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Censorship in school media.

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Introduction

Censorship in school media During the process of deciding what to do my synthesis paper on, I came across information relating to censorship in school publications including newspapers, television shows and yearbooks. I found so much information that I was not sure how to form a question with all of it. After reading a lot about the Hazelwood School District's confrontation with censorship, I decided to concentrate on that case and how it has affected other types of censorship. Censorship in school media has changed significantly since the Hazelwood ruling. I chose this topic because I am very interested in becoming a journalist or at least part of the communications field. Having been a member of my high school newspaper and now a member of The Gannon Knight here at Gannon University, I understand how frustrating it is when articles are censored or altered to the liking of an administrator. Since my involvement in journalism in my sophomore year of high school, I have dealt with at least five cases of censorship alone. The most significant came last May when I had written an editorial for my high school paper. Being the editor of my high school paper, and it being the end of the year, I was writing a final editorial for the year and for my career in high school. ...read more.

Middle

When it occurred to the staff that their principal had taken the middle section out due to content, they quickly went to him and asked why (18-19). The girls were under the impression that Reynolds and the board of education had censored their work. Kuhlmeier informed Robert Stergos, the former advisor of the Spectrum, of the situation and he had explained that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) could help (Fuller 20). According to The American Civil Liberties Union Freedom is Why We're Here, their purpose is to battle civil liberties infringements when needed (1). Since 1920 the ACLU has been protecting American's rights. Fuller wrote, "The staff at the ACLU for Eastern Missouri listened to what the girls had to say. Staff members agreed with them that Principal Reynolds' act of censorship may have violated their constitutional rights to freedom of speech and of the press" (21). After almost five years, the decision was made that the Hazelwood School District did not infringe on the staff member's rights (88). The court ruling had made a quick impact on other situations across the nation as well. A school in Florida did not want a story on sex counseling to be published and as soon as the Hazelwood ruling was announced, the principal of that school pulled it from the paper as soon as she heard the ruling. ...read more.

Conclusion

Faculty Adviser for MoonBeams, Mrs. Amy Kostial, recalled one time when a former principal did not care for the word "crappy" in a CD review and made the reporter change it. She went on to say that the reporter "used about 10 very long, thesaurus-like words in its place...it was pretty funny, and was quite a slap in the face" (Email interview). Through my research, I have found numerous other cases of censorship in high school publications in just about all of the 50 states. More recently, censorship issues have included online publications as well. With the Internet becoming more and more popular, only time will tell how students will be censored in the future. After completing the research for my paper and finding that since the Hazelwood case censorship has increased, I have come to the realization that no matter how hard student journalists and their advisers try, school officials will always find a way to block what is said or published. Being very involved in journalism at Gannon, I could not imagine what the three girls from Hazelwood had to deal with for over five years in court. Though I am done researching, I wish I had found more information on other types of censorship such as speeches, bulletin boards, posters, etc. Censorship, as depicted from my paper, is here to stay. It will always occur and there will always be battles like the Hazelwood case to deal with. Censorship has and will continue to change since the Hazelwood court case. ...read more.

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