The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, November 06, 1987, Image 2

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Page 2/The Battalion/Friday, November 6, 1987 Press rights don’ Amendment I: Congress shall make no law .... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people to peaceably as semble, and to pe tition the Govern ment for a redress of grievances. The Constitution of the United States was signed 200 years ago, guaranteeing freedom of expression to all Americans. Well, maybe most Americans. It seems we haven’t yet decided whether high school students should be included in this guarantee along with the rest of us. In the next few months, the U.S. Su preme Court will rule on a case that will answer the question for us, or at least set a precedent for future use. The case is the first of its kind — the first the court has heard on the free-speech rights of high school journalists. The case involves a Missouri high school newspaper, Spectrum, and a man who is supposedly of higher authority. It involves several journalism students at Hazelwood East High School who wanted to publish objective and useful information on teen-age pregnancy and divorce, and their principal, who took it upon himself to deem the newspaper’s Sondra Pickard content inappropriate. All said, the case is a clash between freedom of the press and direct censorship, and its outcome could have a dramatic impact on high school — and possibly college — news papers across the country. The Hazelwood journalism students wanted their newspaper to have some meaning. One student who was involved said the staff wanted to write about per tinent social issues instead of the most valuable football player or what was new at the snack bar. They wanted to make a difference, and for that I think they de serve to be commended, not censored. The students and Principal Robert E. Reynolds disagreed on two articles, one dealing with personal accounts of three pregnant Hazelwood students and the other on the impact of divorce on a stu dent at the school. All of those involved consented to the interviews, although fictitious names were used in the arti cles. For reasons of his own, Reynolds ordered the stories killed and, because it was too late to restructure the paper, the remaining stories on the two-page spread — which concerned teen mar riage, juvenile delinquency and run aways — were also deleted. A landmark 1969 Supreme Court ruling says high school students do not “shed their constitutional rights to free dom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” There’s a striking similarity between the two cases. But the ‘Leading indicator’ just sold his stock OK, you can come out now. It’s over. The decline in the stock mar ket has bottomed out. I expect stock prices to start ris ing right about now and keep on going right through Christmas and be- Dona | d Kau , yond. No, I don t have inside information, but I have a foolproof way to tell. I just sold all my stock. I am what is known on the Street as a leading indicator with legs, one of those economic weather vanes stock brokers use to predict market trends. I’m right up there with consumer spending, in terest rates, trade balances and the ex pression on Henry Kaufman’s face. Whatever I do with my stocks, the mar ket does the opposite. As soon as I liqui dated my holdings this week, the word went out to stock brokerages across the nation: “It’s OK to buy again; the lox has sold out.” I don’t know how I got so notorious. I only got into the market as a kind of ex periment. I had made a handsome profit on an old investment and decided to invest all of it in the stock market to see if I could make it into a fortune and retire to the writing of bad novels. For the longest time it looked as though I could. My stocks kept going up. It wasn’t a fortune, mind you, but it was a very pretty penny. I even started think ing about buying a three-piece suit. Then came the recent slide. I sat there and watched the value of my port folio slide day after day, sometimes up a little, then down a lot again. I kept say ing to myself: “Now is no time to lose your nerve. You should have sold two weeks ago but, not having done it, it’s better to hang in. After all, the market is probably at its bottom.” I’d say that and the market would go down again. Then I thought of those monkeys on the Pacific islands, the ones they capture by putting a nut in a narrow-necked gourd tied to a tree. The monkey comes along and slips his hand into the gourd and tries to grab the nut. With his fist clenched around the nut, however, he can’t get his hand out. But he’s too greedy to let go of the nut, so he sits there, holding on tightly to the nut, hoping something good will happen, until they come and collect him. It oc curred to me that my postion in the stock market was much like that of the monkey. That’s when 1 got out. I called my broker and, in a calm voice, said; “Sell! Sell! For God’s sake, sell!” “You realize that you’re selling at the very bottom of the market, don’t you?” he said. “Not until I sell, it isn’t the bottom. If I keep my stocks it’ll go down some more. Sell.” “Can’t you hold on a little while longer? It’s going up any day now.” “I don’t care,” I told him. “It’s ruining my life. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, the other day I found myself staring out of my office window, looking at the ground.” “I hadn’t realized you were taking it this hard,” he said. “But why? You haven’t got that much invested.” “So OK, it was a basement window. The principle is the same. The other day when that Miami investor shot those two stockbrokers, then himself, the only thing that occurred to me was that he probably killed himself out of shyness. He didn’t want the embarrassment of being voted a medal by his fellow inves tors. Is that sick or what? I’m losing it, I tell you.” “OK, I’ll sell the stock,” my broker said. And he did. I should have gotten out last summer, of course; I should have read the signs. Donald Trump says he got out, so does Carl Icahn and T. Boone Pickens. Frank Sinatra says he got out. Apparently I and a couple of close friends were the only ones who stayed in. No wonder the market seemed shaky. They say that old Joe Kennedy, the patriarch of the political Kennedys, got out of the market in August of 1929, two months before the crash. Legend has it that the urge to take his profits struck him while getting his shoes shined. He overhead two bootblacks dis cussing their investments and how well they were doing. Kennedy later said that if the market was being fueled by the enthusiasm of bootblacks and others of equal sophistication, he knew it was time to leave it. Similarly, I should have known that I shouldn’t be in the market when I real ized that it was attracting people like me. No more. I leave the market poorer in wordly goods, richer in experience — but I leave. Goodbye. Let the rally begin. Copyright 1987, Tribune Media Services, Inc. The Battalion (USPS 045 360) Member of Texas Press Association Southwest Journalism Conference The Battalion Editorial Board Sondra Pickard, Editor John Jarvis, Managing Editor Sue Krenek, Opinion Page Editor Rodney Rather, City Editor Robbyn Lister, News Editor Loyd Brumfield, Sports Editor Tracy Staton, Photo Editor Editorial Policy The Battalion is a non-profit, self-supporting newspaper oper ated as a community service to Texas A&M and Bryan-College Sta tion. Opinions expressed in The Battalion are those of the editorial board or the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Texas A&M administrators, faculty or the Board of Regents. The Battalion also serves as a laboratory newspaper for students in reporting, editing and photography classes within the Depart ment of Journalism. The Battalion is published Monday through Friday during Texai A&M regular semesters, except for holiday and examination periods. Mail subscriptions are $17.44 per semester, $34.62 per school year and $36.44 per full year. Advertising rates furnished on re quest. Our address: The Battalion, 216 Reed McDonald, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4111. Second class postage paid at College Station, TX 77843. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Battalion, 216 Reed McDonald, Texas A&M University, College Station TX 77843-4111. Opinion t stop at the school dooiSf district judge who first ruled on the Ha zelwood case said high school newspa- papers are part of the school curric ulum, not a public forum protected by the First Amendment. He said the pre vious case dealt with symbolic speech — wearing black armbands as silent protest against the Vietnam War —and was not a school-sponsored event or activity as is a newspapaper. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Ap peals heard the Hazelwood case and re versed the lower court’s decision by a 2- 1 vote. “Because it was intended to be and operated as a conduit for student viewpoint,” the ruling said, the newspa per was a public forum. The school dis trict then appealed to the Supreme Court. Leslie Edwards, the attorney for the students, says, “The court has to think that there is a higher social value that would be destroyed by not applying the First Amendment, tnat would justify limiting school board control. “Otherwise, it would be teaching kids that the First Amendment doesn’t apply if you’re a member of a certain group, such as under the age of 18 — that it doesn’t apply equally to all citizens of the United States.” The court has yet to decide its case, but whether in high school, college, or the real world, so to speak, the First Amendment should and traditionally has applied equally to all people —black, white, young or old. Just because high school students are considered under age by the state doesn’t mean their ideas should be caged up until they grow up. High school administrations and school boards across the country await the Supreme Court’s decision, as do those at the college level. A decision has already been made in regard to the col lege-level press — censorship by faculty or administrators is illegal — and most will realize this. But the word is out, and if the court should rule in favor of the Hazelwood principal, many a college administrator might also feel he or she can practice censorship in similar col lege cases. What’s more dangerous? A few brightly-written, informative articles on real-life, everyday high school prob lems, or an attitude that tells studi it’s right to suppress ideas or infer tion? As a Miami Herald editor pm “One of the most important activitit the student press. That press is an; ward, not-quite-mature creature, the teen-agers themselves. But, also them, it deserves our complete ai tion, plenty of growing room anc much confidence and trust as possiH I chose not to take advantage of journalism classes offered at myl school, but I read the newspaper giously and would hate to think this might affect its future content. Wii the First Amendment and all item this column might have been read changed by an A&M faculty membd administrator. Without freedom! speech. The Battalion might not The thought of it outrages me, and school students, who are only a years younger than 1, probably feel different. Lab By Reveil attends Danna, triever, i her own safely. '*1 got May 24 Guide D says Lau more el< jor from intereste but I w; could ha ineon th a dog. Last yi cane an< Sondra Pickard is a senior jourwk major and editor o/The Battalion, ANt>tvn\\E 74 t»*KnAENT~ '♦mHAeounHEEiHm. senstwiny of a'nnjnut- respnt mm ■mt NMtON’S T0? UW-ENTOWSMENt OFFICER, RE’S CDFRENTiy UNt>ER IWESnGMlOKB/A GFWb OUftf, ASPEOMl PROSECUTOR m> A SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ITOR A COUDRFUU N?RPy OF WlEGEb SLEN3HESS- ANt> AOHOU&R HE'S THE COUNTWS CHIEF lANYER, HtS REAWM6 OF 1HE CONSTtTUnON IS SO EtZARRE AS TO RENPER OS FROTEOVONS tAEMtINGLESS* campus the texti the angl eluding t “I stii things,” tell Dam ton, I ha right sigi Dann; jumps o “Dam plains. Eye Dog training Dog gui dogs lik( Grym from tl Blind at of the < making “I pic Blind be trained dogs th sonal-ty cause t check o she says The : dogs wh she says are giv< trained month. WHAT ER-0H- LET HWA PICK SUPREtAE COURT JUSHCEST Mail Call Support your beliefs EDITOR: A lack of reason seems to be prevalent in the news media, a neglect of proper support for conclusions and an incomplete line of questioning. The Battalion is promulgating such “journalism” as evinced by Brian Frederick’s recent editorial on Robert Bork. Writers must do more than opine. I read editorials for their analysis and discussions, not for their testimonials and gushing exclamations. Brian’s emphasis on destruction of an unbiased, conservative (tradition-preserving) Supreme Court does not relate to his apotheosizing Bork. He spews forth these praises of Bork as if they were self-evident, needing no support. He discounts anything that the “lynch mob” had to say about Bork’s judiciary tendencies by ad hominem argument: Brian never discusses or refutes what Biden and Kennedy said but concludes that these men can say nothing that is true because their intent is not honorable but is to use “the Court as a tool for remolding society.” Where is the definition of issues? the issuing of argument and proofs? In another instance of insubstantial writing, he says that judges should not interpret but obey the written law and the original intent. Why? Why is original intent so good? No, he never supports this argument but only vituperates the voices of change as if change is unnatural or undemocratic. What does change represent, Brian? Certainly he does not hold that change is intrinsically wrong or evil. Yet he never argues, just states, his opinions — as if we were a thoroughly embracing audience, swept along by his opinons and “flourish of eloquence.” I must concede to space and greatly simplify the argument, but perhaps I can point out that he needs toasl further questions. What the authors intended may not be what we want or need. Besides, how can we really know what their intentions were? Are our laws so dependent on people’s intentions that we are here for their sakes? If the authors of the Constitution intended for rigorous observance of their intentions — thus making for a static, unchanging government — why would they have constructed a political framework that allows for ordered revolution and change through voting? Our society is too caught up in what the artist intended, the writer intended, the law intended, the criminal intended, the president intended, God intended, Too many people argue with only pfoof of intention. In freshman writing courses, students are taught to recognize and avoid such argument, the intentional fallacy. If writers are limited by space, they should learn economy and foces. Writers such as Brian are given a column; they shouldn’t waste it by simply crying out their unsubstantiated opinions. Gary Beason graduate student Letters to the editor should not exceed 300 words in length. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit letters for style and length, but will make every effort to maintain the author's intent. Each letter must be signed and must include the classification, address and telephone number of the writer. BLOOM COUNTY locffl sceNe (d/rm OPUS / PIP SCMTBOPy pemMeep id wpe h/s 5Cd5 pepiAceMeNT ?.? ill OLLIE FUttr 'EKE BLOOPY WELL EXCfTEl? / 'WOT A NEW CAREER / SO LETS 6ET POWNTO SOME SERIOUS by Berke Breathtf Fm..HeP£'s we sceue: "smve is on we floor, a J6f\L0US 0IRLFRI6NP HAS JUST cut his eeos off with a carrot peeieR.:: / Up Z.W6N OPUS WALKS IN ANP SAYS SOMBTHING WISTFULLY POIGNANT. ' \ •Full •30 [ (excl •We jewe