Wis. supreme court delivers mixed opinion

WISCONSIN -- A student's creative writing assignment describing\nthe killing of a teacher is not a "true threat," the\nstate supreme court ruled in May, overturning the author's conviction\nfor disorderly conduct.

The ruling brings to a close a case that began in 1998 when\na student, identified only as "Douglas D," wrote a story\nfor a creative writing assignment about a student named Dick who\ndecapitates his teacher with a machete.

Tenn. university punishes student for stealing issue

TENNESSEE -- Apparently one punishment was not enough to teach a Middle Tennessee State University student not to steal from the campus newspaper.

Jenny Crouch, adviser to Sidelines, Middle Tennessee State's student newspaper, said a student accused of stealing a Sidelines newsstand has also been implicated in the theft of papers that contained an article detailing the student's appearance in court on the original charge.

States consider bills to guard students who report threats from libel lawsuits

Two Western states are moving to encourage students to report\nthreats of school violence by shielding them from defamation laws.

Nevada lawmakers adopted a plan in June to give immunity from\nlibel laws to those who report a threat to a school official or\npotential victim in "good faith." Legislators in California\nare considering a similar plan.

The legislation, signed by Nevada Gov.

Court to decide on criminal defamation

UTAH -- The state supreme court agreed to hear arguments on the\nconstitutionality of the state's criminal libel law in the case\nof a student arrested for calling his high school principal a\n"town drunk" on an off-campus Web site.

Lawyers for Ian Lake, formerly a student at Milford High School,\nare asking the court to throw out the law, saying it is unconstitutionally\noverbroad.

Editor secures return of confiscated film

OHIO -- The student newspaper editor at Wright State University\nreaped the rewards of standing up for the rights of her staff\nin May when she successfully retrieved film that had been confiscated\nby a law enforcement agent.

Stephanie Irwin, editor of The Guardian, Wright State's student\nnewspaper, sent a letter demanding the return of the film after\nit was taken from a photographer on assignment.

On May 4, Diane Corey, an undercover law enforcement officer\nworking on behalf of the Wright State Department of Public Safety,\nconfiscated a roll of film from Justin Garman, a photographer\nfor The Guardian.

Garman was photographing an off-campus party that followed\nMay Daze, a university-sponsored, all-day celebration.

Turning the Tables

When Joseph Hughes, a Marshall University senior, started a Web site dedicated to giving students alternative ways to purchase textbooks, he wanted to find a way to get people to visit the site regularly.

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\n He thought that posting professor evaluations might be a good way to draw students to the site.

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\n ''People simply didn't know about [the site] so I needed something to get people's attention,'' Hughes said.

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\n What Hughes did not bargain for was the battle he would face in accessing those evaluations.