“C” is for Censorship
Administrators at Maury High School in Norfolk Virginia recently took down a video report produced by high school’s student newspaper. Readers may assume that the video depicted some sort of rowdy or otherwise inappropriate behavior. But that’s not the case.
The video featured footage of the school’s aging infrastructure and an interview with a faculty member who’d attended the school as a student and who discussed the building’s history. Not exactly “Girls Gone Wild.”
The action seems especially odd given that earlier in the school year, school officials hosted state legislators for a tour of the building, as part of its campaign to secure additional funding for maintenance and repair of the facility.
The school has offered no compelling reason for the action, which leaves one to assume the reason they did it is because “they can.”
And they may indeed be able to get away with it. While there are limits on what a public high school can do in the area of free speech, courts often defer to the judgment of the school officials.
But if the question of “can they do it” is a bit unsettled, the question of “should they do it” seems like a no-brainer. Schools teach lessons in and outside the classroom. Scrubbing the record of unpleasant news is undoubtedly the wrong lesson.