Michigan Interscholastic Press Association joins New Voices initiative, protects student press rights

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Michigan Interscholastic Press Association joins New Voices initiative, protects student press rights

Gracie Warda, Online Editor in Chief

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Student media adviser at Grosse Pointe South high school Kaitlin Edgarton, in conjunction with the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA), has joined a movement defending student press rights in Michigan known as the “New Voices” movement. Michigan representatives have the potential to write legislation protecting these rights, which vary from state to state.

“It’s an opportunity to become a state where students can lead the way to press against the Hazelwood restrictions on press rights,” student media adviser at Stockbridge high school Elizabeth Cyr said. “We’re just organizing around it again, building excitement and reeducating everybody.” 

Michigan is under the Hazelwood standard, meaning that the laws are based on the decision made in the Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier federal court case. Hazelwood limited student press rights by allowing administrations to heavily censor students. 

Six states (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts) have enacted laws known as “Anti-Hazelwood” laws, which revoke or limit administration’s censorship abilities. Michigan aims to become one of them through the New Voices movement. 

“There’s no doubt that robust, student-led journalism programs can help schools across Michigan and the country improve academic standards,” MIPA’s executive director Jeremy Steele said, in an article on the MIPA website. “But those educational goals are set back by censorship that silences student voices, squashes creativity and shuts down student-led efforts to identify and solve problems in their community.

Visit the MIPA website for updates on the movement as they become available.

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