Private Schools and Student Media: Supporting Mission, Students, and Community

Private Schools and Student Media: Support Mission, Students, and Community explores the activities of student media outlets, content creators and advisers in K–12 private schools in the United States. The unique nature of private schools, separate from government funding but not all government oversight, creates its own opportunities and challenges for students seeking their own outlets to pursue questions, answers and voice. Through surveys and content analysis of schools, student media advisers and student media work, Salkin explores the reality of censorship in private schools—where the First Amendment does not play the same role as in public schools—and the perspectives of teachers who dedicate time, effort, and expertise to make the learning laboratory of the student newspaper or yearbook a reality. Ultimately, this book proposes that student media can be a significant asset to a private school’s mission, students, and school community: to prepare young people for lives of service and good citizenship.

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Student Speech Policy Readability in Public Schools: Interpretation, Application, and Elevation of Student Handbook Language

This book explores the issue of student speech in public schools from a student usability perspective. Public school students rely on student handbooks to give them clear guidance regarding their rights and responsibilities within their academic environments. The clarity of these documents becomes essential for students to understand their constitutional rights to free speech and expression in their schools. What do student handbooks say about free speech, if anything at all? How are these rights defined, and how is the language interpreted?

Salkin and Shenkel explore these questions by analyzing a sample of public high school student handbooks from across the country. Drawing from the results, the project proposes real-world suggestions for schools seeking to create student expression handbook language that is easily accessible to the audience it seeks to serve.

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Students’ Right to Speak: The First Amendment in Public Schools

In 1969, Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas called free speech in public schools a “hazardous freedom,” but one well worth the risk. A half-century later, with technology enabling students to communicate in ways only dreamed about in Fortas’ time, that freedom seems more hazardous than ever.

Yet still worth the risk, given equal respect for students’ First Amendment rights and for the requirements of an orderly educational institution. This book provides educators, administrators, school board members and parents a starting point in creating student speech policies that encourage the responsible exercise of constitutional freedoms, while respecting the learning environment.

The author discusses the history, sociology, law and philosophy surrounding student speech, demonstrating that free speech and effective teaching and administration in public schools are not mutually exclusive.

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