Friday, March 23, 2001

Walnut Hills students walk out over newspaper

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        After nearly a week's suspension, Walnut Hills High School has its student newspaper back.

        More than 100 students walked out of classes shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday to protest the paper's March 16 shutdown. Administrators had objected to a cartoon that depicted an assistant principal as a two-faced “demon” after a weekend detention class was moved to Friday nights.

[photo] David Nathan, an eighth grader at Walnut Hills, chants "bring back the box" referring to the school newspaper, The Chatterbox.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
| ZOOM |
        In a previously arranged meeting with several of the newspaper's editors, Principal Marvin Koenig reinstated the Chatterbox later Thursday. Staffers at the paper did not organize the walkout and by the time the decision was made to reinstate the paper, protesters had gone home.

        In reversing his decision, Mr. Koenig “made it very clear that any kind of disrespectful or belittling information will not be tolerated,” said Cincinnati Public Schools spokeswoman Eileen Houston-Stewart.

        Nevertheless, Chatterbox editor-in-chief Philip Ewing said Thursday he stands by the paper's mission statement, which guarantees the “right of freedom of the press through the First Amendment.”

        “This whole thing is just so dumb” the 18-year-old senior said. “We honestly thought no one would take it seriously, and if none of this had happened it would have been forgotten by now.”

        Traditionally, the newspaper's next edition would be its annual April Fool's Day publication.

        It was uncertain Thursday whether students would be able to create that edition because of lost time during the shutdown.


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- Walnut Hills students walk out over newspaper
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