Protecting student publications: a look into Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier


Aafreen Ali

Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier remains an influential court case in defining student press freedoms, for better or for worse.

Aafreen Ali, Team Leader

This week (Feb. 21-27, 2021) is Scholastic Journalism Week, a week to highlight the importance of student journalism and freedom of expression. As a journalism student, this is something very close to my heart, since it’s basically what allows me to write about what I care about. We as students have made leaps and bounds on the legal scene to protect our rights, starting with cases like Tinker v. Des Moines in 1969, all the way up to Morse v. Frederick in 2007. However, one of these cases is slightly less lovely than the others: Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier. This case, which deals with student censorship, ruled in favor of administrative censorship in school publications and continues to inhibit student journalists’ First Amendment rights today. Which, as a student journalist, I am not a fan of. As a member of the tjTODAY staff, I am lucky to be able to write for this publication without administrative censorship of our works due to the respectful choice of the Jefferson administration. Unfortunately, at other schools this is not always the case, and Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier is part of the reason why. Learn more about the case from the infographic below.