DOWN TO THE FILTER

As the number of schools wired to the Internet increases, so do fears over the kinds of material students are able to access on classroom computers. Across the country, school boards and state legislatures are responding to these fears by installing filtering software to limit the sites students can access.

Supporters of Internet filters say they are trying to prevent students from viewing sites with inappropriate material, such as pornography.

College president threatens to file libel suit against N.Y. student paper

NEW YORK -- The editors of the Queens College student newspaper delayed distribution of their weekly issue in December after administrators threatened to sue the paper for libel if it published an editorial accusing the college president of lying.

Avi Muchnick, former editor of The Quad, said the dean of students called him the night before publication and told him President Allen Sessoms had "every intention of suing you and the newspaper."

"Suing was never likely," said dean of students Burton Backner.

Store apologizes to reporter for destroying film

MISSOURI -- When student reporters at the Webster Groves High School Echodecided to do a story on illegal cigarette sales to minors, they had no idea they would be part of a news story themselves.

But after a student's film was destroyed by a co-manager at one of the stores, the incident became the lead story on the evening news.

Reporters Hilary Johnson and Katie Zach were investigating the number of local stores that illegally sell cigarettes to minors for the January issue of the Echo. On Jan.

Newspapers sue for access to settlement terms

ILLINOIS -- Two state newspapers have gone to court to get details involving a secret settlement between Lake Land College and a former administrator.

The Mid-Illinois Newspapers, comprising the Mattoon Journal Gazette and the Charleston Times-Courier, had tried to intervene in a federal breach of contract lawsuit brought by former vice president Goble Jessup against the college after he was fired in April 1997.

A settlement in the Jessup case was reached before a federal judge in the U.S.

Editors win fight to keep free-press guidelines

NEW YORK -- Despite their victory over administrators in retaining the free-press guidelines the newspaper has operated under for 30 years, the editors of the student newspaper at Freeport High School say they are still waiting to publish their first issue.

"We've kind of won the battle but lost the war," said Flashings news editor Michael Leonard.

District’s refusal to mail documents costs $58,575

WASHINGTON -- Following a four-year court battle, a state judge ordered a school district to pay more than $58,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union in March for refusing to mail the organization 13 pages of public documents.

The ACLU of Washington requested documents describing school district policies and copies of disciplinary records in December 1995 from Blaine School District in northwest Washington.