Should schools be allowed to censor student publications?

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MC Hetherington (not verified)

Students are free from

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Students are free from censorship in their own publications. However, if it is a school publication, then the school is the "editor" and just like in the private sector, editors edit material that is not appropriate for their publication.
John Kain (not verified)

Yes, schools need to censor

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Yes, schools need to censor (or exert editorial control) over student publications. Suppose the school newspaper writes about someone who thinks the paper has libeled him. Is he going to sue the students on the newspaper staff? No, he's going to sue the school district.
Cheryl Rundle (not verified)

All school publications have

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All school publications have a staff advisor who is an employee of the school district, approved by the Board of Education and all material must be approved by the principal of the particular building before it's copied thousands of times or even distributed to all staff and sold or available in homerooms for all students in the building. These steps all have a financial basis but they serve another purpose; before articles about sites of skin-heads, poetry and art of a clearly suicidal person (I am a school social worker so I know this part is factual), articles enlisting peers to meet at a certain place to commit a crime, anything ridiculing and bullying a specific student, neighborhood, ethnic or religious group is NOT published. The school district acts as the publisher as in the real world and potential lawsuits or inciting malicious / illegal acts or the self-esteem of a victim student (neigborhood, ethnic and religious group) is edited. Students can and do use the internet for these activities, where there certainly is no censorship at all. I'm only speaking about public school and have no experience at all with private or charter schools.
Pam (not verified)

Students should be allowed

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Students should be allowed to give evidence of learning in many different ways, including the opportunity to voice opinions, dissent, or ideas in ways that do not infringe upon their first amendment rights. However, it is the responsibility of educators to ensure that students understand that the way they communicate is important. Students also need to understand what is appropriate in various venues of communication. Simple examples of effective and responsible communication, using the correct "voice", and designing communication appropriate for the audience are are all things that educators are expected to help their students understand and apply. Policy should be in place that governs students and teachers alike. That policy should require that the tenets of appropriate and responsible communication are upheld in any release from the school. All of the same can be said for simple grammar, spelling, and punctuation in communication from students. Therefore, some editing by adults responsible for the learning experiences of children may be necessary. However, censorship of ideas, opinions, and feelings (appropriately and responsibly communicated) is an infringement of their rights as citizens.
Leo Vipond (not verified)

I believe that publications

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I believe that publications need to be monitored for things that can be in violation of the law or would clearly harm another. Students need to be free to express themselves on political issues, even using profanity if they choose, however a priori restraint can have a dampening effect on discourse.
Jill Stubbs (not verified)

Part of our responsibility

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Part of our responsibility as educators is teach our students how to respond in approriate ways; not only grammatically appropriate, but socially and emotionally appropriate. We need to impress upon them that there are certain situations that do not lend themselves to very personal, or graphic content and I certainly feel that student oriented publications would be included in these categories.
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