1974.02.01: Board Lies About Rights (Red Tide)

[Historical Note: The Red Tide was a revolutionary high school underground newspaper and youth organization that existed from 1971-1981. See: http://theredtide.wordpress.com/]

Red Tide, Vol. 3, No. 3 [Issue #12]
February 1974

Board Lies About Rights
[By Michael Letwin]

Sometimes, we just have to sit back and laugh for just because we know that censorship exists in schools in L.A. doesn’t mean that the Board of Education doesn’t know better. Or so reports the Valley Section of the LA Times, on November 11. 1973.

CENSORSHIP OF SCHOOL PAPERS

This bit of news came up when a journalism teacher, Mike Weiner, at Canoga Park High complained to the Board that, “In many school newspapers, students are not allowed to criticize the hamburgers in the school cafeteria or to lobby for an open campus or even to mention that their school may have a problem with drugs or vandalism.”

In response, Associate Superintendent of Schools Halverson said that he doesn’t believe that any teacher has ever been harassed or in danger cf losing their job for not censoring material in a school paper. But Halverson also stated that the high school newspaper is a classroom only affair, and is not in existence fur students to express themselves.

BOARD DENIES CENSORSHIP

More astoundingly, however, Halverson said that students have access to outside and underground newspapers and speakers which he said aren’t under the control of the principal!

Well, all we can say is that if Halverson really believes this, he must be blind, deal, and/or generally incompetent, because anyone who has follow ed the struggles of students against administrations in the past knows that we had to fight! to have speakers and material of our choice on campus, without administration censorship.

Was there not a fight when students at University High in West LA. wanted the right to hear Jane Fonda on campus last school year? Or today at Locke High School in Watts, where several students are fighting the principal in order to have the right to distribute the RED TIDE on their campus? (See article in this issue)

The Board has not even taken action in support of students when events such as these have occurred. instead they have always stood up for their administrators who, don’t forget, never censor such things!

We don’t know how the Board and its cronies are able to make up such liberal sounding lies, but we do know that they are not true and that the only way that students have ever been able to win these kinds of rights is by a direct and open fight with the administration at their schools, and in many cases with the Board itself, that has not at this time ceased.

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