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DC: Truly inspiring

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After the past couple of months of news on this blog, it would be easy to be despondent.
Student work being censored for laughable reasons. Advisers having their authority usurped. Creativity being stifled.
As it always does, the JEA/NSPA national convention, has energized me. Sitting in the SPRC panel on Saturday, we had the good fortune to meet with a courageous group of students who are undergoing censorship, but who are seeking out the information and ammunition to fight these attempts to deprive them of their rights.
They came armed with information and questions, with emotion and with resolve. I’m hopeful the students who showed up and sought knowledge from those of us assembled were happy with what was provided. I also hope they continue to stay in touch with the SPRC and let us help them in their struggles.
Seeing Henry Rome and Seth Zweifler, from Conestoga, Pa., win award after award for their work administrators sought to quash was similarly energizing. As was hearing Al Leonard, a principal who gets it, speak to those assembled at the panel and hopefully provide the assembled students with hope that there are some principals who seek to nurture the First Amendment rather than strangle it.
It’s not easy to stand up to an administrator as a teacher. It’s tough to imagine what it’s like as a teenage journalist. Administrators are pretty well counting on the fact that students will not be aware of their rights and will cede to their authority.
But it fills me with hope for the cause this blog is here to promote – scholastic press rights – that these brave students are so willing and passionate to stand up and fight for what is right.

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