This morning, as I stepped into the Principal’s Office to pick up the homeroom mail (I’m the homeroom messenger), Mr. Odioso directed all of us to pick up all of the mail, except the stacks of Blueprint issues in the mailboxes. (The Blueprint is my school’s monthly newspaper. You may remember my previous rants against it.) I originally thought that he would have them distributed tomorrow, which you now know won’t happen.
Apparently, he meant to confiscate the newspaper, because one article in it, called Devil May Cry, a review of a new computer game by CapCom, contains material that would be considered inappropriate when taken out of context. There was also an article linking a rising teen drinking rate in the school to the increased payload of homework.
Paul Whitlatch, the Editor-in-Chief of the Blueprint, once e-mailed me, stating:
…The Blueprint receives a budget from St. Xavier for printing costs, however the views expressed in the newspaper are from the editors and writers alone. No member of the St. X administration reads or otherwise reviews an issue of the paper before it is printed. Nothing in the Blueprint is endorsed by the administration — if so, why would we challenge their decisions on a regular basis?
I guess that the paper finally got in trouble for it. But this brings up a very important point. You see, this school describes itself as a “college prep school”. In most collegiate institutions, censoring of the school media is frowned upon. Of course, the issue of consoring high school papers once came before the US Supreme Court (Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 108 S.Ct. 562, 1988), which decided that such censorship was legal, as long as it was “reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns.” Of course, the question is if “no-no words”, quoted from the game, created a legitimate pedagogical concern, or just violated “Jesuit appropriateness”.
Even so, since most colleges frown upon such censorship, it is in our school’s best interests to live up to its epithet of “college prep school”. How? By preparing us for the freedom of speech that colleges and universities will undoubtedly grant us.