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Hazelwood V. Kuhlmeier. (school district v. student editor). Summary. q In 1988, the case Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier was taken to the US Supreme Court. Journalism students at Missouri’s Hazelwood school district wrote two articles for their journalism class.

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Hazelwood V. Kuhlmeier

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hazelwood v kuhlmeier
Hazelwood V. Kuhlmeier

(school district v. student editor)


qIn 1988, the case Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier was taken to the US Supreme Court. Journalism students at Missouri’s Hazelwood school district wrote two articles for their journalism class.

  • qThenewspaper, called Spectrum, was sponsored and funded. Not only was the newspaper available for the school but was also available to the community.

qOneof the articles was about the effects of divorce on students and the other was about teenage pregnancy.

qThe school’s principal decided to delete the two pages of the paper containing the stories without telling the journalism students because he was afraid the pregnant students at school would be easily identified even though the story did not use students’ real names.

qStudentsfelt their 1st Amendment rights were violated so they took the case to court.


Did the principal violate the students’ First Amendment rights?

students point of view
Students’ point of view
  • Students felt that their First Amendment rights were violated.
  • They weren’t given an opportunity to revise the articles because they didn’t know they had been censored.
principal s point of view
Principal’s point of view
  • Felt it was too easy to identify who the articles were written about.
  • Inappropriate for students and community.
  • No parent consent.
  • No time to make changes therefore removed pages
  • Protection of students.
  • After taking the case to the US Supreme Court, students lost the case in a 5-3 vote.
  • Public schools have the right to not allow students’ speech if it interferes the schools’ educational mission.
  • School district administrator’s have theright
  • to censor speech they deem
  • “inappropriate” because they serve
  • as “parents” of students while
  • kids are at school.

When writing articles journalism students need to abide by specific journalistic standards, including public disclosure of private and embarrassing facts.

This includes peoples’ personal information such as medical issues and relationships.

impact on shen students
Impact on Shenstudents
  • When writing articles students need to keep in mind protecting the personal information of others.
  • Must be appropriate for school. (Code of conduct)
  • When writing articles that contain personal information, you should always get consent.
works cited
Works Cited
  • http://www.shmoop.com/free-speech/hazelwood-v-kuhlmeier-freedom-of-student-press.html
  • http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/comm/free_speech/hazelwood.html
  • http://www.casebriefs.com/blog/law/constitutional-law/constitutional-law-keyed-to-chemerinsky/first-amendment-freedom-of-expression/hazelwood-school-district-v-kuhlmeier/
  • http://www.uscourts.gov/multimedia/podcasts/Landmarks/HazelwoodvKuhlmeier.aspx
  • http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/firstamendment/hazelwood.html
  • http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/2010/08/update-on-first-amendment-lawsuit.html
  • Clip Art pictures
  • http://freedomofspeechattheschoolhousegate.blogspot.com/
  • http://www.uscourts.gov/EducationalResources/ClassroomActivities/FirstAmendment/FreedomOfThePressAndSchoolNewspapers/FactsAndCaseSummary.aspx
  • http://www.timesunion.com/sports/slideshow/High-school-football-2012-48510.php