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Student Paper Revived After Being Shut Down Over LGBTQ+ Edition

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A Nebraska school district has agreed to restart a school newspaper at Grand Island Northwest High School after it had dissolved the paper following a publication of an LGBTQ-themed issue over the summer.The teacher that had previously advised the student paper, the Northwest Viking Saga, said the publication would return this spring in digital form, the Associated Press reports.However, local rights groups say that isn’t enough.The former advisor, Kirsten Gilliland, said the role of advising the paper as well as teaching journalism at the school had been given to another teacher.The issue in question was the June 2022 year-end edition.

It featured an article titled “Pride and Prejudice: LGBTQIA+,” which discussed the history of Pride Month and the origins of homophobia.

The edition also had commentary on Florida's "don't say gay" law that restricts LGBTQ+ topics in the classroom. The district canceled the contract with the newspaper’s printer days after the edition was printed.The 54-year-old Saga had an earlier dispute with the district over preferred pronouns, and staffer Marcus Pennell, a transgender student, told the Independent he had been forced to use his deadname in his byline for the June issue.“It was the first time that the school had officially been, like, ‘We don't really want you here,’” Pennell said.

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