The principal of Sunnyvale’s Fremont High School is threatening to eliminate the journalism class that produces the student newspaper because too few students are signing up — only 17 instead of the 31 or 32 needed to continue the course, the Mercury News reports.

Students are protesting the move, saying that if they lose the paper, they lose their voice. The students are going around with duct tape over their mouths.

The principal, James Maxwell, says the students can always form an after-school journalism club to keep the paper going. But the club won’t provide the academic credit many of the students are presumably seeking.

For what it’s worth, Merc columnist Scott Herhold is taking principal’s side in the dispute, saying that if the school keeps a small sized journalism class, it will mean other classes will have to be larger, and that’s not fair in his book. Herhold says the enrollment reflects larger trends in society.

Above, from left, Lucia Tran, Chelsey Singh, Vered Hazanchuk and Alishia Forkapa protest in front of Fremont High School. (Photo credit: Maria J. Avila, Mercury News)

Bay Area Media News


  1. It would be good to start moving the journalism class into online digital publishing and what that means in this day and age. Being a digital platform like WSJ – Huffington Post – even the Drudge Report – and the whole issue of driving traffic to it/ and revenue streams, Network Advertising is a huge part of this and the trend of moving content to be more blended with advertising. ( which in my opinion is not good, but it is reality) This class should actually be growing – not shrinking.

  2. It's disappointing (but not surprising) to see the Merc siding with the principal in closing down the journalism class. A real newspaper would be fighting to save the paper and educating the community about its importance. Such a campaign would increase enrollment and stimulate interest in journalism. But the Merc wimped out (yet again). Yes, it's always easier to sit on your hands and go along with whatever the principal says. Way to go Scott Herhold!

  3. Seems to me like it's not just class credit: clubs are generally smaller than classes. Newspapers take time and effort, how can a club possibly provide the students with this opportunity?

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