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Six schools win First Amendment Press Freedom Award

A committee with representatives from the Journalism Education Association, National Scholastic Press Association and Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 First Amendment Press Freedom Award.

The award recognizes high schools that actively support, teach and protect First Amendment rights and responsibilities of students and teachers, with an emphasis on student-run media where students make all final decisions of content.

As in previous years, schools competed for the title by first answering questionnaires submitted by an adviser and at least one editor; those who advanced to the next level were asked to provide responses from the principal and all publications advisers and student editors, indicating their support of the First Amendment. In addition, semifinalists submitted samples of their printed policies.

2014 First Amendment Press Freedom Award winners are as follows:

  • Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, San Francisco
  • Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Mo.
  • Kirkwood (Mo.) High School
  • Mountlake Terrace High School, Mountlake Terrace, Wash.
  • North Central High School, Indianapolis
  • Townsend Harris High School, Flushing, N.Y.

These schools will be honored April 10 at the opening ceremony of the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in San Diego.

Two of the schools are first-time recipients: North Central High School and Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, which is not only a first-time awardee, but the second private school to ever be recognized.

“We are proud of each of these schools for supporting their student media as they practice critical life skills like decision making, critical thinking and civic engagement while informing their audiences,” John Bowen, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Commission chairman said.

This is the 14th year for the award.

First round applications are due annually by Dec. 1. Downloadable applications for 2015 will be available on the JEA website in the fall.

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