Oct. 20, 2022

Fall 2022 editions

Oct. 13, 2022  Marijuana pardons • Nuclear rhetoric

Oct. 6, 2022  Hurricane Ian • National food conference

Sept. 22, 2022  Rising food costs • Bad cheers • Tight school budgets

Sept. 15, 2022  College rankings • Monitoring your online traffic • The queen

Sept. 8, 2022  Staffing shortages • Constitution Day & Banned Books Week

THE LEDE  |  by Alex Steil

Alex Jones to pay
in defamation suit

Conspiracy theorist ordered to pay parents of Sandy Hook students

Alex Jones was ordered to pay $936 million after a jury declared he had made defamatory statements after the 2012 school shooting. The order comes after a jury in Texas ordered Jones to pay nearly $50 million in a separate case.The case was brought by parents of the deceased students after Jones made multiple incendiary comments about the shooting, most notably that the entire massacre was a hoax. The parents brought a civil suit and testified about the death threats they received as a result of Jones’ comments.

What you can do —

This case, because of its timeliness, represents a good moment for advisers to help students understand the different types of speech. For example, why was Jones’ speech not protected under the First Amendment? For future journalists, understanding the difference between libel and slander, the nine unprotected avenues of speech, and the boundaries for when speech can be protected is imperative. Don’t forget to include the new Supreme Court precedent in the Mahanoy School District v. BL (the cheerleader case). Educating students on what their legal limitations helps protect the speech of you and your publication.

If you are meeting as a chapter soon, this would also be a great discussion item.


Pro-life Senate candidate denies
he paid for abortion

Revelation highlights hot-button election issues

GOP and pro-life candidate for Georgia’s seat in the United States Senate, Herschel Walker, denied that he paid for an abortion in 2009, according to The Daily Beast. The first debate for the seat occurred Friday and the issue of trust in a candidate was brought up repeatedly.

The New York Times reported Walker urged for a second abortion with the same woman just two years later. After she refused, they ended the relationship.

What you can do —

While a likely far away Senate race doesn’t matter to most, the broader political context should be considered. Only one senator of either party needs to win to claim a majority.

Coverage could focus on what is happening in your election, either at the state or federal level. Is abortion on the ballot? It is a referendum in five states.

Have there been any student protests this year that haven’t been covered? Or what about broader issues that affect students, such as parents’ rights and other hot-button issues. Student voices matter when students are at the receiving end, and hearing what they have to say provides a greater understanding for decision-makers.

What’s viral

Harry Potter actor dies

Robbie Coltrane played Hagrid in the series

The actor who played the half-giant Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies, Robbie Coltrane, passed away last week, according to his family.

The cause is unknown, but they did disclose that he was unwell for some period of time.

Tributes poured from social media, including his fellow cast mates like Daniel Radcliffe.

What you can do —

For many students, Harry Potter was a central part of their early education. Asking students to create a ranking of their favorite books in the series, or in the case of the movies, would engage readers beyond the regular audience of your publication. Alternatively, you could think bigger and include a ranking of the fiction books from their childhoods.


It’s still membership season

Don’t forget you can nominate members year round

It’s the last push before seniors list their activities on the Nov. 1 college application deadline. So, it’s a great time to submit members for Quill and Scroll! By submitting members now, students can be active members in their chapters for the remainder of the year. By having students join now, you can also avoid the spring rush!

Start the process here.

Plan for upcoming awards

Yes, we just finished getting in our Yearbook Excellence Contest entries and it’s time to start the process for our Writing, Photo and Multimedia Awards. This contest will be available starting late November and all entries and payments will be due Feb. 6.

So, start thinking about what you want to enter. We will publish the categories on our website in the next few weeks. 

Special thanks to Balfour, Herff Jones, Jostens and Walsworth for again sponsoring the Yearbook Excellence Contest.

Just a thought

Speaking of the Yearbook Excellence Contest, special thanks to our sponsors of this contest. I’m so thankful for the support of these companies. Again, thanks to Balfour, Herff Jones, Jostens and Walsworth for this continued support! 

The entries are to the judges, and we will be announcing the results in early December, so stay tuned!

Also, the Quill and Scroll Student Advisory Board had its first meeting last Saturday. It’s such a great group of students, and I look forward to sharing what they develop for Quill and Scroll Chapters to use. 

We talked about our goals of helping other chapters, each other and me. The group will create projects other chapters can use. We plan to spend some time providing a forum for them to answer each other’s questions, and I will also be seeking their advice on what Quill and Scroll can do to help our members. 

Thanks again to the advisers who encouraged their students to apply!

— Lori Keekley