Freedom of speech is a right given to us as our country’s very first amendment. Covered within this amendment is the right to a freedom of the press, assuming what is printed is true. In June of 2005, a decision known as the Hosty vs. Carter case ruled that prior restraint can legally be practiced among college campuses in three states (Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin). We at the Skyline View would like to address those who feel that they are not affected by the decision, because they are highly mistaken.

Students planning on publishing media related to schools’ administration are susceptible to being scoped out before publication. Contents to be censored include not only college newspaper documents, but term papers as well, or even blogs.

In a case known as Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeier, the decision was finalized nearly a score earlier stating that high school newspapers were to be examined for content before publication. In the Hosty case, the US Court of Appeals ruled that college newspapers being funded by administration are eligible to be read and approved prior to publishing, should administration find it necessary.

California, which is not one of the three states currently under prior restraint, is doing something about the overall threat. A newly introduced bill set to counteract the threat of prior restraint over our state schools was the hot topic in a press conference held at Skyline on Tuesday, April 18. Although the speakers had differentiating points, they all agreed on the sole fact that the bill is of prime importance.

The only known possible opposition to the bill introduced is California school administration. With risks of being sued for libel, or possible scandals being discovered within hidden walls, the administration is likely to frown on the idea of not having the option of overlooking work before it is published for the free world.

So, say the bill were to be dropped and not make it past legislation. Say, for example with campus newspapers, administration thought it fit to edit each and every article before they went to print. Why, then, would it be necessary to host and carry a newspaper? We may as well distribute school press releases and take partial credit in writing them.

So for those who feel prior restraint is unimportant, or those who believe they will not be affected by it, get the story straight. As long as we have a first amendment that protects our freedom of speech, we should be able to use it without abuse on either end. It is imperative to understand that every form of media, including newspapers, magazines, radio broadcast, and even web related forums can one day be held accountable for the effects. What if, in the near future, all publications would require submission for approval by the government? It’s a long shot, yes, but it’s a baby step in the general direction.

Prior restraint may appear to have its upsides, but for the sake of free speech, it expresses the downs, including ridding us of our first amendment.