Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
High schools back off newspaper policy after censorship concerns
Posted by Letters editor
Some rights should not apply to high-school papers
I was pleasantly surprised by the article in The Times on Nov. 7 about a proposal being considered by the Seattle School Board that would give principals the authority to review high-school newspapers before they are published. [“Proposed school-paper policy raises censorship concerns,” NWMonday.]
But the next day I shook my head as I read the article in the Nov. 8 Times stating that the district officials set aside “a proposal to have principals oversee the content of school newspapers.” [“Schools back off policing papers,” NWTuesday.]
Several years ago, I questioned the Edmonds School District about what sort of administrative oversight was in place for our local high-school student newspaper.
The paper had published two articles: one on masturbation and another advising students on when they should have sex. I was told by the principal, by the newspaper adviser and by the Edmonds School Board that the students were completely in charge of the newspaper and no adults were in the position to help with the decision of which articles should go in the paper.
Of course I am aware of the U.S. Constitution and right to free speech. However, these are minors in an educational institution using taxpayer money to produce the student newspaper. They are in high school to learn and be advised, and yet it appears that educators are afraid to provide education, leadership and expertise.
If we are preserving the students’ First Amendment rights, then are we to preserve the Second Amendment as well and allow them the right to bear arms? Where does it stop?
— Gini L. Bouché, Brier
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