Campus antiwar group fights spying

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of University of California–Santa Cruz Students Against the War, demanding that the Department of Defense immediately release information related to its spying on student antiwar groups.

The DOD recently said, in response to a request filed by several students under the Freedom of Information Act, that it will not release surveillance information any time soon, though it had previously indicated it would do so.

The ACLU also raised a concern that students’ names may not have been removed from government records, though it is official Pentagon policy to do so.

Student tutors lead strike

The peer tutor group Baltimore Algebra Project led a three-day student strike demanding adequate funding for Baltimore’s public schools. The strike included three demonstrations, averaging 300 students each, in front of the state and city school boards and City Hall.

The students are furious with city and state officials for shortchanging city students. Authorities plan to close five Baltimore schools; the students demand smaller class sizes and more arts courses.

In October, students attempted a citizen’s arrest of Maryland schools Superintendent Nancy Grasmick for failing to comply with a court ruling ordering $30-$45 million more in additional funding.

Blacklisting 101

Notorious right-wing author David Horowitz has come under fire for his book, “The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America.” The book is seen as part of an ongoing campaign to silence freedom of speech and academic inquiry while targeting left, progressive and liberal professors. Historian Eric Foner and African American studies professor Manning Marable are on the list. A coalition of teachers’ unions, student organizations and others has come together to fight this and other ultra-right attacks on campus.

Sex education article censored

Students angrily denounced the decision of School Superintendent Lynn Lehman in Noblesville, Ind., to ban an article on oral sex that would have appeared in the local high school’s newspaper Mill Stream.

The article, which would have focused on attitudes and trends towards oral sex, as well as its psychological and medical risks, had been approved by the principal and the newspaper’s adviser and had already gone to print before the superintendent intervened.

Mill Stream editor Jill Gingery and the rest of the editorial staff were upset by the decision and plan to fight for the article’s publication.