board meeting earlier this week, where once again parents expressed concern over the newspaper’s content and asked the school district to assume greater control over the content in the paper. In equally large numbers were supporters of the newspaper, including students and advisers from nearby journalism programs. In total, the board heard about two hours worth of public comments about the paper.

Administrators seem unlikely to take action against the paper. Barry Groves, the school district’s superintendent, told the group gathered there’s nothing in The Oracle’s articles that’s legally objectionable or that he would have taken out. (California law bans retaliation against student journalists or journalism advisers for legally protected speech in student media.)

If you’re interested, the full audio of the board meeting is available online. Discussion about the newspaper starts around minute 26.