Monday, March 24, 2014

3-25-14 fdl school superintendent speaks out on "rape joke" article

The Fond du lac school superintendent says he doesn’t view a new policy regarding oversight of the high school newspaper as censorship.  In his first public interview since the article was published in the
Cardinal Columns paper, superintendent Dr. Jim Sebert told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program he stands by his decision.  "I don't see it as censorship at all.  I see it as adult oversight that we have in everything we do as teachers and administrators in the Fond du lac School District,"  Sebert said.  "I take my direction from the board of education, so it is fair to say if the board collectively would like to address their policy and would like to talk through that I am very open to that."   The investigative article focused on the rape culture at the school.  Shortly after the article was published Dr. Sebert expressed concerns about  some of the content in the article and decided to implement guidelines he says were based on 1988 school board policy that all articles  be reviewed by the school principal before they are published.  "We're getting a lot of discussion around discipline, we're getting a lot of discussion around censorship.  Neither of those things is what's happened or what we are attempting to have happen,"  Sebert said.  "What we're really saying is where else in the school environment don't we have a level of adult oversight?"  Sebert says he didn’t have a problem with the topic addressed in the article, but instead some of the content, including certain words and a photo.  Sebert says he was also concerned about an accompanying editorial that talked about  "encouraging students now that they knew their rights to challenge their teachers if they knew theirs by not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance."   

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