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Only the beginning of an important discussion

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Columbia Scholastic Press Association Executive Director Ed Sullivan graciously agreed to share his comments from a listserv discussion about the recent Sixth Circuit court decision that teachers have no Teacher speech rights on school curriculum.

You can find those comments on the CSJblog.

His comments parallel another listserv discussion by Fellows of  a ASNE Reynolds 2010 Institute: How to best fight for First Amendment rights for our students when administrators don’t want to hear or support those arguments, and could even retaliate against teachers who make them. Like the teacher speech rights discussion, some advisers feel the fight is seemingly one teachers cannot win.

As the number of advisers dwindle who taught without the threat of Hazelwood, how can journalism organizations best help tomorrow’s teachers in the continuing and important fight to teach students the First Amendment is real – even though they might not be able to practice it.

As Mark Goodman, Kent State’s Knight chair for Scholastic Journalism, told the ASNE group, “We HAVE to teach students that censorship is wrong, morally, educationally and journalistically, even when it cannot be avoided or overcome.  And we have to do it in such a way that we don’t make kids so cynical they think the entire idea of the First Amendment is a joke.”

We’d like to hear your ideas and perspectives, too.

There will be more said here in weeks to come.

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