Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Herriman High Students Launch Independent News Website Following School Censorship

The Telegram
Student reporters at Herriman High School have created a website called The Telegram as a way to publish their thoughts without administrative oversight.

A student-led newspaper at Herriman High School was shut down briefly over the weekend following a controversial post. School administration has since assumed full publishing control of The Telegraph, causing the students to launch a new website.

The post had to do with a teacher who left the school in November. ConorSpahr, the senior who wrote the article, said the details surrounding the teacher’s departure were murky.

"We were just trying to track down what students had heard, what teachers had heard about it," Spahr said.

Spahr sent a public records request to Jordan School District, which confirmed that the teacher had been fired. He and fellow senior Max Gordon kept digging and discovered that the termination could be linked to inappropriate text messages with students. This all went into the article, which Gordon said, they brought first to the vice principal who suggested some edits.

"Then the vice principal said he would send it up the line to the principal and then to the district," said Gordon.

Gordon and Spahr realized the administration most likely wouldn’t approve it being published in the print version of the paper, so they put it online. Shortly after, the website was shut down for maintenance and the article was removed.

A statement from a district spokesperson says school newspapers are expected to be informative and accurate and that each story should meet that expectation.

Gordon and Spahr have since launched an independent website called The Telegram, where they have re-published the original article and plan to keep posting. Gordon said they want to dive into topics like the dress code and student drug use — issues that probably wouldn’t get administrative approval, but are the stories they want to tell.

KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.