Censored Colorado students to receive Iowa State SPJ’s First Amendment award

Two student editors from Overland High School in Colorado will be honored by next week by the Iowa State University chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Lori Schafer and Jaclyn Gutierrez say principal Leon Lundie shut down their newspaper and removed their adviser after they wrote a story about a student who died. The school district now says the adviser was never removed and that the newspaper will continue.

Schafer and Gutierrez will receive “Champion of the First Amendment” awards at a First Amendment Day event held on the Iowa State Campus, the SPJ chapter announced Friday in a news release.

Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, praised the students journalists’ efforts on behalf of the Overland Scout.

“Their poised resolve against school bullying tactics probably saved their publication from being shut down, and the nationwide attention they have helped bring to the plague of censorship will help countless other young people who come after them,” LoMonte said in the release.

The event is scheduled for April 7 at ISU in Ames, Iowa. LoMonte will deliver the keynote address.