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1 MORSE V. FREDERICK SPEECH POLICIES By KARLA D. KENNEDY A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011
2 2011 Karla D. Kennedy
3 To my Mother, Hilda, my brother, Lawrence III, and my sister, Lauren thanks so much for believing in me. I could not have done this without your love and support. I will always love and remember my uncle Thomas G. Fair, Jr. for his encouragement.
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Foremost, I would lik e to thank Dr. Lillian Kopenhaver from Florida International University for setting me on this path. Sh e has truly been an inspirational cheerleader on my team. I would also like to thank my mother, Hilda Fair Kennedy and my aunt, Sarah Fair for their enco uragement and support. Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Cory Armstrong, my dissertation committee chair for her dedication, knowledge, and support.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 8 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 9 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 12 The Student Speech Doctrine and Bong Hits 4 Jesus ................................ ............ 16 Tinker v. Independent Des Moines Community School (1969) ........................ 17 Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser et al (1986) ................................ ....... 17 Hazelwood School District et al. v. Kuhlmeier et al. (1988) .............................. 17 Bong Hits 4 Jesus ................................ ................................ ............................ 18 Democracy and Public Education ................................ ................................ ........... 21 Citizenship ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 24 Student Media ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 25 Advising Student Media ................................ ................................ .................... 28 P ublic Opinion ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 31 Method of Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ 33 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 36 Agenda Setting and Framing ................................ ................................ .................. 38 Attribute Agenda setting and Framing ................................ ................................ .... 43 Framing Effects on Public Opinion and Public Policy ................................ ............. 48 Democratic Educational Paradox ................................ ................................ ........... 51 First Amendment Theory and the Student Speech Doctrine ................................ ... 55 The First Amendment ................................ ................................ ....................... 56 Political process or self government theory ................................ ............... 58 Marketplace of ideas theory ................................ ................................ ....... 59 Self realization theory ................................ ................................ ................ 60 Plural values theory ................................ ................................ ................... 61 The Student Speech Doctrine ................................ ................................ .......... 62 ................................ ................................ .......................... 65 Proposed Research ................................ ................................ ................................ 69 3 RESEARC H DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY ................................ ....................... 73 Research Question #1: How did major U.S. newspapers frame Morse v. Frederick? ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 75
6 Sample ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 75 Variables ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 75 Coding Procedures ................................ ................................ ........................... 76 Research Question #2: How did school district legislatures interpret and respond to the decision? ................................ ................................ ...................... 78 Sample ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 78 Variables ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 80 Coding Procedures ................................ ................................ ........................... 80 media advisers? ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 82 Sample ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 83 Variables ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 84 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ 85 4 FINDINGS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 87 Newspaper Articles ................................ ................................ ................................ 87 Coverage ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 87 Loaded Characterizations of Students and their Claims ................................ ... 88 Conflicting Institutional Attitudes ................................ ................................ ....... 90 Inadequate Attention to Detail ................................ ................................ .......... 92 Superficial Legal Context ................................ ................................ .................. 93 Providing Supplemental Information ................................ ................................ 94 District Student Sp eech Policies ................................ ................................ ............. 96 District Student Publications Policies ................................ ................................ .... 101 Media Adviser Survey ................................ ................................ ........................... 109 Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ 110 Purpose and Control ................................ ................................ ...................... 110 Censo rship ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 111 Morse v. Frederick (Bong HiTs 4 Jesus) ................................ ........................ 112 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 116 Framing Student Speech ................................ ................................ ...................... 117 Object ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 117 Attributes ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 118 Frames ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 119 Dominant Attribute ................................ ................................ .......................... 124 Dominant Perspective ................................ ................................ .................... 125 Compelling Arguments ................................ ................................ ................... 126 Student Speech and Publications Policies ................................ ............................ 127 Adviser Survey ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 132 The Democratic Process in Schools ................................ ................................ ..... 133 Study Limitations a nd Future Research ................................ ................................ 138 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 141
7 APPENDIX A UNITED STATES NEWSPAPERS ARTICLES ................................ ..................... 145 B CODING GUIDE/ NEWSPAPER ARTICLES ................................ ........................ 146 C SCHOOL DISTRICT STUDE NT SPEECH/PUBLICATIONS POLICIES ............... 149 D CODING GUIDE/ SCHOOL POLICIES ................................ ................................ 151 E CODING GUIDE/ STUDENT PUBLICATIONS ................................ ..................... 153 F MIAMI DADE COUNTY MEDIA ADVISERS SURVEY ................................ ......... 155 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 161
8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 ................................ ................................ ............................ 77 3 2 Student ................................ ................................ 81 3 3 ................................ .......................... 81 4 1 Results of variables measuring the loaded characterizations of students and their claims frame ................................ ................................ ............................... 90 4 2 Results of variables measuring the conflicting institutional attitudes frame ........ 91 4 3 Results of variables measuring the inadequate attention to detail frame ............ 92 4 4 Results of variables measuring the superficial legal context frame .................... 94 4 5 Results of variables measuring the providing sup plemental information frame .. 95 4.6 Results of US school districts student speech policies and student free speech variables ................................ ................................ ................................ 99 4 7 Results of US school districts student publications policies and scho ol publications variables ................................ ................................ ....................... 103 4 8 Results of US school districts student publications policies and the editorial control var iable ................................ ................................ ................................ 108 4 9 Miami student media ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 114 C 1 American public school districts. ................................ ................................ ....... 149
9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Object and attribute salience through agenda setting elements. ........................ 44 2 2. Compelling arguments: a third route for the transfer of salience between the media agenda and the public agenda. ................................ ................................ 45 2 3 Student speech compelling arguments: an example of third route for the transfer of salience of the attribute of censorship between the media agenda and the public agenda. ................................ ................................ ....................... 46 5 1 The top of this figure shows components in the development of frames and issue salience. The bottom half of the figure demonstrates how the med ia established frames that supported censorship of student speech. ................... 144
10 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy SPEECH POLICIES By Karla D. Kennedy December 2011 Chair: Cory Armstrong Major: Mass Communication This study examines the effect Supreme C ourt decisions in student speech cases may have on student expression in schools by focusing on the recent Supreme Court student speech case Morse v. Frederick (2007) also know n a controversial case brought student spe ech back in to the public arena, because it was the first student speech case the Court had granted certiorari in 25 years In order to measure the trickle down effect of the decision, the researcher conducted three analyses. First, newspaper articles written about Bo ng Hits were analyzed utilizing issue salience identified in framing theory. The frames identified were loaded characterizations of students and their claims, conflicting institutional attitudes, inadequate attention to detail, superficial legal context, a nd providing supplemental information. Next, school districts student speech and student publications policies were used as a surrogate for public opinion because school board members are citizens of the communities they represent. The district policies w ere content analyzed for comprehensive value in several categories. Finally, student media advisers in Miami Dade County Public Schools were surveyed to ascertain the e ffects of the Morse
11 decision in their schools and classrooms in the categories of purpos e and control and censorship First Amendment theory, practicing democracy in schools, and the student speech doctrine are foundational elements of this research. Results indicate that although the case was controversial, the media framed t he case to be more about illegal drug usage than the defense of student free speech and the terms democracy and free speech were mentioned in less than 10% of the articles analyzed. Three of the school districts policies reference the Supre me Morse T he media advisers surveyed did not keep up with the case and felt it had no e ffect on free speech in their school
12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In 2002, a student at Juneau Douglas Senior High in Juneau, Alaska had an idea about how to get on television. The winter O lympics were just getting under way and the running of the torch was coming through his city I t would pass right in front of his school. So, he constructed a 14 foot banner of masking tape and paper that read ONG H i TS 4 JESUS Joseph Frederick arrive d to school late that day, but just in time for him and his friends to unfurl the banner while standing on the sidewalk across the street in front of the school. The large banner was easily readable by students gathered on the other side. Once the principal noticed the banner, she crossed the street and requested that he take it down. When he refused, she confiscated the banner and suspended him for ten days. She later explained that she message as encouraging illegal drug use and it violated Juneau S chool policy. Despite what he might hav e thought on that day, Fredrick would learn that his First Amendment rights are not necessarily the same as those of an adult in a similar situ ation According to Frederick he meant for the banner t o be meaningless and funny enough to attract the attention of the camera crews (" Morse ," 2007) The phrase was meant to be provocative and nonsensically ambiguous. Thus, Frederick wanted his fifteen minutes of fame, but what he got was much, much more. Frederick argued that his First Amendment rights had been violated when principal Deborah Morse o rdered him to take the banner down (" Morse ," 2007) Frederick cl aimed that his banner should not be classified as student speech by the courts because he was technically not in school and students were allowed to leave classes to watch the torch ceremonies
13 without formal parental field trip notification (" Morse ," 2007) Additionally, he did not see his banner as a school disruption because there were no classes taking place at the time of the display and there were no signs of students being disruptive as a result of his banner (" Morse ," 2007) Principal Deborah Morse would argue that school administrators can, in fact, censor student speech if the speech violates school board policy and can be vi ewed as promoting illegal drug usage (" Morse ," 2007) Frederick a ppealed his suspension to the Juneau School District, but the District Superintendent that read: Frederick had displayed his banner in the midst of his fellow students, durin g school hours, at a school sanctioned activity and that [Frederick] was not disciplined because the principal of the school disagreed with his message, but because his speech appeared to advocate the use of illegal drugs. (" Morse ," 2007) Frederick would take his fight for the First Amendment right to freedom of s peech all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court in Morse v Frederick (2007) In fact, his fight would make headlines in the national and local media His case would be the first student speech case that the Court had granted certiorari in 25 years The Supre me Court had previously ruled that students do have substantial First Amendment rights, but it is up to school officials to curtail those rights if doing so was deemed necessary to maintain a safe environment in which all can learn (" Tinker ," 1969) Thus, the question before the Court in this 2006 case was whether a schoo l may, in the absence of concern about disruption of educ ational activities, punish and c ensor non disruptive, off campus speech by students during a school sanctioned activity becaus e the speech promotes a social message contrary to the one favored by school districts ?
14 When addressing the overall issue of student speech, the Supreme Court (" Fraser ," 1986; Hazelwood," 1988; Tinker ," 1969) has right to spe ak freely on issues and to protect student journalists against unsubstantiated administrative censorship The Court has said that although the individual student may have a right to speak sans censorship (" Ti nker ," 1969) the speech cannot be considered lewd or inappropriate by community standards for young listeners (" Fraser ," 1986) Additionally, student media can be censored if administratively supported curriculum ("Hazelwood," 1988) (Love, 2008) Students, school administr ators and school board officials have all used court decisions to defend his or her actions. Although the Supreme Court has attempted to provide guidance for lower courts through judicial precedent, there is still much debate S tudent s, administrators, te achers, parents and school districts are still not quite sure where to draw the line between student free speech and lawful censorship Mass Communication media effects theory, agenda setting, suggests that the media can have an effect on public opinion. issue, but also how much importance to attach to that issue from the amount of (McCombs & Shaw, 1972, p. 176) In the study of the effects of agenda setting, researchers have also identified framing theory. Dr uckman (2005) wrote:
15 framing calls attention to the perspectives of communicators and their audiences, how they picture topics in the news and, in particular, to the special status that certain frames have in the content of a message. (p. 546) Issue salience has been identified as part of the framing process and is defined as how s (Kiousis, 2004) Simply, the way that the media frames an i ssue can potentially affect the way the public perceives it, thereby creating issue salience. Salient issues reported on by the media, such as Supreme Court decisions in cases involving controversial debatable issues have been proven to impact public opinion (Johnson & Martin, 1998) In their 1998 study, Johnson and Martin concluded that although the Supreme Court influences public opinion on highly salient issues, the influence is dependent upon when the issue is presented to the public. S tudying the ns use frames in a competent and well (p. 225). Burstein (2003) summarizes that in a democratic society, public opinion will influence public policy in is how media frames an issue and public opinion potentially resulting in an implementation or change in public policy. School board members are usually residents o f the districts that they represent through election or appointment and in turn become policy makers for students. Board
16 members can choose to implement and develop policies directly concerning student speech and student publications. Consequently, media c overage of the Morse v. Frederick case produced communication frames. In turn, these frames could potentially The frames along with the policies could also affect how jour tenets of journalism and the responsibilities associated with advising student media. In other words, could a correlation exist between mass media coverage of the case and subsequent ly enacted school board student speech and/or st udent publication policies? did the outcome of the case effect student speech in th eir classrooms? Using a multi methodo logical approach of content analys e s and a survey, this study will seek to answer three questions. First, are there identifiable frames of the Supreme Morse and if so what are they? Second, could t here be a scholastic journalism classrooms? To begin any discussion concerning stude nt speech in schools, it is necessary to outline Supreme Court free speech decisions, referred to as the Student Speech Doctrine. The Student Speech Doctrine and Bong Hits 4 Jesus The S tudent S peech D octrine has been shaped by th ree key Supreme Court decis ions: Tinker v. Independent Des Moines Community School (1969), Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fras er et al. (1986) and, Hazelwood School District et al. v.
17 Kuhlmeier et al. (1988) Each one of these cases will be discussed further in Chapter Two, but i t is necessary to briefly mention them here. Tinker v. Independent Des Moines Community School (1969) The Court granted student s First Amendment protection and ruled that students do The Court also said that school administrators could not censor student speech unless the speech would cause substantial disruption in the school. Even with this caveat, Tinker was the strongest ruling and shaped school districts policies about all owing students to have freedom of speech in school. Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser et al (1986) T he Court ruled was not constitutionally protected when he made a campaign speech f or a candidate in students. The Court ruled that the standard set in Tinker did not apply in this case because the contents of the speech could be interpreted as lewd or obsc ene. Hazelwood School District et al. v. Kuhlmeier et al. (1988 ) I n a 7 2 decision the Court ruled in favor of school officials when it came to student speech in school sponsored student media. The Court granted school officials the right to censor stude nt speech when said speech was part of a The Court said that if the school c ould prove that the speech would affect learning or interfere with the health, safety and welfare of s tudents the censorship would be justifiable
18 Even with t he precedence set by the outcome of the Supreme C student speech decisions, school officials and/or school board members have some leverage in framework and s trict guidelines, but it is up to independent districts as to their application of the rulings In the past, when courts decid ed student speech cases, school d istricts and local legislatures enact ed new policies and laws or amended old ones In 2006, in re sponse to the 7 th Hosty v. Carter a case involving censorship of a college newspaper, California amended its 1977 Leonard Law (Calif. Educ. Code Section 94367) extending the protection of free speech for st udents to include public colleges. After the Supreme Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1988), a landmark student speech case granting administrators the right to censor student media, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa Kansas, Massachusett s, and Washington joined California by passing laws granting greater First Amendment freedoms for the student press. Pennsylvania passed similar student press protection legislation in 2005, followed by Oregon in 2007 In states where these laws are nonexi stence students and administrators must rely on school boards to establish student speech policies. Bong Hits 4 Jesus Morse v. Frederick (2007) was the first student speech case that the Supreme Court granted certiorari in 25 years, resulting in the case r eceiving some media coverage. Even before the case would make it to the Supreme Court, the lower courts would debate the facts of the case. The District Court ruled in favor of Morse and the ase reached the
19 Supreme Court, the defense would argue that this was a case about free speech. The ef Justice John G. (Dupre, 2009, p. 239) Law professor Kenn Bong Hits Court was deeply divided, with fissures even within the five Weeks before the final ruling, Justice Antonin Alito spoke publicly in support of student free expression and warned that the Cou rt needed to be ca reful as to what rights it gave to administrators (Wang, 2007) In the Bong Hits decision the Supreme Court ruled 5 4 in favor of the school district and the principal. The four part ruling, delivered by Chief Justice Roberts, held that (1) school officials may safeguard students from what can be regarded as encouraging illegal drug use; (2) the eve nt was sanctioned by the school; (3) the banner was in v iolation of school board policy; and (4) consistent with the First Amendment, a principal may re strict speech reasonably viewed as promoting drug use (" Morse ," 20 07) In his concurring opinion Justice Alito joined by Justice Anthony K ennedy, wrote: the public schools are invaluable and beneficent institutions, but they are, after all organs of the state any argument for altering the usual free speech rules in public schools cannot rest of the theory of delegation bust must instead be based on some special characteristic of the school setting in this case [it] is the threat to the physical safety of the school. (" Morse ," 2007) ruling in T in ker undermined teachers and administrators authority to maintain order in public schools (" Morse ," 2007) Justice John P. Stevens dissented in part and stated
20 indeed, lauding (" Morse ," 2007, p. 435) Report, Wang (2007) any legal experts said the outcome carves out a narrow precedent that is un likely to prove d evastating for student speech rights Although there is evidence of empirical research and/or legal analysis published ings in student speech cases, this research has generally concentrated on the impact and application of the co Legal analysts interpret the how, any) effects they may have in continuing to shap e the student speech doctrine (Be ntley, 2009; Blacker, 2009; Dupre, 2009; Kozlowski, Bullard, & Deets, 2009) Some student speech researchers explored how students, administrators, and media advisers feel about what their job position(s) entitle or obligate them to do (Click, Kopenhaver, & Hatcher, 1993; Filak, Reinardy, & Maksl, 2009; Kopenhaver & Click, 2001) Other student speech research has dealt with the effects of scholastic journalism programs in schools (Dvorak, 1994; Kopenhaver & Click, 2001; Lael & Dvorak, 1994) Even though legal analysis of s tudent speech court cases and past studies conducted involving student speech yield interesting and justifiable results, there is growing evidence of a gap in the research (Fromm, 2010) R esearchers are now beginning to look at the effect media may have on policies regarding student speech to help elucidate the complexities student conducted a textual analysis of how U.S. newspapers reported on eight student speech court decisions. Fromm (2010) found that the newspapers did not adequately
21 want to continue to look critically at student speech issues in America, they are going to have to consider mass But, before venturing into the realms of media effects on student free speech, it is imperative to examine the complexities of student expression in public schools. First it is essential to briefly discuss the role of public education in Am is also important to examine the role of scholastic journalism and its perceived e ffects speech are written by public school board officials, the e ffect of public opinion on public policy must be addressed. Democracy and Public Education In exploring the ideals of democracy, John Stuart Mill (1996) in On Liberty identified three basic concepts that are the foundation of a successful democracy : the marketplace of ideas, popular sovereignty, and individual autonomy. First, Mill (1996) discussed the importance of every member in society having an equal opportunity to express his or her opinion on all issues, even if the opinion is not popular. Fr ee speech decent democracy not only protects free speech, but it also covets important non political values such as religious toleration and respect for personal conscienc (Gutmann, 1997, p. 520) Next, Mill (1996) addressed the importance of the practice of popular sovereignty, an ideal later elaborated upon by philosopher, Alexander
22 Meiklejohn. Popular sovereignty is the idea that members of a society should have the opportunity and the right to self government. And lastly, Mill (1996) said there had to be individual autonomy, a concept that he borrowed from Immanuel Kant. This is the idea that society respects its citizens enough to believe that they are able to make good ethical decisions. Free speech, self rule, and citizenship are at the core of the research proposed here. These tenets of democracy are closely tied to educational theory, because the public school is the primary institution for providing an educated citizenry for democracy (Glickman, 2003). Philosopher John Dewey (1922) said tha t there must be a devotion to democracy by a society, or those that govern it are destined to fail. Trying to define what constitutes a democracy is a challenge, and trying to determine what elements make up a democratic society is an even more daunting ve nture, especially when it comes to our public schools. Several books and scholarly papers have been written along with an abundance of empirical research produced addressing the application of democracy in schools and why it is important to make classrooms more democratic (Darling Hammond & Ancess, 1996; Dupre, 2009; Fraser, 1997; Garnett, 2008; Glickman, 2003; Rohr, 2000; Starr, 2009; Stradling, 2004; Warnick, 2009) Fraser (1997) wrote that only fully empowered pe ople could govern themselves. Underwood (2001) stated that early advocates of public education wanted Anderson (2004) said that attempting to defin e democracy is associated with the ideal. Dewey (1922) identifies one concept closely linked to fostering a democratic society is the education of its newest members.
23 P ublic education plays an important role in the lives of young Americans. Schools ed (Underwood, 2001, p. 171) According to the writings of Dewey (1922), educati on is the necessity of life; in order for any civilization to continuously intellectually evolve and grow, the elders of that social group must pass knowledge to the newest members of the group. This knowledge must be integrated into the interests, purpose s, information, skills and practices of both the younger and the older members. Dewey (1922) states: beings who are born not only unaware of, but also quite indifferent to, the aims and habits of the social group have to be rendered cognizant of them and actively interested. Education, and education alone, spans a school setting through public education. (p. 3 ) The mission of public education is to integrate American society with functioning individuals who are equipped with the ability and intelligence to debate and participate in the process of self rule (Darling Hammond & Ancess, 1996). Previous scholars have posit ed do they learn and practice democratic ideals if they are not allowed to practice the process in schools (Fraser, 1997; Gutmann, 1997; Warnick, 2009) School campuses are constantly viewed as separate from society; when in fact, at its inception, one of cracy exchange of ideas (Dewey, 1922; Glickman, 2003; Hudson, 2003) Many argue that schools should function as small societies where students get a chance to practice democracy and equality. was the place where a
24 diverse group of young citizens came together to model the la rger society we hoped to (p. 54) Therefore, if democracy is the cornerstone of our society, its ideals should be intrinsically imperative to be practiced in schools. Scholars continue to propose that a major function of schools in American society is to prepare citizens for a democratic society. Glickman (2003) wrote that Thomas Jefferson, the chief author of the Declaration of I educational theory of democracy: that citizens are capable of learning for themselves when endowed with a rich, interactive, and information Our society was built on the foundations of democ racy. Citizenship Citizenship in a democracy entails exercising the right of free speech, engaging in civil obedience, and developing a sense of justice (Gutmann, 1997; Mill, 1986) Fraser (19 97) suggested that the solutions and the problems of a society reside in a fully empowered majority. Our society relies on three institutions to prepare children for adulthood: t he family, religious institutions, and for most children, the public school (Lipez, 2003) The government does not interfere with the first two, but with our public schools the hand of government is everywhere (Lipez, 2003) The Supreme Court acknowledges that in order to cultivate a successfully functional democracy one of the main focuses of education should be the responsi bility of producing purposeful members In the student speech case, Bethel School District et al. v. Fraser et al. (1986) the Court reinforced the idea that public education should prepare students for citizenship by instructing students on how to practice self governance and
25 to respect community standards by behaving civilly. Dewey (1922) believed that if the ideals and morals of any given social group are not taught to the less mature members, tho se ideals could potentially cease to exist. Consequently, if students are not allowed to practice free speech in schools, then it is possible that they will no longer deem it important to the success of a democratic nation. Therefore, s tudents should have a chance to understand and debate school policies, comment on current trends in society, and practice the laws of our democracy. If schools are learning vessels, students should be given all of the oars, not just the ones that school officials allow them, thereby crippling students and changi ng the course of their journey. Public s chools are potentially falling into a vicious cycle of teaching the ideals of democracy, while not exercising its basic principles. Although the Supreme Court has cautioned school officials to exercise objectivity when governing student speech ( Tinker 1969; Morse 2007), it also gave administrators some latitude in censoring student speech especially in cases concerning scholastic journalism also known as the student media ( Hazelw ood 1988). Student Media Scholastic journalism is the teaching of the tenets of journalism to students. These students in turn become part of the student media when, as a result of the instruction, produce media. Just like the mass media, the scope and reach of scholastic journalism is multifaceted. First, it provides a forum for student expression ( Law of the student press, 1994; Media advisers guide 2001) All voices have a right to be heard, whether objectionable or not. This ideal is the driving force behind the establishment o f this nation. Next, it serves as a watchdog over government by providing a necessary link to
26 school officials ( Law of the student press, 1994) Finally, it exemplifies the human need for self expression through freedom of expression ( La w of t he student press, 1994) himself or herself and builds self confidence (Farber, 2003) Student free speech exercise d through the student press is a strong mechanism and serves many purposes. provide a foru ( Law of the student press 1994, p. 13) Dvorak (1994) wrote that only in a journalism class can students learn how to inquire, think critically, discover, reason, and write without bias. In essence, scholastic journalism teaches students how to communicate effectively and therefore, helps to facilitate democracy in schools Understanding the complexities and intricacies of scholastic journalism in schools is what drives this research. The ac t of prior review by administrators and school officials can be considered as one of those complexities. Prior review is one of the strongest forms of censorship practiced by school officials. Prior review takes place when an administrator requires that s tudent media be examined before going to print or being aired. The administrator approves or disapproves articles and/or stories that he or she deems inappropriate for students. Several professional scholastic journalism organizations warn administrators a nd school officials against the perils that can be associated with prior review. The Journalism ( Principal's guide to scholastic journalism 2002, p. 67) Since school officials are charged with policing the school and
27 guaranteeing the health, safety and welfare of all students, they can feel that practicing prior review is not only necessary, but also justifiable. T his practice is what motivated members of the Spectrum at Hazelwood East High School to seek legal protection when the principal wanted to remove stories in the paper that dealt with divorce and teenage pregnancy (" Hazelwood ," 1988) The Supreme Court ruled that since the practice of prior review had been previously established, the student paper did not qualify for First Amendment protection. Research shows that censorship is alive and well in American public schools. In student press freedom five years after t Hazelwood Two distinct conclusions were drawn from this study. First, although principals believe in the importance of the student press, they deem maintaining a safe school environment as more important. Second, advisers deem thems elves ultimately responsible for the content of student publications. Both of these findings imply that school employees are not sufficiently supportive of a free student press. In a follow up study, Kopenhaver and Click (2001) found that principals and advisers still favor censorship of the high school press. In a survey of media advisers and principals, the majority of the respondents said that both the adviser and the principal censor student newspapers. E ven more alarming, this study also found that student journalists are engaging in self censorship. This is quite worrisome to advocates of scholastic journalism because one of the ideals that the public school system was founded upon was the practice and a pplication of democratic ideas and if students are censored early on, what affect will that have on the
28 In a recent study, researchers sought to find what motivated individuals toward self censorship. Filak, Reinardy and Maskl (2009 ) wanted to know if self censorship could be explained by practical concerns or if it exists beyond specific situational fears. That is, if someone were likely to self censor, would the fear of losing his or her job if he practiced censorship change his or her behavior? In a survey of high school media advisers, they found that self censorship was an intrinsic trait, and even the fear of a practical nature, like losing their job did not change the behavior. Utilizing the Willingness to Self Censor Scale (WT SC), Filak et al. (2009) found that advisers who rate highest in self censorship ar In engaging in this practic e, they may be passing on these values to young journalists. This study seeks to examine current views on censorship of student media advisers when faced with controversial issues. Advising Student Media Leadership ties into the overall concept of student speech because educators must acknowledge that free speech for students is imperative for them to understand what is just and what is unjust in a democratic society (Gutmann, 1997) As a concept, democracy relies on the ability for citizens to freely discuss different points of view, both popular and unpopular (Farber, 2003; Gutmann, 1997; Mill, 1986) speech, even well used (with self restraint), is certainly not sufficient to deliver jus tice, the way in which citizens use their freedom of speech is certainly influenced by the way (Gutmann, p. 522) Educators can only assist students in their
29 understanding of the tenets of free speech in a democratic society. There are some things that students must learn for themselves. Gutman n (1997) suggests that as students mature intellectually and emotionally, they should enjoy more freedom of directive e ducators, and laws that defer to over directive educators, are more paternalistic at worst, they are more tyrannical where promoting freedom of speech and democracy can be ob served and evaluated is Advisers of student media are at the forefront of applying, maintaining, and demonstrating democracy for students. It takes a trained professi onal and a master educator to advise student media. Student media advisers are required to fulfill all of the requirements of maintaining a disciplined classroom, helping to develop democracy in the minds of the young, as well as upholding and instilling t he principles of the First Amendment in students. The role of the adviser is a dual one (Kopenhaver & Click, 2001) Advisers to student publications ly, adviser candidates should have course work and experience in journalism, as well as in the ( Principal's guide to scholastic journalism 2002, p. 23) Kopenhaver (1984) wrote that an adviser coul d make or break a journalism program. It is important to student publications that all advisers be well trained and certified in their field. Advising student media can be a lonely job with its share of challenges. To be successful, prospective advisers ha ve to be well prepared
30 (Kopenhaver, 1984) According to Miami Dade County Pu (2001) adviser job description: Advisers to official school publications will serve primarily as teachers, whose chief responsibility is guiding students to an understanding of the nature, function, and ethics of a free press an d of student publications, not acting as censors. Also, insure that publications are free of any defamatory material or material which is obscene as to minors or which would cause substantial disruption of school activities. Miami Dade County also encoura ges advisers to ensure that their staffs publish error free factual news, act as a liaison between students and administrations, and stay current with legal matters concerning student speech ( Media advisers guide 2001) Filak, Reinardy, & Maksl (2009) found that the average adviser had 14 years of teaching experience and 11 years of advising experience. Professional experience was prominent, with 62% of the respondents stating that they had worked in a newsroom of some kind prior to advising. What the study d id not show was whether the adviser was certified in the field of journalism and/or whether he or she obtained a college degree in any field. This is an increase from what Dvorak (1993) reported about the advisers in his research sample. He found that whil e 25% had experience, only 28% were certified in journalism. Teacher certification is imperative because federal legislation No Child Left 2012 13 school year States have initiated pr edge by requiring that they pass subject area exams. A subject area exam is designed to a ss ess the knowledge of basic principles in the intended instructional area. To help prepare more journalism professionals, of journalism should offer courses for scholastic journalism teachers and publication
31 prepare prospective journalism a dvisers by reinforcing the importance of a student press that is free, promoting civic involvement, increasing an understanding of the role of citizens in a democratic society, and curtailing self censorship. Public Opinion The First Amendment Center condu views on the state of the First Amendment. In its survey each year the Center includes questions about issues surrounding the application and knowledge of our guaranteed freedoms. On several occasions, the surv ey has included questions concerning student speech. Interestingly enough, Americans are unsure of how the First Amendment should be applied in schools and its relation to the student press. In 2000, this annual public opinion survey included the statement : to report on controversial issues in their student newspapers without approval of school Two out of three (66%) of the respondents either mildly or strongly disagreed, indicating support for censorshi p of the high school press. Coincidently in 2007, (the year of the Bong Hits decision), support for the student press rose slightly to 47%. How did each respondent reach his or her decision? What factors played a role in the surveys outcome? Could the medi a have had an impact on the survey, and if so, how could that be measured? Although these questions could only be answered by surveying respondents of the First Amendment survey, an analysis of current student media policies enacted by school officials mig ht shed some light on the subject. This research is also concerned with journalism outside of the schools and how media coverage of student speech Supreme Court cases can potentially affect school districts student speech and student publication policies. In particular, this dissertation
32 focuses on theory regarding student free speech; thus, agenda setting theory, which dictates that people are concerned with the topics newspapers cover and how topic s are reported, provides an appropriate theoretical framew ork. Agenda setting theory public uses these cues from the media to or ganize their own agendas and de cide which often becomes the public agenda. A subset of agenda setting is framing. McCombs (2004) defines framing as second and emphasis upon particular attributes for the med ia agenda when talking about an Therefore, the ideas presented and prioritized by the mass media can filter into schools through shaping and/or influencing the views of school board members that institute student speech policies. Similarly, public opinion is also a key element here, as media frames often influence public opinion. (Clawson & Oxley, 2008) identified that although public opinion may have a widely ac cepted implied definition, the concept is really quite difficult to simplify. For the purpose of this research, public opinion will be defined as how the public perceives the i mplication(s) of student speech, using school district student speech policies a s a surrogate, and what role the media may have had in shaping this perception. Nelson and Oxley (1999) conducted experimental studies to assess the effect of issue frames on belief importance and content. In other words, could frames have a las ting e ffect (p. 1059). Nelson and Oxley (1999) found that although framing significantly affected
33 issue opinion, it i ndependently affected belief content and belief importance. The effect of frames on issue opinion directly relates to the research proposed here because enacted school board policies are determined by the opinions of the school board members themselves. M ethod of Analysis As previously stated, empirical studies of the ro le of school publications have mainly focused on an evaluation of the process from administrators, teachers, and students (Click et al., 1993; Dvora k, 1994; Filak et al., 2009; Kopenhaver & Click, 2001) Legal analysis has been performed on the outcome of cases that shaped the student speech doctrine (Dupre, 2009; Garnett, 2008; Gutmann, 1997; Kozlowski et al. 2009; Lipez, 2003; Starr, 2009) Qualitative studies have been conducted on advisers and the role that they play (Kopenhaver & Click, 2001) This research proposed to synthesize the information obtained in these studies and add an examination of public opinion through media coverage of Morse v. Frederick to ascertain its effects on local and state governments as well as in high school media classrooms. The study unfolded in three stages. Ea ch stage collected data to develop a clear model of study evaluating the dissemination and interpretation process of student media policies The stages consisted of two content analyses and one survey. First, a content analysis w as conducted of state and national newspapers coverage of the Morse case decis ion from April 2002 until January 2008 to determine media agenda setting through the implementation of framing. A second con tent analysis assessment was conducted of A merican school district existing
34 student speech and student publications policies. These districts were chosen based on their total enrollment for the 2008 2009 school year according to the research company, Proximity (www.proximityone.com/lgsd.htm) For example, according to Proximity, the largest school district in the United States is the New York City Department of Education with 981,690 students. The researcher will then evaluate the data to identify link(s) tution or changes of any policies. Stage three consist ed of a survey of Miami Dade County, Florida student media advisers Miami Dade County Public Schools has a student population of over 350,000 students, and an established student speech guideline ( Media advisers guide 2001) This stage used the four major areas of analysis in researching the state of scholastic journalism in middle and high schools nationally identified by Click Kopenhaver, and Hatcher (1993). First, the researchers measured attitudes in the following categories: 1. Harm Avoidance : greater desire to avoid controversy and harm to the school which could arise from student newspaper activity ; 2. greater concern for First Amendment rights in general; and 3. : stronger beliefs that faculty advisers should be held responsible for reading copy, correcting typos, correcting inaccuracies, and performing other duties associated with the publication of stud ent newspapers Hazelwood legal knowledge of court cases and rulings involving student speech. In their study, Click, Kopenhaver, and Hatcher surveyed both m edia advisers and principals. They found that while administrators scored higher on legal knowledge. For the purpose of this study, there will be questions concerning
35 Mors e to evaluate adviser legal knowledge of the outcome of the case as well as inquiry of where the advisers obtained information about the case. Chapter Two will discuss the elements involved in scholastic journalism that were briefly discussed in this chapt er. The student speech doctrine, the importance of democratic schools and the application of the First Amendment as it relates to the student press are all contributing factors to this research. Agenda setting, elements of framing, and the effects of publi c opinion on public policy will help form the theoretical framework to guide the research proposed here. Chapter Three will outline the method of research. A team of trained coders with some experience with scholastic journalism and education conducted dat a collection of two content analyses. Coder reliability checks were conducted and reported on each item in each content analysis employing research study was a survey of current media advisers in Miami Dade County Public Schools, the fourth largest school district in the United States. The survey was distributed and data collection occurred electronically through a research site, Qualtrics provided by the University of Florida The findings and results will be presented in Chapter Four, and Chapter Five will conclude with a discussion of the findings and implications for future studies in the field.
36 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW What students should be allowed to discuss debate and write about inside the schoolhouse gate has been argued over for years. Ever since the Supreme Court ruled in Tinker v. Des Moines (1964) that students or teachers do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate, there has been an ongoing fight for control over what students can and cannot converse over, and what should and should not constitute free speech for young Americans. School officials institute policies to control what students can say, what type of clothing they can wear, and what subjects are appropriate for them to write about in their newspapers (Click & Kopenhaver, 1988; Dupre, 2009; Glickman, 2003; Gutmann, 1997; Hudson, 2003; Rohr, 2000) Young students and young journal ists want to be able to operate under a system that allows them to openly all about? Some school officials argue that students are not mature enough to debate controv ersial topics in school; and in order for schools to protect the health, safety, and welfare of everyone, there should be strict guidelines. Some legal experts contend that students should be allowed to exercise all of their constitutional rights in school s while others side with the need for administrative control; what is not clear is what is the (Center, 2007) irst Amendment Survey, Americans clearly have mixed views of what First Amendment freedoms are and for whom they should fully apply (Center, 2007) Gene Policinski, vice president and executive director of th e Center said that the 2007 survey stressed the need for an increased better education for young people about their basic freedoms.
37 David Hudson (2007), First Amendment scholar, comment ed : t he survey results indicate the public does not have strong suppo rt for student expression an unfortunate reality given that students may not appreciate our constitutional democracy if they live in an environment that does not respect their rights to freedom of expression. According to the 2007 survey, public support f or student free expression is universities and protesting various issues, they return to a marginalized state regularly due to the power s (Smith, 2004) Support for the student press did slightly increase from 40% in 2001 to 47% i n 2007. Respondents agreed that public school journalists should have the right to report on controversial topics in their school newspapers without administrative approval, but almost three quarters (74%) of them would prevent public school students from wearing a T shirt with a slogan that might offend others. Not surprisingly, however, the respondents were split on whether school officials should be allowed to discipline students who, while off campus, post operations Ideally, in order to fully gauge public opinion on student speech in schools, one would have to survey every adult American citizen, undoubtedly a daunting and astronomical task. Instead, by applying th e second level agenda setting theory of framing in mass communication media effects research to the question at hand, one student publication policies. Student speech has bee n researched by qualitative and quantitative studies involving administrators, students, student media advisers, and student journalists, but few researchers have delved into the divide of assessing what
38 the public thinks. This dissertation proposes to mea on student speech by applying framing ideology in the context of a content analysis in Morse v. Frederick, Hits 4 Jesus First, the literature review will outline framing theory and its relationship to public opinion through the implementation of public policy. Second, it will outline past studies on student speech with an emphasis on student press rights and freedoms. Third, it will provide a brief summary of the ideals and application of democracy and the First Amendment in schools. Finally, it will conclude with a discussion of the student speech doctrine and the Supreme Court case Morse the focus of this study. Agenda Setting and Framing Constructivism basically describes how someone learns. It is a combination of what someone already knows combined with his or her new experiences and/or exposure to information. According to Scheufele (1999), the present e ra of media constructivism includes the dynamic of human reaction. Theorists no longer believe that he description of media and recipients in this stage combines elements of both strong and limited effects strong impact by consumers cannot be lumped into one general category when it comes to how they
39 interpret media coverage. In summary, Neuman et al. wrote (as cited in Scheufele, ection emphasizes the effect the media agenda has on the individual agenda and links the Public Opinion, ess provides basic information that is in turn combined with previous knowledge leading to public opinion. It is this concept that gave birth to agenda setting theory and research. Agenda setting research began 40 years ago with a simple hypothesis: Does media opinion and a second hand o ut these events and situations (McCombs, 2004, p. 1) From this seemingly simple beginning, a vastly expanded portrait evolved. In their seminal study of the issues involved in the 1968 pr esidential election, McCombs and Shaw (1972) content analyzed media coverage of the election and compared that to a survey of voters opinions on issue importance in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and discovered a correlation between what the media reports on and public opinion. McCombs and Shaw (1972) illustrated that the issues the media choose to report on during the election affected how the voters viewed the candidates. Later, providing additional components to consider involving agenda setting, McCombs (2004) identified three conver sions in the continued evolution of the theory. First, agenda setting now encompasses the concepts of image building, gatekeeping, stereotyping, and status conferral. McCombs further acknowledges the
40 inclusion of cultivation analysis and the spiral of sile nce theories and interjects that the explication of second level agenda setting, many scholars have found evidence of what researchers refer to as frames in media content. underscoring the special status held by certain attributes, frames, and the content of a Frames ha call our attention to the dominant perspectives [of the pictures in our heads] particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation and/or treatment 89). Researchers find it difficult to reach a consensus on operationalizing framing (Reese, 2007; Scheufele, 1999; Weaver, 2007) Although they can agree that th is challenging and interesting theory can be easily applicable to the study of media effects, findings of much agenda setting research that is more concerned with which iss ues are 142). Scheufele (1999) identified that framing has not been clearly defined and has rding to perspective, but also incorporates cognitive and critical perspectives. Cognitively, media consumers can view frames as guiding them to figure out where they stand on an issue through how they relate to the issue holistically. Whereas, a critical perspective created
41 by frames is much more controlling pushing media consumers towards a specific direction of thought (Reese, 2007) provocative model that bridges parts of the field tha t need to be in touch with each other: quantitative and qualitative, empirical and interpretive, psychological and (Reese, 2007, p. 148) define how they are using terms and fit them in creative ways to the questions, even if that means crossing a few bridges and being open to neighboring perspectives within individual thinks about publi c issues presented by the media through a combination of affect(s) him or her personally. As defined by Entman (1993), framing essentially involves salience and selection : to frame is to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation and/or treatment recommendation for the ite m described. (p. 52) Frames have been used in research beyond their roots in political communication. Carroll and McCombs (2003) studied the influence of media coverage on awareness and prominence of major companies and their CEOs. They found both first an d second level agenda setting effects. In attempting to market professional basketball to sports enthusiasts, (Fortunado, 2001) linked the positionin g of NBA teams and schedules on the national television schedule to boosts in viewership and revenue. Finally, Rodriguez (2000) explored the educational agendas of teachers and students in Madrid and found ndamental channels of communication
42 (McCombs, 2005, p. 554) Framing is an applicable theory in the study of student speech, because it has the capability to illuminate current policies and provide insight about future trends and future court ou tcomes. Framing is also appropriate in this study because it helps to measure the media influence on how the public prioritizes certain public issues and with the cases that the Supreme Court has ruled on subsequently makes student speech a public issue. media agenda can be conceptualized as the paintbrush and our minds provide the individual agenda in the form of the paint and the canvas. How deep or how strong the pigments of the paint penetrate the canvas can be referred to as issue salience. The concept of issue salience is also widely debated and researched. In short, salience happens when the media agenda becomes prominent over time on the public agenda. The media becomes s uccessful in not only telling us what to think, but also how to think about it. In his study of media salience, (Kiousis, 2004) identified visibility and valence as the two components of salience. His study of the New York Times coverage of the 2000 presidential election theoret ically explicated that visibility deals with the media coverage of issues and is an external characteristic. Valence is an internal characteristic and it is a combination of emotional and cognitive responses. Further explication on the issue of salience, f (McCombs, 2005, p. 550) Salience is probably best operationally defined by the specifics outlined study, salience will be
43 operationalized through (1) the attention and prominence given by newspapers to the Morse student speech policies; and (3) the assessment of the views of the Miami Dade County Attribute Agenda setting and Framing This dissertation will focus on a specific element of agenda setting framing but it is imperative to note the components involved in how frames are established a nd the effect they may have on public opinion through issue salience. Ivengar and Simon (1993) in a study of news coverage and the Persian Gulf crisis found support for issue framing. In an content analysis of network news coverage of the Gulf, they showed that public opinion supporting a military resolution of the conflict (Ivengar & Simon, 1993, p. 379) This study also lends itself to the discussion of the development and flow of the components involved in how media frames can become part of the public agenda. Attribute agenda setting focuses on the ability of the med ia to influence how we picture objects, and it has been identified as second level agenda setting because it begins the process of issue salience. McCombs (2004, 2005) identified and defined the components of attribute agenda setting in this manner: Object s designate the thing that an individual has an attitude or opinion about. Agendas are defined abstractly by a set of objects. In turn, these objects have attributes. Attributes are a variety of characteristics and traits that describe an object. Each obj ect can have an unlimited amount of attributes generated in a variety of different ways. Attributes can range from simple or micro leveled to very detailed or macro leveled.
44 A frame is an attribute to the object under consideration because it describes th e object. When a frame becomes a dominant attribute in a message, two distinct types of attributes are evident: aspects a general category of attributes, and central themes a delimited category of attributes defining a dominant perspective Compelling ar guments are certain ways of organizing and structuring the picture of an object that enjoy high success among the public (frames). Dominant perspective and compelling arguments can both lead to salience of an object on the public agenda. Figure 2 1 Obj ect and attribute salience through agenda setting elements. Figure 2 1 provides further clarification by linking the elements of attribute agenda setting together in a flow chart. Is it also important to note that not all attributes become ame is defined as a dominant perspective on the object a pervasive description and characterization of the object then a frame is usefully delimited as a of attributes can produce a phenomenon called compelling arguments Object Attributes FRAMES Dominant Attribute Aspects Central Themes Compelling Arguments Dominant Perspective Salience of Object and Salience of Attribute
45 MEDIA PUBLIC AGENDA AGENDA Object Salience of Object 1 3 Compelling Arguments Attribute Salience of Attribute 2 1 Traditional agenda setting (first level effects) 2 Attribute a genda setting (second level effects) 3 Compelling arguments (attribute effects on object salience) (McCombs, 2004, p. 92) Figure 2 2 Compelling arguments: a third route for the transfer of salience between the media agenda and the public agenda. In d efining the compelling argument relations hip between the m edia and public agenda (Figure 2 2 ) may resonate with the public in such a way that they become especially compelling arguments for students and administrators debate it daily, making student speech a good candidate for the compelli ng argument aspect of framing. In a 1996 study, Ghanem found that although crime levels in Texas had been on a steady decline for years, media coverage
46 salience of cri me among Texans as the most important problem facing the country was strongly related to the frequency of newspaper stories about crime in which the average compelling argume nt for the salience of crime. MEDIA PUBLIC AGENDA AGENDA Supreme Court ruling in student speech ca ses Student speech 1 3 Should student speech be censored? Censorship 2 Censorship may or may not be justified 1 Supr eme Court Ruling (student speech) 2 Censorship (can be concluded to be an attribute of Supreme Court ruling in student speech cases) 3 Compelling arguments (Effect of ruling on public support for student speech) (McCombs, 2004, p. 92) Figure 2 3 Studen t speech compelling arguments: an example of third route for the transfer of salience of the attribute of censorship between the media agenda and the public agenda. It is likely that the compelling argument relationship is applicable in researching the pub lic agenda concerning student speech because the object usually only becomes part of the media agenda when there is an infraction or violation of policy. For example, when students are disciplined by administrators in schools for speech that if practiced
47 e lsewhere would be protected under the First Amendment. Figure 2 3 demonstrates the compelling argument relationship between the Supreme Court rulings in student speech cases and the salience of the concept of censorship as an attribute. When one of the inv olved parties feel that they have been wrongly accused, deprived of a legal right, and/or improperly judged, then the courts are where they battle identifiable attribute woul d be censorship, because it is at the foundation of the problem. The question now becomes, what frames can be derived from this attribute? The Supreme Court has ruled that students have free speech, but only under certain circumstances (" Fraser 1986; Hazelwood ," 1988; Morse ," 2007) If the media saw fit to frame the Supreme Court decisions emphasizing elements that are detrimental to student speech, i.e. censorship and administrative control, then those elements could potentially reach to high levels on the public agenda. Fromm (2010) in a textual analysis She identified the following frames: 1. Loaded characterizations of students and their claim, including frames of: a. b. Student as aggressor/student as instigator; 2. Conflicting institutional attitudes establ ished via editorials and opinions, including frames of: a. Students as wards of the state; b. Students as citizens in training; 3. Inadequate attention to detail; and
48 4. Superficial legal context. (p. 175) used by the media in student speech, there is more than can be studied. Fromm leaves one to question if a connection between these frames and public opinion exists. Statistical data can be introduced to establish if these frames became part of the public agenda. Moving her research from qualitative to quantitative, a content analysis of coverage of the latest Supreme Court decision in Morse and the policy changes of American public school districts might yield additional results and findings. The present r esearch seeks to find if there is a correlation between the media coverage of Morse and current public schools student speech and student publications policies. Framing Effects on Public Opinion and Public Policy R esearchers have identified correlations be tween framing effects and public policy (Burstein, 2003; Druckman, 2001; Jaiani & Whitford, 2011; Johnson & Martin, 1998; Nelson & Oxley, 1999) These studies have identified a few major themes: that citizens use f rames in a competent and well reasoned manner (Druckman, 2001), framing does affect individuals belief content and importance on forming issue opinion (Nelson & Oxley, 1999), and that salience enhances the impact of public opinion (Burstein, 2003). On the topic of how salience of an issue can affect public opinion and subsequently public policy, Jaiani and Whitford (2011) showed that education became a major public concern through the passing of the controversial No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Education reform was part of the 2000 presidential campaign because public opinion extremely important or very important in determining which candidate they would vote
49 for in the pr framing of a salient issue could have the potential to affect change, when public opinion is influenced by personal policy agendas. Additional research also discusses how citizen s interpret media messages. Citizens are often confronted with making decisions concerning controversial mass media communication is the principal means by which he or she becomes acquainted with the world of politics and develops opinions on the diverse issues of the on framing effects and identified that framing effects can be divided into two categories: s to have different preferences. For example, Fromm (2010) suggests that the issue of student speech should be framed as a right and not as a privilege, whereas students are treated as citizens and not as wards of the state. Druckman (2001) suggests that e mphasis considerations; a speaker can lead If the issue of student speech is framed as censorship in direct oppositi on of the First Amendment, then citizens might construct an opinion opposing further school district policies that repress student expression. In order to have a democracy, citizens must be well informed in order to be capable of deciphering arbitrary (not being influenced by elites) information in order to render decisions that benefit society. Both equivalency
50 and emphasis frames play an important role in this process. If frames are instrumental in allowing citizens to assess and process information, can opinion? Nelson and Oxley (1999) contended that issue opinion is influenced by belief content and importance. In a pair of experimental studies Nelson and Oxley (1999) conducted two alternative frames for two different topic s. The policy problems of land development and welfare reform were presented to respondents. In each case, each found that although both studies provided empirical evidence that framing influenced belief importance, which influenced opinion, each study produ ced different outcomes concerning belief content. Nelson and Oxley (1999) stated: framing did significantly affect judgments about the importance of different beliefs within each policy domain. Most importantly for the question of ultimate opinion change, the effect of frames on belief importance was independent of, not redundant with, its effect on belief content. [In the welfare reform study] belief change and importance judgments moved in opposite directions. (p.1059) Vital issues confronting citizens ca n be potentially problematic where one goal or idea must be sacrificed for another. It remains important for communicators to provide opportunities to discuss differing opinions in the market place of ideas. In 1998, Johnson and Martin conducted an analysi s to ascertain how the public responds to Supreme Court decisions. Utilizing two controversial topics, the death penalty and abortion, Johnson and Martin (1998) statistically measured if the Court
51 affects public attitudes when it makes decisions, especiall y in high profile or potentially decisions, the positive response theory and the structural response theory. First, the the Court is perceived as the ultimate arbiter of the law, its decisions are viewed as legitimate, credible, and therefore (Johnson & Martin, 1998, p. 299) While the structural response th eory does not s by bringing issues into 300). In this two part study of four court decisions Johnson toward highly salience issues, but its effect is conditi conditional response theory (p. 306). The conditional response theory is a hybrid of the positive response theory and the structural response theory and suggests that indeed public opinion; but this affect is not as prominent in subsequent decisions involving the same subject matter. Democratic Educational Paradox Americans take the value of free speech in schools as in life generally to be self evident, even though the right to free speech in schools is hotly contested and free speech for students, but what she careful ly notes is that free speech is linked to the
52 concepts of civil discourse and justice. Along with the freedom to discuss issues openly comes the responsibility of learning how to be just and fair to other citizens. Freedom and responsibility are two sides to the same coin of democratic citizenship. If children need to learn the value of freedom and in particular the value of speech because they are the future citizens of our constitutional democracy, then educators must enable and expect them to take respo nsibility for their own speech and actions, even when educators themselves cannot be assured that their students will use their freedom to say and do all the right things. (Gutmann, 1997, p. 528) public schools. He questions if the Free Speech Clause o f the Constitution is applicable in government established education institutions. He notes that the challenge in understanding this relationship is reaching a conclusion of (or maybe redefining) the purpose(s) of public education as it relates to student speech. He defines education as windows on the world, that mediate and filter our experience of it, and that govern our Redish a nd Finnerty (2002) call the current status of educating American students a controlling system that is contrary to the ideals of the set of normativ e values and empirical assumptions, states effectively favor certain Previous research on how schools apply the tenets of student speech focuses mainly on the dynamics of censorship. Legal research discusses the application of court rulings in the school setting, while empirical studies have concentrated on high school media practices. Censorship of high school media (newspapers, magazines, yearbooks, television programs, etc.) is multifaceted; it involves the aspects of adm inistrative
53 control, self recent article in the Student Press Law Center Report, Stewart (2009) said that while ng journalists, others (p. 20) As previously mentioned, prior r eview is when a principal or designated administrator demands to see the content of a student media prior to it being publically released. It is the oldest form of censorship; a lthough it may appear to be just innocent concern, it can inhibit young journalists. Organizations such as the Student Press Law Center and the Journalism Educators strongly denounce the practice of prior review. Most principals and advisers are at odds ov er censorship, causing conflict over the (Kopenhaver, 1984, p. 41) Hazelwood v. Kuhlmei er (1988) giving principals the right to censor when the publication is school sponsored, has led to several empirical studies. Click, Kopenhaver, and Hatcher (1993) conducted a study of media advisers and school principals five years after the Supreme Cou Hazelwood and found that although most principals believed in the importance of a free student press, they also prioritize discipline in the school. William Click and Lillian Kopenhaver (2001) have been researching attitudes about freedom of the student press since the 1980s. They have conducted national and local surveys of principals and advisers assessing their views on several issues relating to
54 the student press, including censorship. Their latest study results show that although an ov erwhelming majority of principals (97%) say that they understand how the First Amendment applies to the student press, 75% say they believe the school newspaper should be censored. A little over half (59%) of the advisers said they censored their newspaper s. Click and Kopenhaver hypothesize advisers censor because they fear job loss or some other form of retribution from administrators and school officials. In a study of media advisers and self censorship, Filak, Reinardy, and Maksl (2009) found that fear o f job loss may have no effect on media advisers that censor. The Filak et al. results revealed that advisers who had a low comfort level for publishing stories concerning sexual issues, substance abuse/use, student misdeeds, school curriculum, and administ ration issues rated high on the Willingness to Self Censor Scale. It is also also high in all five measures. These results neither negate nor confirm Click and Kopen because of an intrinsic trait or because of fear of reprimand, young journalists are the ultimate sufferers. Free speech for students boils down to a battle for control among three competing engage in a dangerous for of political, social, or moral thought control that potentially (Redish & Finnerty, 2002, p. 67) What should students be allowed to read, write and talk about? What does the government have to say a bout the conflict? Should the government
55 leave the ultimate decision on student speech up to school officials or should they allow order to answer some of these questi ons, it is imperative for this research to discuss, democracy in schools, the First Amendment, and student speech Supreme Court rulings. First Amendment Theory and the Student Speech Doctrine It is imperative to this research to engage in a brief discussio n of First Amendment theory, and provide a concise overview of judicial precedence concerning student speech. The researcher will discuss these concepts in relation to student speech. As previously stated in the Introduction, the concept of democracy in sc hools is important because in order to comprehend the complexities surrounding what students should be allowed to say or do in school was first outlined in the establishment of compulsory are students to become democratic society by practicing these ideals in the context of schooling. Another issue raised by researchers is that a democratic schoo l promotes in tellectual freedom because a student feels more responsible for his or her own knowledge acquisition and only refers to the textbook and/or the instructor as a guide. Dewey (as quoted in Stradling, 2004, p. 21) said that the notion of a democratic life is that human beings as a necessity for students in public schools, rationalizing that educational institutions
56 have adopted pondering, interpreting, and rethinking complex notions of morality, meaning and action The ideals of a democratic society rest firmly in th e First Amendment. At its inception, the First Amendment did not outline its application to students. It is this unclear application that the courts are faced with balancing when it comes to ensuring what rights students may experience inside the schoolhou se gate. The First Amendment demanded a guarantee of their basic freedoms. As our blueprint for personal freedom and the hallmark of an open society, the First Amendment protects fr eedom of speech, press, religion, assembly and petition. According to the First Amendment Center of the Freedom Forum, the First Amendment ensures that there is a balance between the government and its citizens. However, Americans vigorously dispute the a pplication of the First Amendment. Historically, Americans have regarded open intellectual discourse as an essential element in the preservation of the free speech. For decades, philosophers and legal scholars have marveled over the concept of free expres sion. realization and the search for truth. Others focus on the connection between free expression and pol p. 3). First Amendment schol ars define and express who they are (Farber, 2003)
57 Few would disagree that the words of the First Amendment are more clo sely tied to our identity as Americans than any other provision in the Constitution or laws of this country. The right to speak, publish, worship, assembles and petition plays a fundamental r ole in our notion of democracy, and it is on school campuses whe re students should be provided a chance to practice these guaranteed rights. Smith (2004) writes: p erhaps, nowhere else on earth are the purposes of free speech pursued with more vigor than on our campuses: we hope to embody John Stuart place of ideas so that truth can be pursued; we hope to express themselves creatively; we hope to propagate Alexander sential to self govern ment. (p. 2) As previously mentioned in the Introduction, scholars contend that in order for a democratic nation to prosper and grow, important ideals must be passed on to younger generations (Dewey, 1922; Fraser, 1 997; Garnett, 2008; Gutmann, 1997) Through compulsory education in public schools, students can not only learn the concepts of the First Amendment, but be allowed to practice these ideals mainly through the exercise of free speech. Unfortunately this is not a reality for many young Americans ( Law of the student press 1994) Students on campuses across the nation are not readily afforded the same privileges as other citizens (" Fraser ," 1986) And as students struggle to maintain their right to free speech t hey face the daily fear of retaliation and censorship. As difficult as it may be for some adults to believe, the views and perspectives of young people do have value ( Law of the student press 1994) School officials are charged with enacting s tudent speech policies and school administrators enforce these policies by levying disciplinary actions. A student can be suspended from school and/or adherence of student speech
58 policy guidelines and meas ures. It can be troubling when students are faced with obstacles when exercising their First Amendment rights and disciplinary actions can send mixed messages. Theorists have developed four relative explanations as to why it is important for citizens of a society to be able to express themselves freely Political p rocess or s elf government t heory First, the political process theory, also referred to as the instrumental view, stresses the connection between free expression and democratic government and is r ooted in the idea that it is the most consistent with the original understanding of the First Amendment, as well as the structure of American government (Bentley, 2009) This normative theory wo uld extend constitutional protection of free expression only when necessary to further democratic self government (Bentley, 2009; Farber, 2003; Massaro, 1987) ed because it is (Farber, 2003, p. 5) This theory is not only concerned with protecting supportive or positively themed speech, but also speaks to the i mportance of tolerating negative or hateful speech tolerating hateful ideas is that tolerance works better than suppression in maintaining (Farber, 2003, p. 6) Repression of dissident ideas leads the repressed group to go underground and gives their ideas the attractive aura of forbidden. The action of suppression of expression on high school campuses can manifest in student dissidence. This can be illustrated in a 1999 incident at Killian High School in Miami, Florida. Several students were very dissatisfied with the new principal and put together a pamphlet ironically entitled, First Amendment (Laughlin, 1998) The
59 principal subsequently disciplined the students by having school p olice arrest them (Laughlin, 1998) The self government theory also provides a role for the court s in interpreting the First Amendment value of speech, rather than surrendering that to the individual based subscribes to the instrumental view will find speech protected onl y when, considering the context in which the speech occurs, protecting that speech furthers important societal values, especially democratic self (Bentley, 2009, p. 1 5) Marketplace of i deas t heory is based on the concept that free trade of ideas promotes interest in the truth and a belief that truth will triumph through the number of voices and that censorship stifles t he pursuit of knowledge (Bentley, 2009; M assaro, 1987; Mill, 1986) Under this theory, all topics fall into the category of provides a forum for an individual to seek the truth. In the marketplace, one can not only find positive rationales (Farber, 2003, p. 4). When groups become marginalized in a democratic society and their voi of the government play a far more dominating and censoring role in the thought development process than government is permitted to play within the broader confines of a democ (Redish & Finnerty, 2002, p. 64)
60 Some theorists believe that this theory is somewhat flawed because not everyone has access and therefore not all points of view can be heard even those that may be true and also who reall y knows what truth is or that popular consensus will embrace the truth and no one knows what truth really is (Bentley, 2009; Massaro, 1987; Mill, 1986) Even terrible ideas may serve a useful purpose: we revitalize our understanding of true ideas in the course of attacking (Farber, 2003, p. 5) There may be some educational value in tolerating bad ideas, especially in the context of public schooling. Self realization t heory re prevented (Farber, 2003, p. 4) This First Amendment theory combines elements of the self government and the marketplace of ide as theories. Massaro (1987) wrote: individual self realization can be interpreted to refer either to development an individual realizes his or her full potential iny through making life affecting decisions he or she has set. (p. 17) A court sympathetic to the self realization view of the First Amendment sees the right of free speech to be a natural right accorded to a ll individuals and, all other things being equal, will be more likely to find the speech protected in all situations. While the self realization view does not necessarily mean that expression receives absolute protection simply because it has been expresse d, it gives analytical weight to the act of
61 expression that is discounted by those with an instrumental perspective (Bentley, 2009) Additionally, self realization theory does not distinguish be tween different types of speech but also does not advocate unbridled speech either. Bentley (2009) proposed that applying the self realization theory could present difficulties f or courts when deciding student speech cases. It is hard for courts to assess because by definition the theory would lead to the protection of all types of speech simply through the speakers r ealization. If the self realization theory were considered as primary criteria for court decisions, the courts would have to assign differential values to different types of speech and require weighing the speech in the context it was presented or perform ed (Bentley, 2009) This after Tinker. In each of the subsequent cases the Court assigned different values to the speech under consideration. In Fraser, Hazelwood, and Morse, the Court distinctly examined the type of speech and weighed it against community values. Plural values t heory Massaro (1987) credits this theory to Thomas Emerson who identified four inte rests that underlie freedom of expression. Like the name implies, this theory is based on the belief that the First Amendment encompasses several ideals. Those four principles are: (1) to assure individual self fulfillment, (2) to advance knowledge and dis cover the truth, (3) to assure participation in decision making by all members of society, and (4) to achieve a more adaptable and thus more stable society (Massaro, 1987) (Massaro, 1987, p. 16)
62 In determinin the application of democratic standards and the First Amendment in a public school setting. As previously mentioned, the Court has ruled in four student speech cases: Tinker (1969), Frase r (1986), Hazelwood (1988) and Morse (2007). The decisions in these cases compose the Student Speech Doctrine. Tinker, Fraser, and Hazelwood are discussed collectively, and the focus of this study, Morse is discussed independently. The Student Speech Doct rine The courts have generally held that school officials have the authority to regulate student publications and student speech where their failure to do so would risk substantial disorder or violence, interruption of classes and class work, or material i nterference with school discipline. However, the burden of proof lies with the institution and not the student. There have been three major Supreme Court decisions impacting student speech. In these decisions, the Court attempted to provide guidelines for lower were Tinker v. Independent Des Moines County Schools (1969), Bethel School District 403 v. Fraser (1986), and Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1988). Each of these cases became part of what legal experts refer to as the Student Speech Doctrine because each one added another layer to the free speech rights of students in schools. In 1969, the Supreme Court ruled that schools sometimes do violate the First Am endment rights of students when it i nvolves regulating their speech in Tinker v. Independent Des Moines County Schools A year earlier Mary Beth Tinker went to school with a bla ck armband protesting the Vietn am W ar and she and two other students w ere sus pended. administrators acted
63 unconstitutionally when they decided to suspend the students and deemed the wearing of the black armbands a peaceful display. Justice Fortas wrote what became a guiding 2009 book chronicling student speech through judicial analysis, University of Georgia law professor Anne Proffit right to challenge teachers and principals as long as they believed their right of free (p. 57) The decision instincts were not eno ugh to suppress student speech and boasted tha t in order for democracy to rei n, society must continue to not fear opposing points of view, but to welcome them. This decision would rei g n supreme for almost 20 years until 1986; then came a ruling g ranting sc hool officials the right to suppress and discipline speech that could be considered inappropriate on school grounds. At a school sponsored assembly in the auditorium, Matthew Fraser gave a campaign speech laced with sexual innuendos. The next day, the admi nistrators informed Fraser that he violated school policy prohibiting conduct that interferes with the and he would be suspended for three days. In Bethel School District 403 v. Fraser, Amendment do es not prevent campaign speech was considered In comparing the case with Tinker, viewpoint unlike when the
64 students weari ng armbands to school protested the Viet Nam War What the Suprem e Court deemed a key factor in deciding Fraser a concern for habitual civility overshadowed preserving student speech. In analyzing the two decisions, Dupre (2009) wrote, what was apparently imperative for the Tinker majority was to allow student but at the crux of the Fraser outcome was to teach students the manners of civility while setting the boundaries for public discourse, thereby providing a self disciplined env ironment necessary for reflective study. Two years later, taking into consideration the rulings in Tinker and Fraser, further categorization of student speech gave school officials and administrators the right to censor the content of school sponsored publ ications establishing yet again another standard for student expression. The students in the Journalism II class at East Hazelwood High in Missouri Spectrum, as part of the school's curriculum. In compliance with the sc hool's practice, the adviser of the paper submitted page proofs to the school's principal prior to publication. In May of 1983, the principal objected to two articles about divorce and teenage pregnancy in the upcoming edition of the paper and asked that t hey be removed. The principal concluded that under the time constraints, he would make the executive decision to withhold the two pages that included the stories and print a two First A mendment by exercising editorial control over the style and content of student speech in school sponsored expressive activities so long as their actions are (2008) wrote, th e Hazelwood standard defers to the judgment of educators and involves a low level of
65 the opening paragraph of his dissenting opinion, Justice Brennan wrote that he found the newspaper at Hazelwood East to be a their views while gaining an appreciation of their responsibilities under the First and that the C ourt should have applied the Tinker standard. Hudson (2008) agrees with Justice Bre judicial review is troublesome enough for student newspapers. But the Hazelwood standard has been applied far beyond the newspaper context. According to Farber the standard for quasi curricular activities is n ot the Tinker test, but a much more deferential one Hudson concludes that c ourts have applied the decision and its deferential standard to teacher speech, student homework assignments, school plays, school mascots and more. In fact, the Hazelwoo d standard can be seen in the recent 2007 student speech case involving a student in Alaska and his 14 foot sign, BONG Hi TS 4 JESUS As discussed in the introduction, Bong Hits 4 Jesus was a Supreme Court case about a student and the display of a 14 ONG Hi TS 4 J ESUS Morse v. Frederick the Court once again ruled in favor of school officials in their quest to curtail student speech. The significance of this decision, discussed ear lier, was paramount in that it allowed school officials to censor student speech and released the principal Deborah Morse of having to pay punitive damages to the student. This was the first student speech case before the Court in twenty years; there were two new justices, and renowned litigators were arguing the
66 case. Starr (2009) called the case a return to a libertarian view of education, a concept Tinker Simply, the libertarian vision of education involves se eing public schools as platforms for student free speech, in comparison to the communitarian vision, that sees schools as teaching students how to be civil, orderly, and virtuous (Starr, 2009). This case received a great deal of attention and media coverag e and several key components were involved. argue that the case was simply about free speech (Dupre, 2009, p. 239). Indeed the illegal drug reference made by Frederick in the banner, turned out to be a major nonsensical, but the Court would rule that the war on drugs outweighed his free speech claims. Since Congress has passed major legislation to help prevent the spread of illegal drug sale and usage in schools, the Court felt compelled to support this fight (Kozlowski et al., 2009) Morse was guided by two previous udents do not shed their constitutional rights at the Tinker public schools are not automatically coextensive with the rights of adults in other Fraser 1986, p. 685 ). These two principles can be viewed as conflicting. In Morse, the Court attempted to navigate the middle, when they ruled that a public school
67 observer would interpret as adv Morse, 2007, p. 408). So even though Joseph Frederick did not win the right to display his banner, he signified a return of the Court to traditional views. The Court all but ignored the historic communitarian role of public educa tion (Starr, 2009). Justice Alito wrote a concurring opinion joined by Justice Kennedy that limited the scope of the ruling. I join the opinion of the Court on the understanding that (a) it goes no further than to hold that a public school may restrict sp eech that a reasonable observer would interpret as advocating illegal drug use and (b) it provides no support for any restriction of speech that can plausibly be interpreted as commenting on any political or social issue, including speech on issues such as the wisdom of the war on drugs or of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use. ( Morse, Alito, J., concurring, 2007, p. 422) Alito rejected the opinions that public school officials are justified in suppressing Tinker (Kozlowski et al., 2009) Morse decision was also analyzed, sc rutinized, and reported. Thomas off ered what some might consider the most extreme concurring opinion of the Court in Morse Justice Thomas wrote (as quoted in (Hoffine, 2007) that when the First Amendment was writt en suggests that the First Amendment, as originally understood, does not protect student speech in Justice Thomas also said that schools h ave parentis in the place of parents) and should have the right to punish student speech without limitations. Given the opportunity, he would overturn the landmark Tinker case. Tinker undermined the traditio nal authority of
68 p. 25 ). It is this approach that concerns advocates of student speech In her contextual analysis of student speech cases from 1969 2008, Fromm (2010) identified four frames used by the media when reporting on court case outcomes: (1) loaded characterizations of students and their claims, (2) conflicting institutional attitudes established via edi torials and opinions, (3) inadequate attention to detail, and (4) superficial legal context. As is the case with the first Fromm frame, she found the worst case of this in the reporting in Morse Specifically, she found that the student, Joseph Frederick w Fromm found: articles describing Frederick as rebellious and defiant set the tone for stories that largely discredited the student and his claims. Journalists also did not hold back in using negatively charged wo rds to describe his speech: rebellious, juvenile, wacky, absurd, foolish, childish, or inane. (p. 178) Fromm also noted that editorials concerning Morse t Frederick because of his reference to illegal drugs. Fromm believed that had Frederick not made Haider Markel, Allen and Johansen (2006) also conducted a study to ascertain media Texas law prohibiting homosexual sodomy. In Lawrence v. Texas the Court ruled that gay, bisexua l, and transgender community, and it stands as perhaps the most (Haider Markel, Allen, & Johansen, 2006) In a content analysis, they measured overall coverage and tone of the
69 coverage in local and national newspapers. Overall coverage was measured in terms of total number of articles, length of article, and page placement. Tone was measured in terms of articles presenting arguments for overturning sodomy laws and was coded as positive, negative and neutral. They discovered that overall coverage of the case varied depending on sodomy legislation in the state and newspaper size. Tone of the coverage more positive and Both the Fromm (2010) study and the Haider Markel, Allen and Johansen studies have a direct impact and implication on this dissertation. Proposed Research Agenda setting theo ry proposes that the media tell the public what is importa nt (McCombs, 2005) Researchers theorize that the media agenda can become the public agenda through the salience of topics or objects. McCombs (2004) noted that public uses these cues from the media to or ganize their own agendas and de cide which A subset of agenda setting is fra ming. McCombs (2004) defines framing as second and emphasis upon particular attributes for the media agenda when talking about and corporate public opinion. Clawson & Oxley (2008) identified that although public opinion may have a widely accepted implied definition, the concept is really quite difficult to simplify. For the purpose of this research, public opinion will be defined as how school boards perceive the implication(s) of student speech through current policies and what role the media may have had in shaping this perception.
70 T ying in these theoretical constructs, t he purpose of this research is to examine how school districts, and student media advise rs have applied the Supreme Court measures set forth by the recent decision in Morse v. Frederick and what e ffect (if any) did the media have on this application? More specifically, how did the framing of the news coverage of the case influence the subseq uent district policy decisions regarding student speech? Hazelwood, the Student Press Law Center received hundreds of calls from students and media advisers questioning its application and affect. Mark Goodman, former director of the SPLC, said that the organization received about 588 requests for legal assistance that year (Hudson, 2003) The press reported stating that schools now had the right to censor school publications Although, the decision did allow school administrators to censorship student media, the Court ruled that the censorship could only occur under specific cir cumstances. Did the media help shape public opinion and cause confusion? In reporting on the most recent Court case involving student speech, Morse, the focus of the case had the potential of turning from student free speech to the promoting of using drug s to teenagers. The message of the Bong Hits banner appeared in headlines and the leads of newspaper articles and readers could have easily been Frederick had the right t o display the banner. Public opinion could have easily been justifying district policies against this type of speech. Consequently, s chool officials and administrators may have interpreted decision as giving them carte blanche to continue to police student expression. As previously stated, when the Supreme Court
71 decides student speech cases, schools districts and local legislatures enact new policies and laws. Ar kansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington have enacted laws to protect student speech, while Kentucky and Nebraska currently have proposed legislation. Was there a connection between the articles and th e school board policies? Did the policies change concerning student speech and/or student publication policies after the decision? How are student media advisers dealing with these policies to ensure that schools strive to be and/or remain democratic? Int erpretation and implementation of court decisions concerning student speech will always be debated, but what effect do the media have through the salience of the issue on the public agenda? In short, can public opinion increase or decrease support for stud ent free speech through the implementation of district policies? This research seeks to find if there is a correlation between the media agenda and the public agenda concerning student speech, Morse v. Frederick through the content analysis of newspaper articles covering the case to identify the media frames found by Fromm (2010). The next step in the research process is performing a second content analysis of current highly student populated school the policies relating to the Morse decision and to identify thematic content The final stage is to survey current student media advisers from the large metropolitan school di strict, Miami and the effect of the decision in their respective schools. This model will show the trickle
72 ut ilizing the latest student speech case, Morse through examining media coverage, Using this model as a guide, this researcher seeks to answer the following research questions: RQ1: How Morse v. Frederick student speech case? RQ2: How have school district legislators and board members interpreted and responded to the Morse v. Frederick decision through implementing and/or amending policies concerning (a) student speech and (b) student publications? how have they implemented and viewed the ideals of student speech established by the Morse v. Freder ick decision?
73 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY To answer the underlying question guiding this research of how the Supreme Morse v. Frederick has trickled down into classrooms, the researcher found it necessary to conduct a three stage analysis. As previously discussed, to address the specific research questions identified in this dissertation, the data of this study was collected and analyzed utilizing two different research methods in three different studies. This study will utilize both quantitative content analysis and a survey as part of its methodology. analysis is the systematic and replicable examination of symbol s of communication, which have been assigned numeric values according to valid measurement rules and (Riffe, Lacy, & Fico, 2005) Since the first two research questions seek to find a correlation between the media and public agendas concerning Morse it is imperative to note that content analysis is an appropriate method for analyzing and measuring agendas, in particular, framing phenomena. Framing theory most commonly looks at a correlation between two variables; b y performing a content analysis, one can provide quantitative (McCombs, 2004) Haider Markel, Allen & Johansen (2006) used a content analysis to ascertain how media coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas (2003) varied by media outlet. The case involved the constitutionality of a Texas l aw prohibiting homosexual sodomy. The researchers sought to understand the effects of the ruling on
74 understanding of the ruling, especially when it involves sensitive issues. H aider Markel et al. (2006) examined newspaper coverage of the court case in the capital cities of states with sodomy laws similar to Texas, states with heterosexual and homosexual sodomy laws, and fifteen randomly selected states that did not have any such laws. The New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, and the Associated Press wire service were also used as part of this study. Similar to the Haider Markel et al. (2006) study, the study proposed here seeks to examine the correlation between a set of established variables and newspapers coverage of the Morse decision. For the purpose of this research, the first of two content analyses were conducted utilizing news articles, editorials, and letters to the editor published in United States national attention in April 2002 when the Anchorage Daily News reported on it, until well after the J anuary 2008 again by the Anchorage paper. This approach should yield the largest possible sample. Details about the sample and variable construction will be discussed below. regulating student speech. Twenty five United States scho ol districts were examined during this portion of the research. These school districts were chosen based on student enrollment. The student enrollment of these districts ranged from 981,690 in New York District Schools to Baltimore County Schools with an e nrollment of 103,180 students (ProximityOne, 2009) The rationale for selecting these schools is that larger school di stricts would appear to have more interest in student speech simply because they
75 affect so many students and therefore would have the greatest opportunity at educating students in becoming contributing citizens in a democracy. Consequently, their policies should provide an effective sample to answer the second question proposed in this research. These school districts combined could potentially affect close to six million young citizens in training. Research Question #1: How did major U.S. newspapers frame Morse v. Frederick ? The first research question of h ow did major U.S. newspapers frame the Supreme Morse v. Frederick student speech case was addressed in a Bong Hits 4 Jesus Sample The sample consists of news articles, editorials, and letters to the editor written in state and national newspapers from April 2002 until January 2008. A LexisNexis search list of 180 possible articles. Each possible unit of observation was assessed as to its validity towards the research. Articles that only briefly discuss the case in less than three sentences, only mention the actual case as a reference to another case, or if the case is not covered in at least 30 % of the article will not be used as part of the sample. The final database of articles included 102 articles from 30 newspapers (see Appendix A). Variables Overall coverage was det ermined by length of article as well as total number of articles per paper. The articles were coded by the presence of previous themes
76 Those themes are: (1) loaded charact erizations of students and their claims, (2) conflicting institutional attitudes established via editorials and opinions, (3) inadequate attention to detail, and (4) superficial legal context. The first theme is divided into two subsets: (a) everything but instigator. The second theme is also divided into two sub categories: (a) students as wards of the state, and (b) students as citizens in training. These subcategories will also be used in as part of the analysis. The researcher developed the final instrument used. Coding Procedures Five high and middle school teachers perform ed the coding. Each coder received a coding guide and coding sheet. The number of articles coded was evenly divided among the te ams. The coding guide contained 23 questions (see Appendix B). Two questions collected nominal information (article type and word count), eight questions dealt with presence of democratic principles such as First Amendment and censorship, seven questions d questions addressed the journalistic value of the unit of analysis. Statistical analysis of the coding results was performed by SPSS. The coders went through coder training and coded 45% (N=46) of the articles in order to achieve inter coder reliability. This was performed individually and then the group came together and discussed inconsistencies and redefined unclear and/or debatable variables. The remainder of the coding was done in pairs. Rel iability is important in content analysis because concept definitions must be explicit in order for the proposed study to be scientifically replicated. The coding guide
77 (Riffe et al ., 2005, p. 152) w as utilized to check inter coder reliability, and ranged from 0. 69 to 1.0 for 19 of the questions. Coders were having difficulty defining and identifying the terms: type of article, discipline, democracy, freedom of speech, and Justice Th concurring opinion. Coders were also inconsistent on the last question that asks them to assign the article an overall rating. In order to reach a higher reliability level for the remaining seven questions, additional coder training was performed. T wo of the variables were broadened: discipline now included suspension and punishment; and difficulty in deciphering the language in the policies when it came to the First Ame ndment variable, because some policies did not mention the First Amendment by name, but rather made reference to the Constitution and/or democracy. Four of the opinion) needed clarification. After the coders were retrained, reliability was obtained for 70 to 1.0. The last question concerning rating the article was deleted because coders had different interpretations and perceptions of what defined a one to five. Their levels of journalism exposure and educational experiences might have caused this. All of the coefficients are displayed below in Table 3 1. Table 3 1. Variable 1. Article Type .70 2. Word Count 1.0 3. Main Focus .70 4. Prior Review .69 5. Censorship .77
78 Table 3 1 Continued Variable 6. In loco parentis undefined* 7. Wards of state or citizens undefined* 8. Democracy .7 7 9. Freedom of Speech .69 10. First Amendment .70 11. Illegal Drug Usage .80 12. Thomas opinion .69 13. Kennedy/Alito opinion .92 14. Dissenting opinion .85 15. Students quoted .84 16. Administrators quoted 1.0 17. Parents quoted undefined* 18. Legal experts quoted .84 19. Tinker/substa ntial disruption .88 20. Hazelwood/censor publications .89 21. Fraser/unprotected speech .84 22. Rating scale 1 5 .57* *Undefined or low coefficients were not used in the final analysis. Research Question #2: How did school district legislatures interpret and re spond to the decision? In order to answer the second research question of how school district legislators and board members interpreted and responded to the Morse v. Frederick decision through implementing (a) student speech and (b) student publications po licies another content analysis was performed involving twenty policies. Twenty one districts were used in this analysis. Sixteen have student speech policies and 17 have student publications policies (see Appendix C) Sample These districts were chosen based on their total enrollment for the 2008 2009 school year according to the research company, Proximity (ProximityOne, 2009) For example, according to Proximity, the largest school district in the United States is the New York City
79 website was accessed and then th e board policy tab was located and searched using because some schools identify student speech in classrooms as controversial issues and outline particular procedures. For example, Clark County Schools in Nevada did not have a student speech policy but outlined how teachers should deal with controversial subject matter and offered this definition: process of debating and for which more than one solution may be offered and supported by indivi teacher has not only the personal but also the professional responsibility to uphold, protect, and defend the fundamental freedoms of our American democratic society. Clark County School District Regulation, 6 124.2 (2001) Other districts used the terms Students Rights and Responsibilities, Code of Student Conduct, and Student Expression to define their student speech policies. This search yielded 16 regulations for analysis. When a board policy was not availabl e, then the Code of Student Conduct was utilized. A Code of Student Conduct is a pamphlet or a booklet usually distributed to students at the beginning of the school year outlining district and individual schools rules, regulations, and expectations for st udent behavior. These regulations are sometimes also available for students and parents online. A similar search was performed to identify if the districts had a separate board policy regulating student speech in student publications. The same school distr icts five districts had a separate policy regulating student expression. As previously mentioned,
80 policies or Code of Student Conduct. Variables The policies were analyzed utilizing the presence of the categories of: (1) elements of student liberty, i.e.: pub lic forum for student media, specification of protected speech; (2) censorship; (3) mentioning prior Supreme Court decisions; (4) statement addressing prior review practices and (5) mentioning and/or referencing elements in the Morse decision. Nominal info rmation included, inaction date of policy, and terminology used in the name of the policy. One coding guide was used for the oth of the final instruments used were constructed by the researcher and contained 10 questions. Coding Procedures Retired schoolteachers were used for coding both sets of policies. The student speech policies coding guide contained two nominal questions concerning the adoption/revision dates and the name of the policy, five questions dealt with freedoms outlined in the First Amendment, and three questions related to Supreme Court student speech cases decisions (see Appendix D). The coders coded five polic ies (30%) individually for inter for all of the questions except one (controversial issues). The concept of controversial issues was refined and coders attended a workshop, then reliability mea sured .69 for the controversial issue question.
81 Table 3 2. Variable 1. Adoption Year 1.0 2. Title of Policy .92 3. First Amendment 1.0 4. Free Expression .77 5. Right to petition .75 6. Controversial Issues .69 7. Right to assembly .75 8. Tinker 1.0 9. Fraser 1.0 10. Morse 1.0 adoption/revision dates and where the policy was listed or located, four questions addressed language used in the regulation, three questions dealt with the publications management, and one question about punishment when policy is not followed (see Appendix E). The coders coded five policies (30%) individually for inter coder reliability. for all of the questions except one (unprotected speech). Coders experienced difficulty in distinguishing the difference between unprotected speech and obscene speech. Once unprotect ed speech was defined as profane or vulgar, and obscene speech was defined as libelous and slanderous, then reliabil ity measured 1.00 for the unprotected speech question. All of 3. Table 3 3. Student Pub Variable 1. Adoption year .92 2. Location of policy/ posting .77 3. Public forum .69 4. Part of school curriculum .83 5. Obscenity, libelous, slander 1.0
82 Table 3 3 Continued Variable 6. Editor ial control .92 7. Advertising 1.0 8. Distribution 1.0 9. Unprotected speech 1.0 advisers? The final analysis conducted was a survey of Miami Dade County Public Schools student student media advisers view current censorship policies and how have they implemented and viewed the ideals of student speech established by the Morse v. Frederick decision. The surv ey method was employed at this juncture because of its descriptive nature in providing information concerning current conditions or attitudes. Kopenhaver and Click (1989, 2001) have been conducting national surveys of student media advisers for over 20 yea rs to ascertain current attitudes and practices. Surveys of media advisers have examined censorship, job responsibilities, current practices and relationships with school administrators and student staffers. In a survey of college newspaper advisers, Bodle (1993) found that while 93.5% of respondents enjoyed advising, 57% wanted to pursue other opportunities in five years. This study helped to illustrate how some of the daily challenges advisers face could potentially lead them to question their decision to leave or continue in advising student publications. Miami Dade County Public Schools located in south Florida is the fourth largest school district in the nation, with a student population of over 350, 000 (www.dadeschools.net) It has both an outlined pol icy protecting student speech as well as student publications. Board policy 6Gx13 1A 1.07 titled Student Expression states:
83 One of the basic purposes of education is to prepare students for responsible self expression in a democratic society. The right to free speech and expression is guaranteed to residents of our democracy, citizens and non citizens alike, by the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. School officials are charged with the responsibility to see that the exercis e of these rights by students is free from arbitrary censorship. (1998) Additionally, Guideline #25, protecting student journalists by affording them full First Amendment rights states: The Dade County School Board recognizes that an unfettered student pre ss is essential in establishing and maintaining an atmosphere of open discussion, intellectual exchange, and freedom of expression on campus. It is, therefore, the policy of Dade County Public Schools that student journalists shall be afforded protection a gainst censorship. Such freedom does not extend to the three classifications of material that are prohibited by law or not protected by the First Amendment. ( Media advisers guide 2001) Since this school system is one of the largest and has both a policy prot ecting student speech on campus as well as in publications, it was selected to provide the sample for the student media adviser survey. Sample There are 40 eligible high schools in Miami Dade available for the sample. Each school had the potential of havin g at least two student media advisers. The two major school publications are the yearbook and newspaper. It is likely that not all of the high schools had both publications. Additionally, some had the same adviser for both media. The sample was narrowed wh en the adviser at the school oversees more than one publication and/or if the number of publications is less than two. The final sample
84 yielded a possible 48 respondents (See below for more data collection information). The survey instrument was available through a link provided by Qualtrics Survey website. Variables The survey instrument (see Appendix F) was a modification of the surveys used by Click and Kopenhaver in 1989, 1993, and 2001. Their survey helped them ascertain duties, and (4) legal knowledge. Twenty nine questions asked respondents to indicate a level of agreement on a four point scale of strongly agree, agree, disagree, and strongly disagree. Seventee n questions gathered demographic and informational data on respondents and their schools and seven asked advisers and principals about their knowledge of the Hazelwood decision. The original instrument used in 2001 included questions directly related to Ha zelwood for the purposes of this study, Morse was used as a substitute for Hazelwood. Although Click and Kopenhaver (2001) surveyed principals and advisers, this proposed study would only utilize advisers as respondents. The modified survey utilized Click and Kopenhaver as a guide. The revised instrument measures a total of 32 questions. Five nominal questions ask the name of school, student enrollment, and years advising. Seventeen questions assess who controls the cont ent of the publication and the purpo se or reason the school has the student media. Fifteen questions asked respondents to indicate a level of agreement on a five point Likert scale of strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree, and strongly disagree. These questions came fro m the original Click and Kopenhaver studies. Ten additional questions were added to the existing survey to assess
85 Morse decision. The final question asked respondents if t he decision in the case could have any implications on student speech at their schools. The possible responses to Data Collection The data was collected through the Qualtrics website. Each respondent receiv ed an email introducing the researcher, outlining the parameters of the survey, and the application of the results (See below for more data collection information). The respondents were given a deadline to complete the survey. The survey was sent out in th ree waves. The Florida Scholastic Press Association provided the first database utilized. The first wave of surveys was sent to approximately 180 respondents. The database contained contact information for the entire state of Florida and just the contact i nformation for Miami Dade County could not be extracted. Nonetheless, each adviser in the database was contacted via e mail and sent a link to the survey. The first wave of surveys returned a very low response rate. Each school has an email address availab le through the Miami Dade County Web page ( www.dadeschools.net ). These addresses were obtained and a second set of surveys was distributed. Once again, the response rate was very low. Next, each school was contact ed via telephone and asked for the names and/or email addresses of the activity director, newspaper, and yearbook adviser. After this information was collected, a third wave of surveys was sent out to these specific individuals. The activities director was only contacted if a media adviser(s) were not available. The activities director was asked to forward the survey to the adviser(s), not complete it themselves. This final action yielded a total of 48 possible respondents for the survey. The researcher att empted to get at least a 60% response
86 rate depending on the final number of verified respondents. The final response rate was 63%.
87 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS The findings of the research will be reported in three separate stages. Each stage involved a different a coverage of the Morse v. Frederick Supreme Court case. Stage Two is a content analysis of the top 25 largest populated school districts in the United States school board policies governing st udent speech and student publications. Stage Three is a survey of media advisers in the fourth largest United States school district, Miami Dade County Public Schools. Ne wspaper Articles Coverage For the first portion of the analysis, the researcher measur ed media coverage of the Morse v. Frederick case. Coverage was measured through classifying the articles by article type, word count, and main focus. Thirty newspapers selected from a LexisNexis search yielded 102 articles ranging from March 2002 until Mar ch 2007, and included all types of articles. The newspapers consisted of two national newspapers, two large metropolitan newspapers with circulations of more than 500,000, 20 medium metropolitan newspapers with circulations between 500, 0 00 and 300,000, and six small metropolitan newspapers with circulations less than 100,000 (see Appendix G). The newspaper in the home state of Morse, the Anchorage Daily News had the largest number of articles (15), the two major newspapers the Washington Post (12) and the New York Times (9) were second, and the two national newspapers, USA Today (8) and Education Week (7) were third. The remaining publications ranged in the total number of articles from having as high as five articles to having as little as one. These
88 resul ts were not surprising. It would seem reasonable that the largest amount of articles would appear in the Alaska paper, since the case involved members of its community. Also, the coverage from the national papers is substantiated based on the relevance of A little more than half of the articles (56) were coded as news articles and almost a quarter (21) were considered editorials. Opinions (10), letters to the editor (8), and features (7) rounded out the total nu mber of articles with in small amounts. The majority (82) of the articles had word counts less than 1000 words, and the main focus of 79 of the articles was the Morse v. Frederick case. Only four articles focused on all of the pecified term and surprisingly, 17 articles were coded as coded as having an identifiable focus. One possible reason could be that some of the articles included so muc h information that the coder was unable to ascertain a focus. Loaded Characterizations of Students and t heir Claims The first theme measured as part of this study was loaded characterizations of students and their claims (see Table 4 1). The researcher mea sured how the media been violated when principal, Deborah Morse told him to take down the Bong Hits banner. The coders were asked to look for particular key words and ph rases that A previousl y mentioned, the Supreme Court ruled in Hazelwood that school offic ials have
89 The process of prior review refers to administrators having the right to censor school sponsored student generated media, by reviewing the content prior to publication. The media overwhelmingly (92%) did not reference this legally permitted practice of censorship. The inclusion of the Latin phrase i n loco parentis meaning in place of the parents or a reference to teachers and school administrators acting i n place of parents could also indicate a frame that supports school officials having control over student speech. Nearly all articles (97%) did not mention in loco parentis. This phrase is commonly associated with judicial rulings ( Hazelwood and Fraser ) gr anting school officials (specifically administrators) the right to act as parents to students when they are on school grounds or participating in school activities, such as field trips. The last variable measuring loaded characterizations of students and their claims, each article. The articles were almost evenly divided, 58% of the articles did mention the words, while 43% did not. Since these words could potentially be associated with a the absence of these words in an article could be interpreted as favorable towards school officials continuing to establis h guidelines and policies, including monitoring or censoring student speech, to ensure student safety, thereby substantiating the frame.
90 Table 4 1 Results of variables measuring the loaded characterizations of students and their claims frame The results from the four variables measuring loaded characterizations of students and their claims as it relates to Morse v. Frederick would indicate that the media High percentages of articles that did not mention censorship, prior review, or in loco parent as frivolous, unimportant, and unconstitutional. Fromm (2010) classified this frame as censorship and prior review. These results indicate that these words were also missing from the news articles analyzed. Conflicting Institutional Attitudes The next set of variab 2). As previously discussed, one of the major substantial fo undations for the establishment of compulsory education was to s on school officials initiating policies designed to inculcate No Yes Censorship 24.5% (25) 75.5% (77) Prior Review 7.8% (8) 92.2% (94) In Loco Parentis 2.9% (3) 97.1% (99) Discipline punishment, or suspension 57.8% (59) 42.2% (43)
91 socially accepted behaviors and values in students. It is the responsibility of the state to ensure that students behave in an acceptable societal manner. The terms: democracy, freedom of spee ch, and First Amendment were used to measure this frame. High Democracy was mentioned at an extremely low rate (2%) in the ar ticles, freedom of speech was mentioned in almost every article (90%), and the First Amendment was mentioned in almost two thirds (65%) of the articles. Since a little more than half (55%) of the articles analyzed were classified as news, it is imperative to note that freedom of speech and the First Amendment were contextually mentioned as a reference to the issue(s) of the case. Both phrases were used more in a descriptive context than in a principled ideal or a constitutional right context. First Amendmen t was mentioned mostly in defense of the violation. Freedom of speech was referenced as the Constitutional right in question before the Court. Table 4 2. Re sults of variables measuring the conflicting institutional attitudes frame No Yes Democracy 2% (2) 98% (100) Freedom of Speech 90.2% (92) 9.8% (10) First Amendment 64.7% (66) 35.3% (36) Ultimately the issue here questions if the students in student speech co urt cases are portrayed as citizens in training or wards of the state. Although, there was a hrasing. In short,
92 the conflicting institutional attitudes frame was supported even though only one of the variables had a high percentage of affirmative responses. Inadequate Attention to Detail What role did the media play in establishing a frame of ina dequate attention to details? Is the media guilty of omitting factual information such as verbiage from the Morse ? The variables used in measuring this frame were the phrases: illegal drug usage and/or anti concurring opinion, 3). The been violated, and that principal Deborah Morse was within her le gal rights as a school administrator to suspend him for his Bong Hits banner. Although the articles usually discussed in some detail what the final ruling said, it was basically a short synopsis sometimes containing commentary or references to other studen t speech court cases. The term referred to at a high frequency (79.4%) in relation to the fa cts in the case and the question before the Court. Table 4 3 Results of variables measuring the inadequate attention to detail frame No Yes Illegal drug usage and/or anti drug policy 79.4% (81) 20.6% (21) 14.7% (1 5) 85.3% (87) 28.4% (29) 71.6% (73) The dissenting opinion 24.5% (25) 75.5% (77)
93 Fromm (2010) contends that the attention to detail frame includes the media omitting pertinent facts and/or details surrounding student speech cases. In the present research, questions were included to ascertain if the articles contained other Justices opinions in the case. the landmark case, Tinker Although Justices Kennedy prank. In all three of the above opinion garnering the lowest percentage (14.7%). These results indicate the appearance of an attention to detail frame. Superficial Legal Conte xt Establishing superficial legal context is usually considered an important element when reporting on a court ruling because it provides background and establishes a achieved when cases are mentioned by name or referenced through verbiage in the decisions. There are three prior key Supreme Court rulings concerning student speech: Tinker, Hazelwood, and Frase r. Each of these rulings contains specific language that relates to th e decision either thorough implication or by verbatim. Specifically, the Tinker Hazelwood Court outlined the circumstances in which principals could censor school publications, and the Fraser Court rule d on lewd, profane, or vulgar student speech. These court cases were used as variables in measuring the superficial legal context frame (see Table 4 4). This frame
94 is concerned with the media providing legal context when reporting on student speech cases. Table 4 4. Results of variables measuring the superficial legal context frame No Yes The Supreme Court case, Tinker or th e phrase substantial disruption 46.1% (47) 53.9% (55) The Supreme Court case, Hazelwood or that principals have the righ t to censor school publications 32.4% (33) 67.6% (69) The Supreme Court case, Fraser or that student speech that is cons idered lewd, profane, or vulgar 17.6% (18) 82.4% (84) Tinker was mentioned in nearly half of the articles (46.1%), Hazelwood was mentioned in clo se to one third of the articles (32.4%) and Fraser was mentioned in that the coverag e was still insufficient. However, it is interesting to note that the case mentioned or referred to the most in the articles was the landmark case Tinker. Tinker could be considered the granddaddy of student speech cases because it said that students and t eachers do not automatically forfeit their First Amendment rights while in school. The least mentioned case was Fraser In Fraser, the Court curtailed student speech when said speech could be considered lewd, profane, or vulgar. When reporting on the Mors e case, the current results show large percentages of when the press did not mention or refer to the preceding cases. These results show that the media provided a limited amount of superficial legal context. Providing Supplemental Information The final fra me measured was the providing supplemental information frame. Providing supplemental information refers to the specific reporter/writer of the articles
95 used in this analysis using first person accounts of the case. Fromm (2010) alluded to this issue as par t of her attention to detail frame, but the current research measured this issue separately since the foundation of this research is deeply rooted in media effects theory. What facts are included and omitted when reporting on pertinent issues affects the s alience of that issue? In short, the salience of an issue can be determined by the hand accounts and/or interviews of the issue participants can add validity to an issue and thereby increase salience. The variables used to measure t his frame were the appearance of quotes from high school students, administrators, or legal experts (see Table 4 5) in each article. Table 4 5. Results of variables measuring the providing supplemental information frame No Yes High school students? 7.8% (8) 92.2% (94) Administrators? 5.9% (6) 94.1% (96) Legal experts? 18.6% (19) 81.4% (83) Less than 20% of the total amount of stories contained any direct quotes from students, administrators, or legal experts. Legal experts garnered the highest percenta ge (18.6%), followed by high school students (7.8%), then administrators (5.9%). Legal experts quoted were generally local or national spokesperson from universities or legal organizations. There were quite a few articles that contained quotes from Kenneth appeared to be a reprint of a prepared statement from Joseph Frederick. The administrators quoted were the principal directly involved in the case, or a school board official from the Alaskan school district where the case originated. Although an additional variable measuring quotes from parents was included in the study, the results were nominal (1%).
96 The results of the study associated with the first research question show that the media does create frames when reporting in student speech court cases. The frames identified by Fromm (2010) hold true in the current study also. The loaded characterizations of students and their claims along with the conflicting institutional attitudes w ere the most prevalent frames in the present research on Morse. The loaded characterizations frame had two variables (in loco parentis and prior review) mentioned in less than 10% of the articles. The conflicting institutional attitudes frame also had two variables (democracy and freedom of speech) that were mentioned in less than 10% of the articles. Additionally, this research identified an additional frame. All three of the variables in the providing supplemental information frame experienced a less than 20% occurrence rate in the articles. This frame deals primarily with reporters providing new information or additional information to stories by seeking out new information and performing supplementary interviews. District Student Speech Policies In the second stage of the research process, the researcher content analyzed 25 districts were chosen based on their student enrollment for the 2008 2009 school year reported th rough the research company Proximity. The school districts ranged in 103,000 attendees (see Appendix C). The sample yielded 16 policies from the possible 25 districts. The majorit y of the policies (9) were adopted in the past ten years, with three having been adopted since the Morse decision in 2007. All of the remaining policies had been adopted before the year 2000, with one policy having no adoption
97 year available. The majority online operations manual containing either a list of district codes, or functioning as a policies guidebook. These online manuals were divided into major sections and the student speech policy was found under the section relating to students. Out of the 16 handbook for students and parents. Other policy names and/or headings included: Student Free Speech and/or Expression (5), Student Expression (3), and Controversial Issues (2). In the next part of the analysis, the researcher examined the language used in speech policies by utilizing the variables: First Amendment, freedom of expression, freedom of petition, peacefully assemble, controversial issues, and the Supreme Court cases Tinker, Fraser and Morse The variables related to the First Amendment and its and application of Constitutional rights for students. The Court case names were used the supplemental appli cation of those Court decisions (see Table 4 6) when governing student free speech. Freedom of expression was the most referenced constitutional right (87.5% ), followed by freedom of petition ( 75% ), and the right to peaceful assembly was mentioned the leas t ( 56% ) in the policies. The First Amendment was referred to in almost two thirds (62.5%) of the school district s student speech policies. It is important to note that Clark County, NV and Orange County, FL policies made no reference to the
98 First Amendmen t or any of the guaranteed constitutional rights contained within In both of these cases, the researcher was only able to find guidelines to help teachers and The words policies. The controversial issues variable was found in a little over half (56%) of the policies. The Supreme Court case Tinker (1968) was mentioned by name or referenced in 11 of the 1 Fraser (1986) was mentioned by name or referenced in 10 out of the 16 policies (62.5%). Finally, Morse (2007) was only decision in Tinker gave students the right to free speech in schools, subsequent decisions (including Fraser and Morse ) seemed to be slowly chipping away at those rights (Lipez, 2003; Starr, 2009; Wang, 2007).
99 Table 4.6. Results of US school districts student speech policies and student free speech variables School District Freedom of Expression Freedom of Petition First Amendment Peacefully Assemble Controversial Issues Tinker Fraser Morse Total 1. Fairfax County, VA X X X X X X X 87.5% (7) 2. Hawaii DOE X X X X X X X 87.5% (7) 3. Houston ISD X X X X X X X 87.5% (7) 4. Dallas ISD X X X X X X X 87.5% (7) 5. Philadelphia Schools X X X X X X 75% (6) 6. Pinellas County, FL X X X X X X 75% (6) 7. Broward County, FL X X X X X X 75% (6) 8. Palm Beach, FL X X X X X X 75% (6) 9. M iami Dade, FL X X X X 50% (4) 10. Montgomery County X X X X X 62% (5) 11. New York X X X X X 62% (5) 12. S an Diego, CA X X X 37.5% (3) 13. Chicago X X X X X 62% (5) 14. Los Angeles, CA X X 25% (2) 15. Orange County, FL X 12.5% (1) 16. Clark County, NV X 12.5% (1) Total 87.5% (14) 75% (12) 62.5% (10) 56% (9) 56% (9) 69% ( 1 1) 63% (10) 19% (3)
100 Fairfax County, Virginia; Hawaii Department of Education; Houston Independent School District; and Dallas Independent School District were the districts with the highest number of measured student speech variables, with a total of 7 out of a possible 8 (87.5%). However, Philadelphia Schools; Pinellas County, Florida; Broward County, Florida; and Palm Beach County, Florida closely followed them with 6 out of 8 (75%). P olicies that contained the least amount of variables were: San Diego, Ca lifornia (3), Los Angeles, California (2); Clark County School District, Nevada (1); and Orange County, Florida (1) (see Table 9). Although Los Angeles and San Diego may have a low occurrence of variables, it is important to note that California has instit uted state universities. The school districts grant First Amendment right to students, and 75% especially recognize and welcome freedom of expression by students. The school districts recognize the need to allow students to participate in the democratic process and take and free assembly rights. The policies also acknowledge the laws and Su preme Court rulings concerning student speech and 69% to 63% included definitions and referred to specific court cases by name in their written policies. Fairfax County, Virginia had one of the highest rated policies, because of its comprehensiveness, lang uage, and accessibility. Hawaii Department of Education had the clearest policy to read and interpret while maintaining 87% of the student speech variables. Houston ISD and Dallas ISD policies were both comprehensive and current, and also maintained 87% of the variables. Both of these districts included language directly from the Supreme
101 Tinker, Bethel and Morse in their policies. Houston ISD and Dallas ISD along with Pinellas County, Florida were the only three districts that mentioned or publications policies were analyzed. District Student Publications Policies The same 25 school districts used in the previous analysis were used as part of this analysis. The school districts were chosen based on their student enrollment for the 2008 2009 school year reported through the research company Proximity. The school 3,000 attendees (see Appendix C). This sample yielded 17 possible policies. The majority (11) of the policies were adopted since 1991 and a small amount (3) had no adoption year available. A large number of the policies (15) were posted on the school distr only found in the Student Code of Conduct (SCC). The SCC can also be found on the previously mentione d, the SCC is a guide for student behavior that is provided for students and parents to reference. The student publications policies were measured using the variables: school curriculum; obscenity, libel and slander; advertising; distribution; prior review ; public forum; and editorial control unprotected speech. The Supreme Court ruled in Hazelwood (1988), that if a school publication is considered as legally censored by the administration. Keeping this in mind, the bulk of the school
102 (see Table 4 7).
103 Table 4 7. Results of US school districts student publications policies and scho ol publications variables School District Curriculum Obscenity Libel Substantial Disruption Advertising Distribution Unprotected Speech Prior Review Public Forum Total 1. Pinellas County, FL X X X X X X X 100% (7) 2. Broward County, FL X X X X X X 8 5% (6) 3. Montgomery County, MD X X X X X X 85% (6) 4. Wake County, NC X X X X X X 85% (6) 5. Dallas ISD X X X X X 71% (5) 6. Houston ISD X X X X X 71% (5) 7. Palm Beach, FL X X X X X 71% (5) 8. Los Angeles, CA X X X X X X 85% (6) 9. Hillsborough, FL X X X X X X 85% (6) 10. Gwinnett, GA X X X X X 71% (5) 11. Baltimore Schools X X X X 57% (4) 12. F airfax County, VA X 14% (1) 13. Miami Dade, FL X X X 42% (3) 14. Duval County, FL X 14% (1) 15. Orange County, FL X 14% (1) 16. San Diego, CA 0 Total 76% (13) 71% (12 ) 65% (11) 53% (9) 53% (9) 41% (7) 35% (6)
104 There were thre e variables that garnered the highest percentages of inclusion in the policies. The first variable was obscenity, libel, and substantial disruption (OLS). The districts were very concerned with ensuring that school publications were free from speech not gu aranteed by the First Amendment and 71% of the policies contained a statement concerning publishing OLS statements. Wake County Public Schools, North Carolina not only contained a statement concerning OLS, but also provided the reader with detailed definit ions of each term. The School Districts were also concerned with the type of advertising being utilized in student publications and 65% of the policies contained regulatory advertising guidelines. These guidelines outline what type of advertising can be us ed and generally prohibited ads that advocate the use or consumption of illegal substances, cigarettes, liquor, or any other product or practice not appropriate for a teenage audience. For example, Montgomery County, Maryland regulates the use of advertisi ng by requiring that the ad not contain names of public section of the publication including a release statement. The last variable garnering a large percentage of inclusion in the policies was the element of distribution. Half (53%) of the districts addressed the manner in which student publications are distributed to their prospective audiences. Distribution is addressed in time, place, and manner. Miami Dade County, Flori da encourages that the distribution of student media not disrupt the normal activities of the school. outlining a distribution protocol designated the principal as the decision maker and/or arbitrator in the distribution proces s.
105 Fraser (1986) states that vulgar, lewd, or profane student speech that is not protected under the First Amendment and should be considered unprotected speech. The unprotected speech variable was measured by the single appe arance or combination of the words: profane, vulgar, or lewd. Nine out of the possible 17 (53%) publication policies contained a statement concerning unprotected speech. These statements were sometimes combined with statements concerning OLS. Both Dallas a share Hazelwood was another court case that dealt directly with student publications also appeared in the This practice of prior review was acknowledged and accepted by t he Supreme Hazelwood (1988). As previously mentioned, prior review allows an administrator or designee to review a student publication prior to printing and/or distribution. This practice was not always easily identifiable in the distri policies. Only 41% of districts openly discussed prior review as a publication prerequisite for student media. Declaring a school publication a public forum for debate and discussion can be viewed as the opposite of prior review. Coders fo und it difficult to prior review or a reference to the democratic process. Nevertheless, public forum was mentioned in a third (35%) of the policies. Four of the policies mentioned both prior review and public forum signaling that the policies may have a conflict of interest. For
106 example, Los Angeles Unified School District, California declares that student newspapers are a forum for students, but also gives principals or designees the right to review copy prior to publication. The district with the most comprehensive student publication policy containing all of the measured variables was Pinellas County, Florida. In a four page document, this forward in defining the limitations and liberties granted to school publications. Although the policy grants principals the right to prior review, it calls the mate when utilizing the practice of prior review. The policy calls for the principal to provide a written explanation of prior review to the Regional Superintendent, the adviser, and student within two days of the submission of the student media in question. It also details the responsibilities of the adviser, school officials and student jo urnalists. Lastly, it outlines six classifications of unprotected expression in official school publications: (1) obscenity, (2) libel, (3) substantial disruption, (4) endangering student welfare, (5) lewd and/or vulgar speech, and (6) threats of violence. The results of five other counties closely followed Pinellas County with six variables, and six counties were standard ranging from five to three variables. The four remaining districts contain only one variable and one district (San Diego Unified, Califo rnia) that did not contain any of the measured variables. These policies tended to be very short, ranging from one page to a paragraph. Orange County and Duval County, both located in Florida, policies are one paragraph documents containing
107 the same exact verbiage stating that the principal is the governing power over all paragraph states the importance of a well established editorial policy. Even though student publications policy addresses the importance of student expression and defines student publications, it firmly establishes that student journalists policy in i to state and federal laws in governing student body publications, including their governing st udent publications. The final variable measured was editorial control (see Table 4 8). This variable evaluated the publications policies based on what group and/or individual has final ia programs. This category had five possible responses: students, advisers, administrators, school board/district, and does not say or unclear. The policies were somewhat evenly distributed on this element, with administrators etching out students by one p olicy. Gwinnett County Public Schools, Georgia has one of the strongest policy stances on sponsored student publications are no t conducted as public forums but as part of the curriculum, and the school reserves the right to exercise editorial control to the maximum degree consistent with the Constitution of the off approach. M iami Dade
108 their publications except within the framework of guidelines previously agreed upon by icts policies that did grant editorial control to administrators also included a statement concerning redress for students. Baltimore City Public Schools supports administrative editorial control, but also encourages students to meet personally with the pr incipal to foster a prohibited. All of the districts addressed student publications in some manner. Table 4 8. Results of US school districts student publications policies a nd the editorial control variable example, the policy says that administrators have the right to not publish an article. Administrators (2) 6 Students (4) 5 Does not say o r unclear (0) 5 Advisers (3) 1 School Board/District (1) 0 complexities of regulating and protecting student speech. Analysis of the policies showed that the districts general speech policies included a high percentage of references to the First Amendment and free expression for students. These policies also made reference to the Supreme Court cases Tinker and Fraser The publications policies contained information such as who has editorial control and identified the outlined in the policies. Twelve out of 17 policies addressed the subject of obscenity and
109 nine out of 17 dealt with unprot ected speech. Defining prior review and public forum proved challenging for 10 of the policies and four of the policies contained both terms. Media Adviser Survey The survey instrument was modified from the one used by Click and Kopenhaver ( 1989, 2001) in their national studies measuring advisers and administrators attitudes surrounding the student press. The current questionnaire included 32 questions. Fifteen of the questions asked respondents to indicate a level of agreement or disagreement utilizing a five point Likert scale of strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree, strongly disagree concerning their attitudes on the current state of the student media. Seven questions gathered informational and demographic data on respondents and t practices and knowledge of the Morse v. Frederick case. As previously mentioned, Miami Dade county has 48 high schools viable for this study. There were a total of 38 respondents from 31 Miami Dade County Public Schools, however, seven of the respondents did not finish the survey and stopped at question seven. These were not included, leaving the final useable surveys at 31. The final respondent rate was 65%. Three surveys were ema iled. The first survey was emailed to a listserv provided by the Florida Scholastic Press Association to all media advisers in the state in May 2011, a reminder was sent out to the same listserv in June 2011, and the final survey was sent directly out to o nly the schools in Miami Dade County in September 2011.
110 Demographics Thirte en (35%) of the respondents were yearbook advisers, nine (24%) advised the newspaper, six (16%) advised a broadcasting program, and nine (24%) advised more than one student media program. The advisers came from schools ranging in enrollments from under 1,0 00 to more than 3,000. Twenty six (68%) of the advisers came from schools with 1,000 to 3,000 attendees, and six (16%) came from schools under 1,000 and also 16% came from schools with more than 3,000 students. Eighteen of the advisers (49%) have been advi sing student media between one and five years, eleven (30%) between six and ten years, and eight (20%) are tenured advisers with eleven o more years of experience. Seventeen (45%) of the schools have sponsored student media for 16 years or more, eleven of the programs (29%) have existed for one to five years, and ten (27%) have been around between six and fifteen years. Purpose and Control An overwhelming 94% of Miami Dade County media advisers agree that the function of student media is to be a forum for free student expression, and 83% responded that student media should concern itself with issues and events of the school, community, state and nation. A little more than half (58%) of the respondents c relations objectives of the seven advisers (71%) said that the purpose of the student media they
111 Advisers believe that they are ultimately responsible for the media they sponsor, and 58% believe that advisers should be individuals with prior journalism experience. More than half (55%) of the advisers hold themselves accountable in some facet for the contents of the school publication, twelve (32%) of them believe the responsibility lies with the students, and only five (13%) of them believe that the principal controls the Censorship Censorship of the student media is still practiced in Miami Dade County Schools. Even with the aforementioned results, 61% of the advisers responded that high school students are sufficiently mature to understand the theory and practice of a free press. Fourteen (45%) o f the instructors agree that the censorship is self imposed by students, and almost half (49%) believe that journalistically trained students should have full control over the content of student media. However, if the schools provide some funding for the p disagree) on whether they have a professional obligation to prevent the publication of a potentia lly embarrassing story for the administration. Finally, almost half (49%) of the instructors disagreed
112 Morse v. Frederick (Bong HiTs 4 Jesus) Forty seven percent of the advisers obtain their news information from a major network news outlet such as CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, or FOX. Internet News Sources such as Google, MSN, or Yahoo garnered 30% of the responses, and local or national newspapers garnered 7%. A l ittle more than half (57%) of the respondents said that they keep informed about the current state of student expression through Internet News sources, 23% get their information from the network news affiliates, and 17% read it in a local or national newsp aper. After answering these questions about their news Supreme Court ruled in the student speech case, Morse v. Frederick also referred to as first case the Court heard concerning student expression since 1988. Are you familiar with the 2007 Supreme Court case and/or the decision in Morse v. Frederick designed to have the respondent exit after this point if they were not familiar with the case. Consequently, the number of respondents dropped from thirty one to twenty, noting that 65% of the advisers were familiar with Morse Although almost one third (30%) of the remaining respondents learned about the Morse case from an Internet News Source, an overwhelming majority (90%) did not also the choice of advisers when it came to learning the outcome of the case. Thirty five percent of the respondents chose Internet news, while 20% of them turned to either the local and national newspapers or network television news stations for their inf ormation.
113 Only 15% of the advisers learned the outcome of the case from a state or national student press organization listserv or publication. Respondents were asked a question concerning the main focus of the case to evaluate media frames. Nine (45%) sa Advisers were satisfied with the coverage and attention the media gave to Bong Hits. When rating the media coverage of the case, more than half (65%) of respondents respondents said that the student was portrayed correctly when applying the principles of the First Amendment as it relates to student speech a nd 30% said they were unsure portrayed correctly. The final question of the survey queried respondents on whether the Morse decision affected student speech at their respecti ve schools. The majority (80%) of the instructors responded that the decision had not affected student speech and 15% said that they were unsure or did not know.
114 Table 4 9. Miami student med ia Statement Agree Disagree Neither An important function of student media is to be a forum for free student expression. 94% (19) 3% (1) 3% (1) Student media should advance the public relations objectives of the school. 58% (18) 25% (8) 16% (5) Our stud ent media should concern itself only with issues and events that relate to our campus, not those of the larger community, state or nation. 6% (2) 83% (25) 10% (3) Once students have been trained in journalistic principles and press responsibility, they sh ould have full control over the content in student media. 49% (15) 26% (8) 26% (8) Only teachers who have had some courses in or some professional experience in journalism should be hired as advisers for student media. 58% (18) 29% (9) 13% (4) High schoo l students are not sufficiently mature to understand the theory and practice of a free press. 29% (9) 61% (19) 10% (3) So long as the school provides funding for some of should have some control over wha t is published. 48% (15) 45% (14) 6% (2) The media adviser should read and approve all copy prior to publication. 74% (23) 9% (3) 16% (5) The media adviser should correct factual inaccuracies in student copy before publication 78% (24) 10% (3) 13% (4) T he media adviser should correct factual inaccuracies in student copy before publication. 77% (24) 10% (3) 13% (4) If the principal asks the adviser to read copy prior to publication, the adviser should do so. 64% (20) 33% (10) 3% (1) If the adviser knows that a student media plans to administration, the adviser has a professional obligation to prevent that item from being published 42% (13) 45% (14) 13% (4)
115 Table 4 9 Continued Statement Agree Disagree Nei ther The student media should print or broadcast a story that it can prove is true even if publishing the story 45% (14) 32% (10) 23% (7) The student staff members censor student media. 45% (14) 32% (10) 23% (7) School officials should have to right to censor student speech when it relates to illegal drug use? 45% (14) 49% (15) 6% (2)
116 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION This chapter re draw larger conclusions ab out the nature of news media coverage of the Supreme Court student speech case Morse v. Frederick (2007) and the effects, if any, of this coverage in student media classrooms Joseph Frederick was a student at Juneau Senior High who was suspended by the pr incipal, Deborah Morse, for displaying a 4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the suspension was a justified administrative action. The present research formulated three research questions to address the facets of this action. First, how did the media frame the Supreme Court decision case Morse ? Second, what affects did policies concerning student speech and publications ? Thir d, how has the coverage and application of this decision affected media ad visers and their media programs? There are three major key findings presented in this research. First, the content analysis of the newspaper articles showed the appearance of the fr ames identified by Fromm (2010), plus the appearance of an additional frame, supporting information. although comprehensive, only three of the policies (Dallas, Houston, a nd Pinellas County, Florida) referenced the Morse decision. Additionally, district publication policies tended to be more detailed and considerably longer than the speech policies. Third, a survey of Miami Dade County media advisers showed little interest in the Morse case or
117 affect student speech at their respective schools. F raming Student Speech This study examines the latest Supreme Court decision on student free expression salience in public opinion through school districts student speech and publications policies. Framing theory involves the salience of issues on the public agen da once an attitude or opinion is formed (McCombs, 2005). Framing theory also shows that how and what the media chooses to report on can help shape and cement public opinion. Utilizing Figure A from the Literature Review as a guide, I will now defi ne and e xamine the salience of how the Bong Hits 4 Jesus case helped to once again justify censorship of student speech (see Figure D). This process begins with an object and ends with an attitude. At the crux of Morse v. Frederick is the application of the free s peech principle of the First Amendment to student expression, but this somehow gets lost in media coverage. Object Morse was a newsworthy court case because it encompassed many interesting aspects. This case involved a headstrong teenager, a principled pr incipal, a banner alluding to illegal drug usage, and the First Amendment caught somewhere in the middle. Additionally, this would be the first student speech case decided by the Supreme Court in 25 years, famous litigator Kenneth Starr would represent the student, and the Court was almost evenly composed of D emocrats and R epublicans. Yes, this was a case loaded with many interesting angles, and with this interest came the media. Morse case in 2002 and the
118 free speech ideal practiced by students in public high schools could potentially become an object as defined by the theoretical framework. In this study freedom of speech was mentioned in 90% of the articles. This object then produced several attributes describing the free speech concept. Attributes The attribute of how school districts apply the democratic process was prominent in the articles discussing Morse Some properties of the attributes produced illuminated a negative impact on student speech calling for more regulation. Other articles discussed the case as just another vehicle or excuse for administrators to regulate and control students, and positively suggested that students should be allowed free expression Specifically, the attribute produced by Bong Hits simply questioned student freedom of expression and the application of democratic principles. The term democracy was only mentioned in 2% of the ar ticles. This was more prevalent in the editorials than in the news articles. What happens to the democratic process in schools? The press simply ignored the principles of a free society whe n it comes to students and left the g overning up to school official s. There is very little or no democracy in schools. School officials seem to have full rei n and the only persons calling for freedom are the students. No one will argue that students should have free reign either, but the articles supporting free speech su ggest that officials exercise care when regulating free speech, just like Justices Alito and Kennedy said in their concurring opinion. The findings indicate the unfortunate circumstance that the press does not value student free speech. This is an effect a lso see n in the frames that developed from the attributes produced by Morse contradicting the advice of Dewey (1922). Dewey called for schools to strive to be democratic in order to instruct children
119 in the ways of a democratic society. Simply, the ideals of democracy cannot just be words on a page for students; the students must see the ideals come to fruition in order to believe that they work. Frames The research found that the media establish student expression frames when they report on Supreme Court cases involving student speech on public school campuses. Applying framing theory to the present research, one can definitely identify the appearance of media frames that promote and support continued regulation of student ool campuses Although these frames may appear to weigh negatively on student free speech, the frames identified through the analysis of the articles concerning Morse regulating student speech a nd/or student publications. Also, these frames have little to no effect on journalism advisers in Miami Dade County who when surveyed overwhelmingly said that the Morse ruling has had little or no effect on student speech in their schools or on the adminis trative regulation of the publications they sponsor. Adversely, the frames of the Morse ruling supports framing ideology in that although there was very little change in written public policy, findings here suggest that advisers still believe that they are responsible for correcting misspellings, factual errors, and fact checking student publications. The frames identified by Fromm (2010) are very apparent in the Morse analysis. Those frames were: (1) loaded characterizations of students, (2) conflicting in stitutional attitudes, (3) inadequate attention to detail, and (4) superficial legal context. Loaded characterizations of students This frame addresses the media coverage of student speech cases not portraying the student as the victim, but as an
120 offende r. Although the articles did reference how censorship of student speech is a First Amendment issue, they did not reference the act of censorship by administrators or district policy as a violation of the right to free speech. Rather, Joseph Frederick was p ortrayed as a rebel and a deviant who purposefully repeatedly disobeyed officials The findings indicate that almost 60% of the articles mentioned punishment, discipline, or suspension and only 25% of the articles mentioned censorship. This can be evaluate d as the media focusing more on the consequences of the banner display than the convictions of the display encompassing First Amendment and student speech The media created an agenda that blamed the student rather than applauding his tenacity, like defend ers of the First Amendment would suggest as the role of the media. illegal drug usage among teenagers added to this perception. Frederick being painted as a rebellious student using the illegal drug marijuana supported the micro frame, also identified by Fromm (2010), of portraying the student as the instigator or aggressor. The media were unfair in this portrayal becaus e if the banner was displayed in a business window or if someone had been thrown off of a plane for wearing the slogan on a T shirt, then the media might have presented arguments in favor of the right to display the message. Conflicting institutional att itudes. What is the role of compulsory education when it comes to preparing students to become contributing members of a democratic society? Some might say that it is the responsibility of the school to teach students acceptable moral behavior. Some might say it is important for schools to educate students in the tenets of the Constitution by providing practice of democratic principles
121 inside school walls. And yet others might say it is a combination of both, thus producing conflicting institutional attitud The research found that the articles were slightly more favorable is addressing the First Amendment, but the reference was not First Amendment was men tioned in the articles as a reference to the context of the articles, signaling that t he press is just as confused as the public on how schools should handle First Amendment student issues. The press should not be confused by the misinterpretation of the First Amendment because it is the press that we look to as a daily example of the effe ctiveness of the Constitution. Inadequate attention to detail. Bong hits literally means to inhale marijuana smoke from a pipe like apparatus. The phrase translates into someone getting an effect from a drug, usually marijuana, by using a specific type of pipe that harnesses the smoke for inhalation. Bong refers to the pipe and hit refers to the effect of the drug. The message on the banner became central to the Court case. The Court had to decide if Principal Morse was constitutionally negligent when she asked Frederick to take it down and when he refused she suspended him. This detail was mentioned in 81 of the 102 articles, but the lack of other pertinent information such as why the Court ruled in favor of the principal was omitted. Most of the articles lacked details about the concurring and the dissenting opinions. Since the case was decided by a 5 4 vote, both the dissenting and concurring opinions could be considered important details. The concurring opinion of Justices Kennedy and Alito cautioned sch ool administrators from going too far in
122 regulating student speech and warned that the First Amendment should not be ignored. opinion, which was substantial because it called for the overturning of Tinker the granddaddy of student speech cases that granted free speech rights for students. Journalists may avoid these types of details because they are unfamiliar or uncomfortable when it comes to reading and interpreting official court documents. Current findings indicate the omission of details that could be obtained from reading the Court case. When the Supreme Court rules on cases, the case abstract, decisions and rationale for the opinion are published. Journalists need to try and remember the importance of reporting what the Court actually rules in student speech cases. It is not like reporting the score of a sporting event. They need to take the time to do the research on court cases because of the magnitude that they decisio ns may have, not only on student speech but on society itself. articles suggested that the writers were not familiar with other specifics associated with the case or even the question before the courts. This will be further addressed in the superficial legal context frame below. For example, few articles mentioned that Frederick won in the lower courts and it was Principal Morse that pursued the case to the federal level. This will also be discussed in the limitations of the study later in this section. Superficial legal context frame Establishing a legal precedent in student speech cases is an important element when reporting on the facts and details of current cases. Tinker was mentioned in almost half (46%) of the articles. The other student speech
123 cases, Hazelwood and Fraser were mentioned much less. It is somewhat substantiated that Hazelwood would not enjoy a high percentage because the case dealt specifically with the ri ght of student journalists not to be censored. But in fact, the case was mentioned in 33% of the articles. This might be because it was the last student case brought before the Court, emphasizing the time lapse between Hazelwood and Morse But in the case of Fraser it should have experienced an even higher occurrence rate. Fraser was mentioned in only 18% of the articles. Since Fraser also dealt with what some might call a rebellious student giving an inappropriate campaign speech, there might be a cause f or the media to draw a parallel between Matthew Fraser and Joseph Morse. Granted the facts of each case are different, but nonetheless both young men used their expression in a manner to solicit attention. Although the media was successful in providing so me legal context, it is imperative that more legal context be included. This inclusion is imperative because news consumers are also policy makers. For instance, school board members and/or school district officials should be familiar with the laws governi ng student speech because they help to establish policies governing and regulating student behavior. Also school them develop a better understanding of the legalities surrounding his or her job assignment. Supplemental information The articles were also analyzed for providing supplemental information. Supplemental information was defined in this study as writers looking for additional new information for stories. Alt hough some might not consider this an actual frame, the research supports the idea that there in the reporting of Morse, the
124 supplemental information. Simply, did the writer cond uct additional or supplemental Only 8% of the articles contained a quote from Frederick and almost 19% of them contained information from a legal expect. It can be expected that Frederick would not continue to comment under the advisement of legal counsel, but other students might have an opinion on the facts or outcome of the case. It seems like an easy task on the part of a reporter to visit a local high school an d ask to speak with a few of the students or even visit a mall or local hangout to ascertain student attitudes on expression. case and/or free expression. This was a moment to seize and the media missed. The media created a frame of not providing supplemental information and therefore added to the findings of a press that is somewhat biased against student free expression. Dominant Attribute The dominant attribute p roduced by the above mentioned frames then became how should school districts handle or regulate student free expression. This dominant attribute is at the core of the debate on student speech. And in the case of Morse, how to handle said speech when it ap pears to promote illegal drug usage. In short, the dominant attribute becomes the perceived meaning(s) of the banner. opposition to the banner was based on its message that she believed promoted illegal drug usage among students. Frederic k said that his idea for the banner came from a bumper sticker, that it was only for fun, and it was an attempt to get him on television. drug policy and therefore i nappropriate and that the display was the foundation for
125 The public agenda changes and the focus shifts from freedom of speech to the perceived definition of the message of the banner. Subsequently, the fight against illegal drugs in our schools overshadows the debate of student expression. The picture the media presented through the inadequate to attention frame illustrates this. Eighty percent of the articles mentioned illegal drug usage, while in comparison the pinion was only mentioned less than 25 %. Aspects. One general category of attributes (an aspect) produced by the case was what were the laws governing student speech? Leading news consumers to inquire about legal precedent or what have the courts previou sly ruled in these types of cases. According to the findings of this study, the media did an average job of providing this information. The superficial legal context frame and the inadequate attention to detail frame help illustrate this by the low occurre nce of legal references used in the articles. Other aspects produced by the frames include the student acting immaturely, the principal becoming the victim, and schools prohibiting speech that appears to promote illegal drug usage becomes substantiated. Central themes. One of the key central themes that evolved from the Morse case Dominant Per spective Finally, the Court ruled that the school administrator was justified in suspending the student because the banner could be perceived to promote illegal drug usage to minors. This leads to the dominant perspective that officials should not only ha ve the becomes significant at this juncture because this perspective is a product of the concept
126 that school administrators should act in place of parents when making student discipline decisions. In loco parentis was classified and measured under the loaded characterizations frame. Even though it was only mentioned or referred to in 3% of the articles, it helped perpetuate the frame because it became part of the domin ant perspective of adults know what is best for children. Therefore, it is taken for granted that administrators know what is best for students. This phrase can also be considered a personal perspective, in that administrators can discipline based on his o r her belief system and not necessarily the parents. It is likely that if the meaning of the phrase was explained to parents, some might have take n issue with the school making disciplining Compelling Arguments Compelling arguments help to organize and structure the object among the public and it is considered the last step in issue salience. The question begins to narrow and calls upon the public to form opinions about the issue. The publi c now considers all of the frames created by the media addressing the specific liberties and legalities surrounding the regulation of student speech when it appears to promote illegal drug usage. At this point of issue salience, all sides of the argument a re weighed, because these arguments produce opinions and/or attitudes that can potentially modify behavior. Pulling the major concepts defined by the frames in this research, the public is given much to consider. First, the media did produce a freedom of s peech frame. The public has to consider would be the issue before the Court. Second, the media did produce a frame concerning student discipline. The frame favored the schools censoring student speech through suspension when appropriate. Third, the media a lso produced a frame focusing on the message of the banner. This frame put illegal drug usage into the
127 spotlight. As Table 3 in the Findings section indicates that almost 80% of the articles mentioned illegal drug usage and/or anti drug policy, this concep t also was the controlling question before the Court Finally, the media produced a frame of superficial Tinker Taking all of the above into consideration through the frames created by the media, the pub lic may begin to Morse as justifiable student speech censorship (see Figure 5 1 ). The newspaper articles painted a picture of a free press that does not seemed to be too concerned with the state of student expression. In orde r to conduct the research, the author of this dissertation experienced difficulty from the very beginning. It was difficult to find at least 100 newspaper articles written about the case. The frames that the media created do not support free speech for stu dents or in student publications. The articles studied fell short in every category proposed in Fromm (2010). Especially tend to create a mindset that the students claim is everything but censorship. This is a rebellious teenager who played a prank and then got in trouble. Just because his ghanistan or Iraq, does not These statements are not in provided by the media. Student Speech and Publicati ons Policies The controlling theme of this dissertation is to examine the trickle down effect of media coverage in student speech court cases to the application of the legal decision in
128 student media programs through school board student speech policies. T he topic addressed in this dissertation could also be considered an emerging central theme as identified through framing theory. The central theme identified in the Morse v. Frederick coverage tackles the issue of district policies. Although, Fromm (2010) looked at several court cases involving student speech, the current research focused only on Bong Hits, and sought to find if the media coverage had an e speech and student publications policies through salience of the issue on the public agenda thereby producing a change in public policy. First Amendment rights were not violated while in turn trying to establish and enforce policies in the be st interest of the school district. This was especially apparen t with the California districts because of the state legislation that protects student speech. On the other hand, almost all of the districts deemed it important to acknowledge freedom of expre ssion and freedom of petition in the policies. Although this is an admirable gesture, it remains speculative. Districts want to appear to be open minded and accepting of student voices, while maintaining its authority. This was also prevalent in how the di stricts ordered its policy. The majority of the districts placed the mention of free speech in the first or second paragraphs, while placing district constraints on speech much later in the policy. Three districts (Dallas, Houston, and Pinellas County, Flo rida) out of the seventeen studied had policies that were amended and/or written since the Bong Hits decision. All of these policies had an adoption date after the 2007 ruling and now inellas County
129 addresses its anti these rights must conform to the Code of Student Conduct. Things a student cannot do 02 Code of Student Conduct contained the same exact statement: The special characteristics of the school environment and the governmental interest in stopping student drug abuse allo w the District to restrict student expression that it reasonably regards as promoting illegal drug use. Morse v. Frederick 551 U.S. 393 (2007). Dallas and Houston Independent School Districts Student Rights and Responsibilities Student Expression (2008) I n comparison, the districts policies addressing student publications did not include policies were more detailed than the student speech policies but they were not faz ed by the Morse decision. This can be observed in several ways. First, there were more publications policies than speech policies. Although the difference was only slightly higher by one, it appears that the districts were more concerned with publications than just overall speech that occurs in schools. Second, the publication policies tended to be longer and more detailed than the student speech policies. The publication policies contained more pages, more detailed definitions of speech and procedures for administrators, advisers, and students. Third, the publications policies also contained redress for students. While enforcing their Supreme Court right of prior review, several of the policies also outlined what students should do in case of unlawful censo rship. The research shows that school districts realize the importance of having a policy in place regulating student speech just because there was one on the books Based on the elements that the policies contained, some districts were more specific than others. Los Angeles was more comprehensive than San Diego. The LA school district
130 ns no details from either. The most interesting of the aspects evaluated involved the by way of the substantial disruption clause, and a clearly defined statement proh ibiting unprotected speech. Curriculum. Seventy six percent of the publication policies contained a statement declaring that student media should be developed and maintained as part of the istrict will have some sponsored student media and therefore cannot be regulated b y the school administrator or designee. School districts deduce that students at some point will desire to have a illian Senior High School in Miami Dade County, Florida. Students produced and distributed 300 copies of their own student publication and ironically called it The First Amendment (Laughlin, 1998) The actual cover of the pamphlet had a drawing of the principal with a dart in the middle of his forehead. The principal of the school had the nine students involved arrested and/or suspended citing fear for his personal safety and others at the school. Although the headlines, this is the type of publicity that school distr icts tend to fear will happen when
131 student publications do not have a school appointed adviser at the helm. The research presented here affirms this to the upmost degree. Substantial disruption. Moines (1969) states that student speech cannot cause substantial disruption to the school day. The principal in Tinker said that after the students refused to remove the armbands, he sent them home. He performed this action in order to prevent potential disrupti ons. The Court ruled that an administrator cannot speculate on the threat of disorder, but must provide proof through documentation. Current administrators at school sites could potentially misuse this clause to ward off potential problems. The current res earch illustrates this element is included in 77 % of the school district policies. These is very important in school publication policies because what it actually means is that a student cannot print an article saying that students should boycott the scho ol lunchroom or not attend classes and just stand in the halls during second period. In addition, a student broadcaster cannot go on the morning announcements and tell students to walk out of their classrooms in protest of the new administration. Both of t hese examples would be classified as substantial disruptions. The substantial can almost justify anything as a threat to school operations, this may the reason school dis tricts include this clause at such a high rate. Unprotected speech. The usage of profane, lewd, or vulgar language can be seen potentially as a major problem and concern for districts causing them to lawfully monitor student speech and student publication s. Both set of policies were examined for elements relating to unprotected speech. The student speech policies were evaluated
132 based on the occurrence of the Supreme Court case, Fraser v. Bethel (1986), and the student publications policies were evaluated b ased on the mention of either one of or the combination of the words profane, lewd, or vulgar. Fraser was mentioned in 63% of the speech policies and the words representing unprotected speech were mentioned in 53% of the publication policies. To ward off t he possibility of unprotected speech slipping into student publications, it is necessary to have a well trained student staff and adviser. Advisers need to establish operation manuals that contain documents linking the student press to the professional med ia. These documents could include The students need to be taught the responsibilities of the professional press as well as understand school district regulations and restrictions on student media. Adviser Survey According to the Media Advisers job descript ion of Miami Dade County (2001), media advisers should stay informed of current court decisions affecting student speech. However, the results of the survey show that Miami Dade advisers were not interested in the Morse case. Although 52% (n=38) of the adv isers surveyed had heard of the Bong Hits case, 90% of them did not follow the case from beginning to end. This may be because they did not believe that the case would have any effect in their classrooms, and the results show that 80% of them were correct. Censorship is the compelling argument identified by the media through student speech frames, and 45% of advisers agreed. Censorship is a critical component in student media classrooms because its e ffects can be far reaching. Bodle (1993) found that altho ugh 93% of advisers surveyed enjoyed their jobs, 57% indicated they wanted to leave their positions in the next five years. The finding s of the present survey indicate that almost half (49%, n=38) of the respondents had been advising between one and
133 five y ears. This result adds credibility to Bodle (1993) results. Additionally, Bodle (1993) found that the number one reason newspaper advisers quit his or her job is because of censorship pressure from administrators. In the current study, advisers indicated they feel pressured to edit stories, correct grammatical errors, and correct factual errors in student publications. This could also be attributed to the results from the media frames of the Bong Hits case. As previously discussed, the compelling argument in Morse justifies the censorship of student speech. Even though the advisers did not indicate that they themselves were responsible for censoring publications content, they are guilty of perpetrating student expression frames on a micro level, by inadvert ently allowing censorship to become a learned behavior. This could be tied to the Willingness to Self Censor scale study applied to media advisers (Fliak, Reinardy & Maksl, 2009) that studied the reasons why individuals are prone to censor. This feeling is internal and can be triggered if media advisers are being pressured by administrators to produce an error free publication, then it is likely that the advisers feels ultimately personally responsible for student media. It is important for advisers to reli trained journalists. Unfortunately, if advisers are not well trained and not able to give the publication back to the students, then it can potentially negatively affect the students, the school, the advise r, and the publication. Media advisers have to realize that the publication does not belong to them and its success or failure is not a commentary on them personally. The Democratic Process in Schools Deep in the core of this research beats the heart of a soul dedicated to student free expression. We live in a democratic nation built on ideals grounded in the United States Constitution and the liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment:
134 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (First Amendment to the United States Constitution) T his one sentence paragraph contains 228 characters formed into forty five words, but it also contains principles that continue to baffle scholars. Many have dissected this phrasing, analyzing each word trying to understand what superficial explanation is that government resting upon popular suffrage cannot be (Dewey, 1922) First Amendment theory tells us that embedded in these words is the need for members of a democratic society to feel that their voices and opinions matter. This simple fact c ontinues to drive students in public schools to fight for the right for their opinions to be heard and respected. The Supreme Court has ruled in four student speech cases ( Tinker, Fraser, Hazelwood and Morse ), and with each case they have defined and curt ailed the boundaries of student speech in classrooms. This research was conducted to attempt to explain some of the intricacies involved in the study of student speech as it relates to the education of children in American schools. Although there has been much scholarly research written dealing with how to make schools more democratic by ensuring that all students get an equal opportunity, it is now time for teaching democracy through order to have a large number of values in common, all the members of any given group to accomplish the goal of instilling the importance of democracy is by instituting and maintaining scholastic journal ism programs in schools. Through these programs, the
135 ideals of democracy will not only benefit journalism students, but every individual in the schoolhouse gate. Through these programs democracy becomes part of the school environment allowing students to v oice opinions and comment on any subject matter, even those deemed controversial. Even though adult Americans are protective of their Constitutional rights, they are not effectively preparing young Americans in the importance of continuing to maintain tho se rights, and the mass media is providing little help when they create frames that could potentially lessen the support for student free expression. McCombs and Shaw (1972) found that a considerable amount of the news coverage in the 1968 election was not necessarily centered on the major political issues, but rather analyzed the campaign itself. The focus shifted from what was really important to something that could be considered of less importance. Similarly, this was also the case in the Morse when the majority of the articles focused on the perceived message of the banner rather than the t was the argument that schools should continue to prohibit illegal drug usage among students that took center stage. In fact, a higher percentage of the articles mentioned illegal drug usage (79%) than the First Amendment (65%). The attention and intentio n of the news coverage presented one side in an unwinnable argument, because no one wants to be guilty of promoting the smoking of marijuana. What Joseph Frederick thought to be just a joke turned into something much more serious than I think he really int ended. It is time for the professional press to provide an understanding of the workings of the student press through the unconditional support of student free speech. This should
136 not only occur through the sponsoring of scholarships or conducting workshop s, but in application and practice. The professional press should feel somewhat obligated to educate the young on the ideals of democracy through practice. It is not enough that the Constitution is taught in government classes. It must become part of the f iber of a came when students felt empowered because their voices became critical in the daily operations of the school. For the young journalists it was a realization o f their future, but for school it was indoctrination into the democratic process. The results of the analysis of the policies showed that the majority of the school districts want to exercise some level of control over student speech and are unaffected by subsequent Supreme Court rulings after Tinker Only three of the policies showed any interest in the Morse decision at all. The analysis of the policies also showed the policies antiquated, outdated and in need of thoughtful revision. Why is it that stude nt speech is sometimes perceived in a negative manner? So many adults believe that if we let students write what they want to in newspapers and say what they want to on telecasts, that children will only speak on inappropriate matters. We fail to realize t hat students are capable of speak ing on issues of real and dared to speak out built this country. They took a stand and raised their voices. There have been many more inst ances where the voices of a few turned into the voices African American president are all examples of what a democracy can do. The debate of who is responsible for students l earning how to be good citizens and contributing
137 members of society will probably rage on forever. Morse proves that a relatively perceived small act has the potential to affect millions. Yes, the banner was nonsensical and the principal might have taken i t too far, but what an impact this has had, student expression has once again been curtailed, cutback, and reregulated. It has come to the point where a Justice of the Supreme Court has called for the overturning of a major decision just so that there can be more control. Students have to be controlled. When do they get a chance to become empowered? In the 2007 First Amendment survey mentioned earlier, there was also a question asking respondents if school officials should have the right to discipline stude nts who while off campus post or write negative messages that might be disruptive to the school environment Fifty percent of the respondents agreed that students should be disciplined by administrators (" '07 survey shows Americans' views mixed on basic freedoms ", 2007) Several cases hav e surfaced concerning student posts on the Internet. Recently in 2011, a student sent a negative tweet about Kansas Governor Sam Brownback Consequently, the school made the student apologize. With the popularity and unlimited accessibility of the Internet students are becoming more vocal. Although this research did not include Internet posts or blogs, it is apparent that as young Americans continue to voice their opinions, the courts will have to decide when and where to draw the line(s) of student speech under different circumstances. This is not the first occurrence of students speaking out via the Internet and it will surely not be the last. In the end, if one of the goals of compulsory education is to teach students how to become functioning democrati c citizens, society should embrace this lofty and arduous
138 ambition by respecting student free speech. Citizens of any given democratic society must be educated in the ways of self government and self rule. Fostering student free speech in public schools he lps to facilitate and disseminate new members into a society that are able to think for themselves, make sound democratic decisions, and uphold the fundamentals that American society were founded upon through an active and engaged citizenship. This resear ch was conducted by a past student media adviser who is also from a family of educators. She has had many debates with family, friends, and colleagues regarding the regulation of student speech. This research has enlightened her on the scope and range of c ensorship and the lack of support for student free speech and the goal of educating students for democracy. Students have a voice and sometimes it can be nonsensical, but it should be heard. More importantly, they must be taught the importance of using tha t voice to promote citizenship, truth, and self realization. Current school board policies did not take into account new technology, so this research was unable to take into account that concept. Study Limitations and Future Research This study is not wit hout its limitations. First, the researcher accepts the responsibility of examining one case, so no generalization about overall media patterns can be made. However, this study did have its merits. It was the first student speech case before the Supreme Co urt in 25 years and how the press framed was an important issue to study. Also the study only evaluated news articles. Further analysis of blogs and other Internet postings might yield different results. Also utilizing the findings presented here, an analy sis of the effects of media frames on district policies by comparing coverage and policy change might yield additional results.
139 This research shows that the media created unfavorable frames concerning student speech. School dis tricts seemed unconcerned and not faze d by the Supreme Morse because all the cases decided by the Court after Tinker Every policy had some level of and it is po ssible and plausible that the districts saw no need in amending the restrictions that were already in their policies. Also, the message of the banner was so controversial that it seemed the Court had no other choice but to rule against Frederick The Court rule d that the banner could be interpreted as promoting illegal drug usage and a system administrators P ublic opinion was more than likely against promoting illegal drug usage to children and would consider ludicrous a ruling that said otherwise. This was also apparent in the small number of articles written about the case. Second, the definition employed for the lack of detail frame was perhaps too narrow in focus. It needs to be broader to include more facts about the case, perh aps including specific details from the case. For instance, was the banner referenced as ility to the article and might have been interesting to note. from 25 districts to 100 or more. Then, more quantitative analysis could be introduced to perform comparison s based on geography or state statutes. This data could then be used to help school districts policies become more unified and also maybe help to enact more legislation in support of free student expression.
140 Lastly, the most disappointing part of this rese arch was the low response rate of student media advisers. This may have seemed like an open and shut case, nevertheless, school media advisers should have followed the case from beginning to end, if for no other reason than to make sure that they understoo d the ruling and overlooked by the educators. This case was an excellent example of democracy at work, even though Frederick was not victorious in the end. There was still pl enty for students to learn. This case will be used to dec ide other student speech cases especially because one of the key arguments focused on the fac t that Frederick was off campus, not appare nt if the media had other choice s than to create the frames not in favor of st udent speech because of the inflammatory nature of the banner did not reference illegal drug usage, but rather had some other mess age, the tcome might have been different. However, the case might not h ave made it on television and to newspaper headlines which by account was his main purpose. T he national survey of media instructors adapted from Click and Ko penhaver (2001) should be performed more frequently. The First Amendment Center publishes a yearly study called the State of the First Amendment to ass ess American views on current First Amendment issues, as well as gauge how much Americans know and unders tand about the First Amendment. This model could be combined with the Click and Kopenhaver (2001) study questionnaire because it is important to study media itudes even when there is not a pending federal judicial case. There also is
141 a need fo r a longitudinal qualitative study of media advisers to realistically measure attitudinal change with the introduction of variables such as the willingness to censor scale. Conclusion ublic education as it relates to the application of the basic democratic principle of free speech to students in American public schools. Key points of discussion in this study were to discuss the goals of the American compulsory education system, the effe cts of the media use of frames on public opinion, and the interpretation of Supreme Court decisions in student speech cases by school districts and student media advisers. The study found that the media does play a role in the framing of salient issues for the public agen da but in the case of student speech the role is not as significant as first hypothesized. Although the media does recognize the news value in Supreme Court student speech cases, the frames produced in Morse did not automatically favor fre e student speech A fter reviewing the facts in Morse there was little for the public to debate or decide. The public could come to no other conclusion but to reason that the principal was justified in requesting that Frederick remove the banner. The frame s produced may appear to be negative towards free speech for students, but the articles were factual. This supports the concept that some frames produced by the media are unavoidable, based on the facts presented. This analysis affirms previous research t hat the salience of an issue on the public agenda is affected not only by outside sources like media coverage but also internal also adds to the body of knowledge co nfirming that frames produce compelling
142 arguments. In this study the compelling argument produced speech that should be suppressed and supported by substantial evidence of the effect of media frames on public opin ion or public policy The majority of Morse decision. This might be rectified if the number of policies substantially increases. It is beyond the scope of tude concerning student but it is important to attitude concerning student speech. This research confirms that the courts will continue to entrust school officials wit h the decision of what is best for students in their respective districts. School districts are more concerned with protecting the health, safety, and welfare of students and therefore spend more time on these ideals than that of protecting student free sp eech. There were only three school districts that changed their student speech policies after Morse and to avoid the cost of litigating a similar case. It seems that school districts use a different definition on what constitutes a democratic citizen restricting speech that can be interpreted as causing more harm than good. An argument can be made that school districts with well outlined student speech policies are actually promoting good citizenship because students learn that s ome spee ch is not protected. Students need to learn the difference in the various types of speech and that the messag e is important just as important as exercising their free speech rights Simply, stakeholders in education have different agendas and it is a daily challenge to bring everyone together to foster democratic ideals and return compulsory education to its foundation of educating young Americans for citizenship.
143 This study also supports the existence of the democratic educational paradox, the ide a that schools should be democratic by nature but generally struggle with implementing democratic principles while maintaining control. First Amendment theorists conclude that in order for citizens to share in the democratic process, their voices must be h eard. The marketplace of ideas allows for everyone to have a voice. This ideal of the First Amendment was not totally lost in the facts surrounding Morse because the marketplace does banner that could b e interpreted as promoting illegal drug usage found its way into public disc ussion, his actions were not supported by the majority. The Student Speech Doctrine has evolved into the Student Speech with caveats Doctrine. This research briefly discussed the Doctrine to provide some judicial Morse substantiates further judicial decisions curtailing s Regulating student speech has become more complex than just the weari ng of a black armband. The substantial disruption standard as defined and established in Tinker encompasses a much broader span of student behavior in 2011 than it did in 1969. Administrators must now be concerned with speech that promotes student bullyin g, students debating about controversial subjects like gay marriage, students wanting to brandish the Confederate flag on campus, and students while off campus posting negative or hurtful remarks about teachers and other students. There is no denying that Therefore, how schools deal with student speech must also adapt and evolve. The application of free speech in schools is by nature complex and the answers are
144 multifaceted, but despi te all of these factors we must continue to educate the young in Figure 5 1 The top of this figure shows components in the development of frames and issue sali ence. The bottom half of the figure demonstrates how the media established frames that supported censorship of student speech. Object Attributes FRAMES Dominant Attribute a. Aspects b. Central Themes Dominant Perspective Compelling Arguments Salience of Object and Salience of Attribute "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" Morse v. Frederick 551 U.S. 393 What is the correct application of the First Amendment to student speech? CONFLICTING INSTITUTIONAL ATTITUDES Regulating student speech when it appears to promote illegal drug usage What has previous courts ruled in student speech cases? What are current school district student speech policies? The Court ruled the principal was justified in suspending Frederick All student speech should not be protected under the First Amendment Morse justifies further censorship of student speech
145 APPENDIX A UNITED STATES NEWSPAPERS ARTICLES 1. Washington Post 12 2. New York Times 9 3. San Francisco Chronicle 5 4. Chicago Sun T imes 4 5. St. Petersburg Times 4 6. Houston Chronicle 3 7. The Virginian Pilot 3 8. Las Vegas Review Journal 2 9. Tampa Tribune 2 10. Philadelphia Inquirer 2 11. Dallas Morning News 2 12. Atlanta Journal Constitution 2 13. Florida Times Union 1 14. Palm Beach Post 1 15. Philadelphia Daily News 1 16. Augusta Chronicle (GA) 3 17. Santa Fe New Mexican (NM) 3 18. Orange County Register (CA) 2 19. Village Voice (NY) 2 20. Pittsburg Post Gazette (PA) 2 21. Star Ledger (NJ) 1 22. Inside Bay Area (CA) 1 23. Fresno Bee (CA) 1 24. San Antonio Ex press (TX) 1 25. Austin Statesman (TX) 1 26. Richmond Times Dispatch (VA) 1 27. Patriot News (PA) 1 28. Anchorage Daily News 15 29. USA Today 8 30. Education Week 7 __________________________________________ Total 102
146 APPENDIX B CODING GUIDE / NE WSPAPER ARTICLES Instructions: The purpose of this coding guide is to ascertain how major U.S. Morse v. Frederick ONG arti cle, each reviewer is asked to carefully examine the article looking for the words and/or phrases indicated below and answers each question by selecting the best response. 1. Article type: (5) Feature (4) News (3) Editorial (2) Opinion (1) Letter to the Edi tor 2. What is the word count of the article? (4) 1500 and above (3) 1000 1499 (2) 500 999 (1) Under 499 3. What is the main focus of the article? (3) The Supreme Court case Morse v. Frederick (2) Another specific Supreme Court case (1) All of the decisions that Supre me Court made during that particular session (0) None of the above 4. or does it state that principals or administrators have the legal right to review student media before it is published? (2) Yes (1) No 5. Does censorship media should be changed or deleted before publication? (2) Yes (1) No 6. discipline (2) Yes (1) No
147 7. in loco parentis r does it state that the administrators and teachers should act as parents to the students while they are in school? (2) Yes (1) No 8. Does the article make references to public school students as: (3) Citizens in Training (2) Wards of the State (1) Neither 9. democracy (2) Yes (1) No 10. freedom of speech (2) Yes (1) No 11. First Amendment (2) Yes (1) No 12. Does the illegal drug usage (2) Yes (1) No 13. Does the article mention ? (2) Yes (1) No 14. Does the article mention ? (2) Yes (1) No 15. Does the article mention the dissent ing opinion ? (2) Yes (1) No 16. Does the writer of the article interview one or more high school students ? (2) Yes (1) No 17. Does the writer of the article interview one or more high school administrators? (2) Yes
148 (1) No 18. Does the writer of the article interview one or mo re parent s? (2) Yes (1) No 19. Does the writer of the article interview one or more legal experts, such as lawyers, litigators, or leaders of special interest groups such as the Student Press Law Center or the ACLU? (2) Yes (1) No 20. Does the article mention the U.S. S upreme Court case, Tinker v. Des Moines or substantial disruption? (2) Yes (1) No 21. Does the article mention the U.S. Supreme Court case, Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier or that principals have the right to censor publications if they are school sponsored and part of th e curriculum? (2) Yes (1) No 22. Does the article mention the U.S. Supreme Court case, Bethel v. Fraser or that student speech that is considered lewd, profane, or vulgar? (2) Yes (1) No 23. On a scale of 1 unders tanding of the legal issues concerning student speech? (3) High (very well versed on the topic of legal issues concerning student speech) (2) Moderate (a moderate amount of knowledge, but could use more research) (1) Low (very little, just enough to comple te the article)
149 APPENDIX C SCHOOL DISTRICT STUD ENT SPEECH/PUBLICATI ONS POLICIES Table C 1. A merican public school districts Rank School District Expression Publications 1 New York X 2 Los Angeles X X 3 Chicago X 4 Miami Dade County, FL X X 5 Clark C ounty, NV Controversial Issues 6 Broward County, FL X X 7 Houston ISD X X 8 Hillsborough County, FL X 9 Hawaii X X 10 Orange County, FL Controversial Issues X 11 Palm Beach County, FL X X 12 Fairfax County, VA X X 13 Philadelphia X 14 Dallas IS D X X 15 Gwinnett County, GA X 16 Montgomery County, MD X X 17 Wake County, NC X 18 San Diego X X 19 Duval County, FL X 20 Pinellas County, FL X X 21 Baltimore County X
150 *Note: Charlotte Mecklenburg, Prince Georges, Memphis City, and Cobb County school districts had neither a policy that addressed student expression nor student publications.
151 APPENDIX D CODING GUIDE / SCHOOL POLICIES Instructions: This coding guide with help measure how school district legislators and board members interpreted an d responded to Supreme Court decisions when implementing student speech policies. This guide will help you code national school student speech policies the words and/or phrases indicated then se lect the best response. 1. What is the adoption year of the policy? (5) 2010 2001 (4) 2000 1991 (3) 1990 1981 (2) 1980 1971 (1) Older than 1970 (0) No adoption year available 2. What phrase is primarily used in the name of the policy? (3) Student Expression ( 2) Student Free Speech and/or Expression (1) Controversial Issues (0) Students Rights and Responsibilities 3. Does the policy reference in any form the First Amendment to the US Constitution? (2) Yes (1) No 4. Does the policy contain a statement concerning st express themselves by speaking, writing, wearing, or displaying symbols of ethnic, cultural, or political values? (2) Yes (1) No 5. petition and survey student opinion? (2) Ye s (1) No 6. express their own opinions on controversial issues ? (2) Yes (1) No 7. assemble peacefully on school grounds or in school buildings? (2) Yes
152 (1) No 8. Does the policy contain a statement concerning material that may cause substantial disruption of the school day or a school activity? (2) Yes (1) No 9. Does the policy contain a statement concerning the use of vulgar, profane or obscene language? (2) Yes (1) No 10. Does the policy contain a statement concerning the endorsement of illegal drug use? (2) Yes (1) No Thanks for your participation.
153 APPENDIX E CODING GUIDE / STUDENT PUBLICATIO NS Instructions: This coding gui de with help measure how school district legislators and board members interpreted and responded to Supreme Court decisions when implementing student publications policies. This guide will help you code national sponsored student p ublications policies Examine select the best response. 11. What is the adoption year of the policy? (5) 2010 2001 (4) 2000 1991 (3) 1990 1981 (2) 1980 1971 (1) Older than 197 0 (0) No adoption year available 12. Where was the policy posted or listed? (2) Board Policy (should have a policy number, inaction date, etc.) (1) Student Code of Conduct 13. Does the policy classify student publications as public forums ? (2) Yes (1) No 14. Does t he policy classify student publications as part of the curriculum ? (2) Yes (1) No 15. Does the student publication policy discuss or outline the use of obscenity, libel, and/or slander ? (2) Yes (1) No 16. Does the policy allow for school officials to ex ercise prior review student publications? (Prior review allows administrators to view student publications before they are printed or viewed? (2) Yes (1) No 17. W ho does the policy say has editorial control For example, the po licy says that administrators have the authority to not publish an article.
154 (4) Students (3) Advisers (2) Administrators (1) School Board/District (0) Does not say or unclear as to who has editorial control 18. Does the policy contain a statement(s) concerni ng advertising in student publications? (2) Yes (1) No 19. Does the policy contain a statement addressing the distribution of student publications? (2) Yes (1) No 20. Does the policy contain a statement addressing and /or defining unprotected speech ? (2) Yes (1) No Thanks for your participation.
155 APPENDIX F MIAMI DADE COUNTY MEDIA AD VISERS SURVEY We are attempting to assess the status of censorship in high school student media programs in Miami and how have they implemented and viewed the ideals of student sp eech established by the Morse v. Frederick (also known as Bong Hits 4 Jesus) Supreme Court decision? We would greatly appreciate the information you provide. This survey asks some questions about your opinions on the student press, about your own media program and some demographics. 1. What is the name of your school? 2. What student media do you advise? a. Newspaper b. Yearbook c. Broadcasting Program d. Literary Magazine e. Advise more than one student media program 3. What is the student enrollment of your school? a. Under 1000 b. 1000 2000 c. 2000 3000 d. More than 3000 4. How many years have you advised student media at your school? a. 1 5 b. 6 10 c. 11 15 d. 16 or more years 5. How many years has your school had the student media that you advise? a. 1 5 b. 6 10 c. 11 15 d. 16 or more years 6. W hat is the purpose of the student media that you advise? (If your publication has a mission statement or a statement of purpose, please enclose a copy with this survey.) a. Student news and comment communication vehicle b. Public Relations for the school c. Informa tion sheet for the school d. Other: please specify ____________________________
156 7. Who controls and is ultimately responsible for the contents of your school publication? a. Student Editor b. Student Media Staff c. Adviser d. Principal Please indicate your responses to t he following questions using the responses: strongly agree; agree; neither disagree nor agree; disagree; or strongly disagree with each of the following statements in your role as an adviser of the student publication. 6. An important function of student me dia is to be a forum for free student expression. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neither agree nor disagree d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 7. Student media should advance the public relations objectives of the school. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 8. Our student media should concern itself only with issues and events that relate to our campus, not those of the larger community, state or nation. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neither agree nor disagree d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 9. Once students have been trained in journalistic principles and press responsibility, they should have full control over the content in student media. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neither agree nor disagree d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 10. Only teachers who have had some courses in or some professional experience in journalism should be hired as advisers for student media. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree
157 c. Neither agree nor disagree d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 11. High school students are not sufficiently mature to understand the theory and practice of a free press. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neither agree nor disagree d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 12. expenses, school administrators should have some control over what is published. a. Strong ly Agree b. Agree c. Neither agree nor disagree d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 13. The media adviser should read and approve all copy prior to publication. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neither agree nor disagree d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 14. The media adviser should corre ct misspellings in student copy before publication. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neither agree nor disagree d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 15. The media adviser should correct factual inaccuracies in student copy before publication. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neither agr ee nor disagree d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 16. If the principal asks the adviser to read copy prior to publication, the adviser should do so. a. Strongly Agree
158 b. Agree c. Neither agree nor disagree d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 17. If the adviser knows that a student media plans to publish something that may to prevent that item from being published. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neither agree nor disagree d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 18. The student media should print or broadcast a story that it can prove is true even a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neither agree nor disagree d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 19. The student staff members censor st udent media. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neither agree nor disagree d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 20. School officials should have to right to censor student speech when it relates to illegal drug use? a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neither agree nor disagree d. Disagree e. St rongly Disagree 21. Where do you normally get your news information? a. Network Television News (CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, etc.) b. Newspaper (Local or National) c. News/Entertainment programs (John Stewart, Glenn Beck, etc.) d. Internet News Source (Google, MSN, Yahoo, e tc.) e. Blogs 22. How do you keep informed about the current state of student expression? a. Network Television News (CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, etc.)
159 b. Newspaper (Local or National) c. News/Entertainment programs (John Stewart, Glenn Beck, etc.) d. Internet News Source (Goo gle, MSN, Yahoo, etc.) e. Blogs 23. Are you familiar with the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Morse v. Frederick? a. Yes b. No 24. If yes, how did you first learn about the Morse case? a. Newspaper (Local or National) b. Network Television News (CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, etc.) c. Internet News Source (Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc.) d. Professional Organization Listserv or publication (Journalism Educators of America, etc.) e. State or National Student Press Organization Listserv or publication (Florida Scholastic Press Association, Columbia P ress Association, etc.) 25. Did you follow the case from the beginning to the outcome? a. Yes b. No 26. How did you learn about the outcome of Morse v. Frederick ? a. Newspaper (Local or National) b. Network Television News (CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, etc.) c. Internet News Source (Go ogle, MSN, Yahoo, etc.) d. Professional Organization Listserv or publication (Journalism Educators of America, etc.) e. State or National Student Press Organization Listserv or publication (Florida Scholastic Press Association, Columbia Press Association, etc.) 27. What do you think was the main focus of the Morse v Frederick case? a. Censorship vs. free speech b. Illegal drug usage by high school students c. Administrators right to discipline student speech d. None of the above 28. Please rate the media coverage of the Morse v Frederick case. a. Fair (unbiased) b. Moderate (neither biased nor unbiased) c. Unfair (biased) 29. Which person did you think was portrayed as correctly applying the First Amendment as it relates to student speech? a. The student
160 b. The administrator c. Neither d. 30. D o you think that the Morse decision influenced student speech at your school? a. Yes b. No c. Maybe d. Thank you for your time and for completing this survey. If you would like a copy of the results of this survey please email Karla Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org
161 BIOGRAPHICAL S KETCH Kar la D. Kennedy received her PhD. from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida in the fall of 2011. Her dissertation encompassed the United States Supreme Court student speech case, Morse v. Frederick and student publications policies. Kennedy is a strong advocate for the freedoms and rights of students and student journalists a nd has advised various high school media for Schaap 2007 Journalism Teacher of the Year, and holds a Master of Science in Student Media Advising from Florida International Un iversity. She has taught Writing for Mass Communications at the University of Florida and Public Speaking at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida. Kennedy also teaches the Summer Journalism Institute at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, an d hosts a Web site dedicated to helping novice student media advisers at kilrkayproductions.com.