Stories indexed with the term ‘Community High School’

Column: Student Press & the Body Politic

Over the years, school newspapers have played a critical role in raising issues relevant to schools and their students. Since they are generally under the thumb of the school administration, this can sometimes become a little bit dicey.

Ruth Kraut, Ann Arbor Public Schools, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

Ruth Kraut

When I was a student newspaper writer and editor, the newspaper was part of our extra-curricular choices. Now, most high school newspapers are published as part of a class. As these programs move into the classroom, they come even more under the control of school administration.

In this article, I explore the complex issue of censorship, including local examples of school news controversies, past and present. I highlight some student work that has been published – topics that are important to students, even if they might make adults uncomfortable.

I started writing this column in mid-May, impressed by the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA) awards won in April by Community High School and Dexter High School – and to a lesser extent, Pioneer High School and Saline High School. I was interested in the struggles that high school newspapers have to create a (somewhat) free press.

More recently, two local students – Madeline Halpert and Eva Rosenfeld – wrote a column published by the New York Times on May 21. Titled “Depressed but Not Ashamed,” the column explains how Halpert and Rosenfeld discovered at a journalism conference that they were both taking medication for depression. They then decided to interview other students with depression for their school newspaper. In the column, they describe how, ultimately, they were not allowed by the school administration to publish an edition focused on students with depression.

Even though I’d been working on an article about the student press, I hadn’t heard about their situation. That fact highlights two truths about the student press – and the media in general. First, we generally know only about the controversies that are ignited when something is reported on – and not when it is suppressed. That may, in fact, be the best argument for a free press.

Second, the areas of most concern to students are also the areas most likely to be censored by administrators. I think they fall into two general categories: school politics and environment, or the body politic; and issues that are more personal to students – the body politic. [Full Story]

A Banner Year for Community High

One of two banners recently hung on the back of Community High School, facing the Kerrytown district.

One of two banners recently hung on the back of Community High School, facing the Kerrytown district.

For folks passing through Kerrytown – whether to Zingerman’s Deli, Kerrytown Market & Shops or the farmers market – it’s easy to overlook the backside of Community High School. But two new banners that now adorn its outer back walls aim to bring attention to the school and add some public art to the Kerrytown district.

Ansted Moss, a Commie High senior, designed the two 24-foot by 12-foot vinyl pieces, which are stretched like a canvas over metal bars facing South Fifth Avenue. They were hung over the course of two days – using a cherry picker lift – just before school started.

Kris Hermanson, who taught art for 30 years at CHS before retiring two years ago, describes them as “elegant, yet edgy and original.” [Full Story]