For Immediate Release: December 3, 2021
Contact: Andrew Benson | abenson@SPLC.org
Washington, DC— The Student Press Law Center is excited to award the 2021 Courage in Student Journalism Award to the RedEye at duPont Manual High School in Louisville, Kentucky. Students within the Journalism and Communication magnet program exposed Nazi and antisemitic language and images in Kentucky State Police training materials. That training urged officers to be “ruthless killers” and used quotes by Adolf Hitler advocating for violence. Their story prompted action from the governor and spurred national media coverage and conversations regarding the training of law enforcement.
SPLC executive director Hadar Harris said, “The students at duPont Manual High School showed incredible courage and tenacity in exposing abhorrent materials included in Kentucky State Police training materials. Their reporting not only reflects the values celebrated by the Courage in Student Journalism Award— but it is also an excellent example of the impact student journalists can make when they do their job as journalists, have the support of their adviser and school, and pursue a story, even when it impacts powerful government actors.”
“DuPont Manual’s Journalism & Communication magnet is extremely proud of the investigative work and dedicated research by our student journalists,” RedEye Adviser James Miller said. “We had a hunch that this story would both have impact and go viral, but we did not anticipate just how much impact it would have and how much reach the story would eventually have. I saw news stories about our students’ investigation in Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Hebrew, French and German.”
The Courage in Student Journalism Award is given annually to an outstanding high school news organization that speaks truth to power and demonstrates outstanding support for student press freedom. The Courage in Student Journalism Award is presented in partnership with the Center for Scholastic Journalism at Kent State University and the National Scholastic Press Association. The Center for Scholastic Journalism also provides a $1,000 prize to the winning organization.
Student Press Law Center: Since 1974, the Student Press Law Center has worked to support, promote and defend the First Amendment and freedom of expression rights of student journalists at the high school and college level, and the advisers who support them. Working at the intersection of law, journalism and education, SPLC runs the nation’s only free legal hotline for student journalists. We also provide training, educational resources and support the grassroots non-partisan New Voices movement, seeking state-based legislative support for student press freedom. The SPLC is an independent, non-profit 501c(3) organization based in Washington, D.C.