State-wide prior review case in Hawaii still lingers

\nHAWAII – Hawaii’s department of education confronted some\nmajor criticism last fall after proposing a guideline that would\nhave required public school administrators throughout the state\nto exercise prior review over all student publications. Several\nrejected proposals later, the department has now issued a draft\nproposal stating that each school needs to set up its own guidelines\nregarding prior review, according to Patti Shannon, former director\nof Hawaii’s Journalism Education Association.

“Each school shall develop rules, guidelines and procedures\nfor the review of student publications,” the draft states.

The proposal arose after the board of education paid an $80,000\nsettlement to the families of two African-American students who\nbelieved a caption in their yearbook at Kalaheo High School was\nracially offensive.

Hawaii would have been the first state to require administrative\nprior review of student publications, a practice generally condemned\nby newspaper advisers. Shannon said she believed the proposed\nguidelines were more concerned with preventing another lawsuit\nthan with promoting responsible journalism.

The final draft is expected to be out this summer.