Student voices are needed more than ever

2020 has been a year filled with local and national unrest. The COVID-19 pandemic and recent protests regarding racial injustices have largely exposed the faults within our current society. Now more than ever, student perspectives are needed to help guide the future at this turning point in history.

This is not the first time that students have spoken up about critical issues impacting our communities. During the 1960s, student publications ran countless articles challenging the legitimacy of fighting in the Vietnam War. School administration found ways to censor students who wanted to speak up in order to limit pushback, but students still found ways to express their thoughts on the situation honestly and truthfully. 

The rights of student journalists were solidified in 1969 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the freedom of speech for students was protected beyond the schoolhouse gate in the landmark “Tinker v. Des Moines” case. California Education Code 48907 was passed in 1977, which gave student journalists the same freedoms of expression as their professional counterparts. 

Under the protection of Ed Code 48907, the Panther Prowler aims to maintain accurate and timely reporting of local and national news and to honestly represent the concerns of our student body. There have been times at which officials and community members have tried to silence the Panther Prowler, but our thoughts and opinions are paramount to the success of our schools and future students.

In 2020, student journalists are committed to amplifying the voices of those who typically are not included in decision-making conversations. This is a year where students will vote in elections, where students are marching in the streets demanding racial equality, and a year in which education has been affected by the lasting consequences of a pandemic. These topics may be uncomfortable or controversial to many, but they are also necessary to discuss as students learn to navigate through adolescence and adulthood. In a world that is already so divided, the Panther Prowler is committed to broadcasting the truth about these issues.

It should be made clear that the Panther Prowler is a completely student-run publication that does not aim to put forth a political agenda or the values of an administration or journalism adviser. The student editors are fully responsible for all the content that is published and to uphold the values of factual, proper journalism. Despite the obstacles that come with remote learning and staying quarantined, the Panther Prowler will continue to strive for quality reporting to ensure that all perspectives are heard during this critical time.

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