• Valentine story in student newspaper censored

    Date: 02.23.10 | by Judge Tom.

    The Orange and Black student newspaper intends “to be an entertaining and thought-provoking student-run newsletter dedicated to give the students a voice and allowing them to express themselves” (from the paper’s mission statement).

    Kaylie Miller is a 17 year old senior at Long Lake High School in New York. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange and Black. It is published monthly and was included as an insert in the school’s community newsletter.

    The January, 2010 edition included an editorial critical of a Harvard admissions representative who spoke at the school and an article about the history of Valentine’s Day that included Biblical quotes about love. Both were removed from the paper before publication. The school superintendent explained that the editorial reflected poorly on the school, and that the school’s lawyer recommended censorship of the Valentine story.

    Following a school board meeting in February, 2010, where more than fifty people attended, the board agreed to publish both articles in the March issue. However, they maintained the limited distribution of the newspaper on campus.

    What do you think about restricting distribution to the school only? Is a school required to provide copies to others including those off-campus and not directly connected to the school? Are the students free to make copies of the paper and distribute it to the community?

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


    3 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Betsy Comeau
      Mon, 01 Mar 2010 at 10:26

      As Kaylie’s former advisor for the newspaper, it saddens me to see that the administration is sending a message loud and clear to the students that their thoughts and voices and creativity in journalism/ writing do not count. It saddens me also to see that the HS English teacher made no efforts at all to defend Kaylie Miller and the Student Newsletter due to loyalty to administrative concerns at the last 2 BOE meetings, although he teaches a unit on journalism and ETHICS. Our community however is supportive, with the exception of a few individuals who feel that IF the students are given CONTROL of their newspaper, they could take it and “run wild” with it. Bravo Kaylie Miller, you have learned a critical lesson regarding the First Amendment and free speech and given the school and community a reminder of what the Constitution is all about. Too sad that a few centuries later, we are still having to fight for freedoms granted to us so long ago.
      Thanks, Ms. Comeau, for your comments.

    • Pete Klein
      Tue, 02 Mar 2010 at 07:59

      First, a disclaimer. I report on the meetings of the Long Lake Central School Board. When reporting, I try to avoid bias.
      That said, I do feel the issue was blown out of proportion by the school board. In this country, it is easy to offend someone with words. We seem to have forgotten what we learned or should have learned before we went to school. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”
      The issue should never have become and issue. It is sad that it did.
      I often feel sorry for the young people of today who are subject to more control by adults than those same adults were ever subjected to.
      If the articles censored had never been censored, odds are no more than one or two people might have objected. There are always one or two people who will object to anything.
      Rule of thumb, let sleeping dogs sleep.
      Thanks, Pete, for your comments.

    • Pete Klein
      Tue, 02 Mar 2010 at 02:06

      Valentine story in student newspaper censured http://shar.es/mXKrQ

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>