Nation’s largest journalism teaching organization condemns Hazelwood censorship

Earlier this month, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication approved a unanimous resolution urging schools to refrain from censorship made lawful by the Supreme Court’s 1988 ruling in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier. 

Now, another group of journalism educators is speaking out against censorship of scholastic journalism. On Tuesday, the Journalism Education Association’s board of directors unanimously approved a resolution endorsing AEJMC’s stand.

“As the leading scholastic journalism education group, we must stand tall and scream at injustice,” JEA President Mark Newton said in a statement. “Make no mistake, the Hazelwood Supreme Court decision and its subsequent interpretations are an injustice to education, students, advisers and the First Amendment.”

The disapproval of the nation’s leading journalism educators is of legal significance because the Supreme Court declared in Hazelwood that schools could lawfully censor their students’ “curricular” speech to advance legitimate educational concerns. The JEA and AEJMC are now on record declaring that dampening the discussion of controversial issues should not be recognized by courts as a legitimate educational objective that can justify censorship.

JEA has more than 2,500 members and is the largest association for scholastic journalism teachers and advisers. Read the JEA resolution here.