High school newspaper in Arkansas suspended

The+Arkansas+Democrat-Gazette
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High school newspaper in Arkansas suspended

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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An entire high school newspaper suspended?? A teacher’s job at risk?? Both of these things occurred at Har-Ber High School when their school’s newspaper published an article about five varsity football players who had transferred out of the school to Springdale High School in the middle of the 2017 school year. Halle Roberts, the editor-in-chief of the Har-Ber Herald, along with the other members of the school newspaper immediately questioned the legitimacy of these students’ high school transfers, so they began to look into the situation.

Due to the district’s policy, students cannot transfer schools because they want to play a sport for a different team, yet they can play after an academic transfer. The Har-Ber Herald discovered that on legal papers, the parents of the five players had each written that they had requested a school transfer for academic reasons. However, the school newspaper had previously interviewed the students who had transferred, and two of these students said that they transferred schools because of football.

Days after the school newspaper published this story, a deputy superintendent asked them to take the article down. The principal of the school, Paul Griep, also soon decided that all printed material of the Har-Ber Herald must be approved by him before publication. Furthermore, Griep stated that if the newspaper continued publishing articles, the teacher’s job would be at high risk.

How can a high school’s newspaper be suspended for using its freedom of speech? The newspaper simply researched and reported on the information they found. Reporting the truth should not be prohibited just because it isn’t what a school district or principal wants to hear. Everyone has freedom of speech, and this includes student journalists. Why not let them actually use it?

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