An entire generation of students has now grown up in an environment in which free speech in school is limited.
This January will mark the 25th anniversary of the Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier ruling, which restricted the First Amendment rights of students everywhere. Although this case was originally meant to apply to high school student journalists, its negative effects have spread across all public education, harming journalism, civics and critical thinking.
To encourage the fight for student free speech rights, it’s important to remember the Hazelwood case and its detrimental effects. The Student Press Law Center, University of North Carolina Center for Media Law and Policy, the First Amendment Law Review at the UNC School of Law and the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association are holding a two-day symposium, “One Generation Under Hazelwood: A 25-Year Retrospective on Student First Amendment Rights,” to be held Nov. 8-9 at UNC’s Chapel Hill, N.C., campus.
The symposium will bring together experts in journalism, civics, education and law, as well as students and school administrators to openly discuss how the Hazelwood decision has limited the participation of young people in civic processes.
The first day will focus on student censorship and the way limits on First Amendment rights affect student civic participation in the present and future. Day Two will feature leading scholars on the issue of student speech rights., including UC-Irvine School of Law dean Erwin Chemerinsky, General Counsel for the National School Boards Association Francisco Negron and Sam Chaltain, author of American Schools: The Art of Creating a Democratic Learning Community.