Halls of Shame, Part 5

Thanks to the Student Press Law Center, we have learned of another school superintendent who deserves a hallowed place in our Halls of Shame.
In Port Hope, Michigan, Superintendent Scott Belt is doing what he can to make sure the student paper at Port Hope Community School doesn’t report the news.
Belt said the paper is only supposed to publish ‘positive’ stories
”It’s always been just to give a positive outlook and to be a PR-type tool for the school,” he said.
But let’s give credit to school board member Stan Shipp, who’s not happy with Belt’s oversight of the student paper. Shipp told the Student Press Law Center he worries the students enrolled in the journalism class are not getting real lessons in journalism.
”The As and Bs our students are earning aren’t the same as the As and Bs other students are earning,” Shipp said. ”They really don’t teach newspaper. They teach newsletter.”
His wife, Linda Shipp, said when she was the Star Gazer adviser three years ago, Belt sometimes accessed rough drafts of stories from the journalism class computer hard drive before she had a chance to read them.
”He’d get frustrated and tell the kids he didn’t like the story,” Shipp said. ”I was being censored and the kids were being censored.”
Would that more educators thought like the Shipps, and a whole lot fewer took Belt’s ridiculous stance in favor of only ‘positive’ news.
Teaching censorship is positively un-American.

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