Scholastic journalism organizations support essential coverage of Black Lives Matter movement

white logo saying SPLC and Student Press Law Center on a bright blue background

A joint statement from the Student Press Law Center, Journalism Education Association and National Scholastic Press Association: Faced with unprecedented challenges this year, student journalists across the country have demonstrated remarkable fidelity in practicing the journalistic process. As professional news organizations model daily, reporting on newsworthy events is the duty of any media outlet. Scholastic… Continue reading Scholastic journalism organizations support essential coverage of Black Lives Matter movement

“We’re documenting history”: How students are reporting, producing and distributing yearbooks during the coronavirus pandemic

Photo courtesy of Samantha Berry, yearbook adviser at Bridgeland High School in Cypress, Texas. Because the school was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Berry's students had to work late nights on laptops from cars parked in the school's lot to get the server access they needed to finish the yearbook.

At the beginning of March, yearbook staffs around the country were putting the final touches on spreads they'd been working on for months, getting ready to send final copies to printing plants to be printed and distributed like normal. Now, just weeks later, the COVID-19 outbreak has thrown yearbook students and advisers into chaos.  RELATED:… Continue reading “We’re documenting history”: How students are reporting, producing and distributing yearbooks during the coronavirus pandemic

Texas high school yearbook recalled after “Ugly Hoe” caption discovered

On the heels of another high school yearbook prankIrving High School in Irving, Tex., recalled every copy of the 2012-13 yearbook last week after realizing that a student’s name had been changed to “Ugly Hoe” in a photo caption, the Dallas Observer reported.

The person who changed the student’s name has not yet been identified, said Lesley Weaver, the school district's director of communications.

“We can speculate, but we don’t know definitively,” Weaver said.

Missouri high school junior arrested for yearbook prank

Kaitlyn Booth, 17, a junior at Hickman High School in Columbia, Mo., was arrested earlier this month after a prank in which she she changed a student's last name to "Masturbate" in the 2013 yearbook.Booth faces charges of harassment as well as first-degree property damage, a felony, in addition to unspecified school punishment.The name change is found on page 270 of the yearbook, the page that features the index.

Tennessee school board vows “investigation” of yearbook over gay student’s profile story

Responding to fierce public criticism, the Lenoir City, Tenn., school board is investigating the decision to publish an article in the 2012 Lenoir City High School yearbook in which a student describes his decision to come out publicly as gay.Today's Knoxville News-Sentinel reports that, during a discussion of the yearbook article at Wednesday's board meeting, Chairwoman Rosemary Quillen promised "a permanent solution so that situations like this never happen again."Nothing was said publicly about the status of English department chairman and yearbook adviser James Yoakley, an 11-year veteran of LCHS who has been the target of public hostility.

Miss. student settles lawsuit after being excluded from yearbook because of her tuxedo

The Mississippi teenager whose yearbook portrait was removed because she wore a tuxedo will have her photo displayed alongside her classmates’ in the school library, as part of a settlement reached with the school district last week.The Copiah County School District also will scrap its portrait policy that required male students to wear tuxedos and female students to wear drapes for their official yearbook photos, the ACLU of Mississippi announced.Instead, all students will don graduation caps and gowns for their photos.Ceara Sturgis, a 2010 graduate of the Wesson Attendance Center, filed a discrimination lawsuit “on the basis of sex and on the basis of sex stereotypes” against the eastern Mississippi school district in August 2010.Sturgis, who prefers more masculine clothing, felt “uncomfortable” wearing the drape, designed to mimic a dress, in her photo.

S.D.-area school officials lose jobs after raiding student extracurricular accounts

One of the most distressing calls we get on the Student Press Law Center's hotline is some variation of this one: "We came back from summer break and discovered that all the money in our yearbook account is gone, and nobody will tell us where it went."Cash-strapped schools undoubtedly are tempted by any pot of money, even one that is earmarked for a student organization, in their desperation to pay the bills.