First Amendment Protects High School Newspaper

Here’s a great article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal about a big fight over a small high school newspaper. Lauren Maclean is a reporter for the school newspaper at the Churchill County High School newspaper in Fallon Nevada. Working with the advisor, she wrote an article concerning a music teacher withholding some student audition tapes from a state competition for high school musicians. The high school principal approved the article for publication. All was well apparently until the teacher’s union heard about it, and filed a grievance trying to stop publication of the story, on the grounds that it would potentially harm the teacher’s employment. As the article describes, the school held its ground and allowed the article to run. At a public school the First Amendment applies (it does not apply at a private school). And what the teacher’s union wanted was prior restraint. But the First Amendment prevents that – even if it’s just a high school newspaper. I hope none of the teachers filing that grievance taught civics class.