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College paper in hot water over mixing Disney characters, sexual assault

Colleges and UniversitiesSexual AssaultFreedom of the PressAssaultApril Fools' Day

Nevermind that they misspelled the word 'prostitution' in the headline, but the student paper at Boston University is in hot water after running an April Fool's Day edition that ran the faux story: "Cinderella in political prostituion [sic] ring, stepsisters vie for throne".

Taking the riff further, the paper, the Daily Free Press, came out April 1 as the "Disney Free Press."

The story inserted Disney characters into recalled incidents of rape and sexual assault on campus -- an issue the college has apparently been grappling with -- including the arrest of "seven frat dwarves" accused of date rape.

The story, which generated a healthy dose of backlash from administrators and student body, prompted a swift apology on Twitter from the editorial board and the resignation of the paper's editor -- a controversial decision in of itself.

The independent student newspaper did have at least one heavyweight in its corner. The Boston Globe, in an editorial posted online Wednesday, likened the Daily Free Press debacle to those faced by sports teams time and again:

"When college athletes blunder during an important game, they may face the scorn of teammates, coaches, and fans. But unless they seriously foul up on or off the field - by breaking the law, for instance - they aren’t kicked off the team. That same standard should apply to college students who participate in other activities, from drama club to student media."

-- Jason Wells, Times Community News

Twitter: @JasonBretWells

 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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