By the Editorial Board
The battle for free speech in schools, both public and private, has been a long and arduous one. There are student reporters across the country, from high schools, public colleges and private universities, who have to fight in order to have their voices heard.
In the case of Hazelwood School District vs. Kuhlmeier (1988), high school students from Hazelwood East High School in Missouri sued their principal after he censored a special section from the student newspaper that included articles on teen pregnancy and the impact of divorce on students. The case made its way to the Supreme Court, which decided that it “a high school-sponsored newspaper produced as part of a class,” the principal could censor the stories where he demonstrated a reasonable educational justification and where their censorship was viewpoint neutral. Many states have anti-censorship New Voices laws to benefit student journalists.
As college journalists, the student reporters and editors on the Pioneer support press freedom for all student journalists. We too face challenges in our reporting, including delayed responses that lead to missed deadlines and incomplete stories, non-tenured professors scared to speak openly for fear of losing their jobs, student workers being advised not to speak, and budget cuts so we are forced to print fewer copies with fewer pages.
Yet even with these challenges, our staff perseveres. The Pioneer will continue to be a source of honestly and fairly reported news on campus for students and staff to depend on and will proudly support the press freedom of our peers.
For anyone interested in supporting The Pioneer and student journalists nationwide, we encourage to share the hashtag #StudentPressFreedom on social media.