Overland situation settled – for now – although questions remain

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According to both the Denver Post and the Student Press Law Center, the Overland Scout will retain its adviser and lose prior review – for the remainder of this year’s issues.

Unsettled, however, is what happens next year, both to the Scout and to the adviser.

“School and district officials maintain that the situation was a misunderstanding and that the newspaper was never shut down,” the Post reported April 4. “Cherry Creek School District spokeswoman Tustin Amole said that Lundie (the school’s principal) was unaware of a separate printing fund the district provides for printing newspapers and thought that they did not have the budget for further issues.”

SPLC attorney advocate Adam Goldstein said the problems have not been resolved, but that it was a good first step.

“Firing the adviser in May for what the students wrote isn’t more permissible than it is in March,” he said. “We still need assurances that this program will still exist as vibrant as it ever has.”

Unanswered questions remain:

• The school reportedly wants to move the existing publication online, although it now will not permit online student media to use last names. That policy would have to be changed, and it is not known how an online publication would fit into existing student media policies.

• With such a move, will the district retain the adviser or seek someone else?

• Will the district attempt to reinstate prior review?

• Will the idea of moving from print to online journalism affect other schools in the district?

• Will the principal’s idea for change alter existing concepts of journalism the district teaches and students practice at other schools?

For the latest information, please check out these sources:

Denver Post, April 4

SPLC Reports, April 4

Overland High School official statement from the principal and official policy statement

Overland High School relents

Overland principal: student newspaper to continue publishing

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