Two high schools awarded 'Muzzlers of free speech'

VIRGINIA -- The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression announced the recipients of their annual Muzzle awards, which are given to the "best Muzzlers of free speech," according to a press release issued today.

Among the list of those noted for stifling the right to free expression were several colleges and high schools, including the administrations of the Academy for Arts, Science, & Technology in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and Millard South High School in Omaha, Neb.

The awards are given "to those who in the preceding year committed some of the more egregious or ridiculous affronts to the First Amendment rights of free speech and free press," according to the press release.

School officials at the Academy of Arts prevented the editors of the student newspaper from distributing an issue that included a story about same sex marriage. Officials at Millard suspended 23 students for wearing t-shirts commemorating a classmate that police said was killed in a gang-related shooting.

"It is especially concerning to see the proliferation of measures taken to prevent controversial speech," said Robert O'Neil, director of the Thomas Jefferson Center, in the press release.

For More Information:

  • Rights undressed The Report, 1/6/2009
  • Administrators suspend students for wearing memorial T-shirts News Flash, 9/18/2008

  • news, Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression