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Educate • Advocate • Empower

JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Committee Mission statement:

• To educate school and non-school communities about how the substance and spirit of First Amendment protections support free and journalistically responsible student news media in their role in 21st century learning and civic engagement.

• To advocate for student news media that demonstrate free expression and journalistic responsibility, enhance student decision-making and protect proponents of a free student media in their pursuit of high standards of journalism.

• To empower student journalists to exercise First Amendment rights and responsibilities and engage in ethical decision making through accurate, credible, verifiable and thorough journalism. Student journalists and the communities they serve thus benefit.

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• SPRC Vision statement:

JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission envisions school communities – those who participate in student media and those who do not – who understand and produce free and journalistically responsible student media that demonstrate the strength of our democratic heritage and its future.

• SPRC Values statement:

The Scholastic Press Rights commission values the First Amendment as a pillar of democracy. We commit our efforts to support educators who work with student journalists and help them engage in exemplary journalistic ethics, demonstrate critical thinking and decision-making skills and protect diverse viewpoints as they produce free and responsible news media.

Scholastic Press Rights Director

The scholastic press rights director shall:

  • Publicly maintain a strong and vocal position opposing censorship and prior review of scholastic media;
  • Actively create alternatives to prior review and restraint as educational tools;
  • Assist advisers, students, administrators and communities with First Amendment issues as needed or requested;
  • Keep in close contact with the Student Press Law Center and other organizations concerned with student and adviser freedom of expression;
  • Keep the JEA board and membership up to date on legal and ethical issues needing their attention and propose positions on these issues;
  • Submit articles to professional journals and other appropriate media on JEA’s position on the rights and responsibilities of scholastic media;
  • Recommend policies, positions and actions on scholastic media law and ethics to JEA and its members;
  • Assume responsibility for maintaining a regular SPRC Web presence, including up-to-date and archived resources; the SPR Director could delegate this responsibility to a committee member;
  • Serve as chair of the First Amendment Press Freedom Award recognition committee and coordinate (or delegate) its awards selection process;
  • Participate in all Panic Button requests and respond as needed;
  • Participate in sessions at conventions, seminars and workshops locally and nationally, keeping students and advisers up-to-date on current legal situations, opinions and trends;
  • Support, through actions and words, the free expression rights and responsibilities of all groups;
  • Work with committee members to carry out their obligations and ensure collaboration.

In addition, the scholastic press rights director will select interested and informed individuals to serve on the committee. These committee members will all do the following:

  • Contribute to the committee blog on a regular basis and/or as required by the committee director;
  • Gather information on press rights for national distribution;
  • Monitor scholastic media legal and ethical issues, cases and incidents across the country and in their regions;
  • Offer advice and support to advisers, administrators and students through regular submissions to a committee blog, website or other media as requested by the committee chair;
  • Recommend policies, positions and actions on scholastic media law and ethics to JEA and its members
  • Submit articles to professional journals and other appropriate media on JEA’s position on the rights and responsibilities of scholastic media;
  • Lead SPRC initiatives as designated by the director.


• Lori Keekley

St. Louis Park HS

Committee members:

• Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE

Kent State University

• John Bowen, MJE

Kent State University

• Audrey Wagstaff, MJE

Wilmington College (Ohio)

• Vince DeMiero

Mountlake Terrace High School

• Mary Kay Downes MJE

Chantilly High School

Chantilly, VA

• Janet Ewell, MA, MJE

• Megan Fromm

Mesa State University

• Tom Gayda, MJE

North Central High School

• Mark Goodman

Kent State University

• Marina Hendricks

• Cyndy Hyatt

Conestoga High School

• Jeff Kocur

Hopkins High School

• Sarah Nichols, MJE

Whitney High School

• Glenn Morehouse Olson

St. Francis High School, St. Francis MN

• Kathy Schrier, M.Ed., MJE

Washington Journalism Education Association (WJEA) Executive Director

• Randy Swikle



• John Tagliareni

Bergenfield High School (Retired)

• Stan Zoller

Buffalo Grove, Illinois