High School Newspaper Fights to Run Story on Student in Porn

Award-winning adviser has won this fight before
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2019 6:48 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Once again, a California high school newspaper's adviser is risking her job over a story that school administrators don't want published. In the past, Kathi Duffel and her students have fought the school district over stories on inaccuracies in a school safety handbook, the segregation of black male math students, and the principal scolding employees for losing their keys despite the fact that he had done so repeatedly; they've also clashed over ads, including one for Planned Parenthood. The award-winning adviser and the Bruin Voice staff won each of those fights, the San Francisco Chronicle reports; California law has broad protections for student journalists. But Duffel is not looking forward to another legal battle. "You have to get your ducks aligned because you’re in for a knockdown, drag-out fight," she said. "They still have not learned their lesson—or the law."

This time, the article is a profile of an 18-year-old student at Bear Creek High School in Stockton who's active in the porn industry. The student agreed to be interviewed for the article, with the hope that telling her story would quiet the whispers about her among students. Duffel has been told she could be fired if she doesn't submit the article to administrators for approval before publication, per the Washington Post. Duffel has declined. She told the superintendent the article "speaks to every 14-year-old ... who has failed three classes her freshman year and now has a choice to make—and our hope is that this article will help students think more critically about the choices they do make at this age in their lives." Although she expects to win, Duffel does fear losing her job. Still, she told the Post: "This young woman has quite a story to tell. She has every right to tell her story, and we have every right to report it." (How a high school newspaper scored an interview with the secretary of defense.)

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