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Updates on scholastic issues across the nation

Posted by on Jun 24, 2014 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Legal issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Several events in the world of scholastic journalism – and that affects it – occurred recently. Censorship issues have not taken a summer break:
• Both good and bad news exist for two publications in NJ.  First the good news. John Wodnick, the adviser of the Allendale , NJ newspaper, said.  “Thought you should know– the censored article was published today in the Senior Issue.  Big victory for Adelina and the Fling! Here’s the SPLC article on the situation (there’s a link to a pdf of the article near the end of the news brief):” The adviser of the paper has since resigned. So, while the students had victories with two censorship cases in their favor, their advisers lost. This makes the third member of the GSSPA board lost, John Tagliareni of New Jersey, said. 
In addition, there is further news, both good and bad, from Pemberton, NJ. The Student Press Law Center reported that The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, came out with its 2014 Jefferson Muzzles, the annual award it presents to those that “forgot or disregarded Mr. Jefferson’s admonition that freedom of speech ‘cannot be limited without being lost.’”  The organization gave the dubious distinction by “honoring”  principal Ida Smith for the censorship case.
However, the students are now fighting to keep their journalism classes. While the enrollment numbers are down, in the past, the classes would have been consolidated. John Tagliareni spoke directly to the students, who are fighting the cuts. They, and adviser Bill Gurden, feel the cuts are retribution for the battles and their victory of the publication of their censored article. Sound familiar? The latest bit of information is definitely not good.
• Neshaminy, PA, on the issue of using the term “Redskins:”
–Update: The Neshaminy board police committee voted Tuesday, June 24, to move the full policy, #600, requiring students to use the word “Redskin” for a vote June 26, Thursday. The board will also vote on a social media policy affecting students, #811.
–Principal confiscates last issue; then makes it available again.
–The U.S. Patent Office has canceled six trademarks belonging to the Washington Redskins football team, saying they are offensive to Native Americans. A related article provides more background on the situation.
–ajc.com wrote this piece about the issue of the “R” word.
–Philly.com talks about the controversy continuing.
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First Amendment Press Freedom Award

Posted by on Nov 17, 2010 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

If you and your students attended the JEA/NSPA convention this past week in KC, you are aware of the courageous fight some teachers and advisers wage against censorship. In some cases they kept their student media operating as designated forums for student expression or as practicing forums for student expression.

Others still continue to fight the good fight. We would like to increase recognition of such programs.

To achieve this, JEA, NSPA, CSPA and Quill & Scroll sponsor the First Amendment Press Freedom Award. Deadline for applying is Dec. 1. To find out more about the award and download an application go here.

If your student media are open forums by policy or practice, please apply. We would love to recognize more of you.

And, if you are forums for student expression, please let us know so we can list your student media as such on Kent State’s Center for Scholastic Journalism website. Recognition forms can be downloaded there.

For other news on current censorship issues:

• The student paper Minnesota Catholic school administrators don’t want seen

• School pulls op-ed pieces (includes links to the student media website)

• Catholic school administrators delete editorials from student media

• Parents challenge school’s ban of  “I heart boobies” bracelets

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