Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Mrs. Marilyn Peterson


First Amendment rights as applied to the high school press is an unsettled area of constitutional law. The courts must focus upon five key topics when hearing student press cases. These include: (1) public v. private institutions; (2) reasons for controlling student expression; (3) type and distribution form of student publications; (4) attempted method of controlling expression; and (5) publication established as public forum. The implication of publication guidelines is an important procedural safeguard. However, they must be written concisely and specifically in order to avoid vagueness and overbreadth. Prior review and prior restraint techniques as means of censoring the high school press have resulted in mixed opinions from various courts. And the age of high school journalists is another factor adding to the confusion of student press rights. Guidelines define the rights, restriction, and responsibilities of the student journalists, publications advisor, and school administrators. The existence and enforcement of guidelines should help to settle many First Amendment disagreements outside of the courtroom. Student press rights is a complicated subject. But, as student journalist’s and school administrators become more knowledgeable about constitutional guarantees, hopefully there will be a better understanding of issues in the area of First Amendment rights applied to the high school press.


First Amendment Rights As Applied to the High School Press. A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska. In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Masters of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1982 Joyce Gissler.