One Generation Under Hazelwood: A 25-year Retrospective

Date(s) - 11/08/2012 - 11/09/2012
All Day

Pleasants Family Room

On November 8-9, 2012, the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy, the Student Press Law Center, the First Amendment Law Review and the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association will host a two-day conference focused on student speech rights and their role in youth civic engagement.

It has been 25 years since the Supreme Court rolled back the broad First Amendment protection of student speech announced in Tinker v. Des Moines Community Independent School District and swung the pendulum back toward school control in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, the Supreme Court’s only ruling addressing the rights of high school journalists. An entire generation of students has now completed kindergarten through college knowing no other standard. In a recent ruling, Doe v. Silsbee Independent School District, the Fifth Circuit took Hazelwood’s deference to perhaps its outermost limit, ruling that the Texas school committed no First Amendment violation when it disciplined a cheerleader for refusing to take part in a cheer that used the name of the basketball player who sexually assaulted her. It’s time to examine how Hazelwood has evolved from its 1988 origins — inlcuding its expansion onto college campuses — whether that evolution is consistent with the Court’s underlying rationale and intent, and whether Hazelwood is the appropriate rule for student journalists or the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of deference to school administrators.

The event will consist of two parts. Day 1 will bring together some of the litigants from the Hazelwood case and will focus on how the Supreme Court’s decision in that case and others has impacted student journalists in North Carolina and around the nation. The first day’s panelists will also engage in a freewheeling discussion of whether, and how, schools can foster more civic — and more civil — engagement from their students.

Day 2, which is being organized by the First Amendment Law Review at the UNC School of Law, will feature some of the leading scholars and thinkers on the subject of student speech rights, including Erwin Chemerinsky, dean at UC Irvine’s School of Law, who will be the keynote speaker. Many of the panelists also will publish articles on this important topic in an upcoming symposium edition of the First Amendment Law Review.

You can register now for one or both days. Registration fees include lunch.

UPDATE: The sessions will be streamed live and the Twitter hashtag for the conference is #Hazelwood25.

Video from the event:

Hazelwood Impact on Students from Center for Media Law and Policy on Vimeo. For more videos from the event, please go here.

Tagged: FALR, Panels, Student Speech, Symposia
Comments are closed.