THE SMOKE SIGNAL

THE SMOKE SIGNAL

THE SMOKE SIGNAL

Warning: Controversial headline ahead

On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights adopted an amendment that states that The First Amendment permits information, ideas and opinions without interference, constraint or prosecution by the government. This includes ideas and information published in the press. Above this, California High School journalism programs and newspapers hold certain rights to publish articles without the dangers of getting in trouble with their school or administration. Issue 4 of our newspaper, The Smoke Signal, was met with backlash after what some deemed as a controversial headline was published. The headline was not slanderous, untrue, or exaggerated and still caused a stifle within our class and campus. This issue raised the topic of conversation regarding censorship and the control certain individuals have on students’ opinions and speech.

Addie: Coming to school the day of distribution is always exciting. After spending weeks putting together the Smoke Signal, getting to school to find that there had been a mistake was shocking. We spend days upon days nitpicking each border, spelling error, font size so it’s perfect. In my eyes nothing was wrong with the headline, the term we used was only used so people knew what it was. Other publications had referred to it as the same exact thing but since this was a school paper it was so much more serious. Honestly, the most annoying thing was the fact that I feel like no one ever acknowledged the Smoke Signal before but now suddenly it is a huge problem. 

Katherine: It was disappointing finding out there was backlash against the paper as the Journalism group worked hard on for months. It was even more disappointing to learn that the cause of the backlash came after the paper was overlooked by people who should not even have seen the paper yet. We were in no way, shape or form, in the wrong in this situation, and we still were advised to release a statement saying we were in the wrong. As students in high school journalism we have the privilege of certain rights that protect us from the actions that happened in the last press release, so it was frustrating that the paper we all worked so hard on was looked at so differently due to an unwarranted opinion by those in authority.

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About the Contributor
Katherine Anderson, Editor-in-Chief
Katherine Anderson is in her senior year at Hart High School and has been part of the Smoke Signal since her sophomore year. Anderson is excited about serving as the Editor In Chief this year and looks forward to making the most out of her last year! When not at school, you can find her with friends, family, dancing, traveling the world, or staring at a sunset.
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