Monday, February 28, 2011

A Voice for Youth

Michael Moore has never been afraid to speak his mind. His controversial documentaries Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko, Capitalism: A Love Story have criticized everything from assault weapon ownership, large corporations, to the American health care system.

Now he is inviting high school students/journalists to present their vital perspectives on his blog in a special section devoted to a virtual student newspaper. Moore has been inspired by students everywhere from Egypt to Wisconsin "taking to the streets, organizing, protesting, and refusing to move until your voices are heard." He's looking for youth contributors, and, unlike traditional high school newspapers, there's no censorship, not even from him. The page will be edited for the first six months by Moore's 17-year-old niece, Molly.

Moore writes, "In high schools all across America, students have great ideas to make things better or to question what is going on—and often these thoughts and opinions are ignored or silenced. How often in school is the will of the student body ignored? How many students today will try to speak out, to stand up for something important, to simply try to right a wrong—and will be swiftly shut down by those in authority, or by other students themselves?"

As a former teacher adviser to a high school newspaper, I can recall the excitement that can be produced by teams of students planning and writing articles. Vital youthful perspectives should always be encouraged.