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Westerman Says Paper Obscene; Eyes Prosecution

Westerman Says Paper Obscene; Eyes Prosecution image
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Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
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The outcry over underground and revolutionary publications being circulated in area high schools spread to Ann A r b o r High School today. Superintendent of Schools W. Scott Westerman Jr., upon receiving a copy of the newspaper "Ann Arbor Argus," called it "pornographic" and hinted at possible prosecution of those responsible for publishing it. Westerman said Pioneer High School Principal Theodore Rokicki was investigating today ín an attempt to determine if the paper was passed out in the school building or on the school's campus. "There is no question about it being unauthorized material," Westerman said. "I have just been presented a copy of it and my own evaluation is that it is pornographic and on that basis we should pursue it. There is a possibility of prosecution," he added. "We simply can't tolérate this kind of material on our premises." Pólice Chief Walter E. Krasny today also issued a statement indicating direct steps are being taken to stop the flow of such literature. Krasny, talking about another publication, said: "John Sinclair's (White Panther Party Official) pamphlet passed out by nis White Panther Party has been under investigation by this department and facts of the incident have been turned over to the prosecutor's office (and) the person directly responsible for it is being sought." Krasny said it was regrettable radical groups like the one putting out this pamphlet obtain "whole-hearted support" from the academie communlty and the Civil Liberties Union. "The First Amendment is being stretched to the limit to cloak this kind of filth under the freedom of the press protection," he said. He added that his department and the prosecutor's office have been accused of harassment and threatened with suits for attempting to prevent pornographic literature, films and stage shows from flooding the 1 I área, and he is "fed up" withl the criticism. He added that anl investigaron of the material I passed out at Ann Arbor High School is under way. Krasny also said the policies adopted by the Board of Education make it "virtually impossible" to halt the publication of any type of literature in the I schools and one school board member who protested such an arrangement was "chastiz?d" when he brought up the subject. He concluded that it was about time the public began baüng up the "filthy material" b'iing put out all over the country and mailing it to the U.S. Supreme Court so that body can fairly judge what filth is rather than judging on a single isolated case.