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Seizure of Kansas student newspapers shone light on dispute

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Hutchinson Community College Campus in Hutchinson, Kan. The temporary seizure of newspapers at the community college last week shone a media spotlight on a long-running dispute between administrators and student journalists.

WICHITA, Kan. >> A federal mediator is expected wade next month into the fray between administrators at Hutchinson Community College and student journalists that recently culminated with the seizure of newspapers and cancellation of media classes.

Suspended journalism professor Alan Montgomery said the mediator will hear the dispute on June 8.

His grievance, filed in March, alleges administrators interfered with contract provisions for academic freedom in teaching. It also contends the college used disciplinary proceedings to intimidate students who had written stories critical of the administration.

HCC President Carter File says he doesn’t care what is in the paper.

Montgomery filed the grievance before his April 28 suspension and cancellation of journalism classes and the newspaper’s temporary confiscation days later. The college later reversed its decision canceling the semester’s final issue.

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