Seven schools win First Amendment Press Freedom Award

Seven 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 2015 First Amendment Press Freedom Award.

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

2015 First Amendment Press Freedom Award winners are as follows:

• Chantilly (Va.) High School

• Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Mo.

• Kirkwood (Mo.) High School

• Mountlake Terrace (Wash.) High School

• Smoky Hill High School, Aurora, Colo.

• St. Louis Park (Minn.) High School

• Whitney High School, Rocklin, Calif.

These schools will be honored April 16 at the opening ceremony of the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Denver.

Four of the schools are first-time recipients: Chantilly, Smoky Hill, St. Louis Park and Whitney high schools.

“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 Committee director said.

This is the 15th year for the award.

First round applications are due annually by Dec. 15. Downloadable applications for 2016 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 or 330-672-3666.

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