Faculty Member Suspended Over “Redskins” Ban

Neshaminy officials also temporarily remove student editor from the job.

This isn’t heavy-handed at all: Neshaminy school officials have suspended a faculty member because the students who run the high school paper refused to permit the school’s mascot — the “Redskins” — be used in an op-ed.

The paper’s student editor was also removed from her job for a month.

Poynter reports:

Tara Huber, adviser to Neshaminy High School’s Playwickian newspaper, was suspended without pay Tuesday and Wednesday by Neshaminy School District superintendent Robert Copeland, according to the SPLC. Copeland also suspended Playwickian editor-in-chief Gillian McGoldrick from her position for a month.

The suspensions stem from the paper’s decision not to use “redskin” in its pages, despite insistence from principal Rob McGee.

Remember: After a year of fighting, the Neshaminy School Board decided student editors could prohibit the term in most of the paper, but not editorials or opinion columns. Removing the term from an op-ed violated that rule.

It’s kind of a weird free-speech issue where adults aren’t trying to ban the use of a word but rather to compel it, isn’t it? There’s a big difference between “you shouldn’t use that word because it offends me” and “you must use that word that offends you.” Or, at least, it sure seems that way. And the latter actually seems slightly grosser, doesn’t it? It probably makes no difference: Speech compelled or denied by the government — and Neshaminy school officials are the government — can hardly be said to be free speech, right?

Huber, at least, is getting some help. The Inky reports student journalists in California are raising money to supplement the income she’s losing on suspension.