Despite April spike, theft rate steady

The Student Press Law Center received reports of 13 newspaper thefts from January through April. Six thefts took place in April, including four in one week. But the total number of thefts reported for the school year so far --19 -- is on par with the rate of thefts in recent years. Some student papers were able to reprint and redistribute to make up for what had been lost, but some could not afford to reprint. Five of the largest thefts this year involved more than 2,000 copies of student papers stolen.

Looks like government — open like government?

Twice this year, Student Government Association members at Western Illinois University used secret ballots to vote on important campus issues, an athletic fee increase and implementation of a plus and minus grading system. The SGA had been using the method for some time with seemingly good intentions -- to expedite and simplify the voting process. Little did members know it was potentially illegal and a violation of the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

Bullying 2.0

Twelve states have laws against cyber-bullying, requiring schools to develop Internet safety programs or policies to control the electronic harassment that many believe is becoming more prevalent. Still, First Amendment advocates and attorneys have expressed concern over the laws' broad definitions of "bullying" and whether schools should get involved in incidents that happen outside school.