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Ohio Scholastic Media Association

Ohio Scholastic Media Association

Ohio Scholastic Media Association

Keynote speaker Cathy Kuhlmeier addresses OSMA State Convention

Kuhlmeier shares her story with students journalists
John Bowen
Cathy Kuhlmeier speaks at the OSMA Spring Convention.

Keynote speaker Cathy Kuhlmeier spoke at the OSMA Spring State Convention held at Kent State University. Kuhlmeier was one of three students involved in the 1988 U.S. Supreme Court Landmark case Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier. The case involved censorship of articles in The Spectrum student newspaper of Hazelwood East High School in St. Louis, Missouri. The school principal removed articles concerning teen pregnancy and divorce because he felt individuals could be identified in the articles.  The Court ruled against the students, which ran counter to the 1969 decision in Tinker v. Des Moines where students did not shed their rights at the schoolhouse gate. The justices determined that school administrators could, under some specific circumstances, exercise prior restraint of school sponsored expression.

Kuhlmeier actively travels and speaks regarding her experiences with censorship and talks with state legislatures across the country about New Voices USA in hopes to pass laws by state to restore rights to student journalists. She regularly teaches Zoom and Google classes with advisors and students from coast to coast educating them on her personal experiences with the case that can’t be read about in the textbooks.

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