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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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Feather celebrates First Amendment

As part of Scholastic Journalism Week, The Feather staff engaged in a discussion about the Constitution’s First Amendment, to remember the rights they have as a publications team, Feb. 21. The staff reviewed this specific amendment because of its clause: allowing civilians to have freedom of press.

Student publications in California as well as six other states, are given certain rights by the state to publish what they choose. If the principal or board of directors were to intervene in such a way that would take away from what the students are writing, the students have the right to sue their school.

The Student Press Law Center (SPLC) is an online advocate for students press rights, who vow to protect students whose rights are violated. They are a voice for the First Amendment rights which include an open government on campus and freedom of online speech. SPLC is dedicated to helping journalists in all media outlets secure their rights.

Senior videographer Juan Ruelas became re-enlightened after the discussion with the staff. Ruelas was reminded of the many opportunities the journalism staff has that many others do not.

“After having that conversation, it just reminds me of how awesome we are, being student journalists,” Ruelas said. “We do so much and we have the potential to do so much more. With the rights that we have we are able to report on what we want to report on. It?s great to know that we have certain rights as students, in the state of California.”

Senior Ryan Dynice-Carroll, rookie staff member, is appreciative of the rights himself and the staff are given. He is reminded of the freedom he has as a writer to publish what he believes needs to be read. Dynice-Carroll thinks back to America?s founding fathers, thanking them for the rights they have given to the people.

“I find it very interesting that California and only seven other states have as much freedom as we do as writers,” Dynice-Carroll said. “I also truly appreciate the first amendment, not only for the freedom of press but also for freedom of speech and religion. I think back to when our founding fathers first put together the Bill of Rights and how this was very important to them, so I truly adore it. I think it’s good for all of us to know as writers what our limitations are but also how grateful we should be for the rights we are given.”

Editor-in-Chief Tynin Fries appreciated the opportunity to spend time with her staff, discussing the First Amendment. She realizes the great opportunity her staff has by being given rights to publish without the fear of being shut down.

“For me, having a day to appreciate the First Amendment is really important for The Feather staff,” Fries said. “As student journalists we need to be aware of our rights so they are not violated. Today was good to be able to share with the staff a little about how privileged we are to have the opportunities and freedom that we have. I think it was a fun way, with the pizza, to celebrate and bring light to the first amendment.”

For more information on SPLC, visit their website, SPLC.org.

For more information on Scholastic Journalism Week, visit the Journalism Education Association.

For more news, read the Feb. 20 article, Tebow to help fundraise for campus, BTB (PODCAST).

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