Goff weighs in on Shawano student newspaper controversy

Prof. Victoria Goff, Information and Computing Science (Communication) spoke Tuesday (Jan. 31) with the Shawano Leader for a story on a controversial column that ran in — and then was pulled from — a high school student newspaper. The column was part of a pro/con package that explored the issue of gay parenting, and strong reactions to how it was run and then retracted have continued to reverberate in Shawano. Goff, who advises UW-Green Bay’s Fourth Estate student newspaper, said the controversy might have been contained if the school district had reacted differently to a complaint it received about the original column. Student newspaper advisers can use mistakes as learning experiences after the fact, Goff said. “Our society is based on freedom of speech and student media are encouraged to be free and vigorous, and it’s important to a democratic society,” she said. “It is very common for school papers to have pro/con kind of debates, and possibly they thought it was more innocent than it was. It’s not like they weren’t showing both sides.” Full story.