Indiana adviser and student journalists at Louisiana college and Minnesota high school recognized for First Amendment battles

An Indiana student media adviser who lost her job after standing up for herstudent newspaper staff, a Minnesota high school editor who successfully foughta school board policy that would have allowed for much greater administrativecensorship, and a Louisiana college editor who battled his school to overcomethe shutdown of his newspaper and a proposed prior review policy, were allrecently recognized by the Student Press Law Center and other groups for theircourage and support in the fight for student press freedom.

Amy Sorrell, former student media adviser and journalism teacher at WoodlanHigh School in Indiana, and Eric Sheforgen, a graduate of St. Francis HighSchool in Minnesota, received the 2007 Courage in Student Journalism Awards. Theaward, which includes a $5,000 cash prize, was presented Nov. 10 by the Newseum,the Student Press Law Center and the National Scholastic Press Association atthe JEA/NSPA national convention in Philadelphia. Darryl D. Smith, former editorof The Gramblinite at Grambling State University in Louisiana, was the winner ofthe 2007 College Press Freedom Award, sponsored by the SPLC and the AssociatedCollegiate Press, presented Oct. 27 at the ACP/CMA national convention inWashington, DC.

Read the full press releases: School Courage in Student Journalism Awards)

(College in Press Freedom Award)

SPLC View: Congratulations to all of this year’s very deservingaward winners. One of the highlights of the SPLC staff’s year is having theopportunity to publicly acknowledge at least a few of the many courageous andinspirational young people and educators that we have had the opportunity towork with over the past twelve months. We truly wish that we could toot the hornof all of our nominees. As the saying goes: freedom isn’t free. Our winners –and all of you who have stood, despite serious personal and professional risks,to fight for what you believe — are important reminders of that, and we aresincerely grateful. If you know of a student, adviser or administrator who hastaken a stand for student press freedom and deserves recognition, we encourageyou to nominate them for one of our 2008 free press awards. Information isavailable on our Web site at: