Please sign to tell East Carolina University officials they need to rehire Paul Isom who was fired from his job as Student Media Advisor on Jan. 4, 2011.
Here are some facts about this firing from various news accounts:
•Even if you disagree with a newspaper publishing an unedited photo of a streaker at a football game, Isom said he knew the student paper had nude streaker photos, but that he legally is not allowed to interfere with students’ editorial decisions.
•Legal precedent holds that student newspapers at state universities have the same first amendment freedoms as professional newspapers.
•Paul Isom was the director of student media since 2008. He only had positive job evaluations during his time at ECU.
•The firing prompted criticism from free-press advocates, who say the students had the First Amendment right to publish the photos and that Isom is a victim.
•"They know they can’t retaliate against the editor, so I guess this is their plan B - ’Let’s fire the adviser,’ " said Adam Goldstein, an attorney with the Student Press Law Center, a national group that aims to protect the rights of student journalists. "But it doesn’t make it any constitutionally different. It’s still illegal to retaliate for speech you don’t like."'
•The East Carolinian is a student-run newspaper. The paper’s editor, said she and other student editors decided to publish unedited photos because the paper’s audience, primarily students, should have access to them as an accurate account of a public event that took place in front of thousands of people.
We the undersigned,
Would like you to reinstate Paul Isom as an employee at East Carolina University so that your students, staff, faculty and the community at large can rest assured that a great indignity against a highly qualified employee can be righted.