• Valentine’s Day 2008 will be remembered at a California high school

    Date: 03.01.08 | by Judge Tom.

    High school newspaper tries to get attention and raise awareness

    15-year-old Richard Edmond is the editor of Le Sabre, his high school’s newspaper. For the Valentine’s Day issue he tried to raise awareness of violence against women with a lead story about the play “Vagina Monologues.” Splashed across the front page under a hot-pink headline reading “Have a Happy Vagina Day!” was a labeled diagram of a vagina.

     

     

    Photo by Ginnerobot (Flickr)

    School administrators say newspaper crossed the line

     

    Grover Cleveland High School administrators seized all remaining copies as a potential disruption to the school stating that this is a high school, not Hollywood Boulevard. Student journalism obviously has educational value but this issue apparently crossed the line of acceptable writing. Editor Edmond was quoted as saying that “On Valentine’s Day, more date rapes take place than on any other day of the year.”

    Did Le Sabre cross the line in appropriate student journalism? Could the issue of violence against women be approached without the theatrics? Or does shock have value in generating discussion of a serious subject?

    Find out more about censorship at school.

    In October, 2012, sophomore Brianna Demato, age 15, wore a red T-shirt to school that read “I enjoy Vagina.” She was told to remove the shirt or leave  school since it was disruptive. Brianna called her mother who defended her daughter to the principal saying she is who she is and has a right to wear the shirt. Brianna stated that “It’s hypocritical.” She insisted she’s worn the flirty shirt to  school dozens of times without incident. “They use the word in class — why can’t  I, on a shirt?” Brianna goes to school in Newtown, New York.
    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/queens-student-home-explicit-t-shirt-article-1.1173342#ixzz28TRuvedu

     

    Brianna and her mother, Cathy

     

    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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    • David
      Thu, 17 Apr 2008 at 11:00

      I go to Cleveland, and it’s a very liberal school. I’m surprised the administration made such a big deal out of it as they did.
      Personally I believe the paper did the right thing. Honestly, I don’t think most kids would have even read the article without something attention-grabbing.