CHS Pylon

KSPA Under Threat

Gavin Sutton and Lillian Myers

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Last April, an associate principal at Shawnee High school took away a student’s camera during a school sponsored walkout. Students were outraged by this and accused associate principal Brock Wenciker of violating the Kansas Student Publication act.

 As the students exercised their right to a walkout allowed by the school in remembrance of the Columbine School Shooting of 1999, the walkout turned into a protest on gun control, and as the students voiced their opinions, Wenciker tried to suppress the coverage of the event.

The student was protected under the Kansas Student Publications Act, which specifically states: “Material shall not be suppressed solely because it involves political or controversial subject matter”

As a head principle of a high school in Kansas, Mr. Nate Showman understands the laws given to students and believes it is an essential part of learning social skills growing up

“Under the Kansas student publication act, students have more power, but more responsibility while handling that power”…”Students do have the power to full free speech except of course if it becomes obscene or becomes a massive disruption, if it is not a major disruption it is our duty to be supportive and we want our students to have a voice, we (teachers) want you (students) to be able to stand for what you believe in,” said Showman.

Propose the idea that that we weren’t protected, Showman said, “It would be drastically different around the state, but here at Central I believe that with the staff and administration we possess, I think we would do a great job to put out award winning papers year in and year out,”

In Showman’s professional opinion, state wide, we would see quite a large change.

Madeline Paradis, a Junior at Central High and Editor in Chief of the school newspaper, “The Pylon” , agrees.

“I feel that if our rights under the student publications act was taken away, there would be a level of distrust and distance between students and teachers,”

She goes on to state, “There is a lot of fake news and false information out there and I feel that within our schools, it is very important for students to be seeing honest information,”

A case over this incident is being disputed in court as you read this. If the judge rules in favor of Winciker and the school, this means that the school would have the power to suppress such reporting rendering the Kansas Student Publications Act void. Which would bring us back to a Hazelwood situation in the state of Kansas.

 

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KSPA Under Threat