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Freedom of the press

A high school junior is challenging Connecticut lawmakers to ease restrictions on school-sponsored student publications.

Stratos Pahis, 17, a student at Rockville High School in Vernon, Conn., is rallying support for a bill that would give school-sponsored student publications in the state the same freedoms granted to regular publications. If passed, the proposed Act Concerning Student Journalists would order that a student publication could not be censored unless it contained libelous or slanderous material, or violated any other Connecticut state law.

Stratos Pahis

Currently, under Connecticut law, school-sponsored student publications cannot endorse political candidates or referendum items. "I find these restrictions to be intrusive," Mr. Pahis said in an interview. "These publications are the only way for us to respectfully voice our opinions."

Mr. Pahis' bill, which is being sponsored by Democratic Reps. Thomasina Clemons and Patrick J. Flaherty, is opposed by the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. The association argues that student publications are learning tools that need to be monitored.

Literate lawmakers

Green eggs and ham ... mmm hmm.

That's what the governor of Hawaii served last week at a brunch for 800 children to celebrate "Read Across America" day. Mr. Cayetano, a Democrat, was one of many governors who participated in the National Education Association event promoting reading and honoring the late Theodor S. Geisel--Dr. Seuss--on what would have been the 95th birthday of the author of Green Eggs and Ham.

Several governors tried creative ways of stressing the importance of reading. Lawmakers in Utah, for example, joined Republican Gov. Michael O. Leavitt and suspended business for 15 minutes to read with 300 elementary school children.

Political figures were not the only ones to participate.

Authors, educators, entertainers, and sports personalities joined the NEA's members at events in schools, libraries, and bookstores around the country.

--Marnie Roberts & Karen L. Abercrombie

Vol. 18, Issue 26, Page 14

Published in Print: March 10, 1999, as State Journal
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