Officials fire adviser in dispute over content

NEBRASKA -- Good news isn't cheap.

At Peru State College, administrators are accused of doing everything they can, including censoring the student newspaper and firing the adviser, to make sure positive news comes out of the struggling institution.

Controversy struck last November during an investigation by then-editor Kathy Chase into a sexual assault on campus.

Peru State Times adviser Matt Mauch said college President Ben Johnson attempted to prevent Chase from covering the incident.

"They were telling her this is beyond your jurisdiction," Mauch said. "You do not want to write about this; if you write about this you will get on my bad side.

Student wants university to unlock e-mail records

COLORADO -- Officials at the University of Colorado at Boulder claim the school has turned over all the records requested by student Shannon Meadors, but Meadors tells a different story.

She claims the university has been in violation of state open-records laws since April, when she first requested e-mail records from 16 individuals, including state employees and student government officials.

CMA threatens to censure college

MARYLAND -- College Media Advisers sent a formal letter to Mount St. Mary's College President George Houston in June, saying the school has 30 days to make amends with the adviser to the student newspaper, The Mountain Echo.

If the school is unable to reach a resolution within the 30-day time frame, CMA will likely censure the college.

High school student faces criminal libel charges for Web site remarks

UTAH -- A Milford teen spent seven days in a juvenile detention center and was forced to leave the state after being charged with criminal libel for statements he made on his personal Web site.

Ian Lake will face a misdemeanor charge of criminal libel for referring to his principal as "the town drunk," naming girls at his high school as "sluts" and making derogatory remarks about the intelligence of several teachers.

In typical civil libel suits, if an individual is libeled that person can only recover monetary damages from the person who defamed him or her. In the rarely used criminal libel charge, the state can prosecute a person for libel and impose jail time.

Stephen Clark, legal director for the Utah American Civil Liberties Union, and one of the attorneys representing Lake, said the criminal libel statute itself is unconstitutional and therefore the case should be thrown out.

"As far as we can tell the Utah statute ... is facially overbroad because it purports to criminalize perfectly legal constitutionally protected speech," Clark said.

State bills open up athletic associations

The public now has more access to high school athletic associations in Georgia after the state passed a bill requiring those organizations to comply with state open-records laws, and the same thing may happen in Pennsylvania if the state's House of Representatives approves a bill passed by the Senate in June.

Georgia's HB 1308, signed by Gov.

Director loses job for refusing to permit prior review

NORTH CAROLINA -- Officials at St. Augustine College in Raleigh confiscated almost the entire press run of the student paper and fired the adviser because he refused to allow "administrative review of the student newspaper prior to its publication," said Sevealyn Smith, communications department division chair, in a memo sent to the former adviser.

Calvin Hall, former director of student publications at the college, said administrators told him they wanted to begin reviewing the publication in February.

Privacy rules do not apply to colleges, FTC says

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Federal Trade Commission ruled in May that colleges do not have to comply with new federal privacy regulations requiring institutions to report their confidentiality policies to the commission.

The FTC said colleges are already ruled by the confidentiality requirements of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act-also known as the Buckley Amendment-which prevents schools from releasing student records that include personally identifiable information about students without authorization.