Re: “Student Voices: Protect student press freedoms in private, independent schools” [June 19, Education Lab]:

The purpose of both public and private high schools is to teach students skills that will help them to succeed as adults. While only a few high school students will become professional journalists, all will need to know how to evaluate the media they will encounter all their lives.

Uncensored student media teaches students to work as a team to gather information necessary to produce a quality product within a deadline and a budget. Learning to evaluate controversial information legally is an important skill. That freedom may frighten school administrators, but the Student Press Law Center offers students legal help free of charge.

Administrator-censored student media produces nothing less than in-house newsletters, desensitized to offend no one. Such censorship does not teach students responsible journalistic practices and fails all students in learning how to understand and evaluate professional media, a skill every adult needs, whether they attended public or private schools.

Fern Valentine, Auburn, retired journalism teacher