Avery Doninger’s free speech fight with Region 10 administrators has earned them national attention on a list of ‘muzzle’ awards from a free speech center in Virginia
April 9, 2008
REGION 10 objection
to student’s blog rant
gets Region 10 officials ‘muzzle’ [award]
A list released Tuesday by a national free speech organization identifying people and groups it believes violated free speech includes school administrators from Region 10, which includes Harwinton and Burlington.
The Virginia-based Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression had 14 people and agencies on its annual list of “Jefferson Muzzle” awards. Lewis S. Mills High School Principal Karissa Niehoff and retired Region 10 Superintendent Paula Schwartz were among them.
The center gave them the “muzzle” distinction because of their involvement in a free-speech case pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Niehoff and Schwartz did not let student Avery Doninger run for re-election as class secretary after Doninger called administrators “douchebags” on her personal blog.
Other targets on the center’s list range from the well-known, such as CBS Radio, for firing radio talk show host Don Imus after comments he made about players on Rutgers’ women’s basketball team, to the obscure, such as the Scranton, Pa. police department, which arrested a woman who screamed obscenities at a toilet overflowing in her home.