COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) Columbia school officials say they weren’t censoring student journalists when they barred a man who served nearly eight years in prison for the slaying of a newspaper sports editor from coming on campus during school hours.

The Columbia Missourian ( reports that the Hickman High School newspaper staff wanted to interview Ryan Ferguson’s mother Thursday. But Leslie Ferguson agreed only if her son could be present. Ryan Ferguson was freed from prison this month after his murder conviction in the slaying of Kent Heitholt was overturned.

After Principal Tracey Conrad learned some parents were complaining, she told students the interview needed to be conducted when school wasn’t in session or off campus. Ferguson’s father, Bill, says the interview has been rescheduled, but he called the situation a “discriminatory act.”

Information from: Columbia Missourian,

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