Central Valley principal seizes student newspaper

STOCKTON — Student journalists at a Central Valley high school are getting a lesson in the First Amendment after administrators confiscated their newspaper over concerns about a campus safety article quoting school administrators as saying that recent lockdown drills and two reports of weapons on campus revealed poor communication.

The principal of Stockton's Bear Creek High School, Shirley McNichols, stopped distribution of 1,700 copies of the monthly Bruin Voice newspaper last week, saying a front-page article about allegedly outdated safety policies could panic students.

Editor-in-Chief Justine Chang and adviser Kathi Duffel told The Record of Stockton (http://bit.ly/11sR6P1 ) that the principal was embarrassed about what the article exposed.

"I think (administrators) were embarrassed by how they are portrayed in the article," said Chang.

McNichols denied that. She also said that the district has a policy that allows administrators to monitor the newspaper's content and withhold it if it causes a safety issue, and administrators quoted in the story were disgruntled employees.

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