High School Student Faces Censorship

July 10th, 2008
Brittany Armellino

Although the First Amendment of The Constitution claims to provide American citizens with the freedom of speech, censorship is often prevalent. Take for instance Hailey Paquette, a 16 year-old from Phoenix, Ariz. whose article on the religious prejudices at her school, Notre Dame Prep, was denied publication in April of 2008. This incident raises a fundamental question: To what extent are teenagers being silenced, unable to voice their opinions because they may contradict the views of or upset an authority figure?

Hailey is an opinion writer for her school’s newspaper. This position is perfect for a girl who when asked how her friends would describe her beams when she says, “My friends would describe me as talkative, but I’m outspoken.”

Hailey’s opinionated nature was suppressed when her article on religious prejudices was scorned by her principal. Rather than being published in the school newspaper, her principal shared the article only with the theology teachers. According to Hailey, the principal did not want the students and parents of the school to be informed of the religious slanders taking place between class periods. Slanders she exposed in her article, saying , “I have witnessed something close to harassment towards students of other religions…” Hailey believes that learning of these prejudices might deter students from her school, thus depriving the school of the money it needs to repay the debt initiated by its construction.

Although many students may have been discouraged by the negative response her article received, Hailey insists that she still considers opinion writing her favorite type of journalism. She continues to utilize the First Amendment to her advantage by contesting the school administration that strives to quiet her.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License