Frank LoMonte's session on Scholastic Press Freedom was quite the jolt of energy this morning. Not only did I enjoy the interesting anecdotes and enthusiastic approach to law, I also enjoyed learning about what other schools had done, cases, etc. so I have a "bank" of knowledge when I approach issues at my own school. It is true we learn best from mistakes but it is always better if those mistakes are not our own:)
I plan to use the Podcasts and resource center to do a few lessons on Student Law in my Journalism I class because it is so essential. I think this would fit great right after a unit on ethics; it is just SO applicable to students and real life dilemmas in more than journalism.
One interesting point made by LoMonte was "every kid is a publisher now because of the internet." Kids WILL complain and that is inevitable but it is true that if the principal approaches the students, as suggested, with the attitude that he knows they will complain, but be accountable! As LoMonte also suggested, teachers are "teaching the lesson of civility online" by having students held accountable for signing their names to stories, making corrections and respecting their readership; all of which are in general good LIFE lessons.
Lastly, the notion of parental participation was GREAT. We have parent sponsors but not really a booster club or hub of parent support. It is true that you can create a censor proof paper; I have just ever considered that an option. We are at times so wrapped up in censorship and who is offending who that we forget prevention is a way to simply AVOID censor issues altogether.
This session was by far one of the most useful, as they are:), but in addition the information was teachable to students and practical across the board of students and subjects. Loved the presentation and have already been to www.splc.org to register and "steal" information for future lesson plans and sharing time!
Harrison High School