Arkansas high school students learning lesson in free press and censorship

Journalism students at Har-Ber High School nailed it with an exposé on the questionable transfer of five starting varsity football players to another school in the district, only to find their newspaper suspended and their adviser under fire. School district officials demanded that the story be removed from the school’s website and set about writing new rules for publication even though Arkansas state law protects student free press rights. (BuzzFeed News, December 1, 2018, by Amber Jamieson)

The student reporters used a Freedom of Information Act request to locate documents showing the parents of the five players requested the transfers for academic reasons, but players told reporters they wanted to transfer for a better chance to earn scholarships at Division 1 schools. The student editor said the staff is working on a story on the district’s censorship of the exposé. (The Hill, December 1, 2018, by Aris Folley)

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