LGBTQ Students Push Back against Discrimination at Nebraska School Paper
In its final edition, the high school paper published two opinion columns focused on L.G.B.T.Q. issues.
By Eduardo Medina
Breaking News Reporter
New York Times
On March 31, the first period bell at Northwest High School in Grand Island, Neb., had just rung when the principal walked into a journalism classroom adorned with punctuation posters to deliver a new rule directly from administrators.
Students, including at least three who were transgender, were ordered to use the names they were given at birth for bylines because using their preferred names was “controversial,” according to a former student who was in the classroom and a lawyer for the Student Press Law Center.
In response, the student journalists dedicated their final issue in June to L.G.B.T.Q. issues, writing two columns on the topic and a news article about the origins of Pride Month. Then, after publication, the school retaliated, said Mike Hiestand, the Student Press Law Center lawyer.
Northwest Public Schools administrators and the superintendent, Jeff Edwards, shut down its newspaper program in June, infuriating student journalists and press freedom advocates who have denounced the move as censorship.
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