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7 Opinion

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Staff Editorial: Support needed for students rights
Just as an entrepreneurship class Excessive administrative involvement investigation into whether or not the survey freedom of speech because of the fear of
teaches students the ins and outs of the in the editorial process creates both an violated board policy 7.15. administrative backlash. But if the student
business world and an art class equips art- adversarial relationship between the Due to the fact that we did not receive press doesnt say it, who else will?
ists with techniques that will help them cre- student press and administration and self- an explanation for the restraint or a final According to a survey conducted by the
ate a career out of their talent, a high school censorship by the student journalists. Our decision on the investigation until more Brookings Institution, a mere 1.4 percent of
journalism program educates students by coverage of school policies and events this than a week later, (requiring us to push our news media coverage is devoted to educa-
teaching them the skills that are practiced year, such as the proposed Master Facility publication back more than a week as well) tion. If student journalists do not cover
by professionals. The fundamental prin- Plan, the different aspects of Red Ribbon the Omega considered this an act of unlaw- decisions and policy changes throughout
ciples of journalism arent just meant to be Week and more recently the gender-neutral ful censorship. According to administration, the district, these important topics risk go-
taught, theyre meant to be practiced, and spaces, has received an unprecedented the survey was not considered appropriate ing unreported, also risking the possibility
practiced without the fear of interference amount of prior review and censorship. for all students. that the sole information about said topics
from outside bodies. Between the fall of 1999 and spring of However, the two questions on the is uneducated online gossip.
This being said, The Omega will never be 2011, The Omega received a total of three survey only included information that was There is a need in every school for a
able to properly inform the school com- requests for prior review from administra- given to The Omega by the administration. well-educated student press to set the
munity, give a voice to students, or practice tion. Last year, six articles were subject to In December, during the review of an ar- record straight and be able to do legitimate
sound journalism with the increasing bur- prior review. So far this year, eight articles ticle regarding the proposed Master Facility reporting, have a reasoned opinion, and
den of prior review and censorship that has have been reviewed by administration Plan renovations, administation requested promote a more informed community.
occurred in recent months. before being published. for the reporter to change quotes said by We have a crucial role in the marketplace
The Supreme Court case that limits the When administrators make changes a faculty member to ones that diluted the of ideas and censoring does nobody any
rights of student press and school ad- to school policy articles before they are meaning of the original. The Omega con- favors.
ministration, Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, is published it is a conflict of interest. In the tacted outside counsel and fought to publish In light of this, the Omega has decided
confusing to say the least. The language of majority of cases, it is against professional the original quotes. that it is our obligation as journalists to
the decision leaves a lot of things open to journalistic ethics to allow a person or The best way for administration to inform our readers when these acts of prior
interpretation, and has been the heart of group to preview an article about them- confront problems they might have with review occur. As of this issue, all articles
The Omegas recent problems. This confu- selves before it is published. If we arent a school publications content is through that have gone through the prior review
sion over what rights administrators have going to allow a sports team or person to letters to the editor and asking for correc- process will be printed with an editors
is what has most likely led to the dramatic make changes on an article about them- tions to be published in a later issue. This note, noting this fact.
increase of journalistic restraint from ad- selves, the administration should expect the allows students to still report freely without The Speech Rights of Student Journal-
ministrators across the nation. same. administrative involvement but still gives ists Act isnt just something that we want,
A bill proposed in the Illinois House We have a responsibility to readers to the school the ability to voice any legitimate it is something that we need. In order for
known as the Speech Rights of Student Jour- practice sound journalism by writing truth- concerns they may have. our rights to be secured and to do the best
nalists Act would improve this situation. fully about topics that are important to our Despite all our criticism of administra- reporting possible, censorship cannot be a
Not only does House bill 5902 protect stu- audience: the student body. tive involvement, we get where they are thing. As high school students negatively
dents rights to exercise freedom of speech Earlier this month, one of our editors-in- coming from. There is an understable affected by acts of prior review and censor-
and press, it also secures for students the chief emailed a two-question survey asking anxiety that comes with the possibility of a ship, we know that our rights have been
right to determine what is the content of the about the student bodys views regarding student newspaper embarrassing a school compromised.
publication. proposed gender-neutral spaces. Finding or administrator, but ultimately, there has We need them back.
All that we have to say about this bill is two minor errors in the survey (slightly got to be a little faith that student jour-
this: its about time. misleading wording of one of the ques- nalists will follow their own high ethical
Even under the Hazelwood standard, tions and a problem with how the survey standards. Editors note:
some administrators show more regard was set up that allowed users to send Having a relationship with adminis- A student reporter wrote and re-
for students expression rights than others. multiple responses and skew results), the tration where there is a constant fear of searched the story. The content of
Just because administrators have the right editor planned on re-sending an updated unnecessary involvement leads student the story was subject to prior review
to invoke prior review, doesnt mean they version but was told by administrators to journalists to self-censor themselves, un- by administrators.
necessarily should. refrain from doing so because of a pending consciously taking away some of their own

Staff Editorial: Boys track puts academics first


Tuesday study prevent this.
A DGN athletic program has decided
to change this. Recently the boys track
our workouts, recovery time is im-
perative to let fatigued muscles recover
properly to limit the risk of injury. We
school, and during resource periods to
get the help they need, Buhot said.
If all athletic teams in added separate
sessions keep team has incorporated a new drill into
their practices.
had a recovery day each week where
practice was light and short. While
study tables during practices for those
close to ineligibility, less students would

athletes eligible Instead of circuits and stretches,


this new addition involves pencils and
making the training plan this year, it
occurred to me that this could be an op-
fall behind in school, and more would
perform well for their teams.

for participation
notebooks. portunity to get our athletes a chance to
Coaches have begun to take ath- both recover and use the time on school
letes on the verge of ineligibility, out work. For students who need extra help,
of practice in order to study and do it opens up time for them to see their
Athletics and academics go hand
homework. Taking these students out of teachers or go to strive, Buhot said.
in hand, so when one goes down, the
practice is in no way a punishment. Whether there are student athletes
other one goes too. The infamous ineli-
When an athletes opportunity who do not have time to get their
gibility form appears when a student
to excel in their sport is taken away, schoolwork done, or are having trouble
is no longer passing five of his or her
they should strive to do everything with the material, its important that
academic classes. Once this happens,
in their power to begin participating the teams at DGN help to reinforce the
one cannot participate in said sport or
again. Thats why this study session for idea that academics come first.
activity until the grade changes.
students is the perfect way to keep as If an athlete is not meeting these
Too many times, good talent goes
many grades up as possible. expectations they will sit out of meets,
to waste throughout the school year
Coach Eric Buhot, describes his rea- but they are still expected to practice.
as students become ineligible, and
soning behind accommodating the time If a student is slipping academically,
although this penalty is necessary,
for studying during practices. they have many opportunities includ-
not much has been done in the past to
Because of the nature of some of ing Tuesdays during study table, before

The Omega is a monthly publication ence. The Omega operates under the
Editorial Staff

any letters deemed inappropriate.


of Downers Grove North High School jurisdiction of the educational code, All letters, questions, or comments
which has a student population of which requires it to practice only should be sent to the Omega office, Editors-in-Chief A&E Editors Photography Editor
2,100 and 250 staff members. The objective, ethical, and responsible room 213, or emailed to dgnomega@ Katie Callaghan
Staff Box

Dominic Galli Madi Chudzik


mission of the Omega is to report journalism. The Omega is a member csd99.org. The Omega publishes cor- Abbe Murphy Lucas Naber
and promote school issues as well of many scholastic press associations rections monthly. The Omega Twitter
as explain their impact on the stu- including NSPA, CSPA, JEA, and the is student-run and monitored . It can News Editor
dent body with exceptional writing Quill and Scroll. The views expressed be found at @dgnomega. Graphic Editors
Julia Zita Opinion Editor
and visually appealing design. The in The Omega do not necessarily Katie Callaghan
newspaper is produced by journal- reflect those of the administration. Kileen Dietrich
Ryan Pustelnik
ism students and is designed to be Topics for staff editorials are chosen Wednesday, March 23 , 2016 Feature Editor
a learning experience. The Omega by staff consensus through an eq- Volume 46 Issue 6 Fletcher Peters
Sports Editors Faculty Advisors
prints 1600 copies and distributes uitable brainstorming session. The
Downers Grove North
during lunch periods. The writing is Omega encourages letters to the 4436 Main Street Downers Grove, IL, 60515 In-Depth Editors Wyatt Effrein Elizabeth Levin
based on a wide variety of research editor and freelance articles. The edi- Natalie White Eric Landschoot
(630) 795-8304 Katie Callaghan
for a broad and often critical audi- tors reserve the right to edit or omit Jasmine Abdallah