The Student News Site of Neshaminy High School

The Playwickian

Legislation protecting free speech extremely necessary

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Student+journalists+gain+crucial+protection+against+censorship+through+New+Voices+acts+sweeping+across+the+nation.+
Student journalists gain crucial protection against censorship through New Voices acts sweeping across the nation.

Student journalists gain crucial protection against censorship through New Voices acts sweeping across the nation.

Photo via Google under Creative Commons license

Photo via Google under Creative Commons license

Student journalists gain crucial protection against censorship through New Voices acts sweeping across the nation.

How the New Voices Act will protect the free speech of student journalists

Advertisement

Why is the New Voices Act necessary? The act protects student journalists and ensures that newspaper content is not censored by administration simply because it is offensive or critical of the school.

Yes, I am aware of the court ruling made in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier case back in 1988. Yes, I am aware that Pennsylvania is one of the few states that provides students with extended protection from censorship. In fact, high school students in Pennsylvania are protected by section 12.9 of the Pennsylvania school code.  No, I am not simply sitting here writing this article to complain and whine about how unfair I think things are. What this is, is taking a stance against censorship of high school newspapers by administrators, and a stance supporting legislation sweeping across the nation to protect students’ rights.

It is becoming increasingly important for student journalists to realize that their voices do matter, and how better to show this than by protecting said voices. The New Voices Act, which has been passed in Missouri and North Dakota, aims to protect students and ensure illegitimate censorship does not occur.

According to the New Voices USA website, the goal of this legislation is to specifically “…Restore the Tinker standard of student expression in public high schools. The Tinker Standard (1967) protects student speech unless it is libelous, an invasion of privacy or creates a “clear and present danger” or a “material and substantial disruption” of the school.”

Student journalists are censored by administration more than many like to believe, and passing this new legislation would put an end to the cycle. Censorship itself is extremely damaging to society, as it keeps the real news from being shared. Imagine if every single thing someone read had to first be approved by the President of the United States; up-to-date news would become a thing of the past. Now imagine working under those conditions and fearing to cover controversial news because of censorship.

These feelings run rampant through many high school newspaper groups, as an increasing number of policies threatening the constitutional rights of student journalists are drafted and prior review practices are established. Student journalists are obligated to keep the student body up-to-date, and this task becomes impossible when they are afraid to cover hard-hitting news.

The New Voices website also argues that “punishing students for their speech teaches them that censorship, often arbitrary and without limits, is acceptable. But in a society dependent on journalists and the public keeping the government in check, we cannot afford to have curiosity and confidence bred out of our students. We cannot afford to stifle today’s new voices because they are tomorrow’s media leaders and citizens.”

 

 

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Legislation protecting free speech extremely necessary

    Op-Ed

    The ViewPoint: Charter schools bring benefits, drawbacks to district

  • Legislation protecting free speech extremely necessary

    Op-Ed

    Chechnyan authorities detain gay men, violate human rights

  • Legislation protecting free speech extremely necessary

    Op-Ed

    School administrations must do more to help students struggling with mental illness

  • Legislation protecting free speech extremely necessary

    Op-Ed

    French voters reject fascism, problems remain

  • Legislation protecting free speech extremely necessary

    Op-Ed

    Humanity is making itself obsolete with advance of Artificial Intelligence

  • Legislation protecting free speech extremely necessary

    Op-Ed

    American government more willing to fight nonexistent enemy than help citizens

  • Legislation protecting free speech extremely necessary

    Op-Ed

    European Court of Justice ruling restricts religious freedom

  • Legislation protecting free speech extremely necessary

    Op-Ed

    Protests disrupt everyday life, cause complications

  • Legislation protecting free speech extremely necessary

    Op-Ed

    Perez wins DNC chair: Savior or final nail?

  • Legislation protecting free speech extremely necessary

    Op-Ed

    AP classes secure futures, ensure smooth path to college

The Student News Site of Neshaminy High School
Legislation protecting free speech extremely necessary