On Thursday, it was the labeled diagram of a vagina splashed across the front page of the student newspaper's Valentine's Day issue.
And some of the contraband issues made their way home, getting a quick reaction from parents.
"My phone's been ringing off the hook," Marks said. Only one parent asked why the paper was taken away; the others called to say they were offended, he said.
The drawing in question ran under the hot-pink headline "Have a happy Vagina Day!" and the four-page edition included stories titled "Ending shame for nature's gift" and "Rejected!!!!!!!"
The paper's editor-in-chief, 15-year-old Richard Edmond, said he was trying to raise awareness of violence against women with a lead story about playwright Eve Ensler's "Vagina Monologues."
"I didn't think it was going to be that big a deal," Edmond said. "But they are really upset."
Edmond said administrators did not explain to his satisfaction why this copy of Le Sabre was unfit for distribution. He said he was told by administrators: "This is not in the taste of the school; this is a high school, not Hollywood Boulevard."
"As far as I was concerned," Edmond said, "they were wrongfully taking our papers away."
But Marks said he and other adults at the school thought the student journalists had clearly gone too far.
"To me, and to others, that was tasteless," Marks said. More significantly, he said, he believed that continued distribution of Thursday's edition "could be a potential disruption" to the school day.
California students are some of the only in the country with special state laws protecting their rights to free expression in school, said Mike Hiestand, attorney and legal consultant to the Student Press Law Center in Arlington, Va. Six other states have similar laws, he said.
Typically, Hiestand said, students can publish whatever they like, as long as the speech is not unlawful or "seriously disruptive."
The bar for disruption, he said, is high: "It has to be more than just heated discussions or hurt feelings."
Hiestand, who said he was unfamiliar with what took place at Cleveland High, said he would have to learn more to determine if that bar had been met.
Normally, the monthly newspaper is delivered to administrators and teachers the day before it is handed out to students, Edmonds said. But a production glitch delayed its arrival, he said.
As soon as journalism students began delivering the issue to classrooms, teachers barraged Marks with angry phone calls, prompting school officials to quickly intercept the bulk of the 4,000 copies.
Edmond said some students reported that security guards snatched papers out of their hands. Marks said he had heard similar reports, but did not witness any such incidents.