JEA joins letter to Neshaminy School District
The Journalism Education Association joined the Society of Professional Journalists, along with 18 other organizations, urging education leaders at the National School Boards Association, National Association of Secondary School Principals, American Association of School Administrators and National Association of State Boards of Education to renounce the actions of the Neshaminy School District in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
The school district has punished student journalists and their adviser for refusing to publish the school’s mascot name in the student newspaper.
The organizations’ letter was sent Monday and suggests working together on developing a summit to discuss the ethical and responsible treatment of scholastic journalists and their advisers.
“JEA is quite happy to see all these organizations call out this incredible injustice to responsible student freedom of expression,” said JEA President Mark Newton, MJE. “As journalism teachers and student media advisers, we see administrators all too often deny students of their free speech and free press rights. My hope is that by having so many organizations on board supporting the students of Neshaminy, others will think twice before denying students their First Amendment rights.”
“It’s a huge positive force to see these organizations stepping forward to create this collaboration,” said John Bowen, MJE, JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Committee director. “The actions of the Neshaminy Board have made it clear just how unreasonable their idea of good educational practice is. We applaud our groups’ coming together and truly hope the administrative organizations listen to and act on the positive statements we made here.”