Friday, February 10, 2006

Send Us Your Comments

Please send us your comments. We invite you to study the documents on this website. Read the Email Trail, our Letter to Cobb County Superintendent, our issues of BrookSpeak, our Staff Editorial and decide for yourself.

It is our hope that the Pebblebrook administration and the Cobb County School District will take your comments into consideration and choose not to censor student publications at Pebblebrook High School by removing the newspaper publication class.

159 Comments:

At 3:47 PM, Anonymous timm said...

As a publications adviser in Iowa, and a strong First Amendment advocate, I firmly support your position. Please let the administration know that by taking responsibiility for the content of the publications, they are now legally responsible for any legal action taken against said publication.

Keep fighting the good fight!

 
At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

[this is an edited version of the above comment that was removed - Speaking Underground Staff]

that is utterly ridiculous. as a rising junior of pebblebrook, i know the things that go on, and why should we have to sugarcoat reality? why should we put on a facade of the perfect school? I dont know about our idiot principal and administrators, but most people are concerned with reality, not fantasy. and i cannot believe they said mr. stroud was giving them attitude, when that is the only thing bynum has given him! and the fact that they change to "oh, the budget is the reason for cancelling" when talking to the student. thats a bunch of [bull]. i thoroughly enjoy the newspaper, and always look foward to new editions. keep fighting guys. i'm behind you 100%.

 
At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. Bynum is completely trying to censor Brookspeak and is utterly ridiculous. I hope this story can help spread a message to everyone to show that students DO have rights that can not be taken away. As long as there is no slander involved, the facts are straight, and its a well written article it provides no hard. I am behind your school 100%

 
At 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was one of Mr. Stroud's editors last year at Berkmar High School. I definitely understand the frustration these students at Pebblebrook are dealing with. When one of my articles was censored last year, I went into the principal's office and asked for an explanation. I knew I was right, and they were wrong. Yet, somehow, I was intimidated to face him and argue my point. These students are doing something that other journalism students are afraid to do, standing up for their rights. Defying unfair authority takes a lot of courage, and I hope they succeed in winning this perpetual battle against arbitrary school administration.

 
At 11:22 PM, Anonymous Frank said...

A school newspaper should not be limited by the curriculum set by an administration that does not understand the student body. If the school decides to make newspaper an extracurricular activity, there will be no response from the students. Yes, granted there are a dedicated few that will try to uphold it, but in reality the drop in participation will be devistating to the newspaper itself. I have participated in newspaper for 2 years, both years for Berkmar High when we won in GSPA, and I have learned a few things that only newspaper can do for a student and for a school. A newspaper brings a school together and opens students' eyes to what is going on around them. Without it, students will be less informed and will be less likely to voice any opinion, show any character, less likely to show school pride and are less inclined to read . Students read the ideas of their peers, they see the photos of events that are going on around them, and they can voice their opinion which definitely needs to be heard. As a student, it brings a sense of pride of work, makes a student more aware, brings a class together to produce something that the entire school can enjoy, and gives them stories that will last them a lifetime. For what it is worth, a newspaper is more than just a stack of folded paper that has words on it. A school newspaper is an experience, an experience of life and liberty.

 
At 7:57 AM, Blogger John in Atlanta said...

I can't believe this is happening. Of course in this current climate of fluff news and censorship anything in possible. I reported your plight on my blog Wild Sects and hope you get lots of attention. Good luck! You're doing the right thing.

 
At 8:03 AM, Blogger John in Atlanta said...

My apologies - I edited the title of the post and broke the link. Here's a new link: Journalism students censored

 
At 8:45 AM, Blogger Alan Moore said...

I agree, students should have the say in what is printed. Please remind Mr. Bynum of the First Amendment, the press can print whatever it wants to, as long as it's true. Good luck in your efforts to get the paper back. I will be glad to help in any way.

 
At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys have a link to the Student Press Law Center. Make sure you READ some of the legal precedents. Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier in 1988 went all the way to the Supreme Court, who ruled that a high-school sponsored newspaper produced as part of a class CAN be censored where school officials demonstrated a reasonable educational justification and where their censorship is viewpoint neutral.

Considered that the newspaper hasn't even been able to keep a regular publication schedule, I think censorship should be the least of your problems.

 
At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Laura said...

When I attended Pebblebrook I was assistant editor of the paper (then The Talon, 2002). The journalism class was a great time for me to get to know a teacher more personally and practice my writing skills, which I now use daily as a public relations intern and student.
It is important for students to have an outlet to practice skills like writing, and the paper would certainly suffer if it were turned into an extracurricular, especially because of the after-school requirements of the performing arts department.
Skills learned in journalism classes are essential to many professions today. It's not only the experience of writing, but using teamwork and computer skills as well. Taking away this class would be a mistake.
I back up the students fully on this and wish I was still around PHS to get in on the action!

 
At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former student at pebblebrook high, I was led to this page by the headline on ajc.com. I was a student at pebblebbrook under both Sue Gunderman (one of the best educators I have ever had the privelige of coming in contact with) and Randy Bynum. As we witnessed the administrative shift, we saw a sharp decline in the morale of the student/ teacher body. Where before, our administration had been incredibly supportive in all of our efforts we were now met with a brick wall intent on turning the school into some sort of military boot camp where only the pretty and happy things come to light and even the slightest infraction was met with the harshest of punishment. I find it commendable that Pebblebrook was finally able to get a student paper. While other schools in the county focus on creating academic opportunities such as this, Pebblebrook has consistently chosen the lesser(ie. cosmetology). While it is important to provide vocational training, it is equally important to provide these sorts of academic opportunities. In college, I met students who had worked in radio, tv, and newspaper as high school students. They swam on year round swim teams or played on the school hockey team. While understanding the many of these opportunities are not ones pebblebrook can afford they should be focusing on providing to students who are working to move up from where they are as well as helping those who only need to learn a vocation.

Keep up the good work. Mr. Bynum's idle threats of retribution do not stretch beyond the bounds of his own territory. He tried it with our senior class as well. When met with criticism by our senior class president, he would not allow her to speak at graduation. Though I did not agree with the forum she chose to voice her concerns (senior assembly), he made her point by censoring her at graduation.

 
At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a former teacher at Pebblebrook, and the tactics used by Mr. Bynum in this case are not an isolated event. I know first-hand, that he is not a collaborative principal, and things always have to go his way. This is just one example of his inability to lead and insincere interest in student learning.

The real story that should be pursued is an expose of PHS and the administration. Everyone that has an encounter at Pebblebrook wants to love the school and the children there, but there are so many obstacles. Someone should exam the high turnover rate of teachers, low morale of staff, dis-respect and lack of meaningful discipline of students, and the great rift between the Performing Arts and "local" school children.I think one would find many trails that all lead to Mr. Bynum.

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger ScottJ said...

Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable. I'm not sure where this Bynum fellow got the idea that he's entitled to control the content of a student newspaper, but I certainly hope future events can educate him as to the idiocy of that notion.

It is no surprise to me, however, that an administrator would attempt to censor any publication that highlighted his lack of effectiveness. Ask Hitler, Stalin, and a dozen other experts: censorship works.

As a completely uninvolved party, I wish you success in your fight to reinstate your newspaper.

 
At 11:21 AM, Blogger Michael Memberg said...

I hate to break it to you guys, but you haven't been censored. Look, I know it sucks to feel oppressed, but what have you really lost? So you can't have a journalism class - all that means is that you don't have an easy A on your schedule. How much did you really learn from that class anyway that you wouldn't just learn from reading quality newspapers/periodicals?

As for your accusations of censorship:
1) Is the paper being cancelled? No, it's just extra-curricular now.
2) Has your ability to disseminate your ideas been limited? No, as evidenced by this blog, you still have a means to publish your work.
3) Being a student publication does not permit you to be inflammatory and one-sided. Plus, there is by default a stricter standard of scrutiny that public school-sanctioned publications must satisfy, in comparison to independent publications. That is done not to stifle expression but to promote responsible student journalism.
4) The first amendment does not grant you the right to have a journalism class or even to have a school paper. Those things are privileges extended to promote learning, and their cancellation does not infringe upon your rights of free expression.

Instead of complaining about your rights being trampled upon, dedicate yourselves to your craft. No principal can stop you from having an open mind and writing about it. Your right to free speech is intact, even if the privilege of having a journalism class has been revoked.

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger John in Atlanta said...

With all due respect Mr. Memberg did you read the part about ending the journalism class in favor of cosmetology? Which profession is more important to the world in general? With the current state of journalism and news, I feel that these students need a journalism class. Maybe if they're taught healthy journalism standards we can reverse the Foxification of our media outlets. Just look at the demonization of Newsweek by Bush administration for a story that supposedly caused deaths by rioting. Those riots would have happened with or without Newsweek. Funny how the Bush administration cries fowl over the 17 deaths but refuses to take responsibilty for over 1,700 American deaths and untold thousands of Iraqi deaths for a lie.

 
At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Amanda Foster said...

I firmly believe that if we expect the high school students of Georgia to mature into well thought and well spoken individuals, that allowing an administration to regulate what issues they can and cannot ASK about, let alone those that they can write about is about as goal defeating as it gets. Expand your minds, kids.....work harder, kids.... but don't think about things about this world that aren't rose-colored.... what garbage! It is only by spreading information about things that AREN'T right that these teenagers will be able to form intelligent and conscientous opinions for themselves. We can't expect them to change the world if some principal won't even let them talk about it!
From the information I've read, Mr. Stroud sounds like a fine teacher who is genuinely trying to expand the horizons of his students and help them learn to be excellent. It seems that he's being regarded as a rabble-rouser by an administration in denial of the truth about who their students are now, and who they will become in the near future.
Yes, they can still work on their newspaper as an extracurricular, but that pretty much squashes their ability to get funding outside of what they can raise selling candy. It further limits the options the Pebblebrook students have to explore outside of the traditional literature, math, history and science. Cosmetology? THAT course is more important and more effective and more necessary than teaching students how to express their opinions in a cogent manner, a skill which they will definitely need later in life if they want to be anything other than a mindless lemming to the floundering USA. More and more I think this country is headed for a Dark Ages. Wake up!
What it comes down to is that the people who are shepherding the teenagers of today into adulthood rarely have any real understanding of the ways in which these rising adults will need to be vastly different from the adults of today, you know, the adults who are wrecking the world with hatred and intolerance, choosing to be uninformed, and setting priorities that are frankly frightening. They NEED to be motivated to be excellent at speaking out against what is wrong and they need to be encouraged to dream up the solutions that we'll need for the problems that we're causing now. Yes, it's important to recognize people for doing things that are good, but it's equally important to learn to take a stand against things that aren't right.

I think Bynum is showing himself to be afraid of letting his students think, and showing himself to be too close-minded to get out of his Principal Box.

 
At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am intrigued by your story. Hopefully, you will get the support you need to change the administration's mind. Good luck and to the journalism teacher, go somewhere you will be appreciated it makes all the difference in teaching.

 
At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

amen to the post from a former teacher...

Maybe the real issue is and always has been the terrible leadership of Mr. Bynum.

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger ScottJ said...

In order to give your story some additional exposure I have covered it on my own blog, at http://kd4dcy.net/blog.

Best wishes.

Scott Johnson

 
At 1:07 PM, Blogger Jeangenie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1:09 PM, Blogger Jeangenie said...

I thought America prided itself on allowing its citizens Free Speech, but it seems that depends on what they say. This school seems to be ruled by the Taliban.

 
At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Pebblebrook student and I know I speak for a great deal of students at Pebblebrook in saying that we thank everyone for their support. The attention this issue is getting is really making us fight as hard as we can to get our newspaper back. We hope that it recieves even more and that it can really show people that principals and authority figures can not censor the world from students. We have rights too, and they deserve to be recognized. I know that next year as a senior I will keep this experiance in mind and it will keep me motivated in fighting for what i believe in.

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Michael Memberg said...

JFA:
First, I think that students who take cosmetology (i.e. non-college-bound students) probably need that class more than students who take journalism (i.e. college-bound students who naturally like to read and write).

Second, the rest of your "reponse" to me is completely off-topic and non-responsive. All you did was spout anti-Fox, anti-Bush boilerplate. You should have stopped with: "With the current state of journalism and news, I feel that these students need a journalism class." At that point, your comment still had some integrity to it.

 
At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a student at Pebblebrook, I can testify to the social and educational enrichment that a school newspaper can bring.

At Pope High School, which I attended for the 2002-2003 school year, there was a journalism class that published papers regularly. I looked forward to these papers and would read them cover to cover.

Once I transferred to Pebblebrook, I was surprised that there was no school newspaper. I was overjoyed my senior year when BrookSpeak began its publication. I eagerly tore through the pages upon each issue's release. I cannot even begin to explain how cheated I feel. I realize that I am graduating and will not be able to read the paper regardless, but I don't even get to read the final issue of vol. 1. If Bynum wants to destroy this paper and make it look like a budget cut, he should allow BrookSpeak to publish its final issue. Two days away from graduation, I realize that this cannot happen. I feel horrible for future students who will have to rely on gossip to obtain information about their school. Gossip is more slanderous than BrookSpeak has ever been.

This is a denial of first-amendment rights. Bynum isn't getting his way, so he is throwing his toys around, so to speak. The fascist infuriates me.

 
At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excuse Me.... Are any of you 18 years old? I assume that the majority of you are 17 or under if you are in high school.

YOU DON'T HAVE RIGHTS! - The First Amendment does not apply to children. Sorry.

 
At 2:08 PM, Blogger John in Atlanta said...

Mr. Memberg,
I don't agree that I drifted off topic. I merely expanded on it. Off topic or not I was illustrating America's greater need for responsible journalism as opposed to responsible cosmetology. Because I expanded on the topic doesn't negate the integrity of what I wrote. Please tell me where I was inaccurate.

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger Michael Memberg said...

JFA:

"Those riots would have happened with or without Newsweek."

Well, clearly you think Muslims are all violent radicals (not very lib of you). But besides that, you are 100% inaccurate in alleging that those specific riots were not a result of reactions to the Newsweek story.

As for your being off-topic: While it's true that you were expanding on the general topic of journalism, you completely avoided any reference to my points. Had you not even mentioned my name (which implied you were responding to me), I would have merely read your unoriginal thoughts and moved on; however, since you chose to call me out, I responded.

Also, could you please fill in the readers of this blog on the inspiration for your blog name ("Wild Sects").

 
At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Justin Rich said...

I was Jon Stroud's first Editor-in-Chief at Berkmar High School in 2000-2001. I fully support the students and Jon in their efforts to "fight the system" that will not allow high schoool journalists to voice their opinion and use their abilities in a valid forum. To Mr. Memberg, I ask this question: Had you any experience in attempting to produce any type of publication in the same magnitude of a 20-28 page newspaper in high school? In order to fully develop a relevant and professional publication, the work necessary is more than that offered in an extra-cirricular setting. If not for the period devoted to Journalism in my senior year (the same year in which I served as Editor of Gwinnett County's "Most Improved Newspaper" largley due to the arrival of Storud), there would have been no way to produce such a newspaper.

In addition, without the aid and guidance of Storud, I would not have realized my ability and potential. Thanks to him, I am currently working on my own publication and studying to be a sports journalist.

Keep up the fight Pebblebrook Journalists. You have my respect and support.

Justin Rich
Norcross, GA

 
At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a alumni I encourage you guys to keep up the fight. I understand losing something that was the world to you due to that principle that we all had things are just taking away because he doesn't understand that it is important to you. Take a stand don't let that blank take anything from you. KEEP UP THE FIGHT.

 
At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Bynum only takes pride in things that are making him money which is the performance arts. You want see him censoring them if they tried this same stunt. So i say forget him and continue the fight for those to come. class of 03

 
At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious that the principal has a little censorship issue.. sure we would all love for the shiny happy stories to make the front page.. but the teacher is right in that then it would just become a school PR newsletter.. and what is the sense of that.. if you are teaching journalism, that's what it is.. researching and writing articles..
If the administration takes this class away, they will be doing a grave disservice to the students. When I was in high school, they took away our journalism class, but not because of censorship, more due to lack of students participating.. If you have over 50 people signed up for next year then obviously there is a need for the class.
Said principal needs to pull his head out of the sand and realize that while the teacher supervises the class, it is a STUDENT newspaper..
fight this kids.. fight with everything you have.. the climate of this country is all about people in power holding it over those of us that don't.. take back your power..
After reading through all the letters back and forth, I found Mr stroud's answers perfectly acceptable and lacking "attitude" as stated by mr bynum.
It is so obvious that they are feeding everyone a load of horse manure when they are talking about the budget.. And Mr. Bynum basically threatening Mr. Stroud's job really doesn't look all that great on his behalf..

 
At 4:10 PM, Blogger Michael Memberg said...

Justin:

One hour a day, five hours a week. Without taking into consideration any non-productive time (which there obviously is - it's high schoolers), that's all the instruction time provided by the journalism class. And, in my opinion, if the class is nothing more than just time to work on the paper, then I think it's not worthy of that hour of instruction time out of our already too short school days.

I went to Chamblee High School from 93-98 (8th - 12th). I was on the yearbook staff, which was allowed a class period - and I tell you, the only time work ever got done in there was in the weeks before 2 or 3 major deadlines. Our newspaper was done as a club by basically whoever was willing to dedicated his or her time to work on it - and I thought they did a fine job.

I'm certainly not taking anything away from your work on your paper. I'm just asking you to consider whether that 45 minutes to an hour a day is what got your paper ready, or if it was all the hard work done outside of instruction time.

I just don't think that instruction time should be sacrificed for an extra-curricular activity. In my day, Brookwood had an elective surreptitiously set up for the Scholar's Bowl team to practice, etc. That's not really that different from the newspaper staff having a class that they are graded on to do the paper.

I think a good compromise would be to let people take a "study hall" period to work on the paper.

High school newspaper staffers have a long-standing tradition of taking themselves too seriously. The staff of BrookSpeak needs to realize that success is the best revenge. As I said before, work extra-hard to turn out a good paper next year: don't waste your time complaining about a mere hour a day.

 
At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Melissa Pike said...

Some things never change. I was the editor of my HS paper 13 years ago and my school's administration tried to have me expelled one week before finals my senior year. I wrote an In-Depth center spread that exposed our students' prejudices were based more on ignorance and popular stereotypes than negative experiences. It eventually won me a full ride on a journalism scholarship, but not before it made me rethink what my free speech was really worth to me. I realize now that it was about so much more than free speech. It was (and still is) about fear--making you afraid of what those in authority can do if you don't toe the line.

I applaud all of you for going the distance. I just wish that the lead story for your last paper was about bullying since Bynum is a perfect example.

If Bynum wanted to show something positive from Pebblebrook HS then he succeeded. You all are the best and make me proud to live here. I hope the Cobb County School Board is reading this and realizes that the voters are watching. They have been most unimpressive thus far.

 
At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI-Some people who commented are actually 18 and over.

But anyways, I'm very proud of everyone on BrookSpeak. Keep fighting for your rights and good luck.

 
At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope the school board has a bunch of lawyers, and that the parents sue the Principal for his entire worth. How can he stop something in the future for what HE thinks MAY be a problem.. He should be fired, because he MAY become a child molester. Either that, or he can demonstrate how his Crystal Ball works. Tell that little Hitler that he should be more concerned with EDUCATION, not ideology.

 
At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rock on and keep fighting for the good cause. What your principal is doing is a reflection on what the corporate world is doing to the main stream media, which is dictating of what and how the news are broadcast. We need you in our future to be there, reporting the actual news (good or bad). I'm proud of all of you.

Good luck!!

 
At 7:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NewFlash: Bynum is moving up and out.

 
At 7:50 PM, Blogger Aviatrix said...

Gee, if your principal was so worried about people getting a negative impression of the school from one student newspaper, how does he feel about (inter)national news stories?

They will try to cancel the extracurricular paper too. Document everything and then publish off-campus. If you're continuing to follow the principles of journalism you learned in class, you'll find the sponsorship you need, and possibly find a new principal.

I hate it when school administrators don't have the guts to admit why they are doing something and hide behind 'budget cuts.'

Being a principal isn't easy. So why make it harder by fighting smart, motivated students on the newspaper staff?

 
At 7:51 PM, Blogger Alaina said...

Mr. Stroud & BrookSpeak Staff,
As a former student and Editor-in-Chief under Jonathon Stroud at Berkmar High School, I applaud you all for standing up for something that you believe in. I understand the pressure and excitement of publishing a paper and having to deal with censorship from unqualified, ignorant, and arrogant administrators. I hope that all of you continue to fight and next year you will have a better paper.

Justin Rich: It is great to see that you followed your talent and are pursuing a journalism degree. I would love to read some of your stuff. Good Luck.

Mr. Stroud: Keep fighting! You and your staff should have every right to continue to publish and finish the year. You are doing the right thing. Good luck to you all!

Alaina Hughes
UGA ’05

 
At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't mind I'm going to send this story to every MSM outlet I can think of, and spread it all over the net. Some will applaud you, others will bash you. That's Life. I think you (for lack of a better term, so don't be offended) KIDS have a much better handle on things than the spoonfed stenographers that are (barely) passing for "reporters" these days.

Now, correct all the grammatical errors. ;)

 
At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Ryan said...

AS a Former Mr. Stroud Student at Berkmar High School, and someone who has had an article turndawon by the adminstration, i think this is an outrage. Newspaper teaches so many aspects that other classes cant teach and is vital part of a school and society in general. I also am sure that Mr. Strooud made sure that the article were written "correctly" even if they mentioned negative things about the school.

 
At 3:18 AM, Anonymous Ron said...

It's no wonder Mr. Bynum is hiding, after reading the timelines of the letters posted. It is typical of religious nutcases to try to make things look better than they are. That seems to be his only mission. I bet you can find him at a church on Sunday living in a similar fantasy world. As for the "Newsweek" story it was a lie.....IT WAS ME! I flushed the Qu'ran in the toilet after I wiped my butt with it. Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry U.S. Commander in Afghanistan was quoted in the USA Today as saying "The violence we saw in Jalalabad was not necessarily the result of the allegations about disrespect of the Qu'ran". Look, even if it did make them riot and kill, all the better reason to kill them. Anyone that gets that pissed off about a book needs to die. I think it's a law hahaha. It’s not about oil either. It is one religion fighting another over who the real prophet was. Mohammed “The Pedophile” or Jesus “The Carpenter“. And guess what? The United States doesn't play make believe.That is why our government requires the separation of church and State. Either you follow a bible or you follow the Constitution. It is not possible to combine the two. Without one falling apart. Now those nutcases have weapons, for you boneheads WMD includes a bottle of Anthrax that fits in your pocket. Isn't it strange all those diseases that were long gone are coming back? go see this blog from 2 average Muslims in Kabul. Pay attention to the dialog in the comments: www.twoguysfromkabul.blogspot.com. Also if you like to debate come visit me at my site www.GeorgiaWeblog.com

 
At 3:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Memberg,

Your advice for the students to work harder and use success as revenge is a good one, but I disagree with one thing. Although I understand your point that one hour a day is really nothing, you have to consider that student reporters have to interview students and faculty during the school day. If a "Newspaper Club" takes place after school, most students and teachers will not be there, and the paper would be entirely without sources. Now we wouldn't want to lower the integrity of a newspaper by having the staff make up quotes would we? Also, students will lack the motivation (it is a sad fact, but it's reality) to work because they rather do work that counts toward their GPA.

With regards to students having no rights if they are under 18, that is complete nonsense. Yes, everyone likes to point out the Hazelwood case but ignoring the Tinker case. First, I ask you, after reading the emails between Stroud and Bynum, does Bynum have legitimate reasons for stopping the last issue from coming out? Berkmar has published many articles about teen pregnancies, and thus far, no disruptive activity has been reported as a result of those stories. His only concern was that it portrayed in a bad light. The rest of the emails sent by Bynum showed that he is a bias and obdurate and unwilling to explain his actions. Secondly, Tinker v. Des Moines in 1969 says that constitutional rights do not stop at schoolhouse door. Hazelwood merely refined the ruling to "as long as they don't disrupt the educational process."

 
At 4:51 AM, Blogger John in Atlanta said...

Mr. Memberg,
As a matter of fact I do not think all Muslims are violent radicals. On the contrary. They have a valid reason to hate America. Throughout history we've imposed ourselves on them for their oil. Before that Europe imposed themselves on Muslims for religious purposes. Crusades anyone? The riots over Newsweek reached a boiling point that would have been reached anyway. They want us out of their lives and out of their countries. How very conservative of you to not understand that. We are doing the Pebblebrook students a huge disservice continuing our debate on their site so I probably won't respond to your next comment. I would be happy to respond to any of your comments on Wild Sects or any other forum of your choosing. Wild Sects, by the way, describes a wild group of people with like interests or ideas. The play on words was meant to be humorous. I'm sorry if your fragile sensibilities can't grasp the intended humor.

 
At 5:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow!!! i cant believe how stupid this is i mean common just because they didnt put the success stories on the front cover.....Whats up with that i mean you have got to be kidding, i love mark and brittney and i know they definately had nothing to do with this but whats the deal does our news paper for real have to be a "cheerleader?" i dont understand why bynum is such a jerk in e-mails back to students and even teachers. i mean they are just asking you some simple questions and you have to throw back at them the wrath of zues? it just dosent make sense they give you total respect as a principal then you just go off on them for no apparent reason. and excuse me but the last time i checked everyone and i repeat EVERYONE was covered under the first ammendment right to freedom of all of the following: religion, assembly, petition, PRESS, and SPEECH!!! its written in black and white all over our text books!!! you teach us the stuff but dont want us to use it ....hmmm funny how that stuff works....hey why dont we just cut out all the algebra classes im telling you most of use dont care what x equals. and another thing an article about somone being pregnant and how she is coping with school life and family life is not a negative article!!! i hope that it was impowering other pregnant girls at our school to do the same, to stay in school and get their diploma so even though they might have mest up they can still bounce back and be a successful person. wow i am so heated right now. i just think that we should not give up and continue with it, continue fighting for what we believe in. im going to no matter what anyone says to me!

-R.

 
At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading all the various e-mails back and forth, I was particularly struck by the administration's anger at Mr. Strouds defense of youth-determined editorials. Stroud clearly showed slight irritation in the use of the word "cheerleading" but it was basically a straightforward explanation of empowering student journalists and his specific role in guiding them.

Yet that defense, that seemed to be the point at which the paper became an extracurricular.

You can just see in the e-mails the principal getting increasingly frustrated at the amount of time he has to put into working with Mr. Stroud to develop a paper that both encourages youth voice and avoids unfair bias, misleading statements, etc.


To Mr. Bynum I would only say: You're right. This issue has taken up a great deal of your time this school year. Yet its worth it. It's worth the time it takes to teach students how to think critically, how to balance stories, how to get to the heart of an issue without sacrificing individual privacy, how to fact check, how to research, how to be heard in a way that enlightens both that student and his or her peers. It's worth the time it takes to wrangle a bit with an instructor who differs from your philosophy to some extent but shares your commitment to the teaching of young people. It's worth all this, and it's worth five hours a week and course credit. I hope he'll reconsider.

 
At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading Mr. Stroud's email back and forth I still don't see the percieved "attitude". The only "attitude" I see is from Mr. Bynum and Mr. Hosey. It's an excellent example of the kind of treatment students and staff endure everyday from the principal.

Does his decision to pull journalism from the master scedule seem blatantly retaliatory to anyone else?

 
At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GREAT WORK TO THE ADVISOR AND STUDENTS WHO WORK(ED) ON THE BROOKSPEAK NEEWSPAPER. KEEP PUSHING, KEEP PROGRESSING, YOU'RE DOING YOUR PART TO KEEP SPEECH FREE.

 
At 12:23 PM, Anonymous K Eckman said...

As a parent within the P'brook district, I AM APPALLED! I agree that student editors must realize the awesome responsibility they have, and that their words impact the entire community . . . but it seems to me they ARE learning this under Mr. Stroud's competent direction. They are also learning that they have a VOICE - and that using it can sometimes be a catalyst for great change . . . something that P'brook is in need of. Of course we want to hear the "good news" - but we can't ignore the bad and pretend it doesn't exist.

I am an avid supporter of the public school system - always have been, so I am not “out to bad-mouth the school system.” I've worked with several wonderful administrators and teachers in So. Cobb Co. who have created an amazing sense of ownership, loyalty and pride among students, teachers and parents . . . I've also worked with others of the same mindset as Mr. Bynum. And THOSE schools, during those years, steadily declined (some still are) with the same types of problems as P'brook. The most effective administrators are the ones who not only celebrate the victories, but also face the problems and issues head-on, and work with parents, students and staff to try to solve them as a team. Then there are those administrators who choose to sweep problems under the rug, ignore anything negative, and pretend everything is hunky-dory. We wonder why so much of the general population is apathetic? Maybe we’ve taught them TOO well.

So far as “budget cuts” are concerned – Mr. Bynum, did you run this by the District? You’re cutting their throats with that one. Although I’ve tried to remain neutral on the issue, Betty Gray and many parents might be quick to suggest that SPLOST monies would be better spent restoring the eliminated classes than on laptops. (General Redden, I hope you can address this.)

My dad was a 40+ year veteran newsman and editor; he wrote ‘good news’ articles at every opportunity, but he always, ALWAYS – reported the TRUTH. He would be outraged if he were here today.

Thankfully, my oldest is in a magnet program in another district. She is outspoken, and stands up for what she believes, even when it is not popular - not the type of student that Mr. Bynum would welcome. Hopefully things will change before I have to seek other schools for my younger children, also. All well and good for MY children – but what about the rest of you? You are stuck there, trying to make a difference. I applaud all of you – students and Mr. Stroud! As a parent, I AM PROUD OF YOU GUYS! We need more young people (and adults) who are willing to speak out, and try to create positive change.

 
At 1:03 PM, Anonymous erica eckma said...

Wow...
I am a Pebblebrook-district student, but I am in a Magnet program elsewhere. It just appals me that there at Pebblebrook, where some of my closest friends are, things like this are happeneing. Is it not true that we have the right to speech?!?
I know that if I was there, I'd be the center of all this because, as everyone who has ever met me, I do not keep my opinions to myself, and since the TRUTH IS OUT THERE, I WILL FIND IT. I am glad I am not going to Pebblebrook, for I do believe I would be silenced more than not with the principal there. I feel for you all, and I am SOOO proud of you all for standing up and doing the things you are doing. I would be right there with you if I was at Pebblebrook, but since I am not, I'm here even stronger, for I can say my bit and the world will know it. Keep it up, because the world NEEDS TO KNOW why so many people who go through high school come out dumber than, well, I'll leave it at dumb.
I am really supportive of your opinions and the way you are sticking up for yourselves. You will go so far doing that in life.
Keep it up! I am so proud! It's things like this that give me hope for our generation.
-Erica Eckman Class of 2008

 
At 1:25 PM, Blogger She who must not be named said...

My son who was named editor of his high school paper ran into First Amendment problems with his advisor(!), surprisingly. His advisor used her discretionary power to fire him. Not to be daunted, he started an independent newspaper. In spite of the schools resistance to let him distribute on campus, there is case authority that supports his right to do so without a general prior review (9th Cir.). He has distributed 4 issues this year (8 page broadsheet). It is completely self supporting with local advertising.

Don't let this principal shut you down. Start an independent paper, with an old Mac and some Adobe software.

 
At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You all make me very happy.

-Nicholas Clark

 
At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to see the final edition of your paper. Post that up!

 
At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randy Bynum is a very corrupt man, I worked with him for twelve years. He puts on a front for anyone who superior to him.

 
At 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The emails are an interesting piece of evidence that the realtionship between Randy and Jon was getting heated.

 
At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to see the final paper as well!

 
At 11:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What kind of an idiot promotes a principal like Randolph D. Bynum, Sr. to Area Superintendent?

 
At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I strongly support BrookSpeak and would like to denounce Mr. Bynum's efforts to control the student's ability to speak freely and limit their first amendment rights. Let's hope that Regina Montgomery can do what Mr. Bynum could not do and get Pebblebrook back on track. I have been to events at the school, there is no control over the students there. Mr. Bynum is a very irrational and irresponsible man. He should not have been promoted, I hope he resigns or gets kicked out of his new position.

 
At 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with she who must not be named. Fight to keep the newspaper if possible, but consider starting your own independent paper, too. This blog is a good start toward that. As a former high school newspaper staffer and a professional (paid) reporter now, I'm glad to see that the students want to put out a publication that doesn't have to run every last detail by the administration.
High school, to some degree is supposed to be about growing up, becoming responsible and learning to think independently. And yet it seems more and more, teachers and administrators want to micromanage the lives of their students.

 
At 12:13 AM, Anonymous Ron said...

So Redden saved his drowning recruit... so he got promoted to the top bypassing Assistant Tom Dohrmann? ouch Here is a clip that didn't surprise me.."Retired General Joseph Redden, superintendent of Cobb County schools, gave a presentation to the group about the national motto, "In God We Trust," Holden decided to supply the schools with framed copies of a poster bearing the motto."

and:
"Holden says Americans like himself are tired of hearing the argument about "separation of church and state" put forth by groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and People for the American Way. He says people are starting to realize the argument is a lie being used to remove God from the public schools." See the full text at:
http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/
1/82002b.asp

Ron
www.GeorgiaWeblog.com

 
At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Ron said...

See how your Religious leaders treat you?? and kids you know they have to be reading this.
If they had ANY good point you would have read it here by now. Let this be a lesson for you!!! and please comment in my blog, Ask all the questions you can think of always!!!I am so proud of you kids! Respect your teachers but they don't know everything, the internet has put you light years ahead in knowledge. Your teachers didn't have it and most are afraid of new things...especially the Religious community because now you can read something besides the bible for a change.
You can e-mail me from my blog anytime you have a question, I am here to help. Ron

 
At 12:52 AM, Anonymous Ron said...

The Treaty of Tripoli, passed by the U.S. Senate in 1797, read in part: "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."

This was our peace treaty with the Muslims. Today, 2005 all the Muslims hear is that we are a Christian Nation which is
the main reason they want to kill us, they think we broke the treaty.

The treaty was written during the Washington administration, and sent to the Senate during the Adams administration. It was read aloud to the Senate, and each Senator received a printed copy. This was the 339th time that a recorded vote was required by the Senate, but only the third time a vote was unanimous (the next time was to honor George Washington). There is no record of any debate or dissension on the treaty. It was reprinted in full in three newspapers - two in Philadelphia, one in New York City. There is no record of public outcry or complaint in subsequent editions of the papers.

I have t-shirts available on my website that has the quotes from George Washington saying "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."

I wish I could afford to give them to all of you I would. It would be an amazing and wonderful sight to see all you wearing them at school and the look on the everybody's face! People like Redden and Bynum would pound there fist in anger. Yes indeed the truth shall set you free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 9:27 AM, Blogger ScottJ said...

I read the new additions to the e-mail trail. There's apparently madness in the air at the Cobb school board. All I can say is that Bynum must be a very smooth political manipulator to have secured this promotion. It's certainly not being awarded on the basis of his language skills.

Scott Johnson
http://kd4dcy.net/blog

 
At 11:14 AM, Blogger Todd S. Jenkins said...

Fight the power, guys. My wife just restarted the newspaper journalism program at her school here in Southern California, and I imagine she will be facing similar issues sometime in the future.

I have to respectfully disagree with the urgings to start an indie newspaper. Journalism belongs in the formal high school curriculum, period. Students have the right to learn skills like this in an academic environment, supported by public funds.

Just a minor point: the "email trail" as it's posted is rather confusing to some of us readers. The list of questions given in the trail dates from late January, not December like the posts before and after it, and from Mr. Bynum's responses it's apparent that it does not match the list he was given in December. Is it possible to either post the list that Bynum was actually first provided, or post a comment under the present list verifying that it had been edited after Bynum's comments were made? The missing information could leave readers' questions unanswered, not to mention giving a negative impression that you might be trying to conceal some of what was on the original list.

(Side note: Interesting to see that Georgia's AYP is only 88%. It's 95% here in California, and immigration, transfers and special ed programs are killing a lot of schools that would have otherwise met their marks. Friggin' NCLB...)

 
At 1:11 PM, Blogger David said...

I can now understand why there's an increasing number of students in this country who believe there should be further restrictions on freedom of the press. When the attacks on the press begin with high school administrators (and those who are blaming one small Newsweek story for violent outbreaks in Iraq), students are bound to be intimidated.
A blog like this is a great place to begin - if Bynum is going to shut down the paper, it's time to build a means of communication that's beyond his reach. Freedom of speech is guaranteed for him, for the right-wing bloggers, AND for you. Never let anybody tell you otherwise.

 
At 2:28 PM, Anonymous tuliptoe said...

I was surprised to see that Cosmetology was deemed more of an appropriate class to teach high schoolers than Journalism. In light of AP articles like this one where students think the First Amendment is "no big deal", I'd say that a journalism class is clearly needed in our high schools.
It's a sad comment on the state of Georgia and unfortunately I'm not surprised.
Keep fighting guys. I'll keep checking back to see how it's going.

 
At 1:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the reason for encouraging the start of an indie paper: it takes the administration (for the most part)out of the loop!
Look, the press is given protection by the Bill of Rights in this country anyway, but it certainly helps if newspapers aren't funded and run by the government.
When that does happen,as in other countries, lo and behold, the coverage seems to get a little slanted in favor of said government.
Not only does an indie paper avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest -- that is, any obligation to be an advocate on the school's part, which by the way is connected with a government -- but the conflict is gone.
So maybe the indie paper doesn't look as slick or modern as what might come from a class production ... in this case, the content seems more important than the design.
And do you know how awesome it would be to produce the publication without the school's interference?
And if it really matters enough, the death of the class will not be the death of a newspaper at Pebblebrook.
That said, keep fighting for the class and best of luck.

 
At 12:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets keep this alive.
the kids need to win this thing.
more media. come on...

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger Cubicle said...

Quit wasting my tax payer money making poorly written school papers.

 
At 11:55 AM, Blogger Peg said...

Good luck in your fight! I've emailed the principal and offered to help as best I can.

http://blog.pegasusnews.com/2005/05/training.html

 
At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck and keep fighting. You may want to contact some of the larger colleges in the area that have journalism schools and ask them to weigh in. The ACLU - as much as I do not like their politics - might be helpful as well.

You might want to do an open records request on other similar information such as departmental budgets so you have some sort of background on how much the paper was costing the school vs. how much other classes were costing the school. Further, you might take a look at college placement rates of students based on enrollment in the various classes.

It's quite clear to me after reading the chain of emails that your principal had no real interest in allowing student journalists to learn the craft. Much like any other learning process (English, art), journalism is a trial and error process and quite a bit of that process involves bad journalism. He, however, wanted a set of "perfect" questions and used that criteria to delay an interview. I doubt that he would require "perfect" art before allowing an art show.

If nothing works, I'd suggest doing it online. You can find cheap hosting and if your stories are good, the students will be interested. Further, if you work outside the school, the school has no say over the content at all. In short, you can hammer this jackass relentlessly.

 
At 12:37 PM, Anonymous jgamble said...

Good luck and keep fighting. You may want to contact some of the larger colleges in the area that have journalism schools and ask them to weigh in. The ACLU - as much as I do not like their politics - might be helpful as well.

You might want to do an open records request on other similar information such as departmental budgets so you have some sort of background on how much the paper was costing the school vs. how much other classes were costing the school. Further, you might take a look at college placement rates of students based on enrollment in the various classes.

It's quite clear to me after reading the chain of emails that your principal had no real interest in allowing student journalists to learn the craft. Much like any other learning process (English, art), journalism is a trial and error process and quite a bit of that process involves bad journalism. He, however, wanted a set of "perfect" questions and used that criteria to delay an interview. I doubt that he would require "perfect" art before allowing an art show.

If nothing works, I'd suggest doing it online. You can find cheap hosting and if your stories are good, the students will be interested. Further, if you work outside the school, the school has no say over the content at all. In short, you can hammer this jackass relentlessly.

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger jgamble said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck and keep fighting. You may want to contact some of the larger colleges in the area that have journalism schools and ask them to weigh in. The ACLU - as much as I do not like their politics - might be helpful as well.

You might want to do an open records request on other similar information such as departmental budgets so you have some sort of background on how much the paper was costing the school vs. how much other classes were costing the school. Further, you might take a look at college placement rates of students based on enrollment in the various classes.

It's quite clear to me after reading the chain of emails that your principal had no real interest in allowing student journalists to learn the craft. Much like any other learning process (English, art), journalism is a trial and error process and quite a bit of that process involves bad journalism. He, however, wanted a set of "perfect" questions and used that criteria to delay an interview. I doubt that he would require "perfect" art before allowing an art show.

If nothing works, I'd suggest doing it online. You can find cheap hosting and if your stories are good, the students will be interested. Further, if you work outside the school, the school has no say over the content at all. In short, you can hammer this jackass relentlessly.

 
At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pebblebrook Journalists:

Don't give up! Don't back down!

Regards,

John Marvel
VP/Editor-at-Large
ESPN New Media

 
At 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Bynum obviously has many insecurities and I'm sure your school will be better off without him. To brush aside such a committed teacher as Mr Stroud by suggesting he can meet his needs elsewhere is absurd. No doubt, there must be many schools that would welcome such an accomplished teacher and advisor as Mr Stroud. I just wish Cobb County would have shown Bynum the door rather than giving him a promotion.

Stand your ground kids...Good Job!!

 
At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Patrick said...

Budget cuts?!?!.....Give me a break.

Hey Bynum....we mite be dum, but we ain't freakin' stoopid......

I hope Gov Perdue is following this...

Budget Cuts??? How can they propose to buy all those computers but can't put Journalism in the curriculum.

And we wonder why we rank so low nationally in education....Because of self serving brown-nosers like Bynum and Hosey.

The irony here is the fact that Bynum was so concerned with presenting a positive PR image. Funny how things can backfire.

Hats off to the Brookspeak Staff for exposing these creeps. Great Reporting!!!!

Adios,

A Regular Guy in Winder, Ga.

 
At 8:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was there when Mr. Bynum announced his "promotion" and it was not to the position of "Cobb County Area Supervisor" as stated in the article about his promotion. He stated that it was to the job of "Assistant Area Supervisor" of some area to be disclosed at a later date. There are about 6 areas the county is divided into, and he will be placed as an assistant supervisor (I was not aware there was this position before this) over one of those areas, hopefully not the one Pebblebrook is in.


Staff Member at Pebblebrook

 
At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Mr.Memberg:
I just read this blog and I don't know where you learned that people earn their rights when they turn 18, but you are greatly mistaken. If you know this little about people's rights in the first place, I must say I feel bad for you...you'll get screwed. BIG TIME!
To the staff:
Don't give up, the e-mails are clear evidence of a motif and this Bynum should be thanking the district every night for getting his butt off the grill before it burned. I hope you get your class back and when you do...milk it!

Fight on!

 
At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Constitution itself carries no specific age requirement on when you have your rights, simply because you have those rights by virtue of your birth.

 
At 1:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read all of the posts/letters and as an '05 graduate of Pebblebrook HS with a personal knowledge of the teachers and students at PHS and as a friend of several people from the journalism class I find that I have a relatively good understanding of the issues/ideas concerning the removal of this journalism class./:

Creating a newspaper that is confrontational does not make that paper a good or bad paper. A good paper is a paper that is truthful, well-written, and exposes new ideas to the public./:


~Cosmotology is very important for the majority of students at Pebblebrook who will not be persuing college degrees. Journalism will still be offered after school!!! Please accept that this is not a restriction of your rights.

~I know that Mr. Bynum has done nothing but support students at our school and work hard to make our school a better one. His wishes for the school to reflect the positive as well as the negative should not be viewed as censorship but viewed as a kind princ.s wish for us to see the good as well as the bad. REMEMBER he HAS worked hard for the betterment of this school.

(In all of the cases where Bynum requested more research be done, he was correct in doing so. Several of the journalists were on time constraints, however, when entering an interview you should at least prepare unbiased questions regarding well researched topics. I KNOW some of the journalists, and I participated in the developement of some of the questions and I KNOW that several questions were brainstormed and then sent DIRECTLY to the principal!!!!!!!!!)

~This publicity over an issue that shouldn't BE an issue really upsets me. We are smarter than this. If future students work hard Pebblebrook could still produce an outstanding school newspaper. The easy way out would be to complain and then let the paper crash---don't let this happen!

SIgned,
dIssapointed but hopeful grad.

 
At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah right! I don't believe for one minute that you are a Pebblebrook student.

 
At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear "dIssapointed but hopeful grad",

I know who you are, and it disappoints me that someone like yourself would jump to defend Mr. Bynum. It scares me that these were your views about Mr. Bynum when you made key decisions regarding the class of 2005. It’s a good thing we had someone genuine, like Kristi or Blane making a lot of the decisions.

Signed,
Concerned Class of 2005 Graduate

 
At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to give ya'll a hand on putting together such a great site to protest this decision, keep fighting the good fight!

-Supporter

 
At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, keep fighting don't give up. I'm writing the school board!

 
At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smaller class sizes be damned - it's easy to see that the administration's displeasure with the publication was a factor when deciding to ax the class.

We had similar problems, as I think all high school newspaper staffs do, when trying to publish (informative) stories on hot button issues such as abortion, illegal drug use, etc. Still, the administration at your school seems to take an unreasonable and downright hostile stance toward the newspaper.

Best of luck in your fight, guys. I think it would be fitting if the press your principal so loathes is ultimately the one that topples his career.

The Editor-in-Chief (04 - 05) of Harrison High's The Tradition

 
At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heather Hope, of all people would make a comment like that. I'll give you a hint, You gave it away with "hopeful". It is a great shame.

-JM

 
At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

as an editor in cheif of a high school newspaper, i think that this is an ourtarge that the school would sink as low as to stop the publication of a newspaper because they did not want to grasp the truth abouth the school and that they think that no one in the community truly knows what goeson in the school. they censored the paper because it made them look bad. The fact that you set up a blog just proves more that no official can ever shut the truth down

 
At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think that Heather posted that one.

-Blane Vick

 
At 10:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what truth???

 
At 4:24 AM, Anonymous John G said...

It is ironic that this situation will probably teach you more about the value of the First Amendment than any classroom ever could. I hope you go on to take over CNN so we can all get some real news.

Keep fighting the good fight!
CHEERS!

 
At 6:10 AM, Blogger Will said...

From my post today:

As a journalism major, former journalist, and former adviser, I'm not sure if any rights have been violated here. Certainly, the principal could have found a better way to deal with what he perceived as a problem, however. And I'm not totally convinced that students should be producing a "paper" per se outside of the school for a variety of reasons. Good journalism is a craft, and those skills need to be coached by someone who recognizes them and hopefully employs them.

But these editors and reporters should be blogging. And I mean really blogging, reflecting on the stories they write, engaging in discussions about meaningful topics at the school, giving voice in a respectful and meaningful way to issues and ideas that might not always make it into the paper "paper". And in doing so, they could contribute to the development of other high school journalists across the country, around the world. Right now, they've contributed the story. By blogging, they can start to contribute the LEARNING.

 
At 9:15 AM, Blogger Paul said...

As usual, Cobb County becomes the laughingstock of Georgia public education. First the administrators allow evangelical blowhards disgrace science curriculum and now this. The amazing thing is the strength of character that the student journalists and their advisor have shown in not being intimidated by Principal Bynum (it was fascinating reading the email thread). Not only that, look how these kids are standing up to authority when most of mainstream journalism today don't have the spine to do the same! Great example guys! I hope that you continue publishing on this site.

 
At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Bill Bradford said...

Good luck getting the journalism classes restated, but I have a suggestion: why not just continue to publish the newspaper via a non-school-affiliated weblog (such as this)?

That way. the school has zero influence over the content of the publication, and you don't have to worry about being shut down by a narrow-minded principal who is worried about looking bad.

 
At 11:05 AM, Blogger Chad said...

We had no free speech in our school newspaper when I was a teen. You either wrote articles favouring the school, non-biased political articles, or cd reviews on g-rated albums ONLY.

I was pretty much the only kid in my school who had any idea what blogging or citizen media was, save for a few kids with livejournal accounts.

You guys are going through the same censorship bullsh-t as Howard Stern, and really, what you've got on your hands is actually worse in a sense, because you're producing a newspaper that will likely never see the outside of your town.

 
At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Sam Goldman said...

It is a shame that your school administration, like so many across the country, seems to believe that journalism is some sort of afterschool hobby instead of one of the noblest and most influential professions in the world.

Don't give up. Good luck.

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger Samantha said...

I believe that the students that are participating in this exercise should be applauded!

When I was in highschool I was faced with similar threats but nothing ever as serious as actually shutting down the paper.

I did, however, after being ordered by the principal of my school not to write an article about gun violence in our school, put the story to the local paper.

They were more than willing to oblige publication of my story.

Press on my dear young writers--press on.

 
At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Jonathan Stroud for being one of those outstanding teachers who really cares about teaching. And this year, he not only gave the entire student body at PHS an introduction to their First Amendment rights, he also taught them a valuable lesson about life. For misters Bynum and Hosey are not the last people with little minds that they will encounter holding power over them. The only way to handle these idiots is calmly and rationally, all the while building up clear documentation of their shortcomings.

Hopefully, Bynum's promotion was sideways and not into a position of higher responsiblity. And the new principal wasn't chosen using the same criteria applied when he was selected.

Keep up the good work !

 
At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a writer/graphic designer, I think the paper is well done. The subject matter is pertinent to the intended audience and deals with real issues.

What kind of educator fails to recognize that making mistakes (a lack of thoroughness, according to Bynum) is part of learning?

Don't give up!

 
At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Izzy said...

As an editor for my HS newspaper and yearbook, I can understand where the students are coming from when they voice their concerns about censorship and what articles they can and cannot publish.

At my HS, both the newspaper and the yearbook were after-school clubs that students worked on during their own time. I understand that students may be upset that classtime was eliminated, but honestly, the paper can still remain high quality and informative as a club activity. As other commenters have mentioned, losing an hour a day is really not that catastrophic.

I'd suggest spacing out the publishing schedule and using something like this weblog to fill in the gaps. Have editors work on more involved stories with the extra time and use this weblog as a place to fill in the day-to-day news that can be written fairly quickly.

Good luck to those students who wish to pursue a career in journalism. I advise you to take advantage of the publicity you've received here in a positive way to bring about change.

 
At 4:12 PM, Blogger Shavonne said...

Geez. Sounds like the administration of this school is conservative. I hope everything goes well.

 
At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Zack Schnyder said...

Brookspeak is truly one of the best put together high school newspapers I have ever seen. It is clear and gives BOTH sides of the story. It is REAL. It is crazy for kids not to express their thoughts in the newspaper. Bynum is leaving... what does he care if a newspaper continues at Pebblebrook?

 
At 7:53 PM, Blogger Mrs. Davis said...

I came here thinking I would get great articles from a suppressed student newspaper blowing the cover off the depravity at their high school. Instead it seems like a bunch of mirror gazing adolescents crying in their Yoo-Hoo because and adult has exerted their authority to see that the school is run in an orderly fashion. If you've got something to say, you've got the biggest audience in the world, right now. Say it! Stop feeling sorry for yourselves. Principals are mean. It's in the job description.

 
At 12:33 PM, Blogger TonyGuitar said...

So Reddon got a legal opinion that states no law is broken. As usual, the stuffy official misses the point.
The point is Journalism is a vastly worthwhile and poular choice for students. Worthwhile, because it teaches good and concise communication. An essential requirement whether you end up a journalist or not. Popular because with the maturing of blogdom, there is a growing number of self professed journalists and many have followings you would not believe.
When bloggers learn how to gather under one umbrella for a cause. They will be a force of positive change. The MSM has not yet harnessed that power, but some Main Stream Media are now placing small info / follow-up bars at the end of articles that provide contact email and post addresses. This allows motivated readers to make demands of authority while the motivation is strong and the iron is hot. No journalism? Please sir, remove the knots from your knickers. Respectfully, TonyGuitar

 
At 12:53 PM, Blogger TonyGuitar said...

What?.. No Journalism?

So Reddon got a legal opinion that states no law is broken. As usual, the stuffy official misses the point.

The point is Journalism is a vastly worthwhile and a popular choice for students. Worthwhile, because it teaches good and concise communication. An essential requirement whether you end up a journalist or not.

Popular because with the maturing of blogdom, there is a growing number of self professed journalists and many have followings you would not believe.

When bloggers learn how to gather under one umbrella for a cause. They will be a force for positive change.

The MSM has not yet harnessed that power, but some Main Stream Media are now placing small info / follow-up bars at the end of articles that provide contact email and post addresses.

This allows motivated readers to make demands of authority while the motivation is strong and the iron is hot. ‘People Power’

No journalism? Please sir, remove the knots from thine knickers.

Respectfully, TonyGuitar

 
At 1:06 PM, Anonymous David said...

Greetings from Australia! I am a freelance IT journalist, and during my student days I worked for a college newspaper.

I read your unpublished newspaper issue and the email trail, and frankly I think Bynum is showing all the flaws he accused his students of possesing.

The teen pregnancy article is neither overtly or even covertly critical of the school - it is very much an informational piece of writing that highlights the struggle of certain elements of the school community (much as one might write an article regarding, for example, disabled students). There's not even any real ideological reason for them to get upset - the article clearly highlights one girl's decision not to get an abortion (cleverly coming down on the conservative aka safe side of the fence without actually passing judgement).

The fact of the matter is that the choice of what news graces the front page of ANY paper in the world is highly subjective. In this case, the editorial team probably thought that the teen pregnancy article was more interesting, and more relevent, than the star student piece or the Africa piece. Frankly, I think the latter two are as dull as dishwater - especially the star student one (articles like that always are for some reason) - and that like any good journalist, the editors wanted to get the readers hooked so they would do more than skim the front page and throw the paper away.

While I can understand the desire to have a certain amount of restraint in selecting and placing content - especially for "hot button" issues like teen pregnancy - Bynum & Co don't seem to want any article suggesting any problem whatsoever on the front page - even if the problem has nothing to do with them.

As has already been noted in above comments, Bynum appears to have the quintsoul of a bureaucrat. Avoiding rocking the boat seems to have been his number one priority. When asked on numerous occasions to expand on his concerns, he generalises. Think about people testifying before the US Senate and compare the similarities. Furthermore, he appears to have just been plain dumb in his refusal to have a meeting with the senior staff regarding the articles in question. As Dan Penick points out in his email of May 4, email is a very poor medium for resolving disputes. From Bynum's perspective, however, email was exactly what he needed: he neatly stifled further discussion between staff by hitting the Reply button and cancelling the paper, and (he thought!) the debate.

Aside from the disagreement over the front page, the rest of the paper is almost ridiculously innocuous. No doubt as a sop to the administration, overtly critical articles have been banished to the latter half of the paper. However even these are aimed at the student body as much as they are the administration; take the editorial on vandalism, for example, and the snide comments in the Anger Management section of the back page. There is even evidence of healthy, democratic debate regarding the school prom and a surprisingly hardline conservative opinion piece regarding the death penalty and minors (then again, it is Georgia :-)).

So what it boils down to is that this principal has decided to kill the paper because it published an article on page 1 instead of page 3. And this is enough to kill the paper??! Come on!

I would like to encourage you to not give up. Try pressuring the new principal, the school board, and local politicians (if you haven't already). If you've got enough organisational support in the school, try staging a walkout next school year to make your point loud and clear. In the meantime, I agree with other posters that you should move off-campus. That way you won't be subject to editorial control. It won't get your journalism class back for the time being, but it will give students at Pebblebrook an important voice in the community.

 
At 1:15 PM, Anonymous David said...

That should be "quintessential soul of a bureaucrat", LOL, it's 4am here.

Another thought. The one thing the school administrators are going to want to avoid is any more negative publicity. Bureaucrats hate public scrutiny, and school boards get nervous if they sense a change in the mood of the electorate. Keeping your campaign in the public eye will do more for you than any amount of private pressure. So try to come up with things that will interest the mainstream media.

 
At 1:50 PM, Anonymous David said...

This is mostly irrelevent, unfortunately, but Google turns up a few interesting tidbits. It appears Bynum has form - this article alleges that he gagged the graduating senior class president in 2003 (about 3/4 of the way down, under "Children Restraint Devices"):

Cobb County Georgia Pebblebrook High School's graduating senior class president and all around good student, Tanisha Harvey is such a victim. Denied the opportunity to address her class, Tanisha was gagged by Principal Randy Bynum, who took serious exception to remarks made to juniors at a school function. Proud of her accomplishments, Tanisha shared her experiences and challenged juniors to speak up for what they deserved. She believed her class missed opportunities by not doing so. Tanisha admonished juniors to look positively, yet realistically at life and take responsibility. Her remarkable appeal should have drawn praise, instead it drew scorn from the Principal. Hoping to break her spirit, he replaced Tanisha with someone named Rajai Bimbo.

Meanwhile, the Metro Association of Classroom Educators has evaluated Bynum and found that he "needs improvement". LOL.

 
At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You go you guy and gals. Lets'em know what your about. That's how we did it back in the 60's & 70's. I don't know what happened to our kids but you GO.
D, DOB = 1945

 
At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cobb County School District? Isn't this the same county infamous for the evolution stickers. Figures.

Anyways, good luck with the blog.

 
At 9:21 PM, Blogger Lord Smert said...

I am a student in Dallas, Texas and I was directed to this link by a friend of mine. This year we have been having similar problmes with high school journalism.

For months I have been trying to fight this horrible abuse on first ammednment rights. Keep fighting, and know that others all over the country are fighting the same fight.

 
At 11:35 PM, Blogger Jack said...

I'm surprised, and a bit saddened, to see the poor writing exhibited by former principal Bynam in his emails and letters on this blog.

The mistakes in spelling and grammar used by Mr. Bynam are troubling, coming from an "educated" person responsible for setting an example for students.

If the U.S. is going to remain competitive in a global economy we need to figure out a way to attract our best and brightest as administrators and teachers in our schools.

Good luck with your new blog.

 
At 12:44 AM, Blogger Mills said...

I support you guys 100% I will be blogging about your issue soon [it's late here!]

Let me encourage you to use the blog that you have created to post some of your writing! All of the articles that were set to run in the final issue of BS [heh, I just made myself laugh] should be posted.

I looked at all three of the other editions of your paper and I am VERY impressed with the design standards and professional-quality articles that are there.

Again, post some articles here so your fans all over the country can see what you guys are capable of! Make sure they're not just about the paper being shut down. You've already done an excellent job of giving details on Bynum's poor decision.

Keep it up!
Bryan Mills
KeyExpert at yahoo dot com
http://ramblings.deliriousmedia.com

 
At 8:13 AM, Anonymous Hookah Bill said...

What your school is doing to you kids is just plain wrong. It is also very unamerican and an act of Fascism. Under the law you all have freedom of speech and the media outlets sever as a way to express that and to try to keep the system in check. I would like to tell you that things will be diffrent when you enter college, but that is not alwaies the thing.

What you kids learn now and with what your doing now will help you in the long run. If it is one thing that the people on top don't want to do and that is to mess with the media. What you guys can do is think about getting adds and stuff to run the papper from an off campus site. Well I say that you should go to the school board meetings and photo all the people there running the show. They can't do any thing to you since they are public offices and thus they can be photoed, as well with here in NY you can take all the shots you want in an open meeting which school board stuff should be. So you can get at where I am going with this. And don't be unwilling to get in there faces about this. Call them unamerican for what they are doing is un american. Since people can use the red, White and Blue to get away with a police like state here at NYC (at times) you can use that to get in there face to get your funding back at what it was.

Have studnets out out letters in your local town papers, and main stream papers, go to all there board meetings and write about what there doing and call them what they are. Hell if you need more ideas contact us at the Press (www.thepress.info) and read what we put out and how we get in the faces of the people running the college, you can do the same thing with your school.

Good luck and all the best
Hookah Bill, Photo Editor of the Stony Brook Press

 
At 11:14 AM, Blogger Peter Stinson said...

Blog on!

And remember a few keys:

1. Always do what is right. In your heart, you'll know right when you see it.

2. There are jerks everywhere. Sometimes they get into positions of power. Sooner or later, however, life catches up to them.

3. Free speech is a fundamental right. Speak freely, but do so with integrity and knowledge.

4. Accountability and transparency are important for schools and papers both. Don't fall into a lack of accountability or lack of transparency trap.

Blog on!

 
At 1:55 PM, Anonymous James F. Eby said...

First I would like to say your publication is of very high quality and is very fair and balanced, content questions included. The three issues I saw are extremely professional in their appearance and presentation.

This is an invaluable lesson to all students: school is too often administrated not by those concerned with education of children, but by politics. A principal searching for promotion does not want to look bad and as a result shuts down a newspaper that informs the people on unfavorable/taboo issues, like teen pregnancies or the inability of the administration to eliminate weapons from the school.

Unfortunately, students are considered a "captive audience;" that is to say, truancy laws require students to attend school. You can go to your town square and say whatever you please, because if people do not like it, they can leave. However, since a student does not have the option of just leaving school, there are limits on what you can say inside the educational environment.

However, I believe that your plight is not as dire as you make it out to be. My school has had a newspaper since I can remember, and before this school year, a few of my friends and I chose on our own volition to start our own newsletter rather than enroll in the school sanctioned newsletter staff. This was for several reasons: it allowed us to control the content (not just anyone who enrolled in the class would have to be published), we wouldn't have to submit to the restrictions of the class's teacher (she could control content, formatting, and how our material was presented), and we were free of the control of our principal.

With startling consistency, we published our first issue in the month of October and released an issue every month until May. We have archived every issue at our website www.votv.org.

I don't think being an independent newspaper will kill the publication. An anonymous writer said, "Also, students will lack the motivation (it is a sad fact, but it's reality) to work because they rather do work that counts toward their GPA." Honestly, if you lack the motivation, I have no sympathy for you. But this doesn't sound like the case. Anyone willing to go to the lengths that you have sounds plenty motivated.

I would like to conclude by saying that your publication should be preserved, whether school sanctioned or independent. If you glance at some of our issues of Voice of the Voiceless, you will notice that some of the problems you face are universal. While reading your newspaper, I noticed several issues we both face that my newsletter did not address. You must fight the fight worth fighting, not for just yourselves, but for students everywhere.

James F. Eby
Senior Editor
Voice of the Voiceless
www.votv.org

 
At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is possible that he could be a homophobe . . . but his wife is not neglected because of it. Her loneliness results from the BJ's that he has gotten from the teachers and parents he has slept with at the school.

 
At 1:31 PM, Blogger Michael Memberg said...

I was out enjoying the Iberian Peninsula for the last 10 days. I only have 2 more brief remarks:

To anonymous: I wasn't the one who said that rights begin at 18. So, your personal attacks were misdirected.

To jfa: I have no comments on your blog, and my sensibilies are far from fragile. I clearly recognized your [failed] humoristic intentions; I basically just wanted to point out that you think it's funny that you think the sects/sex homophone is that clever.

 
At 12:40 AM, Anonymous bynum_sucks@hotmail.com said...

That's funny! I love this, for years I've been waiting for Bynum to be exposed, hopefully it will happen soon

 
At 8:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To bynum_sucks: I too have been waiting for Bynum to be exposed, but can you answer this question for me . . .

Why is it that all(most) the people at the school, and some who have since left won't stand up and reveal the truth about Bynum? Why is everyone hiding in the shadows?

 
At 12:04 PM, Anonymous bynum_sucks@hotmail.com said...

Because he scares people into thinking that they will not graduate if they say something,and he scares the teachers by threatening their jobs. After you leave, you're just glad to be out of it all.

Also, I would like to thank the staff member who provided us with the email from Mr. Bynum. He is scared. That email also provided us with a wonderful contact list. If you are a teacher or staff member at PHS and you don't want to receive emails from "bynum_sucks@hotmail.com", just send us an email and we will take you off our list.

Thank you,
"bynum_sucks@hotmail.com"

 
At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bynum_sucks@hotmail.com

I agree with what you are saying he does try to scare you. Now to all the present and former students it is time we took a stand and stop being scared forget his lard butt. bynum sucks and be glad when he leave the da brook. also to let out some hate on him he let one of the best band teachers go and i will forever support bynumhaters

bynum suck(hint)

 
At 8:53 PM, Anonymous bynum_sucks@hotmail.com said...

Many great people were dismissed during his watch, We agree.

P.S. Email us anytime!

 
At 9:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember when Tom Dorhman used to visit, he would decide to start enforcing the rules and having Middleton patrol the halls.

Other that that Pebblebrook had no rules!

 
At 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

omg and now his phone number is on here. this is just awesome

 
At 10:23 PM, Anonymous bynum_sucks@hotmail.com said...

Today we decided to wish the new Principal luck with her new job, You can see Mr. Bynum is upset.


>>> "Mike Jones" bynum_sucks@hotmail.com 06/02/05 1:31 PM >>>
>Hopefully, you will do a better job than Mr. Randolph D. Bynum, Sr.
>
>Good luck to you!

From: "Randy Bynum" Randy.Bynum@cobbk12.org
To: bynum_sucks@hotmail.com
Subject: Re:
Date: Thu, 02 Jun 2005 14:04:50 -0400

>Real adult.

>Randy Bynum, Principal
>Pebblebrook High School
>Cobb County School District

>>> "Mike Jones" bynum_sucks@hotmail.com 06/02/05 3:26 PM >>>
A real adult doesn't neglect his responsibilities, like some I know.

From : Randy Bynum Randy.Bynum@cobbk12.org
Sent : Thursday, June 2, 2005 3:37 PM
To :bynum_sucks@hotmail.com
Subject :
Re:

Please explain in detail please.

Randy Bynum, Principal
Pebblebrook High School
Cobb County School District

 
At 10:27 PM, Anonymous bynum_sucks@hotmail.com said...

We also decided to take a survey of the staff's opinion of Mr. Bynum. It appears that he may have told them not to answer any questions to this affect, he also responded with this:

Freedom of speech abused with cowardice.

Randy Bynum, Principal
Pebblebrook High School
Cobb County School District

>>> "Mike Jones" bynum_sucks@hotmail.com 06/02/05 1:23 AM >>>
Do you have faith in Randy Bynum?

 
At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this "bynumsucks" thing is more detrimental to the cause than you may realize. I doubt that the BROOKSPEAK staff wish to be associated with such tactless vigilantes. Reconsider your efforts. While you may have the best of intentions, are you getting the desired results? Is this going to get journalism reinstated at PHS? I doubt it. Please reconsider your tactics.

 
At 10:32 AM, Anonymous David said...

I agree, this vigilante stuff gets us nowhere.

 
At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work for a GA newspaper, and applaud your professional handling of this unfortunate incident. Continue your fight, it does not go unnoticed!

 
At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have ever worked under Mr. Bynum, you would know its not vigilante, more like "whistle blower"

 
At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Dylan said...

I agree with the "wistle blower" comment!

 
At 10:54 PM, Anonymous bynum_sucks@hotmail.com said...

We agree 100%, we are not vigilante at all, we just want fairness. Mr. Bynum is not fair! There were other (better) candidates up for promotion, why he got it we do not know, it was simply polotics.

 
At 3:25 AM, Blogger Mills said...

As was said on one of the blogs linked from the Speaking Underground site, it's possible that Bynum was "promoted" in order to remove him from direct administrative control over a specific school or student body. It could be that his new title is just a diplomatic way of getting Bynum out of a position where he doesn't belong.

Also, bynum_sucks, I think that your actions are perfect examples of the kinds of things that make adults in positions of power wary of giving teens much leeway. I'm going to have to agree with Bynum on one little thing here: your actions show a great deal of immaturity and I fear that you could cause more damage than you might realize. Do your fellow students a favor and back off a bit.

We're all very impressed with your ability to get email addresses and phone numbers and the like, but you're going about things all wrong.

Again, back off.

BS Staff: let's see some content!

 
At 11:16 AM, Anonymous bynum_sucks@hotmail.com said...

Are you sure that we are students here? What if we are parents? Maybe staff members that have guts? Exactly you don't know!

 
At 12:41 PM, Blogger Mills said...

I have a hard time believing that a mature adult [one who is a parent or teacher of high schoolers] would take the tactics and tone that bynum_sucks has. Because of this, I can only assume that he or she [or "they," as they say] is a student.

I think the BrookSpeak staff could do a lot for their image and the image of this site if they were to respond to bynum_sucks' comments and let him/her/them know that their efforts aren't very helpful.

 
At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

mike jones, yur hurtin' the cause man!

 
At 3:10 PM, Anonymous bynum_sucks@hotmail.com said...

If you have a problem, email us!

 
At 6:52 PM, Blogger HadesGigas said...

I love the melodic tunes of that dreamy mike jones. What a card!

Anything is better than Snoop Dogg singing.

Oh and on the topic, um, Will Bynum is awesome

 
At 10:02 PM, Blogger ScottJ said...

I've not seen much from the staff lately. Is anything happening? Has there been any response from the new principal, at all?

I've sent a few e-mails to the key players (Bynum, Hosey, the new Principal), but rather than the snide responses I've seen posted from Bynum, I got the alternative: none at all.

 
At 10:23 PM, Anonymous bynum_sucks@hotmail.com said...

Not a damn thing! Bymnum is pissed, that's all I know.

 
At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, posting someone's contact info online and directing people to harass them is a form of stalking in Georgia. I think the admin of this blog would be well-advised to delete that entry; otherwise, Bynum could take legal action.

 
At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Stay out of it! said...

If you're going to complain about what we have posted, get out yuppie!

 
At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, don't expect any support from me. If I can't express my concears, I will not support your cause. I would suggest not deleting people's comments from now on.

Good-bye!

 
At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will no longer help either, you guys should use this weblog to express yourselves. Thanks.

bye

 
At 1:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, you guys haven't said thanks for anybody's help!

 
At 1:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, It's just like a religious person (Jon) to preach about something (Freedom of speech) and then be a hypocrit (delete the comment of a supporter).

 
At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the brookspeak staff was advised NOT to post. thats why they havent. only one person controls the comments apparently.

 
At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the comment about tanisha, she was president in 2000. Most seniors were appalled by her actions as well. It was not quite so eloquently put as that article may lead you to believe and her chosen forum was completely inappropriate. I still look back at graduation and think that she ruined it for us. Her and a few other idiots (none of whom were "good students") decided to stand up and turn their backs during the whole ceremony. What an embarassment in front of our families. I'm sorry but if you have already shown that you can't recognize what is and is not appropriate why should they let you loose in front of parents as well.

I agreed with her on many of her points but her comments at the senior assembly were not "encouraging" to students. They were blatantly derogatory and addressed at the entire staff, who for the most part are really wonderful and dedicated to their jobs.

 
At 9:44 AM, Anonymous dabilou said...

hi,

i'm journalist in Belgium (Europe) and i support you ! Go on, you'r on the right way to be "citizen journalists". And that's a verry good thing ...

 
At 2:16 AM, Blogger Bynum Sucks said...

Hello, we have set up a blog of our own http://bynumsucks.blogspot.com/

 
At 5:20 PM, Blogger Rose said...

I just found out about your blog from the G4 newsletter. It's a shame the school ended the journalism course - I hope you get it back!

 
At 9:02 PM, Blogger copy editor said...

I am excited to see this issue getting the verbal support it deserves. I was one of the writers for Brookspeak, and I hope the echo of all these voices will influence the administration to reverse a tempermental decision.
The newspaper was a refreshing-and often anticipated- publication that reprsented the many faces and opinions of our school. It cannot fade out of the conversation, or be swept under a rug as minor bump in the road. Brookspeak held its own, and it may have made a couple of adults nervous, but the student body, and many others were proud to see and read what meant something to us.
I have been wearing my Brookspeak tshirt since the summer started to peak the interest of the community when I'm in line, or walking in a crowd,ect. and it almost shocks me sometimes how namy people ask what it is. The more I spaek to strangers about Brookspeak and what has happened to it since then, it continues to reaffirm how important it was for in terms of what I was able to learn, and how assertive I became when it came to protecting its livelihood.
If there are any questions, I can probably answer most of the m with fist hand experience.

 
At 1:19 AM, Blogger Joshua Skinner said...

I found this site because I Googled "underground mews."

At my school, Laramie High School in Wyoming, students are pretty heavily censored for editorials. In response my friends and I started up a website that published fake news and the occasioanl opinion/edidtorial. It shared a strong resemblence to "The Onion."
This year we moved to a blog format (it is a lot easier).

With a purely humorous and satirical intent, it turns out that our fake news was read more than the official news website.

I hope that you guys find success, your motives are clean, and I am glad to see other schools have movements to get policies changed.

In summation, good luck, you people deserve it.

 
At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Rachel said...

I love it! My friend and I have started an underground newspaper and it comes out Friday. I would love to hear any suggestions since we've never done anything like this before.
thegravesdigger@hotmail.com

 
At 4:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My high school has a similiar paper known as "Voice of the Voiceless." Check us out on the web, www.votv.org

--Senior Editor

 
At 12:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's good to see that some things at Pebblebrook don't change. Know that your efforts do not go unnoticed. Once upon a time, someone else wrote a letter to the superintendant. . .

If I had stayed at Pebblebrook, I would have graduated in 1999. I filed a complaint along with about 15 other students, (unrelated problem)our claim went unanswered, but I recently received some very good news. These struggles make you stronger. The groundwork that you lay now will come back to bite him. I've been there. Literally.

 
At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Roy said...

my journalism class is a waste of life.

 

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