48907 Protects Our Voice

Journalism Staff

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With the start of our school newspaper in 2009, the Grizzly Gazette has posted story after story, from football games to local marijuana shops expanding in Santa Ana. As a high school located in California, we are lucky to relay articles to our community without punishment.

 

Schools outside of California are not as fortunate. They face being silenced by school boards and administration. As editors of the Grizzly Gazette, we fully understand our First Amendment right and we know we cannot be penalized for writing articles or taking photos unless we violate one of the three codes: obscene, libelous, or slanderous.

 

The freedom to write articles without the fear of punishment was not enforced until the 1970’s. In 1977, the rights of high school journalists were no longer threatened. The California Education Code, 48907, was passed allowing journalists to have the freedom to write and print what they wanted without being punished for it.

 

This allows young journalists to practice their First Amendment right, authorizing students to write facts on public matters, nurture students curiosity and expose many of the issues our society may have, using: bulletin boards, buttons, badges and other different ways of expressing one’s opinions. With the protection of the code, we understand that articles must not be “obscene, libelous, or slanderous,” in order for the writers to be protected.

 

As the publication of Godinez Fundamental High School, we the Grizzly Gazette abide by the 48907 code. We understand that we must only write the facts and not censoring information from the school, in a respectful and responsible way.

 

48907 does not only protect the journalism publication but also all students in our school. We must remember, as students, that we are protected by the code allowing us to speak out. We must take advantage of this and change things in our community for the better.

 

Even if you’re not part of the newspaper, you are protected by this law.

 

We, as students, have a voice. Speak up and take action.