First Amendment

Essay by vika March 2004

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The First Amendment

The First Amendment reads "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of press." Yet in many instances these precious words, which have, through the years, carried the United States to its progressive and successful future. It has been violated by the sacred institution of public education. The school newspaper is the means by which students can learn about events in their school or issues their town, region or country. Two articles, which caused bitter debate at East Hazelwood High School, dealt with "Teenage Pregnancy" and "The Impact of Divorce on Students." These articles were prohibited from being published by school principal because the articles involved students from the high school. The school's newspaper is the means of communication between the students. Students should have a right to the First Amendment.

It is true that the newspaper is sponsored by the school, and therefore, you may think, should be controlled by the school.

However, the students may have different opinions from the school officials. If the school newspaper is to exist at all, it has to be under the students' control and supervision. "Some people argue that the school's have the duty, indeed an obligation, to introduce students to only the highest values and morals with the hopes that the students will emulate them."(Hechinger 272) It is not the schools responsibility to determine what holds the highest value or morals. It is our government's responsibility to protect our First Amendment rights of freedom of speech. "The principal of Hazelwood East High School censored article from edition of the Spectrum on divorce's impact on kids may have lifelong effects."(Carroll 271) The principal is wrong about censoring article, because students like other people should have a right to discuss issues that could help them in the...