Fox sues Missouri system for campus court info

MISSOURI -- In a lawsuit filed in January, a Kansas City television station claims that the University of Missouri system's board of curators and some university administrators are in violation of the state's Sunshine Law for not providing a reporter with access to information regarding crimes that occurred on Missouri campuses between 1996 and 1999.

Attorney Jean Maneke, representing WDAF/Fox 4, said the requested records are from campus disciplinary hearings dealing with crimes of violence and nonforcible sex offenses, but that the newly released FERPA guidelines do not affect the case.

Sex education article in school paper riles parents

CALIFORNIA -- An article on sex education in the Granite Bay High School student newspaper caused one group of parents and at least one school board member to question the First Amendment rights of student journalists.

The Granite Bay Gazette published an article in April detailing how little some high school students know about their own bodies.

Student editors decided to publish the story after a new state education law took effect Jan.

Cable commission wants obscenity standards

ILLINOIS -- Members of the Des Plaines cable commission are seeking to develop obscenity standards for local public-access cable stations after a Harper College student's television program offended some citizens.

The sometimes vulgar and profane "Static Experience" is broadcast after-hours by AT&T-owned Channel 35, which currently imposes no editorial restrictions on its programs.

Judge prohibits school district from punishing student for contributing to underground paper

CALIFORNIA -- Five students filed lawsuits against the Los Angeles Unified School District in June challenging the punishments they received for their involvement with an underground newspaper.

In total, 11 Palisades High School students were suspended and four others transferred for their involvement with the Occasional Blow Job, a controversial underground newspaper that insulted teachers, students and administrators and used profane language.

As a result of the suspensions, approximately 300 students staged a walk-out to show support for the newspaper and the students involved.

According to court documents, school administrators said the students involved with the newspaper and walk-out were punished for contributing "to unauthorized material which caused disruption on the high school campus."

For Jeremey Meyer, that contribution was an e-mail he never intended to be published.

Meyer, a senior at Palisades and one of the four students who was forced to transfer to another district high school, filed a lawsuit asking the court to allow him to return to Palisades.


Editors weary of administrators’ proposal

UTAH -- It happened over a year ago, but student editors at the University of Utah's Daily Chronicle believe the so-called 'Huntsman affair' is still impacting their newspaper in significant ways.

In August of 1999, former Chronicle editor Dave Hancock wrote a column criticizing the appointment of Karen Huntsman to the state's board of regents because of her lack of a college degree.

Huntsman's husband, Jon, a multi-millionaire and one of the university's major donors, was outraged by the column and threatened to withhold all future funding unless Hancock printed an apology, said current Chronicle editor Shane McCammon.

With over $400 million hanging in the balance, and after extreme pressure from the school's administration, the editor was persuaded.

Hancock published an apology for any personal offense the column caused but stuck by the view shared by he and his staff that there were flaws in the appointment of Mrs. Huntsman.

DOE to post crime statistics on Web site database

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Current and potential students should soon have easy access to campus crime statistics through a Department of Education online database.

Officials from the DOE began compiling campus crime statistics from colleges and universities in August for collection in the database, which will give students the opportunity to view crime information from colleges and universities around the nation in one place.

The DOE will present the data to Congress in December.

States introduce bills to restrict surveys

High school journalists and advisers in Colorado are relieved.

They managed to insert a provision into a bill exempting some student journalists from a requirement that school officials receive permission from students' parents before administering any surveys or assessments.

The original version of the bill did not contain an exception for student journalists.

Lower courts asked to revisit fee cases

WISCONSIN -- A federal district court will have the opportunity to determine if the referendum system at the University of Wisconsin -- which allows the student body to determine funding for certain student groups -- is constitutional.

Although the Supreme Court upheld the use of mandatory student activity fees to fund campus groups in March with its decision in Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System v.

House wants colleges to make sex offenders on campus public

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Schools with information regarding registered sex offenders present on their campuses will be required to make that information available to students if the Senate approves a bill passed unanimously by the House in July.

If the federal bill becomes law, beginning in 2001 campus police departments will have to make available the same kind of sex offender registry information as local law enforcement would.