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Local News in Brief : Principal Wants Veto Over Paper’s Stories

The principal of Marshall Fundamental School in Pasadena has declared that all articles written for the school newspaper must be reviewed by him before they can be published.

His decision has resulted in charges of censorship by students. The dispute began after publication of an article on the Pledge of Allegiance and another story criticized by Principal Joseph Caldera as being racially insensitive. In the wake of the controversy, Mary Ellen MacArthur, adviser of “The Eagle’s Eye” and head of the English Department, resigned Wednesday from her newspaper assignment. The paper’s 31 staff members say they won’t work unless Caldera lifts his requirement.

Caldera would provide no specifics about the controversy. But students and other school officials said some parents and faculty members complained about articles in the last two issues of the monthly paper.

One story, on the opinion page, advocated that students should be able to choose whether to recite the pledge to the American flag. Another article, written by a black student, used colloquialisms, dialect and referred to “spear-throwin’ cannibals” in Africa. The student said he meant his story to be taken humorously.

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