Extra Censory

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Mark Goodman of the Student Press Law Center says most states where legislation has been introduced have failed to exempt schools from Hazlewood.

"The problem is that we're talking about laws that affect or benefit people who are pretty politically powerless and as a result not very influential--high school students," Goodman says.

Michelle Beaver believes a bill like Lopez's will never pass in Arizona. She spent almost two years of fighting and debating with her principal, superintendent and the Arizona Legislature.

For Beaver, journalism has lost much of its allure at Tolleson. Her desire to explore challenging issues has eroded. She says the ordeal with Rega "kind of limited us to [writing] 'Betty the Cafeteria Lady Quits.' . . . Administrators don't care if the school has a really good paper. The only reason why they would care is if you bring home a nice big award--and we did that.

"They did their best to exterminate us." Beaver, who is entering her senior year, will not work on the newspaper.

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A. Tacuma Roeback