The Student News Site of Ramapo High School




Student Press Freedom Day Editorial

February 22nd is a special day for all student journalists. This year marks 50 years of Student Press Freedom Day (SPFD). The free press of students affects the Ramapo community in many ways. 


Student Press Freedom Day was created by the Student Press Law Center (SPLC), a independent and non-partisan organization focused on “promoting, supporting, and defending the First Amendment and free press rights of students” (splc.org). SPLC offers free legal services to journalism students to restore press freedom along with their goal to protect, promote, and support students and their advisors by informing them about their rights under the First Amendment (SPLC.org). 


While SPFD is catered toward student journalists, we are all surrounded by news and media, which makes SPFD incredibly important. SPFD celebrates student journalists due to the critical role of journalism in maintaining a free and open society and democracy. SPLC mentions that journalism is incredibly important, and journalism teaches students “how to ask hard questions, discern truth, and value facts. These are qualities that shape informed citizens” (studentpressfreedom.org). To become an informed citizen, one must understand the information given by the media and learn from multiple sources to gain a larger overview of the issue at hand. An informed citizen knows to check their sources, keeps up with recent developments, and is committed to the common good of society through truth.


To help celebrate this day, everyone should learn more about Student Press Freedom Day and the importance of celebrating the free press. SPLC holds many online events, including an SPFD crash course for all to join and learn about the legality of student journalism. By using hashtags such as #powerfullypersistent and #studentpressfreedoom, one can boost the SPLC’s goal of promoting love for student journalists (SPLC.org). To learn more about how to celebrate SPFD, go to www.studentpressfreedom.org/50ways/ and inform yourself about the meaning of the day and why it must be celebrated.   


One of the main reasons for SPFD and SPLC is to remind students in journalism of their rights and stop unlawful censorship within schools. Student journalists provide news and information to the school against many odds. Student journalists are forced to face the problems of censorship, budget cuts, and the risk of isolation or harassment for informing students of critical information (SPLC.org).  


SPFD ensures that people know how important student journalists are to the community. By writing articles and informing the school community, student journalists are necessary for the school. Hadar Harris, the SPLC Executive Director, highlights the fact that students in journalism at colleges such as Michigan State University and Stanford have upheld their duty to report information to the public regardless of the backlash. MSU’s newspaper, The State News, was incredibly important in the days following the mass shooting that occurred on February 13th and resulted in three student deaths with five injuries. This traumatic event was unveiled online due to the amount of videos posted by MSU students on the day of the incident. The State News reported on the distressing event and connected all students who were affected by the incident. Stanford’s newspaper, The Stanford Daily, broke the story on the falsified research by the former Stanford President and won an award for their ground-breaking story and its effect (Harris). 


You can help celebrate Student Press Freedom Day by following our Instagram page, reading our articles on our website, www.RamapoRampage.org, and informing yourself about relevant topics. 


Thank you for your support in our efforts to celebrate SPFD here at Ramapo High School.


  • Lindsey Morrison, Rampage 2023-2024 Editor-in-Chief


From the Back of an Envelope: Reflections on Student Press Freedom Day, Bold Journalism and Brave Advocacy (Harris) 




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Lindsey Morrison, Editor-In-Chief (23-24), Online Editor (22-23)

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