Archive for Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Letter: Dispute continues between school and student publication

October 31, 2001

To the Editor:
Once again the Basehor-Linwood High School Journalism Department and the Basehor-Linwood administration are at odds. The problems have resurfaced, in my opinion, because of a lack of compromise.
The areas about which the students and the administration disagree are classic. The administration is not happy with the content, and the students want to be funded.
In the last two years a handful of articles have been cut, and an entire issue of the paper never made it to the students because the administration deemed it inappropriate and negative.
In the Hazelwood School District vs. Kuhlmeier decision, the Supreme Court said that students and teachers do not lose the right to freedom of speech inside a public school. Furthermore, the Hazelwood case states that censorship can only be on the basis of legitimate educational concerns. None of the articles that were suppressed fell into this category.
Neither the newspaper nor the yearbook receives financial support by the School Board as many other schools do. I feel that this is unfair because the necessities for the class are not covered, as they would be for an art class or for a physical education class. Resources that we pay for are often used for other purposes throughout the school.
Poor management of funds available also contributes to the mess. Five years have seen five different journalism teachers, some with no experience at all. Funds become guess work every year.
Last week the newspaper class was once again threatened to be cut from the curriculum because of the persisting problems. Should the students really be the ones who are punished?
I think that everyone involved is just as frustrated as I am. Neither party is right or wrong, but without a compromise both groups will lose.
Briana Barron
Basehor-Linwood student

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