Nick Allen on what school leaders might learn from Fyre Fest. Yes, for real.
Nice Teacher of the Year nod for a Virginia teacher in a non-traditional setting. At Bellwether we do both policy work and direct advising of agencies serving adjudicated youth – it’s an often overlooked part of the sector so this is great to see.
Mary Landrieu on Dems and charter schools.
Pondiscio on the freedom to teach content.
A few weeks ago we talked about the not infrequent “can you force students to say the Pledge of Allegiance?” stories. The answer is no and it’s been settled for decades but it’s nonetheless a fun one to write about especially when administrators overreact.
Another version of this kind of thing is the always popular can school administrators restrict student newspapers angle? This one obviously hold special appeal for journalists. Except here again the answer is largely settled at the SCOTUS (it’s yes) but still we get stories like this one these days often infused with some Trump overtones. This particular story the student journalists are working on seems important and like good journalism but also complicated for administrators given that a student is involved and that students may have accessed porn as part of a school activity and possibly from school computers, in the reporting of it. In any event, each of these instances is not a complete jump ball on First Amendment issues no matter how much people may wish that were so. California not surprisingly has additional law about student expression, but this instance may still be problematic given the nature of the story the students want to publish.
The contest over student press rights is unfolding as President Trump continues to deride journalists as the “Enemy of the People” and as the United States is downgraded to 48th among 180 nations in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index.
It is within this context that the faculty adviser, Kathi Duffel, has remained resolute in her refusal to seek the district’s approval to run the story. She says the rights of her students are on the line.
“I tell the kids, ‘Free speech isn’t free, is it?’” she said in an interview with The Washington Post. The prospect that she could lose her job — one she has held for more than three decades — brings her to tears, said Duffel, 57.
But there are higher values at stake. One of them, she said, is sheer storytelling.
“This young woman has quite a story to tell,” Duffel said. “She has every right to tell her story, and we have every right to report it.”
Yeah, no. Probably not quite that straightforward here.
*Disc – Bellwether is advising on this work.