New law, new voices

Washington and other states passed a new student press law.

Sanjana Chava, Feature Editor

It has come to our attention that our recent Halloween issue of the Catamount has caused concern from members of the Bothell High School Administration due to some components of the last paper, such as the Homecoming article (“Living Gatsby’s Legacy”) and Xanman comic. For those wondering how our issue got distributed last month even with the concerns of the Administration and why there is a new Xanman comic in this issue, the answer is the ‘New Voices’ law.

The ‘New Voices’ bill signed into law by Washington Governor Jay Inslee on March 21, 2018, grants young journalists in K-12 public schools the freedom to express their opinions in school media without the fear of censorship from their administration. However, these rights may be revoked if the students’ release private information, discriminatory, obscene, or libel content, or any other information that would disrupt the school environment.  

With this newfound freedom, young journalists across Washington can freely communicate their critical views on school-related subjects or worldwide issues without the constant fear of getting in trouble with their administration. This allows the students to speak their mind about subjects that can lead to thought-provoking and mind opening conversations about issues in today’s society that are important to discuss.

This new law allows us at the Catamount to freely express our opinion, such as what was done with the homecoming article, and spark new conversations around our community here at Bothell. Without strict censorship, students at Bothell High can expect candid and sincere content from their school newspaper.