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Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier Case

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Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier Case - Page Text Content

BC: Citations | Fuller, Sarah Betsy. Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier. New Jersey: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 1998. Print.

FC: Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier | By: Hattie Firebaugh and Mary Frances Thurman

1: Table of Contents | Slides 2 - 7: Background of the Case Slides 8-11: Questions Addressed Slides 12-15: Reaching the SC & Questions Asked Slides 16-19: The Aftermath

2: On May 11, 1983 at Hazelwood East High School in Hazelwood, Missouri, students wrote and edited the school-sponsored newspaper called Spectrum. | Background Information of the Case

3: The school principal received the pages proofs and found 2 articles in the newspaper to be inappropriate because they discussed teen pregnancy and teen divorce.

4: Both articles refer to teenagers' hardships. The first article was about the pressure teens go through to having sex and getting pregnant. Pregnancy affects many teens and nearly 750,000 teens get pregnant each year.

5: The second article talks about teenage marriages and how high the divorce rate is (75%). It discusses all the reasons of why teenage marriages don't last and how younger people should not get rushed into getting married so soon.

6: He ordered that the pages on which the articles appeared be withheld from the public. For the article on pregnancy, Principal Reynolds felt that it would be obvious on who they were specifically talking about at school. He didn't want to make anyone feel embarrassed or ashamed.

7: Since he didn't allow these students to put the articles in the newspaper, the 2 students brought this case to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. In this lawsuit, the students wanted the court to address the fact that their First Amendment rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom of press were violated. After the judge ruled that their rights were not violated, this case went to the Supreme Court.

8: Questions Addressed | -"Do schools have to teach both viewpoints in class?" -"Could the adviser delete the stories because they might offend parents?"

9: -"But doesn't every newspaper have somebody who makes a judgment about whether something is going to offend the readers?" -"So who does that when the school publishes a newspaper?"

11: -"Could the teacher exclude all political articles favoring Republicans and accept only those favoring Democrats?" -"If the principal permits the topic of teenage sexuality, does he have to permit both sides of the issue, pro and con?"

12: When the Case Reached the Supreme Court | The Supreme Court ruled on a 5-8 split that the school administrators had the power to censor the articles in question. So in the end, the principal and school district won the case and they decided that the students' First Amendment rights were not violated.

13: The Questions of the Supreme Court | -"Is a student newspaper also a public forum?" -"Was Spectrum run by and for students as a place to communicate ideas and information?"

15: -"Did school authorities permit the students to write whatever they pleased without any interference by teachers or staff?" -"Was it part of the school curriculum, with content in policy, controlled by teachers and administrators?"

16: The Aftermath | 1. This decision required a valid educational reason for censorship in schools. 2. The courts have applied this decision to different situations to help determine whether speech is protected or not based on whether they pertained to the curriculum.

17: 3. The critics of the decision of this case formed organizations to convince state lawmakers to pass laws guaranteeing broader free speech rights than the ones the Supreme Court granted to allow more freedom of speech. 4. Legislators passed laws granting student publishers more rights than the Supreme Court had given them.

18: 5. Students who live in states where the Constitution is broader than the U.S. Constitution may have more control over the content of their student publications than students throughout the rest of the country. 6. It has resulted in some places in increased review of the paper before it's published, and pulling or changing stories to which principals opposed.

19: 7. The Planned Parenthood decision upheld censorship that went beyond what had been approved in the Hazelwood case. 8. At a school in Colombia County, Florida, parents filed a suit against the school district two weeks after the Hazelwood decision and the trial court ruled in favor of the school board because it relied on the Supreme Court decision from the Hazelwood case.

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