Student journalist upset over censorship of Oshkosh school newspaper

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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - A student journalist at Oshkosh North High School is expressing concerns over what he describes as an attempt by district administrators to censor the school newspaper.

Oshkosh North school news website (WBAY photo)

This comes after an article Brock Doemel wrote which was pulled last month.

Doemel says he wanted to investigate the whereabouts of an assistant principal who suddenly left the school, and a few weeks ago he received a tip that led to a story which he posted to the paper's website.

"It was based on some information I received from an on background source in a position to know what was happening with our assistant principal, and in the weeks prior kids had started to notice, where's our assistant principal, he's missing," said Doemel, a senior at Oshkosh North.

However, within 20 minutes, Doemel says the school's principal had the story removed from the website, and he was asked to identify his source, which he refuses to do.

Doemel said, "The district is looking at reprimanding our faculty advisor of our school newspaper, and they're also looking at instituting a prior review process which would essentially allow them to censor any articles they don't like."

Doemel spoke out against that effort to members of the school board Wednesday night.

Superintendent Vicki Cartwright says the information in the article is confidential since it deals with a personnel matter.

"Anytime that you're dealing with any type of things that would infringe upon the rights of others as a public employee, I do have to implement things and put in protections for those individuals," said Cartwright.

During the meeting Wednesday night at the district offices, it was revealed that the assistant principal took a different position at another school in the district.

In Doemel's defense, even his faculty advisor said no explanation was ever given.

The school board did not take any action.



 
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