Mr. to publish a certain article would be

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court. My name is Tierney McConnell and I am representing Kuhlmeier in the case Hazelwood School Dist. v. Kuhlmeier before this court. At Hazelwood East High School journalism students were given the assignment to write a 6-page newspaper for the school that was to be published before the end of the year. The principal at Hazelwood East thought the two stories that talked about teen pregnancy and divorce were inappropriate, so he went ahead and deleted pages 4 and 5 that may contain offensive stories without telling the journalism students. They felt that their first amendment (freedom of speech, expression, and press) was violated because they were not able to make corrections to meet the requirements. First I would like to state there have been multiple articles published about pregnancies and divorces before. I would also like to state for articles allowed to be published they have to go through editing and approval. This also holds for the newspaper at Hazelwood East High. A rule was put in place where articles had to be approved from the journalism teacher and then from the principal to be published.Now, allowing the journalism teacher to say that it would not be okay for a student were to publish a certain article would be okay, because they had experience, and was qualified in this specific area. However allowing the principal (the faculty advisor) to say you can’t publish an article is not acceptable, because they (most of the time) will have an opinion based argument which could then lead to a violation of the first amendment. Having the principal as the faculty advisor would lead them to be able to censor anything they would not want in the school. This also means that the faculty advisor would be able to strike down any article shown to them because it may not suit them this would also violate their first amendment. For example, if a student wanted to go talk to a different teacher and one of the other teachers were to say you couldn’t because he/she didn’t like that or they don’t agree, they would be violating the student’s freedom of speech which is their first amendment right. In allowing students to make editorial decisions and to express their thoughts in the paper, the first amendment would be applied and would be protected. Next, I would like to touch on a point that I stated earlier, which is that principal could say opinionated statements and take actions that would not allow certain articles to be published, such as the two articles that were removed in this case before the paper was handed out in homeroom. One of the articles that was removed was a story of young students and how their experiences with birth control, pregnancy, and more as they related to their family lives. The next article was about a divorce of a freshman’s parents, why she thought they split, and why her name was involved. The Hazelwood School District may say that the principal could easily tell who the sorties were told by even though they were left anonymous. The students agreed to tell their stories and knew that they would be in a paper that would circulate around the school. Additionally, the paper goes back and forth from the students and teacher multiple times, and in those exchanges, the names of the students who were interviewed could have been decided to be left anonymous. The principal was not comfortable with the articles that he removed from the 6-page paper.  He may have felt that if he had allowed the two articles to be printed, there would be confrontations between parents. Due to writers and editors of the newspaper in certain situations, they are not supposed to be biased due to the viewpoints they may take because this would compromise the impractical nature of newspapers. In addition, because the principal was the faculty advisor he could say yes or no to anything which poses the question of whether or not he is “qualified” to do so? Both the journalism teacher and the long-term substitute for the class were qualified and well-experienced in journalism. While the principal may have had no experience in journalism and is therefore not qualified to make (opinion based) statements and actions to censor student expression. He was unqualified and violating the students’ right to freedom of the press. Thank you.