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.
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.
JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission’s Student Partners have been cooking up some great ideas for what they’re going to be doing at the national convention next week in Kansas City.
We hope you’ll help support their endeavors in a couple of different ways. They’ve got some amazing things planned:
• 45words t-shirts
Those at the Portland convention will remember these classy T-shirts with the 45 words of the First Amendment. The T-shirts will be for sale at the 45words booth in the trade show exhibit area. The shirts that were so popular in Portland will be for sale at our booth for only $10 per shirt. Check out the logo above or on the in-progress 45words.org student blogsite to see what the shirt looks like. We will only have 200 shirts for sale (add in more details on sizes here), so get yours as soon as you can. You an place an order ahead of time if you are going to pick up the shirts in KC.
If you will be at the convention and want to pre-order shirts, please contact John Bowen at firstname.lastname@example.org before Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 3 pm.
• 45words booth
At their booth, the students will ask students to share their stories and experiences in dealing with the First Amendment. Video will be uploaded to their blog (45words.org) each evening. There will also be free First Amendment posters and buttons.
• Student Presentation
On Saturday at noon (Think F1rst), the group will present a session directed toward raising awareness of First Amendment issues designed to assist students undergoing some sort of First Amendment crisis. The session will also help students, advisers and administrators looking for solutions to vexing First Amendment problems. A question-and-answer session will follow. Check these amazing students out in Convention Center 2201.
We are looking for our next group of Student Partners to replace those who will graduate at the end of the year. If you have students who are interested in being a part of this group, talk to one of the Student Partners at our booth or after their session. They’ll be wearing name badges that have a yellow ribbon identifying them as Student Partners.
The Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association joined with the Student Press Law Center in a case about a New York school censoring a cartoon.
“If the court tells the students of Ithaca High School that they had no legally protected right to satirize the ineffectiveness of a school policy – the effectiveness of which the school itself is telling this Court is a matter of life and death – then the ‘chill’ of intimidation that student journalists already feel when they bravely take up a critical pen against their elders will turn into a deep freeze,” the brief states, according to a SPLC News Flash.
Read the News Flash for more information.
This week, at the JEA/NSPA convention in Portland, the press rights commission has taken several initiatives:
• Involving, for the first time 45words, its student partners group
• Designing a working definition of prior review and prior restraint of scholastic media
• Participating in a Skype discussion with a lawyer about a Washington State case that might involve the future of the open forum concept.
In a meeting today, the commission will look at new projects and initiatives, which will most likely start with:
• Developing a series of FAQs to go with the prior review definition to help advisers and others understanding the workings of that definition
• Beginning discussion on a Webinar involving 45words students and others in outreach and action plans that would educate communities about the dangers and educational consequences of prior review and restraint.
But we would like to have your input: What would you like to see the commission, JEA and other scholastic journalism groups examine in terms of legal and ethical issues that would most help you and your journalism programs and communities?
We would love to hear from you so we can sharpen our vision of how best to serve the interests of all involved with scholastic journalism.
The Feb. 11 posting on CODEWORDS, the Society of Professional Journalists Ethics Committee blog, calls for “massive public education” about what constitutes “real news” and why such content is necessary for “an effective democracy.”
Author Paul LaRocque points out the “period of change” media are now experiencing will not be over soon. But now is the time all major groups like SPJ, ASNE, APME and RTDNA should launch a campaign to educate the public about NEWS, real news. He says they must “show the public the difference between noise and information.”
Why not add all those other alphabet-soup scholastic media organizations to the list? JEA, NSPA, CSPA plus Quill and Scroll and the Center for Scholastic Journalism? Where better to start educating for understanding and appreciating news than in our schools? How better to do that than with student newspapers, newsmagazines, yearbooks, broadcast outlets and news Web sites that allow students to use their voices and experience democracy before they graduate?
SPJ, we want to sign up for the cause.
Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE