After enduring over 30 years of a hindered freedom of press, New Voices, a student-led, grassroots effort, has set its sights on limiting the constraints of prior review in the state of Texas. The goal of this movement is to reverse the effects of Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier (1988), a case which established prior review by school administrators when publishing the work of student journalists. Essentially, principals can censor any and all information they deem unfit for public view. As an extension of the Student Press Law Center, New Voices Texas has launched a bill proposal for the next legislative session in January 2021. The bill calls for the exoneration of prior review as well as for the protection of student journalists against censorship. So far, this bill has been passed in 14 states.
In homage to New Voices, prior review should be abolished, allowing for uncensored student journalism.
Leaving the power to veto news in the hands of a single administration is a corrupt system in itself. Often, school’s can be too focused on preserving an image rather than exposing the truth, and granting all jurisdiction to principals can stop important stories from reaching the limelight.
Furthermore, prior review limits self-expression. Student journalists may often be minors, but should be entitled to the same protections of the First Amendment. The only way to truly access issues on campus is from the words of students.
While many believe censorship by administration is necessary to avoid inappropriate or dangerous content, all forms of media pass through each staff editor and an adult adviser. With this oversight, questionable material would be modified to better fit campus guidelines.The newspaper staff has both maturity and keen judgement as to what and what not to publish.
Freedom of the press needs to be implemented on campus. However, administration should still be allowed to view content before its publication to add insight without the authority to censor. Suppressing the true voices of this campus goes against what the founders of this country strived for- liberty.
~Taylor Trapp- Online Editor-in-Chief
A Letter From the Editor
Happy 2020 from the SC Correspondent! As our editors Brady Davis, Nick McDonald, Ally Lozano, Ella Malone, and myself reach our last semester of high school, we hope to encapsulate this experience to the best of our ability. With five months left, we look forward to bringing reliable news, editorials, reviews, and photos to the Clemens community. So kick back, relax, and beat the January blues with buff spirit!
-Taylor Trapp~ Online Editor-in-Chief