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Four Missouri Schools Earn Press Freedom Award

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Perhaps it is fitting these four schools are this year’s recipients of the First Amendment Press Freedom Award.

After all, it is the 25th anniversary of the Hazelwood v Kuhlmeier decision, and Hazelwood East, it can be argued, sits in their backyards. In Missouri.hazelwoodcolor

Even without a state law to support them, four St. Louis-area schools showed they actively support and protect First Amendment rights of their students and teachers as they earned the FAPFA recognition.

The 1988 U.S. Supreme Court’s Hazelwood decision gave administrators the right to censor student media and more, under certain conditions.

Francis Howell High School and Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Mo., Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Mo., and Lafayette High School, Wildwood, Mo., will be recognized at the opening keynote at the JEA/NSPA High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco April 25.

This award has been co-sponsored for 13 years by the Journalism Education Association, National Scholastic Press Association and the Quill and Scroll Society.

The award, which began with an emphasis on student publications, was originally titled Let Freedom Ring, and later expanded to include the other freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.

As in previous years, schools competed for the title by first answering questionnaires submitted by an adviser and at least one editor; those who advanced to the next level were asked to provide responses from the principal and all publications advisers and student editors, indicating their support of the five freedoms. In addition, semifinalists submitted samples of their printed editorial policies.

First round applications are due annually by Dec. 1. Downloadable applications for 2014 will be available on the JEA website in the fall.

Way to show everyone the road to the First Amendment, Missouri.

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