15 Sep 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by photonrecorder
Patch Instagram photo by photonrecorder
Patch Instagram photo by photonrecorder
Patch Instagram photo by photonrecorder
Patch Instagram photo by photonrecorder

Shelton High Journalists Challenge Censorship of School Newspaper

Shelton High Journalists Challenge Censorship of School Newspaper

Shelton High School student reporter Caroline Steadham is speaking out on censorship, the CT Post reports. 

She, and others who write for the Gael Winds school paper, said Headmaster Beth Smith reviewed each issue of the newspaper before it went to print, and edited writers' work.

Steadham told the CT Post, "I understand that it is a precautionary measure, but journalism is not about pleasing everyone. It is about getting the point across, especially to teenagers, in our case. And there are certain ways to be productive in doing so."

Recent graduate Neel Swamy, former opinion editor of the  newspaper, said Smith allegedly changed a direct quote in an article and said that action violates "one of the most sacred rules of journalism."

The Shelton students are working with executive director of the Student Press Law Center, Frank LoMonte. He was contacted by the students to help with the issue.

"I would never suggest racing to court, but there is no question laws have been broken," LoMonte told the CT Post.

School Superintendent Freeman Burr said in an email that Gael Winds articles have always been subject to review before they are published.

LoMonte wrote a letter to Burr on behalf of the students telling him that he didn't see anything inappropriate in any of the copies of the newspapers he reviewed. He also said the newspaper's production does not eliminate the right to free speech.

Steadham said she will return to work at the school paper in the fall and will continue to fight for free speech.

To read the full article in the CT Post, click here.

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