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Sex-ed condom photo has Rochester High School Newspaper in trouble

Picture of condom on banana draws ire from administration

Rochester High School's monthly paper, the Rochester Talon, is now being first perused by its interim principal before being published.
Rochester High School's monthly paper, the Rochester Talon, is now being first perused by its interim principal before being published.

ROCHESTER, Mich. – A high school newspaper is catching some heat over a couple photos it ran recently.

Rochester High School's monthly paper, the Rochester Talon, is now being first perused by its interim principal before being published.

It is a nationally-recognized paper. It's advisor was just named journalism advisor of the year and the editor-in-chief was named high school journalist of the year by MIPA. They thought publishing a picture of a banana with a condom on it was OK. The administration did not.

"It was shocking but at the same time it made people read the story," said Danielle Kullman.

Kullman is the editor-in-chief of the Rochester Talon. It ran the photo of a condom spread over a banana for a story about sex education. Their advisor thought it was risky but gave it the OK.

"We decided on that photo because it's the way people have taught how to put condoms on," said Kullman.

Now the principal wants to see everything before it goes online.

"It kind of puts a barrier in between us as journalists being able to respond to what people find controversial. It keeps us from publishing anything that's real journalism" said Kullman.

The district released a statement, reading in part: "Because student journalists are still engaged in the learning process, school administrators and/or advisors provide rational guidance to ensure content is appropriate and not offensive to other students, parents and the community."

"It is a learning experience and we have learned from that," said Kullman.

Kullman also doesn't like the fact the principal is making the final call and not someone with journalism experience, such as their advisor.


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