Comments on: Column: Student Press & the Body Politic it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: TeacherPatti TeacherPatti Tue, 10 Jun 2014 01:49:29 +0000 Ruth, this is an outstanding article. I was an editor of my high school paper (ahhhh, those days of literal cut and paste with rubber cement!) and we were censored a few times. It never even occurred to us to fight it…we just took the article out or “fixed” stuff. I’ve always wanted to work in a school with a student paper so I could dust off my law degree if necessary!!

By: Ruth Kraut Ruth Kraut Mon, 09 Jun 2014 14:29:25 +0000 Re: #1 (TJ)–That is an interesting point. The whole question of how topical issues get evaluated is fraught with tension and confusion. But I’m mindful that I don’t know what it is like to be the head of a school and worry about the implications of X, Y, or Z.

Re #2 (Linda Diane)–thanks for the great piece of history!

By: Linda Diane Feldt Linda Diane Feldt Mon, 09 Jun 2014 13:49:02 +0000 In 1974 the then student publication “Yenta” at Community high was also threatened by censorship. I wrote an article on “Birth Control Information”. The dean was generally supportive, but said he would have to suspend us if it was published, as the current state law didn’t allow birth control to be mentioned in public schools. This law (since replaced) was especially ironic in Community high since we had a student nursery where moms could leave their babies while they were in class. Other students could earn high school credit by working in the nursery and gaining valuable experience.
We took the issue to the school board preemptively , with Dean Brownlees’s coaching as well as others, and the AAPS lawyers determined that we had first amendment rights that trumped the state law.
The article was published, we got national press attention, other high schools reprinted it, and the editor and I were involved in helping to overturn the state law so that students could have better access to birth control information. We also got hate mail.
It was one of my proudest and most profound moments as a high school student, and also a learning opportunity that I continue to benefit from.
I sent a large contribution to The Communicator, and am thrilled that the CHS press is doing such ground breaking work, The Communicator has stood out for many years as an excellent paper and way to learn about writing as well as the politics that can be involved.
I’m sorry that these students did not receive support from the dean, as we did 40 years ago.

By: TJ TJ Mon, 09 Jun 2014 11:18:37 +0000 I find it hypocritical that The Communicator was not allowed to name students who self-identify as depressed because of potential discrimination, yet it can publish spotlights where students self identify as LGBT while the state actively discriminates against them (and employers in the state are – or were when I saw those issues – not prohibited from doing so).

Thank you for highlighting this important issue!