Opinion: Students and freedom of the press

Freedom of the press remains a high mark in human civilization.

Freedom of the press remains a high mark in human civilization. Training people in its pursuit reflects a noble task. At the same time, when emancipated persons write their observations or opinions in a public forum subsidized by private interests, they themselves answer directly to the reading public (and perhaps to their editors). No one rightly holds their former teachers or parents accountable.

[Opinion: Freedom in the classroom sets precedent for the future]

When minors write in publicly funded school publications, their public readers hold teachers, school officials, parents and other involved agencies partially, if not wholly, responsible for their writings. (Not much has changed in this practice since Socrates.) If these same minors publish a document on their own time, with their own resources (e.g., electronic devices at home), for independent distribution (i.e., not through school agency), then their readers may justly hold them accountable without dragging everybody else into the fray.

Jon Paden,


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