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Coming to a state near you?


For those who have not read it, SPLC executive director Frank LoMonte’s recent post on Indiana’s HB 1169 is a chilling reminder of why free expression – and not just for high school students – requires eternal vigilance.

For those who will celebrate Scholastic Journalism Week next week, LoMonte’s post is literally mandatory reading.

For those who are not aware, the proposed legislation – already passed in the Indiana house – would allow schools to control student expression in or out of schools for anything “reasonably be considered to be an interference with school purposes or an educational function.”

For those of us who are teachers and educators, that language, says LoMonte, can mean just about anything, any thought or action conceivably upsetting to a school official or administrator.

For those of us who now live with the application of a supposedly limited Hazelwood decision, the spectre, to put it mildly, is reminiscent of the chill breathed into scholastic media as school officials interpreted its meaning.

For those of us who want critical thinking, decision making and civic engagement to remain alive not only in our schools but in our communities, becoming aware and creating ways to sidetrack such thinking and legislation becomes paramount.

For those of us who are unaware, such legislation might be coming to a state near you.

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