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First reactions not always the right one


Upon reading the story John posted above, my first reaction was one of sadness, probably with a dash of anger thrown in.
I’m not sure why. I think maybe it was because some students who were practicing journalism at a very high level were going to no longer have that chance. Or maybe my initial reaction was that the wrong side had prevailed.
But quickly, that reaction transformed to a reaction of pride.
Knowing that these students were courageous enough to forsake something they obviously hold very dear to their heart for the sake of principles. Former editor Pam Selman’s quote says it all:
“I’d rather practice no journalism than journalism that doesn’t follow with my ethics and what I believe in.”
So while my heart and mind are somewhat saddened that five editors will no longer get to practice – at least under the auspices of their high school – something they love, both heart and mind are buoyed by the fact that are still students around our country who are willing to stand up for those 45 words most of us on this blog hold dear. The fact that these students were able to leave student journalism at Stevenson on their terms, able to believe they have done right by themselves and their readers is no small victory.
As SPRC looks to launch its new Student Partners initiative, this is one of the many types of student we are hoping apply to work with us, because to promote our goals, we need students who hail from all backgrounds and regions of the country. We need students who are passionate about student journalism and the 1st Amendment. That means we want writers and photographers and designers. Copy editors and ad managers. Section editors and staff reporters. Those with experience battling censorship and those without.
Most of all, like the students at Stevenson, we need students who are willing to stand up for what they believe is correct and who are willing to sacrifice and fight for those 45 words we journalists hold most dear.

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