Brian Pickett

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So far Brian Pickett has created 25 blog entries.

Report Card: THEATRE ARTS

By |2019-03-07T22:43:04-04:00June 18th, 2009|Blog|

Grade: C+ The show must go on? Back in December Rowlett High School canceled a production of the musical Rent after controversy was sparked by some particularly vocal parents in the community. The school’s theatre director said she made the decision to cancel the show in the interest of the students involved: “In light of everything that has happened, I [...]

Censorship = Boring. Valedictorian in Florida ordered to rewrite speech

By |2019-03-14T17:45:25-04:00June 8th, 2009|Blog|

In efforts to liven up her graduation ceremony, Springstead High School Valedictorian Jem Lugo planned on giving a speech that would poke fun at traditional graduation messages while perhaps giving her fellow students some thoughts to remember: I’m not gonna get up here and start spouting these crazy incomprehensible seven syllable words I probably can’t even pronounce. Why would I [...]

Students Speak Out on Teacher Layoffs

By |2019-03-14T17:45:24-04:00May 29th, 2009|Blog|

It’s not every day that students’ voices are heard concerning school policy. Indeed, most major decisions in public education are made with little or no student input. But with teacher layoffs pending in school districts across the nation,  hundreds students in Los Angeles sought to change that dynamic last Friday, staging a walkout to protest plans to fire more than [...]

Confronting Censorship with a Flowchart

By |2019-03-07T22:41:30-04:00May 19th, 2009|Blog|

The ACLU and the ACLU of Tennessee  filed suit in Federal Court  against two Tennessee school districts, charging the schools are unconstitutionally blocking students from accessing online information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.  NCAC was involved in an initial response and has been following the case.  Now see the story in flowchart form: See it in full effect [...]

Knoxville to Students: No LGBT Websites

By |2019-03-15T16:22:28-04:00April 20th, 2009|Blog|

In February 2009, NCAC and the ACLU of Tennessee jointly responded to a situation at a Knoxville, TN high school where internet filters are currently blocking constitutional protected material on the web, specifically sites that provide political and educational content around LGBT issues. The censorship was discovered by Andrew Emmitt, a senior at Central High School: When I found out [...]

Contested speech on college campuses

By |2019-03-13T15:09:23-04:00April 15th, 2009|Blog|

Student Press: No Socialists Allowed At least that seems to be the case at Central Connecticut State University where student journalist, Marissa Blaszko, was apparently  fired last month from the school paper because of her connections to the student club, Youth for Socialist Action, and her anti-war politics. In response to the decision, Blaszko released a statement saying: They informed [...]

Student Speech “Muzzled”

By |2019-03-13T15:09:58-04:00April 10th, 2009|Blog|

Marking the anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, the First Amendment Center has issued their annual “Muzzle Awards”, a dubious honor given to “outstanding” Americans in violation of First Amendment principals. The story published on FAC's website notes that more than half of this year’s recipients are community college or K-12 administrators. While this bit of news is no surprise to [...]

Steve Martin steps into the ring: Take that, Censorship!

By |2019-03-07T22:40:26-04:00March 16th, 2009|Blog|

NCAC has been following the case of Picasso at the Lapin Agile in La Grande Oregon for the past month or so. After receiving a call from a concerned parent, we wrote a letter to the Superintendent explaining how and why his decision to cancel the Steve Martin play was, well, wrong. Unfortunately, a little saber rattling from New York [...]

Reason Prevailed Somewhere this Week

By |2019-03-13T15:14:17-04:00February 27th, 2009|Blog|

But not in La Grande Oregon, where on Wednesday night, school board members voted to uphold Superintendent Larry Glaze’s decision to censor a student production of Steve Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile”, ignoring spirited and articulate appeals from the High School principal and drama teacher. It was yet another disturbing case of school officials catering to the more censorious [...]

Direct TV rejects ad about recent Gaza invasion as too “controversial”

By |2019-03-13T15:14:44-04:00February 23rd, 2009|Blog|

Satellite television provider Direct TV’s recent decision to reject an advertisement produced by the advocacy group U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation raises serious questions about the responsibilities of corporate media to permit, if not promote, the free exchange of ideas on important questions of national policy. The advertisement, which asks viewers to contact President Obama and tell him [...]

The trend of pulling high school performances of RENT, need for students to fight for it

By |2019-03-07T22:39:55-04:00February 20th, 2009|Blog|

In December we covered the depressing situation at Rowlett High School where a teacher pulled a performance of “RENT: School Edition” after controversy about the play’s content. “RENT: School Edition” is a “modified” version of Jonathan Larson’s Tony Award winning musical about “bohemian” life in New York. The play explores the lives of artists struggling to live out a romantic [...]

If you don’t see something, say something.

By |2019-03-07T14:00:32-04:00February 13th, 2009|Blog|

Recently NCAC was contacted by a high school student who was having difficulty accessing particular LGBT websites from his school. Upon further investigation this student uncovered the likely culprit- an internet filtering policy that includes the blocking of “Sites that provide information, promote, or cater to gays, lesbians, swingers, other sexual orientations or practices, or a particular fetish.” The policy [...]

Covering War

By |2019-03-13T15:02:48-04:00January 15th, 2009|Blog|

Now Twittering: AJGaza The New York Times recently  printed an article by Noel Cohen about the limited access Americans have to Al Jazeera’s coverage of Israel’s invasion of Gaza.  This, as Cohen notes, is in part because the station is carried only by cable providers in Burlington, Vt.; Toledo, Ohio; and Washington, D.C. Why is it so important that Americans [...]

Prior Review- A Student Press Nightmare

By |2019-03-12T18:26:05-04:00December 30th, 2008|Blog|

At Faribault High School in Faribault, MN, students have refused to allow their superintendent to review a particular article before going to print. The Student Press Law Center reported that the students, citing their 1st Amendment rights, told the Superintendent: “What you believe [is] inappropriate concerning the Prieve story is not a legal standard for prior review or from stopping [...]

Student Press Goes to Washington

By |2019-03-07T21:44:54-04:00December 23rd, 2008|Blog|

With what promises to be the most crowded inauguration in US history, SPLC has issued an advisory to student journalists planning on covering the event: The Student Press Law Center is advising college journalists who plan to cover events surrounding the Presidential Inauguration to be held January 20 in Washington, D.C., to take several precautionary steps to avoid being arrested [...]

Avoiding Controversy in Rowlett (AKA: Censorship)

By |2019-03-12T18:27:02-04:00December 16th, 2008|Blog|

Listening to: La Vie Boheme On December 12, the Dallas Morning News reported that Rowlett High School had canceled a production of the musical Rent after protest from some parents in the community. According to the article, the school’s theatre director made the decision in the interest of the students involved: “In light of everything that has happened, I need [...]

A School Grows in Brooklyn?

By |2019-03-07T21:50:05-04:00December 12th, 2008|Blog|

A new article in Color Lines revitalizes the discussion around the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn, NY. The school, which teaches classes in both Arabic and English, was conceived of in 2005 as a multicultural learning environment. “Since 9/11, Arabs have been targeted in New York,” said one Arab parent who did not want to be named for fear [...]

Hate Speech is Free Speech

By |2019-03-14T17:32:28-04:00December 8th, 2008|Blog|

And yet not without consequences. After the November 4th election of Barack Obama, 4 North Carolina State students hit the “Free Expression Tunnel” to spray paint messages that have now sparked a fierce debate on campus about how to respond to hate speech. The messages, including one that read “let’s shoot that Nigger in the head”, have prompted strong response [...]

Book Banning x Prior Review = Censorship²

By |2016-01-14T16:20:36-04:00December 1st, 2008|Blog|

And for a high school in Portage, IN, it also equals attention from journalists and student rights advocates alike. There are two issues at hand. One is the banning of a book, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky, from the ninth grade English curriculum. The other is a decision by the school administration to institute a policy [...]

The Bumper Sticker Wars

By |2019-03-12T18:30:30-04:00November 26th, 2008|Blog|

Walla Walla, WA. A high school student is suspended for a bumper sticker on her car. Its contents: “I fucked your boyfriend” Camp Lejeune, NC. Civilian employee and Marine Corps veteran, Jesse Nieto, is ordered to remove stickers from his vehicle of a slightly more political charged nature: (AP) The messages displayed at least a half-dozen anti-Muslim decals including “ISLAM [...]

Are you Offended?

By |2016-01-14T16:18:09-04:00November 21st, 2008|Blog|

Listening to: MC Luscious An 11th grade student was recently told to remove her bumper sticker from her car parked in the Walla Walla High School (WA) parking lot. The content of the sticker: “I Fucked Your Boyfriend.” There was little controversy about the student’s expression until she was told by school officials to remove the bumper sticker or face [...]

Freedom of Assembly?

By |2016-01-14T16:17:54-04:00November 21st, 2008|Blog|

In downtown LA, a new community space set up by the local chapter of Food Not Bombs (a group committed to “sharing free vegetarian food with hungry people and protesting war and poverty”) was playing host to a hip hop concert last Sunday night. The goal was to raise money for an upcoming anarchist bookfair. Guests and performers at the [...]

Gang Activity? Or Just Trying to Keep Warm?

By |2019-03-12T18:31:58-04:00November 14th, 2008|Blog|

After a student-led protest in Montgomery, NY, Valley Central High School lifted a blanket ban on neck scarves, which had been interpreted as "gang paraphernalia" by the school administration.   The protest, which included a refusal from many students to obey the new “no-scarf” policy, as well as a petition garnering 300+ signatures, resulted in the school board investigating [...]

Film Contest Winners

By |2016-01-14T16:13:22-04:00October 22nd, 2008|Blog|

1st place: Silence by Peter Block and Connie Saltzman 2nd place: Lost Expression by Shelby Kepler 3rd place: XYZ by Corey Steinhouse, Cameron Robinson, and Mercy Emelike.