"We were embarrassed by it," Saldivar said. "At the same time we're trying to get kids to see the dangers of using drugs, (The Corral) ran that editorial. In no way do we advocate legalizing drugs, so we didn't feel this was something that was in our best interests to support."Recently graduated Editor-in-Chief Marisa Nieto doesn't see why the editorial is considered inappropriate.
"I just couldn't believe that someone was making such a big deal out of such a little thing in my eyes," she said. "It was just an editorial on legalizing marijuana and giving facts on it. That's it."It would seem that students have a right to freedom of speech. However, in the 1980's, the Supreme Court ruled public schools have the final say when it comes to student publication content. In protest, Big Spring High School journalism teacher Bill Riggs resigned. Some Big Spring residents were also unhappy with the decision.
"Why are we going to only provide them with a minimum of what the ideas and concepts of what journalism are?" Big Spring resident, Lisa Trejo, said. "So they can be prepared for what; half-way (knowledge) of how to do their job when they get into the real world, because their ISD wanted to protect them? That's not fair."A zero-tolerance policy on the open discussion of drug use and prohibition is really a step backwards. It is this kind of close mindedness that prevents us from collectively progressing towards a more just and compassionate future.
While the Supreme Court has ruled that school districts can censor school publications, the Court has also ruled, thanks in large part to SSDP, that free speech about drug policy reform is protected in schools and students can not be punished for discussing drug policy.
We hope to see a SSDP chapter start at Big Spring High School.