February: Black history, justice, journalism

W Fargo students drove 3 hrs. to support John Wall New Voices Act

W Fargo students drove 3 hrs. to support N Dakota’s John Wall New Voices Act

N. Dakota is beautiful in February, especially when student journalists move a press rights bill through the state legislature! It all started as a student project at the University of Jamestown. I joined students, advisers, journalism pros like the NDNA (ND Newspapers Ass’n) and Frank Lomonte of SPLC, in Bismarck Feb. 17th to give my testimony   for the John Wall New Voices Act. The ND House passed the bill on to the Senate 92-0!  Can’t wait to celebrate when it becomes law!

N Dakota students Carrie Sandstrom , Kacey Peterson and Logan Ahern testify

N Dakota students Carrie Sandstrom , Kacey Peterson and Logan Ahern testify

To help spread the word, there were several interviews, including one in Fargo with WDAY.

Elsa Bollinger, NDSU student, tells why students need press rights

Elsa Bollinger,  NDSU student who was named ND’s 2014 “HS Journalist of the Year”  by the Journalism Education Association explains why students need press rights

 

Bismarck State College is a community college with a great journalism program.  Wow- what energetic students & advisers!  It makes a difference. I told how media coverage of the civil rights movement in the early 1960s made a difference, and helped inspire us to speak up against discrimination, and to wear armbands for peace.

Eric & Danielle, of Bismarck Community College Media program in the broadcast studio that students build.

Eric & Danielle, of Bismarck Community College Media program, in the broadcast studio that students build.

In N Dakota, I also spoke with journalism students at NDSU and Valley City State.  Thanks for the hospitality, everyone- it was great!

Speaking of journalism….

Media and law meet up at ABA conference in AZ!

 ABA Forum on Communications Law

American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law

Should journalists have the final say on what we know- or don’t know- about our government?  Welcome to Feb. 5th’s opening panel of the American Bar Ass’n’s Forum on Communications Law, where journalists, editors and gov’t officials kicked off  the debate. Journalist Matthew Ryder said that journalism is “how we protect the 1st Amendment…certain things the public has to know.”

For the keynote, I joined Frank Lomonte, of Student Press Law Center, and Vaughn Hillyard, who was student editor at Thunderbird HS in Glendale, AZ when his article on testing was censored. He won, with help from media lawyer David Botney (chair of the forum.)

MB with Vaughn Hillyard & David Bodney

MB with Vaughn Hillyard & David Bodney

At ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism….

Perry HS students Nathan, Angelie, August and Dakota at Walter Cronkite School.  Dakota said, "I love how you talk about students' rights."

Perry HS students Nathan, Angelie, Dakota & August at Walter Cronkite School.

I met up with HS journalism students taking part in a JEA program. It was great to see everyone, including my old friends from Hopi HS, and tell everyone stories about the Birmingham Childrens’ Crusade, Mississippi Freedom Summer and Walter Cronkite.

In 1968,  Cronkite said, “it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out (of Vietnam) will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.” If only the gov’t had listened.

Social studies students & teachers had plenty to talk about over at the AZ Bar Foundation, where I met them at a program of the Foundation for Legal Studies in Education.  The students told me a few of the things they’re speaking up about, like the right for the HS band to march in the “pride” parade; girls’ rights; animal cruelty.

Phoenix HS students at the AZ Bar Foundation

Phoenix HS students at the AZ Bar Foundation

ASU Law School and Summit Law School students

are participants in the Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, teaching the constitution to students in area high schools.

I had a great time at both law schools,  talking about black history, our case, and students who speak up  (like the ones here!)

Summit law students kick it up for the First Amendment!

Summit law students kick it up for the First Amendment!

South Mountain High School is one of the schools in the program. They not only have Law, but also Aerospace, Dance, Drama, and Communication programs.

Here, and throughout Arizona, where students are directly affected by immigration policy, many are speaking up through groups like the Arizona Dream Act Coalition.   In January, a federal judge for Arizona ruled that youth who are covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program cannot be denied drivers licenses.

Patricia shows off the art work at South Mountain HS in Phonenix

Patricia shows off  art work at South Mountain HS

S Mountain HS Law students meet in their own courtroom!

S Mountain HS Law students meet in their own courtroom!

I topped off my AZ visit with Savana Lee (Redding), whose 2009 Supreme Court case Safford v Redding established that public school students cannot be strip searched.  Go, Savana!  Check out LoveLeeLunacy for some of her handmade eco-friendly jewelry!

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