The latest on the GINW student newspaper shutdown

While the situation has sparked quite a bit of drama after gaining the attention of national media outlets, board members remained silent on the topic.
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 11:13 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Grand Island Northwest Public Schools Board of Education members gathered for their first board meeting Monday evening since putting an end to their student-led newspaper.

The paper was shut down shortly after student journalists released an issue based around support of the LGBTQ+ community.

While the situation has sparked quite a bit of drama after gaining the attention of national media outlets, board members remained silent on the topic.

There were no agenda items Monday on the stoppage of its newspaper, and despite the opportunity for public comment — the crowd also kept quiet.

Following the board meeting, District Superintendent Jeff Edwards declined comment from Local4 News regarding the situation at hand.

However, Edwards mentioned that some local media outlets had spread inaccurate information, stating the district shutdown its journalism program in its entirety.

Edwards noted, GINW continues to offer journalism classes to its students, such as digital media and yearbook, but the newspaper class remains out of the picture.

Local4 News also followed up with the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska Monday about its public records request to the district. The request was made August 29, the letter stating, the action violated students’ constitutional rights and disregarded other protections in federal law. Additionally, the ACLU demanded GINW to send out an apology letter and restore its student newspaper.

Sam Petto with the ACLU said, as of Sept. 1, they had been in contact with an attorney representing the district. They’re in the process of determining which public records would need to be provided through the request as well as when they needed to be provided by.