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Playing in the court of public opinion

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Students and friends of student media in Washington’s Puyallup school district are ready to take the next step in their fight against prior review since a jury declared they had not invaded students’ privacy and the school had no liability in a story about oral sex.

Their next fight will be in the court of public opinion.

Student journalists in the three schools have set up a Facebook site in preparation for an organizational meeting May 3 to urge local schools to drop prior review from Puyallup publication policies. The site has 300 plus friends.

They also have a Twitter site.

They are psyched and have T-shirts, buttons and flyers.

They have talked to Henry Rome, 2009 JEA Journalist of the Year who, with other students in his community started a website to convince his school not to implement prior review.

The Friends of the Spoke won. The Conestoga High students also presented a session at the Portland JEA/NSPA convention  about how others could duplicate their feat. Rome also addressed the convention about their fight. Their website also has information on the resources they used in an effort to change the board’s views.

Now, the Puyallup students will try to do the same.

Check out their website. Join their cause. Consider such action if you face prior review.

Prior review – which leads only to prior restraint –has no educational value. Help end it in Puyallup’s schools.

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