Date of Award


Degree Name



W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

George T. Arnold

Second Advisor

Harold C. Shaver


Since the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial and historic 1988 Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier decision, the debate over whether high school newspapers should have First Amendment protection and rights has been waged from one end of the country to the other. Many principals hailed the decision as giving school administrators the responsibility they should have by putting "the high school press in its proper relationship with principals" (Dickson, "How Advisers View" 2). Conversely, many advisers, students, and journalists criticized the ruling for limiting constitutional rights of student publications to remain free from censorship as guaranteed by the First Amendment (Garneau 12; Goodman 34+; Heath 15+; Hentoff 114+). Ed Sullivan, director of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, said, "Hazelwood is a bad law and bad educational practice. It gives schools the power to legally create a 'pabulum press' that caters to the rosy, public relations image often sought by today's harried school administrators" (qtd. in Heath 17). The National Association of Secondary School Principals, however, has never issued an official statement regarding the Hazelwood decision, according to Caroline Glascock, secretary to Tom Koemer, the group's associate executive director.


Student newspapers and periodicals - Law and legislation - West Virginia.

Student newspapers and periodicals - Censorship - West Virginia.

Freedom of the press - West Virginia.

Press law - West Virginia.