Intolerance of Tolerance

April 23, 2007 1 min read

Is allowing discussion of tolerance a firing offense? Apparently it is if you teach in Woodburn, Indiana.

At issue is whether Woodlan Junior-Senior High School English teacher and newspaper adviser Amy Sorrel should have submitted a student opinion piece for her principal’s review before it was published.

The column, written by a sophomore whose friend had just told her he was gay, says in part, ''I think it is so wrong to look down on those people, or to make fun of them, just because they have a different sexuality than you.”

Sorrell showed the principal several unpublished stories she thought might cause a stir—including four on teen pregnancy—but not the column.

''There isn’t anything controversial about tolerance,’' she explained. Sorrell has been suspended, and will be fired May 1 if the local school board follows district recommendations.

What do you think? Are there certain topics that school newspapers shouldn’t discuss?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.