Parental permission required


Magazine staff reaches unusual compromise with school principal





NEW JERSEY - Students at most high schools have to get\ntheir parents' permission to go on field trips or take sex ed.\nStudents at Madison High School need their parents' permission\nto read the student literary magazine.

The staff of the literary magazine, Glyphs, decided\nto require students who wanted to buy copies of the magazine to\nturn in permission slips signed by their parents as a compromise\nwith the principal, who confiscated all of the copies of the literary\nmagazine because of two poems containing the words "f--g"\nand "f--d." The words appeared with dashes in the actual\nmagazine.

"I didn't want this to turn into a legal pissing contest,"\nsaid Gretchen Daniels, co-editor of Glyphs. "I know\nadults are immature enough to [censor] and think they can get\naway with it."

Stacy Kennard, the other editor, called the compromise "disappointing."

"I'd rather have the magazine read this year than not,"\nKennard said, explaining why she agreed to the compromise.

But both editors said the compromise adversely affected sales\nof the magazine.

Kennard said some students did not buy copies of the magazine\nbecause they did not think their parents would sign the permission\nslips.

Daniels said most students did not even try to get their parents'\npermission.

"Nobody cared," she said. "It's the end of the\nyear; it's 80 degrees outside. Nobody's going to bring in a permission\nslip."

Kennard said she had started selling the magazines when the\nmagazine adviser took them from her and told her the principal\nwas confiscating them. She said Principal R. Bruce Padian claimed\ntwo of the poems contained vulgar language.

Padian declined to comment.

Kennard said Padian suggested that the magazine staff replace\nthe poems with different ones and offered to pay to reprint the\nmagazine, but the staff refused.

"We didn't want it to go out unless it went out as it\nwas," Kennard said.

As a compromise, Daniels proposed that students turn in permission\nslips signed by their parents to buy the magazines, and Padian\nagreed to this solution.

But neither editor was pleased with the compromise.

"I wish this whole thing had not happened," Daniels\nsaid. "It was a huge nightmare to end my high school career\nwith."\n


Fall 1999, reports