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 High school journalism advisers under attack

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Number of posts : 142
Age : 37
Registration date : 2007-06-13

PostSubject: High school journalism advisers under attack   Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:24 pm

From the Cal-JEC bulletin:

Quote :
Six California high school newspaper advisers reported being removed from their positions this spring following conflicts with administrators over the content of the student press.

Students’ First Amendment rights are protected in the California Education Code (48907), which states that student editors are responsible “for assigning and editing the news, editorial, and feature content,” but advisers have no such protection.

When adviser Darryl Adams’ students at South East High School in Los Angeles wrote an opinion piece critical of random searches on campus, the administration wanted the article removed, said Adams. “I countered that it was an editorial and the student was entitled to his opinion. “My principal said, ‘I can’t believe my adviser is against me.’ I replied, ‘I am with you, but I also support freedom of speech.’”

Adams was removed as journalism advisor this spring and assigned to teach remedial classes.

The 65-year-old journalism program at Mt. Whitney High School in Visalia was demoted to a club and the adviser, Carol Clarke, has been reassigned to teach remedial English. The Fresno Bee’s Lewis Griswold reported on the change.

Adviser Becca Feeney of Claremont High School in Claremont was unwillingly removed from her position after nine years as adviser after a student’s opinion piece was published concerning the quality of substitute teachers. Here is the student's piece from The Wolfpacket.

A first-year teacher who has asked not to be identified has retained her job but was “reprimanded by the principal” when a student wrote an opinion piece critical of the principal’s school spirit decorations. The principal demanded an apology from the student writer, kept the edition from going to the superintendent’s office and now “reviews every story and editorial to make sure they present the school in a positive light.”

Three other high school journalism advisers have also reported conflicts and reassignments, including a first-year teacher who was not rehired after administrative criticism of the content of a story.

What a worrisome situation, to put it lightly...
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