Monday, January 14, 2008

An Unhappy Anniversary

Monday, January 14, 2008

Twenty years ago this week the U.S. Supreme Court sent forth a ruling in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier that continues to erode student free expression today. In the landmark case, the court ruled that principals had the right to censor school publications if they felt the content could be "reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns." In that case, it meant the principal was allowed to remove articles about pregnancy and divorce in a high school newspaper.

The precedent has meant principals have felt increasingly comfortable exercising prior review and prior restraint.

"Not only has it (the ruling) changed the way journalism is taught at many schools, it has made it more difficult for high school students to learn the important lessons about democracy that come from publishing -- or simply reading -- serious newspapers," writes journalist Robert Just in the Washington Post.

To learn more, check out Just's column here:

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