Hazelwood History Of Censorshi


Hazelwood: History of Censorship in Education
Imagine for a moment that everyone in America who favors censorship of one kind or another suddenly got their wish. Imagine they could clap their hands and cause any material that they objected to, for whatever reasons, to disappear . . . Virtually every film and television show would vanish . . . School textbooks would be so watered-down as to be meaningless. Newspapers would be forbidden to run controversial stories . . . . (American Voices 117)
The basis of American freedom is guaranteed in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights by the First Amendment which states that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the ...

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to their school and community.
Up until 1987, the Tinker v. Des Moines (1968) case’s ruling prevailed which appeared to reinforce the idea of high school students’ right to free speech—as long as there was no “disruption of or material interference with school activities” according to the court (Essex 140). The case outlined two important aspects: Students in public school do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech at the school house gate” but school officials have “comprehensive authority . . . to prescribe and control conduct in the schools;” and school authorities have the power to ban/punish speech that “materially and substantially interferes with requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school” or speech which officials forecast will have such an effect.
But in 1983, Hazelwood East, a St. Louis high school, produced an in-depth spread covering divorce, sex and teen pregnancy. Before the newspaper ran, the principal called for prior ...

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sensitive to the privacy interests of the students' boyfriends and parents . . . .” (Hazelwood 274). Similarly, the Court finds in the principal’s decision to censor the divorce article a journalistic lesson that the author should have given the father of one student an “opportunity to defend himself” against her charge that (in the Court's words) he “chose ‘playing cards with the guys’ over home and family . . . ,” (Hazelwood 260, 275).
Although the Supreme Court was only dealing with a student nespaper in this case, it seems clear that all student news and information media could be affected. Student newspapers, yearbooks, and literary magazines as well as radio and television ...

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Added: 12/21/2003 07:59:19 AM
Category: World History
Words: 3021
Pages: 11

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