Advocates for free speech notched another victory this week when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that will give students at charter schools the same free speech protection that their counterparts in regular public schools enjoy.
What happened, in a nutshell, is that a State Assemblyman, Leland Yee, had to step in with new legislation when a local charter school, the Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA), here in the Santa Ana Unified School District, stopped a press run of their student newspaper, in an obvious attempt to abridge the free speech rights of a student reporter. The same school later fired their journalism advisor because she stood up for that student’s rights.
Yee was so mad after that happened that he asked the SAUSD to cancel OCHSA’s charter, but the SAUSD School Board ignored his request. That was no surprise given that SAUSD School Board President Audrey Yamagata-Noji is no defender of the First Amendment herself. She recently suspended a college student at Mt. San Antonio College, where she is the Vice President of Student Services, for daring to Tweet about a teacher – without even mentioning said teacher’s name!
Here are all the details, courtesy of the California Chronicle:
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