Topics: College of Communication Information and Media, Teachers College

May 29, 2007

Ball State has formed the Principals Coalition for the First Amendment, a national organization for high school principals and administrators who support a free press, practices and advocacy in public schools.

The new organization will assist school administrators to foster an environment where First Amendment practices are encouraged, said Warren Watson, director of Ball State's J-Ideas project, a national student journalism and First Amendment institute.

"There are many, many administrators who believe in the First Amendment and freedom of expression in our schools," Watson said. "Free speech is at the core of our democratic values. We now have a special place for administrators to share ideas."

The new organization will showcase best practices in schools nationwide, and produce a regular newsletter and other materials for school administrators, including a curriculum DVD, "A First Amendment Guide for Principals and Administrators," which J-Ideas developed and is distributing nationally.

J-Ideas, located in the Department of Journalism in the university's College for Communication, Information, and Media, formed the new organization in cooperation with the Ball State's Department of Educational Leadership in Teachers College.

"The organization will go a long way in assisting school administrators to educate students about issues that our society holds dear," said Joseph McKinney, chair of the educational leadership department. 

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