Friday, March 24, 2006

High School Editor's Diary

This is a blogspot for your editors to exchange their ideas about any appropriate publication-related topics (thought they most likely will want to set up their own, if they haven't already).


Caity Carter said...

Perhaps I am posting this in the wrong place. But, I find that there is an issue here worth talking about that demands support and attention.

I am posting out of the interest of the freedom of the press. I have recently found out about a "Anti-Hazelwood" bill that is going to be proposed to the Washington legislature this December. I hope to be able to gather support for the passing of this bill by helping spread awareness of the as-of-yet unnumbered bill.

Simply put, there is an opportunity for us to counter the Supreme Court decision reached in 1987 called the Hazelwood standard. In Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, the administration of the Hazelwood School district didn't think that the students publishing their school newspaper were being confidential enough about the identities of the students speaking about teen pregnancy in their school. The article was withheld by the principal, and the students sued the school. The Supreme court sided with the Hazelwood School District in that the schools are allowed to censor student publications if they so see fit.

The Hazelwood decision replaced the Tinker standard in which the first Amendment is directly applicable to student journalists as well as professional journalists. This "Anti-Hazelwood" Bill, as it has so been dubbed, will, in affect, revert us back from the Hazelwood standard to that of the Tinker standard. (Though, as with most laws, this bill doesn't apply necessarily to private high schools; their restrictions are still based upon the administration of the respective schools.)

Perhaps here, or somewhere else (help me...), we could converse about what support we could rally for this bill. I know there was a thing at the Seattle Times a few weeks ago that spoke about free speech and various other things, but was cancled due to lack of interest.

Come on, guys, seriously.

- Caity Carter
Peninsula Outlook
Gig Harbor, Washington

Brian Schraum said...

Hey Caity and everyone,

I guess you could say I've been pretty involved with the bill. I know the legislator involved fairly well, and basically just got him talking with the right people. We produced a draft over the summer. Now, my role is primarily trying to coordinate student efforts on this (both high school and college).

I haven't had a lot of luck getting in touch with students until very recently, but its mostly been on the college side. I was going to mention the bill with Mike Hiestand from the Student Press Law Center during the workshop at the Times... unfortunately that was cancelled. I understand they are going to try and reschedule.

The biggest problem, I think, is people don't know who to contact. If you or anyone who is interested want to drop me an e-mail: , I'd LOVE to hear from you.

I'm putting together a list of students who are interested in this issue and drumming up support. There's a fairly complicated process that bills go through, but the biggest thing is (1) contacting your local state legislators and (2) editorializing about it when we get closer.

Please feel free to contact me and/or give my contact information out to anyone and everyone you think would be interested.

- Brian Schraum
Washington State University;
formerly of Green River Community College; formerly formerly of Enumclaw High School