SAN DIEGO – The student newspaper at the heart of a free speech lawsuit won a First Place showing in the 2007-2008 American Scholastic Press Association’s High School Newspaper Competition, after the school’s principal censored it, canceled it as a class, and removed its faculty advisor.

This is the second national award for The Tomahawk, the student newspaper of Fallbrook High School. Last year, in its first entry into national competition, it won Second Place in the American Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) contest.

“This award is a tribute to the entire 2007-2008 staff and the remarkable strides they made in the course of just one year,” said Dave Evans, the faculty advisor who was removed from his role as newspaper advisor. “The Tomahawk has continuously improved from issue to issue, and I could not be happier for or more proud of all the staffers who made this possible. The award belongs to them. They did all the work,” he said.

Several improvements contributed to the paper’s noteworthy quality. The Tomahawk went 100-percent digital and full color in 2007-08, following the example of the award-winning Moccasin, the Fallbrook High School yearbook, which Evans also advises.

The Tomahawk also partnered with Fallbrook Printing to publish not only in full color but also on 100 pound gloss book stock, the same paper used by the yearbook.

This was made possible by the generosity of owner Randy Folin, who printed The Tomahawk at cost. The FUHSD Board of Trustees honored Folin for his generosity to the newspaper at its June 2, 2008 meeting. Principal Rod King presented Folin with a plaque of appreciation citing Folin’s contributions.

“This award objectively demonstrates the quality of the paper and of its student contributors and its high level of sophistication and professionalism,” said David Blair-Loy, legal director of the San Diego ACLU.

Co-counsel Jean-Paul Jassy, partner at Bostwick and Jassy LLP, added, "What a spectacular testament to the hard work of the journalism students and their advisor, Dave Evans. This newspaper, led by Evans, clearly deserves a place at Fallbrook High."

For more details on the award, visit the ASPA website: For more details on the ACLU lawsuit, read the article.

Bostwick & Jassy was alerted to the case by the attorney referral network of the Student Press Law Center.