By Gwendolyn Ihrie Electronic media dominates teenage expression with several outlets for students to express themselves on-line. Prior to the internet, Lincoln High students would often express themselves in self-published “underground” newspapers that acted as counter-culture publications that were secretly distributed. This year, Lincoln High students have taken to paper once again for the purpose
By Gwendolyn Ihrie
Electronic media dominates teenage expression with several outlets for students to express themselves on-line. Prior to the internet, Lincoln High students would often express themselves in self-published “underground” newspapers that acted as counter-culture publications that were secretly distributed. This year, Lincoln High students have taken to paper once again for the purpose of thoughtful expression.
Typically, students create underground newspapers because they have disagreements with the authority in the school district but the editors of Laconic began it “as a vessel for creative youth,” says one of the editors in an email interview. Anonymity is often a trademark of an underground newspaper giving the medium added mystery and it allows the reader to address an issue rather than a writer.
The Laconic is a student run and non-school affiliated newspaper. Three articles were included in the first issue. One was a fiction story, another covered Michael Jackson’s death, and the last one was the most controversial being titled “Reefer Sadness” about the drug wars in Mexico.
The editors of Laconic say “Conflict with administration is not our goal, we simply mean to bring ideas and topics to the attention of the public.” They do not want the paper to become a problem so it’s up to the reader to maintain a respect for their wishes. In order to keep the Laconic accessible to Lincoln High School students there are a few rules the creators deem must be followed:
1. If you pick up a copy of Laconic, read it and then pass it on to someone else, keep it, or recycle. Please do not just leave it on the ground because the students use their own money to supply the issue, which can be costly, so help keep costs down.
2. Don’t take it visibly into the classroom. Laconic is meant to be read during personal free time, which class time is not. Teachers have the right to take it away if it’s a distraction in class and if they find it is a distraction then Laconic will not be accessible to the student body.
3. Do not just verbally trash the articles. Laconic has a public email address so readers may e-mail their concerns about an article and the editors are willing to accept contradicting submissions.
Associate Principal John Heineman has had 25 years of experience at Lincoln High and in that time only three or four other newspapers like the Laconic have been distributed, to his knowledge. Usually they have been an outlet for social commentary and some have been comical ones. They want to express their own beliefs as students outside of the school newspaper.
Heineman said that some became problems because of the disruption they caused in the classroom after they’re distributed. That’s why the Laconic staff want readers to be responsible with how they handle Laconic articles so that they can continue to receive the issues.
Heineman said Laconic will only become a problem if it’s handed out in the hallways. It becomes unavoidable which diminishes the students’ ability to decline an issue. This means that Laconic may have to be distributed off-campus.
Laconic editors and writers explain that they just want to be heard and provide an outlet for expression on paper.