ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Central New Mexico Community College officials are suspending a student newspaper operation after they say students took it too far with their latest issue.
Students say what the school is really suspending is freedom of speech.
The CNM Chronicle has been around for 18 years, but the latest issue devoted entirely to sex was too much for officials, who took it off stands.
"It was kind of a joke that someone would be made about this, pulling their hair out - grey hairs, what not - but I didn't think it was going to be serious," said reporter Adrianna Avila, who wrote a column about sex toys.
The issue left nothing to the imagination and covered everything from shopping tips for sex toys to columns about bondage techniques.
On Tuesday, school officials told newspaper staffers it was too raunchy.
Staffers say they received emails that some faculty members were pulling the paper out of student's hands.
"To have people from the administration - faculty, staff, I don't know who - just yank that away from students, isn't that taking away the student voice?" Avila said.
CNM spokesperson Brad Moore says he's not aware of any faculty member requesting newspapers from students.
Newspaper editor-in-chief Jyllian Roach says no one on staff used school funds to purchase sex toys for the issue.
"There was no purchasing of anything other than the paper and ink and the time we put into it," Roach said.
The time they put into it is federally funded.
Every reporter has a federal work study position, so they get paid 20 hours of minimum wage a week.
The operation itself is funded by the advertisements they sell and student fees.
The school says that gives them a right to decide what's fit to print.
In a statement, they said the issue was offensive and that they would suspend the operation until they could reevaluate how to train journalists, pointing out the school doesn't have a journalism degree offering.
"CNM felt the content was offensive," Moore said. "CNM feels a responsibility to make sure public funds are being used to support the College's educational mission."
Students say the publication has received national awards, even though there's no journalism program at the school.
"We work really hard at getting the training from wherever we can," Roach said.
On Wednesday, newspaper staffers have a slew of meetings with CNM faculty and staff to determine what's next for the publication.
The school says students will be transferred to other work-study positions in the meantime.
In federal court cases, judges have overwhelmingly ruled in favor of free speech when it comes to censorship issues with student newspaper publications.
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