Monmouth College Student Newspaper Theft Linked to Article on Student Nativity Theft

Roughly two-thirds of the 600 copies of The Courier distributed last week at Monmouth College were allegedly stolen and temporarily trashed, possibly in response to a Courier story about a separate alleged theft.

The Courier recently ran a piece confirming charges had been dropped against five Monmouth students arrested and implicated in a mid-December scheme that involved the theft of a nativity scene and its subsequent placement outside the home of Monmouth’s president.  In exchange for the drop, the students– who were named by the Courier— agreed to participate in a community service diversion program.

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Some students are apparently upset about the paper’s continued coverage of the saga, prompting Courier EIC Andrew Drea to suspect the most recent related article triggered the thefts.  As one online commenter asks beneath the piece, “How many more times are you planning on bringing up this story? Are you trying to see if you can force these kids into a state of total humiliation and depression? . . . Is it a personal issue you have with them? In the eyes of the law this is over. In your eyes it isn’t over until you push one or all to their own destruction. Seriously, what is your problem?”

Fortunately, this time around, the censorship tale does have a somewhat happy ending.  As a Student Press Law Center report confirms, within a few hours of learning about the theft, Monmouth administrators identified, contacted, and convinced the student suspects to return the papers to the racks (!).

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