Vol.59/No.22           June 5, 1995 
Young Socialists Around The World:
Utah High School Bans Socialist Fliers  

This column is written and edited by the Young Socialists, an international organization of young workers, students, and other youth fighting for socialism. For more information about the YS or to join, write: Young Socialists, P.O. Box 2396, New York, NY 10009, or call (212) 475-6482.

The following is an excerpt from the article "Discrimination Feud Sees Clubs vs. Administration" that appeared in the April edition of the East High Leopard, the student newspaper of East High School in Salt Lake City, Utah.


You wouldn't think that in a school such as East, where students in recent years have been very active in decision- making processes, and where in almost every corner lurks, like a stain, an emphasis on school spirit, its own clubs would be the targets of "intimidation" by the administration. This just might be an issue worth looking at. When some of the posters being put up every week by members of the Socialist Club started disappearing, they discovered that their posters were in fact being torn down by the school's custodial staff. Robin Anderson, who is the head custodian here at East, was told by the administration to take the posters down because they were not posters which represented school activities. "Every activity has to be approved through the administration," and these, Mr. Anderson said, were not, also explaining it isn't very often that fliers have to be torn down. Most kids operate their clubs and organizations "properly."

The fliers themselves advertised Militant Labor Forums, which are frequently held off campus. They sponsor speakers, and suggest small donations to help pay for a dinner. The speaker advertised on the posters which [were] removed was Omari Musa, a "Representative of the Socialist Workers Party." "We try to stay away from any type of political advertising," Mr. Sadler said. "Any poster that has to do with a school [club] meeting [is] acceptable."

It stands to reason that going to see a Socialist speaker would be a legitimate meeting of the Socialist Club. And what is Sadler's definition of political advertising?-If this is, in his mind, political advertising, why does he allow the fliers to be put up which advertise enrollment in the military? Isn't that political?

"We don't accept posters promoting any type of commercial, enterprise, or fund-raising situation," Sadler also said. At the time of the writing of this article, there were bright yellow AT&T posters in every stairwell which announced "Permanent part-time positions," and "excellent benefits." The poster encouraged students to call AT&T's Job Hotline.

Robin Anderson claimed that this ripping of fliers from the wall "wasn't a direct attack on the Socialist Club."-

He explained that he "wants people to have political diversity, but there's a proper time, place and manner. Regulations that have to be adhered to." In fact, when this article was written, there was no written policy concerning which fliers could and could not be put up.

When the Socialist Club was founded, they passed a mission statement through the BOG which included a sentence specifically requesting the right to post fliers on school property pertaining to activities, meetings, and events. They were given that right.

Tami Peterson, head of the Socialist Club, expressed the opinion that this was an intimidation tactic. "It's a completely political issue, regardless of what Sadler says," she said. To end this article abruptly, it seems she was right.  
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