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For Immediate Release:

March 17, 2005
For More Information:
Tyler Whitney
PHONE 517-337-9749

East Lansing High School Censors Student Newspaper

Distribution of independent publication prohibitted

EAST LANSING, Mich. – East Lansing High School student Tyler Whitney denounced the censorship of the Right Way, an independent conservative newspaper that students were barred from distributing.

“Our paper featured respectful opinions from well-informed and open-minded moderates, libertarians, and conservatives. It was not disruptive,” explained the Right Way’s editor Tyler Whitney. Whitney faced punishment for distributing a paper, which he considered to be a part of his constitution rights to free expression.

Before the administration halted the distribution of their publication, the writers stood in the hallway and allowed passers-by to optionally obtain their publication. School officials stopped the distribution. After reviewing the material, East Lansing Superintendent Dr. Dave Chapin denied the students their distribution rights. Dr. Chapin informed them that he considers conservative views disruptive.

“Free speech may not always be popular,” Whitney explained, “But it is a right that even high school students have.”

East Lansing High School has prohibited the distribution of underground or independent publications. The Student Press Law Center, a national non-profit foundation, reports that “Although public schools can establish reasonable restrictions as to the time, place and manner of distribution of underground publications, they cannot absolutely forbid their distribution on school grounds.”

Whitney and several others distributed the paper on Tuesday, March 15. Disciplinary action may still be pending.

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