- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 29, 2005

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) — Copies of a high school’s student newspaper were seized by administrators because the edition contained stories about birth control and tattoos, stirring a First Amendment debate.

Administrators at Oak Ridge High School went into teachers’ classrooms, desks and mailboxes to retrieve all 1,800 copies of the newspaper last week, said teacher Wanda Grooms, who advises the staff, and Brittany Thomas, the student editor.

The Oak Leaf’s birth-control article listed success rates for different methods and said contraceptives were available from doctors and the local health department. Superintendent Tom Bailey said the article needed to be edited so it would be acceptable for the entire school.

The edition also contained a photo of an unidentified student’s tattoo, and the student had not told her parents about the tattoo, Mr. Bailey said.

“I have a problem with the idea of putting something in the paper that makes us a part of hiding something from the parents,” he said.



The paper can be reprinted if the changes are made, he said.

“We have a responsibility to the public to do the right thing,” he said.

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