Students protest, plan suit

MISSISSIPPI — A newspaper editor and a cartoonist are planning legal action against their school after the principal confiscated their newspaper because of a political cartoon.

Editor Nicholas Nunnally and cartoonist Jessica Russell, both staff members at Itawamba High School’s paper, The Chieftain, have contacted lawyer Terryl Rushing, and have plans to file a lawsuit.

The confiscated cartoon shows an audience member at a school meeting asking a school official what his plans for the school are in the future. The official is shown visibly sweating and passing the question off to someone else.

Nunnally said the principal, Pete McMurray, did not approve of the cartoon and pulled the paper. Nunnally, Russell and another staff member met with McMurray to try to get the papers back, but he refused to return them. As a last resort, Nunnally plans to appeal the principal’s decision to the governing body that runs the high school, the Itawamba Community College Board of Trustees.

Nunnally said his goals for the suit are to have the confiscated paper published and to have censorship guidelines established at the school so that this kind of thing does not happen again.

Fall 1996, reports