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I find this dispute between the editors of Cat Tales and the administration of Mount Si High School monotonous and pointless. This dispute was settled at Bethel High School a couple of years ago, and “resettled” at Everett High School last year in federal court. I might add, the Everett case cost the school district thousands of dollars in legal fees that Everett taxpayers paid.
In those cases and in numerous prior cases, courts have ruled that if the paper is produced with school supplies, or if it is part of a school class, then the principal of that school has the complete authority to review the paper prior to publication. That principal can demand to have changes made in the publication, or he or she can simply decide the paper will not be published. Period.
This policy is the same policy that permits a principal to review and criticize the assignments and homework from any class. If a mathematics class has substandard assignments or is getting substandard results, then the principal can make changes to the content of the class, students’ complaints and discussions not withstanding.