(Cartoon by Jake Sands)

EDITORIAL: New high-school head must support Octagon’s press freedom

With headmaster Stephen Repsher collecting opinions about the decision for a new head of high school—and our editors unable to participate in the student interviewing sessions due to time conflicts— we would like the school to keep in mind our own interests as a newspaper staff.

From a journalistic standpoint, there’s one thing in particular that we care about: freedom of the press.

As with any other respectable publication, we need to be uncensored, or we’d be unable to produce real news and make a significant impact on the community.

Some high-school papers deal with principals censoring stories and limiting what they can publish, but The Octagon hasn’t had that problem for many years.

Since Repsher’s arrival in 2003, we’ve been unrestricted in our publication of news, features and columns on topics ranging from the simple to the potentially controversial.

Recently, we’ve freely published stories on sexuality, alcohol, marijuana, censorship and cheating in class.

And it’s not just “adult” topics. We’ve criticized the school community, challenging the actions of administrators, teachers and even fellow students through our editorials, columns and Orchids and Onions.

In just the past two years, we’ve addressed issues with Country Day athletics, talked about campus and neighborhood safety issues and investigated website censorship on the school Wi-Fi.

And whatever the story topic, Repsher and Sue Nellis, current head of high school, have always been extremely approachable and willing to be interviewed.

Nellis has an open office and willingly answers whatever questions our reporters have.

We thank the administration and staff for their support and cooperation, and with the selection of a new head, we want to maintain our free press.

We want to continue writing about controversial topics when appropriate and to make our voices heard in regards to school decisions and events.

Not only do we aim to report the news and highlight interesting goings-on within the community, but we strive to be agents of change.

And we can’t be proper reporters or change makers without the continued support and cooperation from the administration.

So to Repsher: please choose someone who will uphold the tradition of the free press.

And to the future head: please be accepting of the stories we want to write, even if they’re about topics that might seem questionable.

In return, we promise to continue to report in a manner that’s fair and professional.

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