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Preventing yearbook vandalism

(05/21/10 12:20pm)

As spring delivery yearbooks begin to arrive on high school campuses across the country, there will be — as happens every year — a tiny few that include unpleasant surprises (and it is a very “tiny” number relative to the thousands of yearbooks that will arrive exactly as expected.)  That’s because every year, it’s discovered that someone snuck some prank entry into the yearbook files — often after the pages had been signed off on by editors but before being sent to the printer, but sometimes simply by being sneaky and slipping it past the editors. Among those we’ve seen over the years: doctoring classmates' names, substituting an unflattering photo, inserted “coded” messages or profanity, rewriting a student bio or adding racist comments. Often the change is meant as a joke, but while their intent might have been to have some fun, there is nothing funny about the practice.

Student media director’s departure leaves FAU department with ‘zero employees’

(02/14/11 8:00pm)

Student journalists at Florida Atlantic University no longer have a paid adviser to turn to after the student media director’s recent departure left the department with no employees. Former Student Media Director Marti Harvey sent the university a letter of resignation Jan.

Indiana journalism teacher settles First Amendment lawsuit involving newspaper, yearbook

(04/24/12 3:30pm)

An Indiana high school newspaper and yearbook adviser has settled her lawsuit against Greater Clark County Schools, though the terms are not yet known. Kelly Short sued the public school corporation in January, claiming school officials retaliated against her for supporting the First Amendment rights of students.

Bridgewater State newspaper: Adviser threatened with removal over controversial stories

(04/26/12 5:57pm)

Editors at Bridgewater State University say the Massachusetts school's president is seeking the ouster of newspaper adviser David Copeland because of controversial articles published in the April 12 edition of The Comment. In an article posted Thursday on The Comment's website, along with an accompanying opinion column, the newspaper reports that President Dana Mohler-Faria is asking the college's Board of Trustees -- who meet Friday -- to approve a policy disqualifying part-time faculty from advising student organizations -- a change that would apply only to Copeland. The April 12 issue of the paper contained two articles that drew college administrators' ire. A student-authored opinion piece questioned the need for a proposed $500 hike in student fees, arguing that the college's budget should be going down because some 200 jobs have been left vacant as a result of a freeze.

The price of censorship? For Chicago State, try $213,231.98

(08/28/13 4:16pm)

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." --Derek Bok, Harvard president, 1971-91 Unjustly firing a newspaper adviser and running off its editor-in-chief wasn't just costly to Chicago State University's reputation. A federal court ordered the university to pay $2,502.48 in court costs and $210,729.50 in attorney's fees after finding that professor Gerian Steven Moore and student editor George Providence II were unlawfully fired in violation of the First Amendment. U.S.