Smoky Hill Newspaper Program Projected to be Cut Upcoming 2023-2024 School Year

Students’ voices and perspectives matter on the rising situation of the recent news that Newspaper will not be offered as a course next year


Gloria Namgung (Junior, Editor-in-Chief)

On Monday, Mar. 13, the Smoky Hill High School Newspaper program was informed by advisor Carrie Faust that the class and program in itself would be cut and not accessible for students to participate in due to a minimum requirement of 20 students having to register for the course during class registration not being met.

We could not possibly live in a world without news. News is a platform for information, different perspectives, and addressing events from all places for the public to know and seek.

As a student Editor-in-Chief in Smoky Hill High School’s newspaper program, being informed that the newspaper program will be cut in the upcoming school year due to a “lack of interest” is frustrating and incomprehensible. Every high school in America deserves the right to exercise freedom of press and speech and use an outlet to inform students of timely and current events. 

To raise awareness of this issue, the other staff members and I have been spreading the word around on multiple social media platforms in hopes of others acknowledging and addressing the ever-rising problem. Former Smoky Hill journalist Dillon Thomas, now a multi-Emmy winning reporter for CBS News Colorado has helped post on his Twitter platform to also spread the word.

Isaiah Escamilla (Senior, Staffer)

Smoky Hill Newspaper is not something we can afford to lose. The school’s news source needs to be available to students and teachers alike. Going through the school and asking our deans if they knew about the subject, is met with the answer, “I was not aware of that,” Dean Monte Reynolds said, who also added not having a school newspaper “impacts the kids not having their voice heard.” Students here would continue to be uninformed about the things happening here and the counselors, deans and principals will continue to do things like this without repercussions or student input which would make it really difficult for the students to go through high school.

Sofiia Znakharenko (Sophomore, Staffer)

Newspaper was never just about writing to get credit for class to me, it was a chance to not only grow as a writer but as a human being, to come to an understanding and appreciation for the world around me and the people I surround myself with. I maintain that it is impossible to have a comprehensive high school experience without the involvement of a high school newspaper, a place where students have their own voice to reach out to each other and share themselves and their thoughts with the world. For the school to attempt to get rid of one of the only classes where we as students have the opportunity to actively share not only the goings on of our school but also the issues we have with it is a direct denial of not only the opportunity to grow into eloquent and connected individuals willing to contribute to the world but also the chance to point out the problems we see and work to create meaningful change. With other higher level classes, such as some IB courses, functioning with, at times, under 10 students and our publication being taken away for being two students under the minimum for class enrollment, it has come to seem like an attack on our chance to give a student perspective on issues and give the student body a voice within our school, district, and society. 

Faven Getnet (Freshman, Staffer)

Although Newspaper is not for everyone, having a newspaper class in our school can set students up for success during and after high school. Students can take the skills they’ve learned in newspaper to use in other real-world situations. Newspaper can build good analytical thinking, clear writing, understanding of hard deadlines, peer collaboration within a team and leadership skills. These skills are essential for future jobs, during and after high school. Students can also learn to have a voice in topics and build social skills often neglected in conventional academic classes. Newspaper can also make memorable memories about school events and uncover big stories that outside media might have missed.

Lily Gibson (Freshman, Staffer) 

For me, Newspaper is the best class I’ve taken this year. It has helped me with my progression in writing and my ability to express my opinions and others in a way that I love. The school’s decision to cut Newspaper has caused outrage of feelings for not only myself but other students who have spent so much time dedicating themselves to the Newspaper and to publishing pieces. Taking this away infringes on the Smoky Hill community’s freedom of speech and limits the ability of students to be heard. Without a newspaper, the community cannot be brought together and represented. I cannot express the unfairness of the school bringing this class to an end. 

Simone Van de Sande (Freshman, Staffer)

The injustice of students not having the right to speech is actively silencing the voices of the Smoky Hill community. Newspapers largely affect communication skills, and taking away a class that provides a skill that can be used for the rest of one’s life seems not just unfair but detrimental to students’ development and integration into society. The school is adding new classes and taking away older classes such as Newspaper, which offer a different type of skill set that is not offered in any other classes. Newspaper is not just a class but a way to learn life skills and a place where students can voice their opinions openly.