Larry Lockett is one of the best things to happen to Astoria High School in recent years. Highly personable and focused, the principal has brought new energy to AHS.
Last week Lockett directed that copies of the school newspaper, The Astor Post, be confiscated. Lockett disclaims the notion that he retrieved the paper because of a controversial front-page article on how coaches have dealt with athletes arrested for Minor in Possession of Alcohol.
Student journalists often raise questions that adults won't discuss. Student journalists at Oregon State University were recently rewarded for helping expose the gaping hole in OSU's budget.
It takes guts to put your name on a controversial story in a school newspaper, for a host of reasons, including the prospect of reprisal. The AHS students who wrote this story - Sara Alsbury and Nicolle Silva - deserve credit for their fortitude.
Lockett says he has concerns about the journalistic quality of The Astor Post. We concur, and we will reiterate our offer of assistance. For 14 years the AHS journalism program has been invited to come to our newsroom, work with our editors and use our state-of-the-art equipment. While the Astoria Middle School has taken advantage of our facilities during four academic years and an elementary school has used our copy editor's expertise to create a newspaper, AHS has not responded to our offer.
Young people are quick to notice unequal, biased treatment by teachers or administrators. Lockett says that he seeks to exercise fairness in the administration of discipline when student athletes are arrested on charges of MIP. It will be good for the principal to give a more public airing to this matter, because there is a fairly widespread notion that some athletes aren't held to the letter of the AHS policy. This is doubly important because alcoholism is Astoria's disease. It proves nothing to enable a student athlete who has an alcohol or drug problem.