A committee with representatives from the Journalism Education Association, National Scholastic Press Association and Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society chose 11 First Amendment Press Freedom Award winners for 2018.

The award recognizes private and 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 their printed policies.

2018 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
Grosse Pointe North High School, Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan
Kirkwood (Missouri) High School
McLean (Virginia) High School
Mountlake Terrace (Washington) High School
North Central High School, Indianapolis
Reno (Nevada) High School
St. Louis Park (Minnesota) High School
Whitney High School, Rocklin, California

These schools will be honored April 12 at the opening ceremony of the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco.

Ellen Reilly, principal of McLean High School, wrote on her application, “I don’t always agree with what they publish but I wholeheartedly support their right to publish their opinions. Students frequently interview me about a wide range of topics, and I always do my best to talk to them in a frank and honest way. I trust that our journalism teachers are able to guide their students to make responsible and ethical decisions.”

This is the 18th year for the award.

First-round applications are due annually by early to mid-December. Downloadable applications for 2019 will be available on the JEA website in the fall.


For more information about the First Amendment Press Freedom Award, please contact Lori Keekley or 612-636-3103.

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