Friday, January 18, 2008

Hazelwood Case at Age 20

For those of you who don't know, the Hazelwood Supreme Court case gave K-12 school administrators much greater control over the publication of school newspapers produced as part of a co-curricular program, that is not independently produced by the students themselves. The School Law Blog has a round-up and a good collection of links about the anniversary.

I have posted from time to time here about school censorship issues. While I can understand the argument about co-curricular work, I am always troubled when someone, anyone in government, has prior approval rights over anything that would get published. This applies to high school newspapers as well.

Let's assume something objectionable to a principal comes out, well then let the principal make a case and the student journalists defend it. That is a valuable part of the journalistic profession. Similarly, if the student journalists must also learn the lessons of responsible journalism and what better way than if they will face the music for false reporting.

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