I’m not Afraid of Censorship!

Isabel Cassidy, Reporter

Here at Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, our website https://lva-accolades.net/ is a public forum and is student-led. We are allowed to cover almost anything without the fear of censorship. While there are rules, they are in the student’s favor. 

How is this possible?

Nevada is a Tinker state, which means that students have the right to discuss controversial topics, without getting censored. The court decided in this case that, “students did not lose their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech when they stepped onto school property” (“Tinker v Des Moines”).

However, if the coverage creates a substantial disruption or distraction, it can be censored. This case created that precedent.

There are a few more rules to students’ freedom of speech to find out if they can legally get censored that were created by other cases.

If the content is “pervasively vulgar, lewd or indecent” it can be censored, decided by Bethel School District v. Fraser case and if the content “advocate[s] illegal drug use” it can be censored, decided by Morse v. Frederick case (Goodman).

The other type of state is a Hazelwood state, which means that there are fewer laws protecting the students’ rights. Censorship is legal regardless of the content. These states are in favor of the school district. There are currently only 16 states that are Tinker states! The rest are Hazelwood states with some exceptions in the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania (Goodman).

Make sure you know your rights as a student!