Radford Employee Emptied Student Newspaper Racks

November 12, 2019

A Radford University worker was responsible for the removal of issues of the university's student paper in September, reports The Roanoke Times.

The unnamed worker took 1,000 copies of the Sept. 18 issue from racks around campus, which was around two-thirds of the circulation. The edition was running articles on the deaths of the new chairman of the department of criminal justice and of a freshman after he was jailed for intoxication and alcohol charges. University officials were reportedly upset about the choice of photo of the department chair that ran with the article, however, the paper said that it was the photo provided by the family.

The day after the paper was removed from stands, celebrity journalist and host Katie Couric attended Radford to moderate an event, which was set to bring a crowd.

The editor in chief of the student paper, The Tartan, Dylan Lepore, said that the paper will be looking into the issue further, calling it a "First Amendment issue." The paper is seeking to obtain the security footage of areas where the papers were stolen.

The free paper is available at 33 locations. In a letter, the police chief said the worker removed papers from four of those locations, but Lepore said there were 18 other racks that had papers unaccounted for.

The chief also wrote that while there was nothing criminal about removing numerous copies of a free paper, it did violate the state employee's disciplinary code. The worker will be disciplined within the state employee system.

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