Fond du Lac English department
posts support for students
in censorship fight
Fond du Lac (WI) High’s English department has submitted a statement supporting student journalists and advocating the need for an open forum for student expression at their school.
Student journalists there have been in a prior review and restraint battle with school officials over a story on rape, called “Rape Joke.”
Kettle Moraine Press Association director Linda Barrington also noted the students aired a video on school announcements March 21, with administration approval. The video had some explanation from the principal about why he thinks the guidelines for prior review are needed.
The video can be seen here.
Arguments made on the video include the general thought that the school would like more oversight, the thought that some of the words used in the story were too edgy, and a reference to the argument the principal has been giving lately that reporters should have gotten the permission from the rapists who may have been involved in the stories of sexual abuse related by the anonymous sources in the “Rape Joke” story.
Barrington said in am email to the Journalism Education Association’s listserv that the next school board meeting for the district is Monday, March 24 at 5 pm at the Fond du Lac School District Administration Center at 72 Ninth St.
“Students are looking for as much support there as possible,” Barrington wrote.
Students journalists have received more than 5,300 signatures on a petition to their superintendent to reverse his prior review and censorship decision.
Additional coverage links:
• Trust kids to speak
• High school student protest censorship of the ‘The Rape Joke,’ school publication restriction
• Fond du Lac student protest censorship mandate for school publication
• High school cracks down on student paper that published rape culture article
•How far is too far? The issue of rape in the high school
• High school administration teaches student journalists valuable lesson: We will censor you early and often
• oped: Rape culture article in school paper leads to censorship policy
• Wisconsin administrators impose prior review after news magazine’s story on sexual assault
• Principal requires approval of high school paper’s stories after rape culture article
• WI school offices seize control over student paper after ‘rape culture’ article appears