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Students in the forefront

Posted by on Feb 24, 2019 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Students who can name one of the five freedoms in the First Amendment earn an appropriate t-shirt from Mary Beth and John Tinker. Represented on stage were Florida, Texas and Iowa. (photo by Candace Bowen)

by Candace Bowen  Third in a series
When anyone tells Mary Beth Tinker that students are the future, she firmly but politely corrects them: “No, they’re the present.”

If the students participating in the #Tinkerversary events this week are typical – and it would seem they are –, the present is in good hands.

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Now things are different in Des Moines

Posted by on Feb 21, 2019 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism | 0 comments

John Tinker signs a black armband for two Callanan Middle School students. They told he and Mary Beth about causes that mattered to them. (photo by Candace Bowen)

by Candace Bowen Second in a series

Des Moines schools, how you have changed since early winter 1965.

That’s when a high school principal got wind of a pending Vietnam War protest – reportedly when his school’s newspaper adviser showed him a story about it for the next issue. He and his fellow principals decided suspensions would be the punishment for anyone who did this.

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SPRC has wealth of information to share

Posted by on Feb 10, 2019 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by John Bowen, MJE
It seems advisers and students nationwide face more questions recently about law and ethics. Questions have dealt with unnamed sources, takedown requests and yearbook ethics among others.

We assist our followers with more than  resources and examples.

While our team at the Scholastic Press Rights Committee respond quickly and authoritatively we, as our first step, urge you to contact the SPLC first for all legal questions. Outside that, SPRC members will do as much as we can on questions.

Our information sharing starts with the Panic Button:

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Let’s celebrate a #tinkerversary

Posted by on Feb 4, 2019 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by Candace Bowen, MJE
First of a series
“I had no idea our small action would lead to something so consequential,” Mary Beth Tinker told Smithsonian.com recently.

Now, 50 years after the Supreme Court ruled in Tinker v. Des Moines students and teachers don’t “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate,” it’s clear Mary Beth, her brother John and Chris Eckhardt have made a difference in the voices of students for generations.

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Celebrating Student Press Freedom Day, 50 years of student rights

Posted by on Jan 27, 2019 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Mary Beth Tinker claps her hands while singing a song to high school students in the grand ball room Oct. 1, 2013 at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. The engagement was part of the Mary Beth Tinker Bus Tour. (Photo by David Dermer)

by Lori Keekley, MJE
SPRC members have been working to amass several resources for you as we kick off our celebration of the Tinker anniversary with Student Press Freedom Day. The goal is to keep celebrating Student Press Freedom Day daily leading up to the 50th anniversary of the Tinker decision.

What’s new
Need a bell ringer? We have 18 days worth of scenarios that span from Student Press Freedom Day to the 50th anniversary of the Tinker decision. These scenarios address real-world situations students face. These scenarios include possible answers to guide discussion and resources for further research.

Podcast
This episode celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Tinker decision. Kent State University Knight Chair Mark Goodman explains the importance of the Tinker decision and high school students share what Tinker means to them. Subscribers can listen here and everyone here.

Student Day of Action lesson
Since it’s the Student Day of Action, we decided to give you a lesson plan to educate students about the Tinker decision and (hopefully) inspire them to action. The lesson includes a video of Mary Beth Tinker discussing the Tinker decision and addresses how students can (and should) take action.

As a culminating part of this lesson, students can write a postcard that will be delivered to Mary Beth Tinker on the 50th Anniversary. (You will need to print these on cardstock and then mail them. Details are in the lesson.)

But that’s not all …

We realized as we were creating content to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Tinker case we have so much relevant material. Here are a few, by category, of lessons, blogs, legal concepts and information concerning creating a staff manual with sections on mission, editorial policy, ethical guidelines and staff manual procedures.

It’s also a great time to revisit SPRC’s Quick Tips, which are more than 90 quick pieces addressing everything from empowering student content decisions to the importance of having editorial policies.

As always, please contact me if you have any suggestions or questions concerning this material or have other ideas for contributions.

Thank you and enjoy the celebration.

Lori Keekley

Collaborators include:
Scenarios: John Bowen, Tom Gayda and Lori Keekley
Lesson: Lori Keekley
Podcast: Kristin Taylor

 

 

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Bringing light to relevant issues, past and present, defines journalistic leadership

Posted by on Jan 2, 2019 in Blog, Law and Ethics, Lessons, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by John Bowen, MJE
“I’d rather be a hammer than a nail
“Blowing in the Wind
“Find the Cost of Freedom
Ohio
“Where Have All the Flowers Gone

How do these lyrics and titles relate to scholastic journalism?

  • They all came at a time when people questioned the media, its role and its leadership.
  • They all came at a time when citizens and journalists complained of government mis-, dis and censored information.
  • They all came at a time when activism and protest – from multiple viewpoints – clouded not only the truth on timely issues but also many people’s minds.

Sound familiar?

Fifty years ago, The U. S. Supreme Court upheld students wearing of black armbands as protected speech during the Vietnam war. That war also spawned events and issues that continued to bring activists, protestors and media together.

The war brought new levels of violence against expression some called unAmerican. “America, love it or leave it” was a forerunner of today’s “Enemy of the State.”

Such verbiage frustrated citizens who sought the truth about issues: The Pentagon Papers. MyLai 4. Lt. William Calley. May 4, 1970. The impact of drugs.

2018 and 2019 highlight a tumultuous new era with key similarities to the past.

Distrust of government and news media. Who tells the truth? Whom can citizens believe? Who lies?

And the current issues: Availability of guns, health, drugs, the environment, misinformation and lying. Growing amounts of stress in student lives.

Sound familiar?

We began to learn from Mary Beth and John Tinker and others who opened the schoolhouse gates to free expression, social awareness and creation of change. Free speech and press are important.

If we truly believe the social responsibility role of the news media is an essential partner with freedom – at all levels – we will empower student journalists to seek the truth, to dig for the whole story and to always question authority. They then question what authority tells society as the Tinkers and others modeled 50 years ago.

Reporting will add new meaning to journalistic leadership, advocacy and solutions.

Consider, as a New Year’s resolution, expanding your journalistic studies to include current issues as well as their historical perspectives. Content choices include:

And, as we move into 2019, the hammers, not the nails, will bring clearer insight and exert stronger leadership in today’s societal issues.

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