​Kids Make '50 Shades of Grey' Newspaper for School

ana 50 shadesBack when I was in high school, the raciest things we got to cover in the school newspaper were actual races -- you know, like of the relay variety. But a high school in Colorado is now daring to cover a very different sort of racy topic: 50 Shades of Grey. And why not?


First of all, before you start freaking out about whether or not it's appropriate for teens to be discussing the finer points of kinky sex in an official school publication, you should know that students at Greeley Central High School won't be focusing on the dirty details of the pop culture phenomenon in The Highlight (the name of their school paper); the plan is to discuss 50 Shades' unique trajectory (from Twilight fan fiction to best-selling book series to blockbuster film). Says Assistant Principal Mark Cousins: 

“They are not talking about the content of the books. It’s not a book review. It may not have been my choice of a topic but ... I have every bit of faith that they will do it in an appropriate and tasteful fashion."

"It’s still their newspaper and they have the rights associated with Amendment one with that newspaper,” he added.

More from The Stir: How to Explain '50 Shades of Grey' to Nosy Kids

A tip of my hat to you, Assistant Principal Cousins! Seriously, I give the guy a LOT of credit for taking this stance, especially considering some parents are less than thrilled with their kids reading about what they consider to be a portrayal of "abnormal" sexuality in the school paper. First of all, I think examining the 50 Shades phenomenon is actually a very worthwhile course of action for teens, particularly those interested in becoming professional writers (which one would assume newspaper staffers are, at least to some extent) -- it's a fascinating case study, representative in many ways of some very significant recent changes in the publishing industry.

Plus, censoring kids is pointless. Trust me, as the mother of a 13-year-old, I can promise you that the vast majority of high schoolers are already very well acquainted with 50 Shades of Grey -- forbidding them to discuss it in the paper isn't going to change that. Plus, if these parents were smart, they'd sneak a copy of The Highlight for themselves to find out what kids really think. Because, being teenagers, it's not like they're not going to actually talk about stuff like this. Out loud. With their parents.

What would you think if your kid's high school newspaper covered 50 Shades of Grey?

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