Thursday, August 12, 2010

'Choirgate' Libel Case Ends on High Note for Student Journalist

(Old) Churchill County Courthouse & JailImage by jimmywayne via FlickrThe Las Vegas Review-Journal reports today that Nevada District Court Judge William G. Rogers has thrown out a defamation suit brought by music teacher and choir director Kathy Archey based on an article written by Lauren MacLean that appeared in the Churchill County High School newspaper.

Archey sued the superintendent of schools and the principal who approved publication of the article, along with student newspaper advisor Myke Nelsen and the Lahontan Valley News that publishes the student paper and also covered the underlying issue.  Dubbed "choirgate" by parents, Archey was the target of complaints by parents that she selectively withheld student audition tapes from a statewide musical competition based on her evaluation of the students' talent.

Archey sued in March 2010, seeking $10,000 in damages for what she alleged was damage to her reputation. In tossing the suit, Judge Rogers wrote that nothing contained in MacLean's article was false or known to be false to the student journalist.

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