Opinion: Private schools, like Regis Jesuit, must resist the temptation to censor student voices

The Denver Post: Just a few years ago, as freshmen in Regis Jesuit High School’s student media program, we memorized the First Amendment, discussed the dangers of censorship, and listened intently to Mary Beth Tinker preach the power of a free press.

Unfortunately, students at our former high school have been robbed of those freedoms. On Dec. 17, the winter issue of Elevate, Regis Jesuit’s student magazine, was released. The issue included an opinion piece on abortion in which a freshman advocated for “the basic human right of choice.” Nothing she wrote contradicted the magazine’s editorial policies, which read that “school officials… shall not practice prior review or to censor any student media.” The policy only notes narrow exceptions, like legally obscene content and the termination of employees. Nonetheless, the school retracted not only the article but the entire magazine.

We recognize the school’s prerogative to educate students on the beliefs of the Catholic Church. Indeed, the school has made its anti-abortion stance clear in theology classes, its pro-life club, and official messaging. But the issue is not whether those with uteruses have a right to abortion. The issue is whether students should be able to question, speak, and reach their own conclusions. In essence, the question is whether students should be educated.

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