Mar. 28, 2017  

High school students: share your censorship stories with us

If you’re a high school student that feels that you’ve been censored when it comes to writing, we are looking for you. Your rights as a writer are important, especially for the new wave of journalists.

“Journalism in schools and colleges is ‘participatory civics,’ the most effective tool for engaging young people meaningfully in the civic life of their country and community,” said Frank LoMonte, the executive director of the Student Press Law Center.

“Too often, students are intimidated by image-conscious administrators from pursuing the serious journalistic topics that prepare them for professional and civic success and that keep their communities well-informed. Institutional censorship makes journalism into a frustrating and disempowering experience, and in the year 2017 when students are awash in online rumor and speculation, it’s futile and affirmatively counterproductive.”

LoMonte also added that journalism in schools and colleges can fulfill its civic and educational potential only if the law protects students and their faculty advisers against government retaliation.

This is why SPJ Florida is teaming up with the SPLC’s New Voices campaign, which would give Florida’s high school students the freedom to report.

New Voices, which has received bipartisan support and is endorsed by every leading journalism organization in the country, is sweeping the nation. Ten states have statutes giving students a degree of press freedom and 19 more states, including Florida, are looking to enact their own New Voices legislation.

“Florida has long been known as a beacon of excellence in journalism and openness in government, and it’s a state where reforming the law to protect America’s most vulnerable journalists is long overdue,” LoMonte added.

To help make New Voices a reality in Florida, we need to hear from you! Share your story of how you’ve been censored. Contact New Voices webmaster Roxann Elliott with your story.

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