First and foremost, I am proud to say that I live and teach in Kansas. Now, people may say we are narrow minded, what with outlawing the teaching of evolution and all, and there may even be a book entitled "What's the Matter With Kansas?," but we know and love our First Amendment.
It seems so bizarre that Kansas is revolutionary when it comes to protecting both student journalists and advisers, because we Kansans generally stick to the safe side of the street and look both ways before we cross. It also seems unbelievable that we are one of only seven states that protects student’s right to free speech.
First Amendment protection, as emphasized by Frank LoMonte from the Student Press Law Center, is vital to the learning experience for young journalists. He clarified my legal rights as an adviser, and also offered several avenues for assistance if I should ever need it. (I’m knocking on wood that I won’t).
In his enthusiastic, passionate and often hilarious presentation, LoMonte really clarified the do’s and don’ts of copyright law and trademark infringement. Thanks to him, I now have a much more accurate understanding of Fair Use, and will do all that I can to stay within the legal boundaries of reproducing and using media in my classroom.
Other than the parking ticket I have stashed away in my pocket, I don’t anticipate any legal trouble in my future. Thanks Frank!
Turner High School
Kansas City, Kan.