A High School Teacher Stood Up Her Students' Free Speech Rights. She Got Suspended.

Free speech doesn't end at the classroom door.

|

"High School Journalism Teacher Suspended After Standing Up for Student Reporters' Free Speech Rights," produced and shot by Zach Weissmueller. Music by Rho. About 7 minutes.

Original release date was October 23, 2015. Writeup below:

Administrators at one California high school reacted in all the wrong ways when student reporters tried to write a newspaper article about the recent dismissal of a popular teacher and debate coach.

San Gabriel High School principal Jim Schofield sent an email telling newspaper adviser Jennifer Kim to kill the story and suggested running a fluffy profile piece instead. Kim backed her students when they wanted to fight for their right to publish, and she was later suspended and remains on indefinite administrative leave. Officials from San Gabriel High and the Alhambra Unified School District declined to comment.

The free speech rights of public high school students can be a complicated matter, so Reason TV brought in Ken White, a First Amendment attorney, blogger at Popehat, and Reason contributing editor, to parse some of legal issues. He says that although the Supreme Court and California law offer some guidance, he's concerned about an educational environment in which administrators model anti-speech values.

"I worry about a generation of kids whose rights have not only been taken away but who have been taught by overcautious school administrators to scorn rights, to not believe in them, and to question them," says White.

Related video: Reason TV's interview with Robby Soave on the 3 of the Most F*cked-Up College Campus Stories of the Year!

NEXT: Federal Reserve Blocks 'Marijuana Bank' in Colorado

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I’m guessing that the principal wanted sexual favors from the teacher in question, and fired him when he wouldn’t put out. Of course, that’s just speculation. Maybe if some student reporters were allowed to investigate the story and report their findings, I could come to a different conclusion.

    Until such time as that is allowed to happen, I will go with my assumption that Jim Schofield is a sexual-harassing shitlord.

    -jcr

    1. Something something woodchipper.

    2. It is within the realm of possibility that San Gabriel High School principal, Jim Schofield, is only able to become sexually aroused by viewing images of necrophilic content involving children younger than 9, and has acted upon these desires. While there is no evidence to firmly concluded that San Gabriel High School principal, Jim Schofield, is only able to become sexually aroused by viewing images of necrophilic content involving children younger than 9 and has acted upon these desires, it is also possible that San Gabriel High School principal, Jim Schofield, is only able to become sexually aroused by viewing images of necrophilic content involving children younger than 9, but has not yet acted upon these desires. The possibility that San Gabriel High School principal, Jim Schofield, is a pedophile and necrophiliac exists, and evidence should be supplied either way to prove or disprove the possibility that Jim Schofield, is only able to become sexually aroused by viewing images of necrophilic content involving children younger than 9, and may have acted upon these desires.

  2. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……

    http://www.homejobs90,com

    1. Do you have anything for a former high school journalism teacher who was recently fired for protecting the free speech of his students? Because that might be helpful. Otherwise, not so much.

      And what the hell is “$4Oh”? Is that like Haitian dollars? If it is, I think I’ll pass.

  3. If the paper is funded by the school they don’t really have a case. Freedom of the press doesn’t imply the right to have someone else to fund you.

    1. I think California has a law for that.

  4. Good for the Matador paper and those young journalists.

    One can only hope they maintain this impulse for free speech into their adult years.

    They’re gonna need a bigger woodchipper though.

  5. Specifically, good for Simon Yung and all those kids. Man, they show up and make their voices heard. Awesome.

    And California seems to at least be on the right side of free speech when it comes to this topic.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.