Press Freedom Bill For Student Journalists Advances

first_imgJanuary 25, 2018  By Erica INDIANAPOLIS — Anu Nattam, editor-in-chief of Plainfield High School’s news magazine, told the House Education Committee Thursday that her staff, for the first time in 20 years, is facing censorship by the school’s administration.After publishing the first issue of the year, “Plainfield High School’s Dating Survival Guide,” Nattam said there was immediate and unexpected negativity from school leaders.The current name of the publication — The Shakeout — was not chosen by the staff. After their first issue in October, their principal noted that its original name — The Shakedown — had mafia connotations. He soon ordered them to find a new title.“So far, they’ve made pretty minor changes,” Nattam said. “But it’s going to be like a snowball effect. If they’re changing this now, what are they going to change later?”Though Nattam does not plan on becoming a professional journalist, she said her work still deserves the necessary freedom to capture the truth in student life.That is why she and dozens of students from Indiana high schools traveled to the Statehouse Thursday to hear and testify on House Bill 1016, authored by Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany.HB 1016, which passed out of the committee by a 9-2 vote, would require administrators and student media advisers to set guidelines for student journalists and their publications.“This legislation leaves school officials with a high level of control. School officials hire the teachers and make the rules,” Clere said. “All this does is help ensure when students and teachers play by the rules, the important speech will not be censored just because it makes government officials uncomfortable because of the information or topics presented.”Clere said student journalists have a special importance to a school community in that they can capture the truth in the experiences of their peers.In The Shakeout‘s first issue, Nattam said some of these important issues included LGBTQ+ interests, dating violence and how to find a lasting relationship.“There was really nothing unlawful in that issue,” Nattam said. “But, because a school board member felt uncomfortable about it, now we are under prior review and have to show everything we publish to administrators, people who have no experience in journalism.”Plainfield Community Schools declined to comment on Nattam’s testimony.Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, told Nattam to be proud of defending her constitutional rights.Rep. Edward Clere, R-New Albany, listens to testimony on House Bill 1016, which he authored. Photo by Eddie Drews,“I take it the reason you’re up here is that you’re upset your constitutional rights are being infringed,” Lucas said. “It’s good to see you and so many people up here fighting for your constitutional rights.”Dr. J.T. Coopman, executive director of the Indiana Association of Public Schools, offered a different perspective.“School-sponsored publications are a public relations tool, but without the guidance and oversight from the administration, a school-sponsored publication can become a public relations nightmare,” Coopman said.Lisa Tanselle, general counsel for the Indiana School Boards Association, echoed claims made by other organizations, saying a student’s rights should be limited because there are “alternative avenues” for voicing concerns to an administration, such as through social media.“We are talking about a balancing act,” Tanselle said. “No right is pure. The court has already struck that balance between the right of a student and the right of a school administrator.”Of the school representatives who testified, some said there is a harmonious relationship between administrators and student media in their schools.David Clark, the principal of Columbus North High School, said journalism programs can only thrive with a trusting administration.“Everyone believes that students should be responsible, so let’s create an environment where they can learn to do just that. Shouldn’t we proactively educate by creating an environment of thoughtfulness and trust? It works,” he said.Students of Plainfield High School students are among the many who turned out for HB 1016. Photo by Claire Castillo TheStatehouseFile.comThough only two members voted against HB 1016, several who voted yes raised concerns.Rep. Sheila Klinker, D-Lafayette, and Rep. Jack Jordan, R-Bremen, both said they wanted to see more clarification in the bill’s language. Klinker proposed amending the bill to gain more support from administrators currently in opposition to HB 1016.Rep. Woody Burton, R-Whiteland, and Rep. Tony Cook, R-Cicero, voted no.While Cook voted yes on last year’s version of the bill, he changed his vote this session after saying HB 1016 does not do enough to unite administrators and student media.Last session, the bill’s predecessor passed in both the House Education Committee and in the House. It later died in the Senate.Clere said that HB 1016 is especially relevant this session. The Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier decision turns 30 this month, signaling a decades-long run for the landmark case that put high school journalism under a different set of rules.For Clare, the consequences of the Hazelwood decision deprive student journalists of a rigorous, real-world environment.“The stronger the censorship, the weaker the education,” Clere said.FOOTNOTE: Erica Irish is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Tuesday July 2nd Local Sports

first_img— other softballNorth Butler 4, Newman 2Waukee 12-2, Mason City High 0-0Central Springs 25, North Iowa 2Rockford 7, Central Springs 3Charles City 5, Crestwood 0Forest City 12, Lake Mills 2Garner-Hayfield-Ventura 8, Lake Mills 3Iowa Falls-Alden 7, Hampton-Dumont 4Nashua-Plainfield 10, Riceville 9 (9) CLEAR LAKE — Kameryn Etherington hit a two-run homer in the top of the first and fired a shutout to lead Algona to a 6-0 win over Clear Lake last night in North Central Conference softball, as you heard on AM-1490 & 96.7-FM KRIB. Etherington had a three-hit shutout, striking out eight and walking two. Clear Lake drops to 8-12 overall and 4-8 in the conference and will travel to St. Ansgar tonight ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Wild zeroed in on Mats Zuccarello in free agency for a top-six forward group in need of a new look. With a five-year, $30 million contract the right wing agreed when the market opened, Zuccarello has given the Wild another 30-plus core player on a major deal. General manager Paul Fenton is upbeat about the makeup of the roster, though, stressing the importance of experience and competitiveness to surround the young players on the roster. The Wild also added right wing Ryan Hartman. DES MOINES — A year ago at this time Darian DeVries was trying to put a roster together just to be competitive. After a surprising first season that included a share of the Missouri Valley regular season title the Drake Bulldogs men’s basketball team is much more experienced heading into next season.DeVries says nobody is satisfied after last season.DeVries says despite having an experienced nucleus there are several new faces in summer workouts. — other baseball from MondayNewman 15, North Butler 0 (4 innings)Forest City 2, Lake Mills 1Lake Mills 14, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura 5West Fork 7, Northwood-Kensett 3 (Game 1)West Fork 7, Northwood-Kensett 0 (Game 2) WAUKEE — A day after finding their way into the Class 4A rankings, the Mason City High baseball team dropped a doubleheader at Waukee. The Mohawks had a three-run homer late in the opener from Dylan Miller, but Mason City fell 5-4 in eight innings. The Mohawks then dropped game two 6-2. Dawson Wedeking had three hits and three runs batted in on the night. Mason City drops to 18-10 on the season and will host Marshalltown in a doubleheader that starts at 3 o’clock on Wednesday afternoon at Roosevelt Field.center_img TONIGHT:AM-1300 KGLO, — Newman softball at Mason City High — 7:30 MASON CITY – Michael Donovan will take over as the head coach for the NIACC men’s soccer program.Donovan takes over for Leo Driscoll, who was NIACC’s head men’s and women’s coach in 2018.Donovan will be the sixth men’s head coach in the NIACC men’s program, which started in 2001.Donovan was an assistant for both the men’s and women’s programs at NIACC in the 2018 season. He will also be the women’s assistant coach in 2019.Donovan played for the Trojans in the 2016-17 seasons. He was a second-team all-region defender during his freshman season.Donovan won seven state championships as a youth playing for Pace FC and AFC Totton in England. He also won five state championships and one national title playing for Southampton Development academy.NIACC will begin workouts in the first week of August. The Trojans open their exhibition season Aug. 13 at Waldorf University and kick off the regular season Aug. 25 at home against Lake Superior College. CLEAR LAKE — Ethan McHenry delivered a walkoff single in the bottom of the seventh to give Clear Lake a 7-6 win over Algona in North Central Conference baseball last night. McHenry finished the night with two runs batted in while Andrew Formanek also drove in two. Mac Adams picked up the win, going five-and-a-third innings, striking out three. Clear Lake is now 10-11 overall and 6-3 in the conference. The Lions travel to Cherokee later today. MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Lynx forward Karima Christmas-Kelly will miss the rest of the season with an injury to her right knee. The Lynx said Monday that an MRI taken at Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis revealed the injury. The team says Christmas-Kelly will have surgery tomorrow. The eight-year veteran out of Duke University appeared in six games in her first season with the Lynx, averaging 2.7 points, 0.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game.last_img read more