- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 18, 2005

SEATTLE (AP) — The co-editors of a high school newspaper are suing their school district, saying their free-speech rights are being violated by officials demanding to review editions of the paper before distribution.

Sara Michelle Eccleston, 17, and Claire Marie Lueneburg, 18, argue that Everett High School’s Kodak newspaper has long served as a forum for students with no content oversight by school administrators. They have refused to submit to prior review.

The issue arose after the Kodak reported on the hiring of the high school’s new principal, Catherine Matthews, who took over this fall, said Mitch Cogdill, the students’ attorney. Miss Matthews was the third choice of the students on the hiring committee, and the Kodak ran articles suggesting their voices were ignored.

In October, Miss Matthews told the Kodak staff that the paper couldn’t be published unless she approved it in advance.

“We’ve complied with the law in every way,” district spokeswoman Gay Campbell said. “We’re sorry the students have decided to take this course of action.”

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