Supreme Court upholds student fees

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Colleges and universities may use mandatory student activity fees to finance campus groups that engage in political speech as long as the funding system is viewpoint-neutral, the Supreme Court ruled in March.

In a unanimous decision, the Court rejected the argument of Christian and conservative students at the University of Wisconsin at Madison that the university's fee system violated their First Amendment rights by forcing them to fund groups they disagree with on political, religious or ideological grounds.

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony M.

Supporter wants federal press protections

MASSACHUSETTS -- Out of frustration with the slow progress supporters have made in getting states to pass anti-Hazelwood legislation, one adviser is working to pass a bill at the national level.

Harry Proudfoot, a newspaper adviser at Westport High School, said he believes passing one bill in Congress will be easier than passing 44 bills in the states.

State attorney general says fraternity party police report exempt from law

MISSISSIPPI -- The state attorney general's office said in January that the University of Mississippi does not have to release campus crime reports or police logs pertaining to a 1999 fraternity party incident that sent five female students to the hospital.

The Daily Mississippian, the university's student newspaper, and The Clarion-Ledger, a Jackson newspaper, requested the reports from campus police shortly after the incident occurred in November.

Student body president, administrator halt Md. newspaper’s presses on election day

MARYLAND -- The administration of Morgan State University agreed to reimburse the school's student newspaper in March for advertising revenue it lost after school officials ordered the printer to delay delivery of the election-day issue.

Spokesman editor Kevin Howell also asked administrators to reprimand the two people involved -- the school's student activities coordinator and student government association president -- for effectively censoring the newspaper because of their suspicions that the issue contained candidate endorsements.

Howell said SGA president Julian Dash called him on the morning of March 16 asking to see a copy of the newspaper.

Commentary provokes principal to pull papers

OREGON -- The Elkton community was not partying like it was 1999 when the millennium edition of the Elkton High School student newspaper, The Elk Call, hit the school's newsstands in December.

A sarcastic commentary published in reply to a letter from a community member about the poor grades of Elkton students prompted the school board to halt the distribution of 500 newspapers and order them destroyed.

The commentary was written by newspaper staff member Andy Baird in reply to a letter to the editor from an Elkton community member bemoaning academic problems at the school.

Teacher sues Florida district after contract is not renewed

FLORIDA -- The former faculty adviser for a student newspaper filed suit against the Palm Beach County School District in October, alleging he was removed from his teaching position because of controversial articles in the student newspaper.

Toby Eichas said the school failed to renew his contract after he resigned from his adviser position.

The problems began during the 1998-99 school year when Boca Raton High School's student newspaper, The Predator, published several controversial columns containing Jewish stereotypes and sexual innuendoes.

After the controversial columns were published, principal Diana Harris demanded to review every issue of the newspaper before publication.

In protest, Eichas resigned his adviser position, as did the student editor.