Research from a team at the University of Kansas reveals that female high school journalists are censored more often than their male counterparts. Censoring students in general is bad enough. How are they to learn to be responsible? Why infringe on their First Amendment rights if they are pursuing stories and reporting them truthfully? But specifically censoring women just goes to reinforce the problems we already have in society. What makes what a woman says any less important than a man? How are we to raise strong, capable women when we censor them whenever they approach “taboo” or “controversial” topics?
The research further showed that female high school journalists are more likely to self-censor their ideas in anticipation of a negative reaction from the school. Why are we teaching girls that their ideas aren’t worth sharing? What does this teach them about their ideas later on?
Thankfully, the Student Press Law Center saw this pattern and took action. They created the Active Voice project, an effort aimed at giving girls their voices back and helping them become leaders in their communities. The project consists of five fellows who create unique projects that lift girls’ voices. From a STEM magazine to a journalism workshop to a presentation for administrators, these projects tell girls their voices matter.
If you’re interested in helping with this project, applications for the next class for Active Voice fellows is open now. You can apply here: http://theactivevoice.org/?p=730