Proposed Seattle School-Newspaper Policy Raises Censorship Concerns

Marion Herbert's picture
Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A proposal being considered by the Seattle School Board could have a chilling impact on free speech in the city's high schools, First Amendment activists say.

The proposed policy would give principals the authority to review high-school newspapers before they are published and would allow them to stop publication if they deem material to be libelous, obscene or "not in keeping with the school's instructional mission and values," among other criteria.

The proposal was introduced along with dozens of other policy updates at last week's School Board meeting, and it has since been debated on various neighborhood blogs.

Two top editors at the Ballard High School paper, The Talisman, spent the weekend posting signs around the school titled "Student 1st Amendment Rights at Risk."

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