11 schools win First Amendment Press Freedom Award

11 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 chose more First Amendment Press Freedom Award-winners for 2016 than ever before. The 11 winners were almost double the 2015 total.

The award recognizes public 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 media advisers and student editors, indicating their support of the First Amendment. In addition, semifinalists submitted samples of their printed policies.

2016 First Amendment Press Freedom Award winners are as follows:

The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles
Chantilly (Virginia) High School
Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, San Francisco
Felix Varela High School, Miami
Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Missouri
Harrisonburg (Virginia) High School
Kirkwood (Missouri) High School
Mountlake Terrace (Washington) High School
Smoky Hill High School, Aurora, Colorado
St. Louis Park (Minnesota) High School
Whitney High School, Rocklin, California

These schools will be honored April 14 at the opening ceremony of the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Los Angeles.

Two of the schools are first-time recipients: The Archer School for Girls, one of only three private schools to ever be recognized, and Harrisonburg High School.

“We’re pleased to have so many more winners this year than last, and we hope that encourages other schools that value the First Amendment to apply next year,” John Bowen, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee chairman, said.
This is the 16th year for the award.
First round applications are due annually by Dec. 15. Downloadable applications for 2017 will be available on the JEA website in the fall.


For more information about the First Amendment Press Freedom Award, please contact John Bowen, FAPFA committee chair, at jabowen@kent.edu or 330-672-3666.

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