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    High school student magazine banned from distribution

    Date: 06.16.09 | by Judge Tom.
    PULP is the annual student-produced magazine written by the journalism class at Orange High School in California. This year’s issue featured a story on “tattoo mania” as described by editor-in-chief, Lynn Lai.
    The story covered students with tattoos – all of whom consented to having their name and photos used in the magazine. The cover depicted someone’s back with an image of a panther, the school mascot, and the word PULP.

    Orange High School

    The principal confiscated most of the 300 copies because, in his opinion, the cover design  and Old English font used in the text promoted gang life. He also objected to the fact that the story didn’t report that tattoos are forever and that removal is painful.

    The PULP staff views the principal’s action as censorship and is considering taking legal action. They argue that discussing tattoos is no different from subjects presented in earlier issues, including drugs and alcohol, and teen pregnancy. What do you think?

    Does a picture of a tattoo send a wrong message or promote an unlawful lifestyle?

    Should the writers have presented the other side of the story or is it common knowledge that tattoos are permanent unless painfully removed?

    Would a tattoo story cause disruption on campus or convince a student to become a gang member?

    Know your rights when it comes to school censorship.

    tattoobelgiangirlSpeaking of tattoos, consider the misfortune of 18-year-old Kimberley Vlaeminck from Belgium.  She reportedly asked for three stars on her face, but then fell asleep during the procedure. She woke up because of pain when the tattoo artist was doing her nose. That’s when she discovered she had 56 stars on one side of her face. The artist told the police that she asked for all of them, but changed her story when her father showed up. The investigation continues. Is it possible to fall asleep while getting a tattoo?

    Update: Kimberley has since admitted that she was lying about falling asleep when she realized her father was furious.  She was awake the entire time.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    • julie
      Thu, 18 Jun 2009 at 06:20

      per a group of nine teenage boys, the article would not promote a gang or unlawful lifestyle, & it is common knowledge that tatoos are permanent