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Monroe County School Board Reviews Student Media Policy

A student journalist works on a story for a college paper.

The Monroe County Community School Corporation could change how it monitors high school newspapers and yearbooks. Community members and school administrators met Monday and some say the policies are too restrictive.

Monroe County Community School Corporation is reviewing its policy on school-sponsored student publications and productions. The current rules bar students from publishing material that contains certain racial, ethnic, and religious language. But IU Director of Student Media Ron Johnson says the guidelines are outdated and do not help students learn.

"You want students to have that experience covering all of these topics, we shouldn’t have a restrictive policy," Johnson says. "Part of the education of being a journalist is that you tackle these issues and you learn how to do it with responsibility, balance, and all of the good things that we ask for so saying ‘no’ sets them up for problems."

MCCSC School Board President Keith Klein agrees. He says the corporation needs to change its policy to give students the opportunity to practice sound balance and judgment.

"We can have a strong policy that will encourage strong journalism by all of the right standards," Klein says.

The school board plans to revisit the topic at its next meeting in February.

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