Journalists Back Neshaminy Editors

Letter says school officials have "open contempt for fundamental American freedoms."

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A coalition of journalists and educators from across the country have sent out a letter condemning school officials at Neshaminy for their actions against the high school newspaper’s refusal to print the word “Redskins,” the school’s mascot.

Newsworks reports:

In a letter sent out Monday, 20 groups, including the Society of Professional Journalists, urged some of the country’s top education organizations to publicly denounce the Neshaminy School District for allowing a policy limiting the students’ ban to remain on the books, as well as a series of punitive measures taken against the paper and its adviser.

They are the National School Boards Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the American Association of School Administrators, and the National Association of State Boards of Education.

“It is not possible to effectively teach journalism, and to recruit and retain students to perform their essential community service role as news gatherers in the environment of open contempt for fundamental American freedoms that exists in Neshaminy,” states part of the letter.

Already this school year, the paper’s editor has been suspended from the paper, and the paper’s faculty advisor suspended without pay for a month, because the paper’s editors refused to allow the use of the word “Redskins anywhere in the paper. School officials had ruled the editors couldn’t keep the word out of editorials, only articles.