School wins national First Amendment award


Torch Coverage

Kennedy High School is one of five schools in the nation to receive the 2012 First Amendment Press Freedom Award. The FAPFA honor will be presented next Thursday, April 12, at the opening ceremony of the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle.

Recognition was given to five public high schools that actively support, teach, and protect First Amendment rights and responsibilities of students and teachers, with an emphasis on student-run media.

Winning schools completed two rounds of questions about prior review, student decision making, and removal of Internet filters. All advisers, student editors, and the principal completed applications for the final determinations.

“This is not just an honor for the newspaper, literary magazine and yearbook staff,” Kara Asmussen, adviser of Profile yearbook, said. “It speaks to the commitment and support of our teachers and administrators.”

This event “underscores the importance of state law for student press rights and local support for student expression,” Stacy Haynes-More, adviser of Torch newspaper, said.

The Kennedy application also included representation by the school’s creative arts literary magazine, advised by Leah Goodmanson.

Two of the five honored schools are in Iowa. Iowa is one of seven states with legislation that specifically addresses and supports student press freedoms and rights. The CRCSD policy on student publications (609, 609. 1 and 609.1a) is available online at the district web site.

Other schools to receive the 2012 FAPFA honor include Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Mo.; Johnston (Iowa) High School; Kirkwood (Mo.) High School; and Orange Glen High School, Escondido, Calif.

Press Release/For immediate release