Student Paper's Sex Edition Accused of Scanty Reporting

New restrictions are in store for controversial newspaper

High school newspapers sure aren't what they used to be.

The Adlai E. Stevenson High School newspaper recently published a "hooking up" issue, detailing the casual sexual encounters of the Lincolnshire school's students. As one might expect, the paper created a remarkable amount of controversy, but not for the reason you might think.

The school's administration is not criticizing the newspaper's adult-themed content; rather, they say the problem lies in the poor reporting of that content.

The "hooking up" issue drew stories of sexual experiences from several students (including one male student's effective pursuit to have sex with a girl at a party) and then went on to identify those students by name.

But the paper did not interview any students who stood against having casual sex and therefore lacked fair comparison, the administration said.

In response, the high school administration has created a newspaper review board that will likely include the head of the English Department.

"We think another pair of eyes is needed to look for red flags," Jim Conrey, spokesperson of the school, told the Chicago Tribune. "It's not about the censorship."

But some parents and First Amendment advocates are criticizing the move.

"Prior review is camouflaged censorship," said Randy Swikle, Illinois director of the Journalism Education Association.

Barbara Thill, the journalism teacher who serves as newspaper adviser, did not return calls for comment.

Matt Bartosik, former blogger of The Chicago Traveler and editor of Off the Rocks' next issue, reviewed movies for his junior-high newspaper.

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