Giving students the right to report

In the 1960s, peace symbols were prohibited on campuses. The Vietnam War was rampant and students were eager to make their voices heard, but they were not allowed to publish anti-war editorials in their school papers. Eager to write freely and honestly, high school journalists soon began to leave their school publications for underground newspapers.

Teachers and advisers, afraid of losing their student journalists, began writing what would later become California Education Code 48907, a law that gives student journalists the same rights as professional journalists.

The peace signs and editorials were revived, and student journalists took to using their publications to tackle controversial topics and give a platform to the student voice.

Under California Education Code 48907, student journalists are safe to voice their opinions and discuss controversial issues without the fear of being censored. The right to report is essential to free expression, recognizing that each story has multiple perspectives. It is imperative that high school journalists are able to cover topics that might be considered uncomfortable, because they are relevant to our community. However, the Panther Prowler, must cover these issues thoughtfully and responsibly.

As a publication, the Panther Prowler seeks to represent the voices of our student body in the most accurate way possible. We reserve the right to publish factual news articles, as well as persuasive and well-informed editorials. The Panther Prowler welcomes a multitude of opinions and beliefs, and we firmly defend our right to express ourselves.

With control over what we publish, comes the responsibility to produce quality content. Content that is “obscene, libelous, or slanderous,” is not covered under California Education Code 48907 and will not be tolerated by the Panther Prowler. We strive to uphold journalistic integrity and serve our student body.

Every student has their own story, and we will tell it. Instead of going underground, we will bring issues to light. Under California Education Code 48907, we become empowered with the freedom of expression.

 

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