Tag Archives: high school



High school students continue to find that their First Amendment rights are invisible to school administrators, despite years of struggle against censorship. In the ’60s, students at some schools published underground papers because their school-run papers were so heavily censored. In the ’70s and ’80s, a consensus grew that First Amendment protections extended to the official student press, and school newspapers were allowed to tackle controversial topics. But high school journalists found this freedom short-lived. In a 1988 case involving Hazelwood East High School near St. Louis, where student journalists wanted to publish stories on teenage pregnancy and divorce in the school newspaper, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled five to three that principals have the right to censor school papers. The majority opinion said that school-sponsored newspapers and similar activities are not intended as a public forum for student views, but are part of the curriculum and therefore subject to official control to ensure that they meet program purposes. After announcing the decision, Justice Byron R. White added that a school need not tolerate student speech that is incongruous with the educational goals of the institution–although the government could not censor similar speech outside school grounds. Continue reading STUDENTS STRUGGLE AGAINST CENSORSHIP, by Lian Cheun