The Kirkwood Call

Hazelwood: A bleak anniversary

art+by+Blayne+Fox
Back to Article
Back to Article

Hazelwood: A bleak anniversary

art by Blayne Fox

art by Blayne Fox

art by Blayne Fox

art by Blayne Fox

TKC Staff

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In light of the 25th anniversary of the Hazelwood Supreme Court decision, The Kirkwood Call decided in a unanimous vote to recognize the administration for allowing all KHS media to practice scholastic journalism without prior review or censorship.

Thirty minutes from KHS, the Hazelwood School District is celebrating the bleakest of anniversaries. Twenty-five years ago this month, in the Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier case, the Supreme Court gave school administrations the right to censor student publications without violating the First Amendment.

The school paper of Hazelwood East, The Spectrum, published two stories in a 1983 issue that upset former Principal Robert Reynolds. The first was about teen pregnancy, the second, the effect of divorce on students. Believing these stories were too controversial, Reynolds removed the pages on which these stories had been published, thereby deleting the additional articles on those pages. Upon receiving the published issue and seeing two full pages missing, the staff of The Spectrum filed a lawsuit, insisting their First Amendment Rights had been violated.

In 1987, they lost in a 5-3 vote.

Essentially, the Supreme Court’s ruling asserted that while student journalists have rights, they do not extend so far as to contrast the school’s educational mission. Therefore, administrations across the country can review, censor or remove any stories if they are an educational disruption or disagree with the school’s mission.

There seems to be an idea among many administrators that if you ignore an issue, it disappears. Nothing could be further from the truth. Publications do not write about these topics to encourage them; no one wants a teenager to get pregnant or parents to get divorced, but it happens nonetheless. If papers refuse to cover these topics, they are being cowardly. If administrators remove stories like these, they are being irresponsible.

For seven out of nine years, The Call has been one of five schools nationwide to receive the First Amendment Press Freedom Award. We do not see this as a testament to our work; rather, it speaks to the trust of our principals. While we criticize the administration and publish stories that may be viewed as controversial, they are always our biggest supporters. They do not censor our work, they do not choose our stories and they have never asked us to shy away from controversial stories solely because they are controversial.

The Hazelwood ruling was a devastating blow to First Amendment Rights for students nationwide. KHS has been fortunate enough to have had a series of administrators who recognize that though we are young, we are still citizens protected under the Constitution. If we ever forget these fundamental rights, we may as well have lost them.

 

Do you know your rights?

About the Writer
TKC Staff, Staff Profile

This is the opinion of the entire Kirkwood Call staff.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Hazelwood: A bleak anniversary

    Opinions

    Call Ed: Dancing and the reign

  • Hazelwood: A bleak anniversary

    Columns

    The price to protest

  • Hazelwood: A bleak anniversary

    Columns

    Call Ed: A pledge for protection

  • Hazelwood: A bleak anniversary

    Columns

    Call Ed: Settling for exclusion

  • Hazelwood: A bleak anniversary

    Columns

    Call Ed: Ranked

  • Hazelwood: A bleak anniversary

    Opinions

    Call Ed: Pushing down on me, pushing down on you

  • Hazelwood: A bleak anniversary

    Opinions

    Call Ed: Resolution revolution

  • Hazelwood: A bleak anniversary

    Showcase

    Call Ed: All bottled up

  • Hazelwood: A bleak anniversary

    Opinions

    Call Ed: Speech shutdown

  • Hazelwood: A bleak anniversary

    Opinions

    Call Ed: Working through the summer

Navigate Right
Kirkwood High School student newspaper
Hazelwood: A bleak anniversary