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Just what are they teaching?

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When members of the Churchill County Education Association in Fallon, Nev. thought an article in the high school student newspaper made a teacher look bad, their reaction wasn’t very educationally sound: They wanted administrators to censor the publication.

Lauren MacLean’s article in The Flash covered a controversy over audition tapes for the state honor choir and parental concern with the music teacher who, they claim,  was to have sent them. Mark Goodman, Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism at Kent State, who wrote about this in the Center for Scholastic Journalism blog, has seen the article and reports, “It is student journalism at its best: fact-based, not inflammatory, insightful, relevant.  It simply gives readers the facts and lets them reach their own conclusions.”

Jerry Ceppos, dean of the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada and former executive editor of the San Jose Mercury News, also expressed his concern. On the Web site for the Reno Gazette-Journal, Ceppos suggested the teachers’ union needed the colorful, two-story-tall banner now hanging in his school with the 45 words in the First Amendment sewn into it.

Luckily, no one censored anything. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, MacLean’s article was to run Friday. Its editorial concluded, “But in the little town of Fallon, a welcome spark of freedom now shines. Taking the more courageous and principled course, Mr. Lords (the principal) and Ms. Ross (the superintendent) — and young Lauren MacLean — did well.”

Should we be bothered that the superintendent told Ceppos both she and the principal read the article before publication? Maybe that’s material for another blog.

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