Continuing a Legacy: The Stinger reaffirms free speech


The Stinger managing editors. Photo by Curtis Jackson.

Editorial Board

This previously ran in our September 2022 print issue.

This June, The Viking Saga, a decades-old, student-run Nebraska high school newspaper, was disbanded after the principal and school board objected to content published in the paper. The students’ crime? Writing about gender issues and opposing homophobia.  

This was a shock to both student and professional journalists around the country, demonstrating that censorship is becoming more serious as the nation grows increasingly polarized. Partisan politics have infiltrated almost every aspect of life in this country, most concerningly: the press. If freedom of the press, no matter what the opinion, is suppressed, we no longer truly have a free society but instead one in which only limited views are permitted.  

In the nearly 50 years of The Stinger (the name was changed from the E-Hive in 1974), we have always been a student-run publication, free from prior review from administrators. Our aim has always been to provide an objective platform for students’ voices, publishing their views regardless of which stance of an issue they take. If schools were to only publish non-controversial, administrator-approved stories, they would be doing both our readers and our community a disservice. It is both our right and responsibility to bring controversial and sometimes uncomfortable topics to the forefront, in order to make sure all viewpoints are heard.  

We are committed to bringing about positive change in our community through investigative journalism and honest reporting. Just this past year, The Stinger covered Emmaus graduate and Olympian Marty Nothstein’s stalking allegations.       

When EHS was put on lockdown because of shooting threats made in December of 2021, The Stinger was the first news outlet to cover the story.  

Our journalism does matter — informing both students and the community about issues that need to be brought up to the public. The Stinger is dedicated to showing that we as high schoolers are informed, are opinionated, and are making a difference in this world. We want to promote diversity and inclusion through our stories, by telling the narratives of those who are perhaps underrepresented in our community.

This is why freedom of the press matters. The freedom and ability to tell others’ stories and bring attention to important issues is what makes a story great. Without it, high school journalists become puppets of adult administrators.

Thankfully for us at EHS, this is not the case. Our school directors have continuously supported our publication and given us freedom from prior review, meaning that school administration does not interfere with the content published in the newspaper. While it is important to cover events that positively reflect on the EHS community, it is arguably more important to cover those which identify an important problem or issue in the school. The only way societies can improve and move forward is by acknowledging and amending internal issues. How can these problems be fixed if we are not informed about them?

After seeing the nation — and the world — being torn apart by differences in opinion taken to the extreme, it has become more necessary than ever to keep the journalistic spirit alive. The Stinger is proud to contribute to this tradition indefinitely.