Emma Short is the Editor-In-Chief of the Hawkeye student newspaper of Hebron High School in Carrollton, Texas. Short works with student journalists in North Texas to enhance regional connections for New Voices. 

“Student journalists have an ability and a right to share critical information publicly, and prior review/restraint takes this ability away. The New Voices law is necessary so these writers can report on information their audience should know about without being constricted to certain subjects their audience can or can’t read about. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the press the right to publish work without censorship. This needs to be applied to the future journalists of our generation. Journalists should have a right to use their voice, and the public should have a right to receive the information they publish.” 

What I Do

As the Regional Organizer of the North Texas area, I work to communicate our push for the New Voices Texas law to be passed to legislators, journalists, advisers and other residents of Texas and advocate for the removal of student censorship in the state. 

I am responsible for communicating with student publications in districts 9, 10, and 11 about what we are actively pursuing as an organization to ensure New Voices Texas is a prominent topic being discussed in this area of the state. I email advisers of said publications and set up meetings with journalists in my district to inform the public about the legislative session and create regional coalitions throughout North Texas. I am in contact with members of New Voices Texas and inform them of their representatives, as well as guide them through the process of communicating the importance of the New Voices Texas law to those politicians. 

I will measure success as an officer by seeing a growth in numbers of activists following along with the New Voices Texas campaign, as well as a growth in activity of those members in this region. I want all of the advisers, as well as many journalists, in the North Texas area to be aware of the importance of the upcoming legislative session and actively push toward the passing of the law preventing student censorship. 

By the end of the school year, I hope that I have spread the word to the general public about the issues associated with student censorship and have contributed to passing an important law in Texas.