Sara Rogers, Carmel High School HiLite newspaper cover story editor and junior, is one of only eight students from around the world who has been selected to serve as a member of the newly-formed student section of the Journalism Education Association’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission’s (SPRC). The new student group, called Scholastic Press Student Partners, includes student representatives from schools in Arizona, California, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Seoul, Korea.
The eight public and private high school students were selected from applicants nationwide (and some international schools) to promote First Amendment awareness by opening dialogue with other students around the country via Facebook and Twitter. In addition to planning and hosting press rights events at local, state and national conventions, the team is creating a scholastic press rights awareness campaign titled “45words.” They can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/45words and the Facebook group is titled “45words.” Although the group has already conducted meetings over the Web, it plans to launch nationally April 15 to 18 at the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association Convention in Portland, OR.
In her essay, which was part of the application, Rogers said, “While I don’t seek out controversial topics, it is important to me that when those issues do arise I am able to cover them. As a journalist, it is my job to educate and inform students and other receivers of our 5,000-circulation publication. I’ve always considered my voice and pen my two most important tools. I am grateful every day to have the opportunity to speak my mind freely. Seeing the oppression and censorship of other countries really solidifies my drive to preserve the rights and freedoms stated in the United States Constitution.”
The rest of the students’ essays and further information regarding the group can be found at the following link: http://csjblog.org/?p=322