Zucker vs Panitz

In 1969, the U. S. District Court in New York ruled that the principal of New Rochelle High School in New York had disobeyed the First Amendment after forbidding students for allowing a paid advertisement opposing the Vietnam War. Zucker vs Panitz was the first in a long line of lower court school newspaper cases between 1969 and 1988. The school dealt with it because it could block the advertisement because of its well established policy limiting the satisfaction of the paper to matters concerning a high school and its activities that involve it. The school argued about it because citizens didn’t have a right of access to the private press, so basically why should children have access to it too. In a school environment, the administration said students shouldn’t have a right of access to the school paper because of its confidential purposes. Even though there were different methods of protest, the students demanded that they must be  allowed to use the newspaper as a public forum to express themselves and spread their ideas throughout. Designating that the school newspaper occupied a special place as a means for students to express themselves, the court said, “Clearly a newspaper by its nature is a forum for student expression of ideas and viewpoints.” The school couldn’t realistically argue that this is solely an education device.” The court stated that schools can only question when they can prove the story had an issue, that would result in a material and substantial interference with schoolwork, discipline, or could result in an invasion of the rights of other students. Material and considerable interference with schoolwork or discipline was typically defined as a physical disruption that directly interfered with the school’s primary purpose of educating students. Invasion of the rights of other students was usually defined as a legal invasion, slander, or invasion of privacy.