Editors of Neshaminy High School’s student newspaper, The Playwickian, decided to ban the school’s mascot name, the Redskins, from publication on the grounds that it was a racist term.
The Playwickian, which made national news last year after administrators punished the paper for not printing the word Redskins, has had its budget cut to $2,000 for the school year.
Tanvi Kumar, former editor-in-chief of Cardinal Columns at Wisconsin’s Fond du Lac High School and co-editors Gillian McGoldrick and Reed Hennessy of The Playwickian at Pennsylvania’s Neshaminy High School will share the Courage award, presented annually to recognize students who show exceptional fortitude in overcoming adversity to bring important stories to the public.
The Student Press Law Center and Journalism Education Association Scholastic Press Rights Commission condemned the actions of the Neshaminy School District in Pennsylvania Wednesday, following the District’s retaliatory and illegal actions calculated to punish the Playwickian student newspaper, its editors and its adviser.
Robert Copeland, the superintendent of Neshaminy School District, suspended adviser Tara Huber on Tuesday and Wednesday, said Maddy Buffardi, the newspaper’s opinion editor.
Student editors say they will continue to challenge publication and social media policies approved Thursday by the Neshaminy School Board.
The Neshaminy school board will vote Thursday on whether to change the publication policies of The Playwickian, the student newspaper at the high school.
Neshaminy High School’s principal questioned all 21 editors at The Playwickian this week asking who made the decision to print a newspaper that didn’t pass his prior review.
Neshaminy High School administrators confiscated the student newspaper’s final issue of the year Friday, after students printed the paper without administrative approval following renewed disagreement over the students’ ban on the word “Redskins.”
The last few months for the students of Neshaminy High School’s The Playwickian haven’t been easy. As the student staff has fought administrators for editorial control, their adviser Tara Huber has stood behind them at every step. Tuesday night, Huber found out she was being named Journalism Teacher of the Year by the Pennsylvania High School Press Association.
“It makes it worth continuing to fight the good fight,” Huber said.
In October, the staff announced they wouldn’t use the word Redskin – the school’s mascot – because they say it’s a racial slur. Administrators pushed back and demanded students print it.