May 11, 2023

Our past three editions

May 4, 2023 The blob • AP African American history • WH Correspondents Dinner

April 27, 2023 School districts sue social media • “Don’t say gay” • SpaceX rocket

April 13, 2023 Medicaid • Pentagon leaks • Super Mario


THE LEDE  |  by Alex Steil

School theater banned

Have opportunity to showcase local view

Growing intensity in the nation’s culture wars have claimed another victim: school plays and other theater. States across the country have shut down productions, either because of sexual content or portraying LGBTQ+ scenes or characters.

What you can do —

There is an interesting discrepancy on this topic: a large majority of Americans oppose banning materials in schools outright, yet at the same time a smaller majority of Americans do support some restrictions on LGBTQ+ youth, especially transgender youth.

Talk to the theater directors. How are shows chosen? What guides do they use? Your staff could do an in-depth report about your own community and how the state of LGBTQ+ youth in your community. Are there similar attempts to ban or regulate? Have you had students either leave or join your community because of new legislation?

Also, find underrepresented voices in your school community and detail their thoughts and perspectives about these bans. How does it impact them? Have they noticed an increase in altercations as these bans have proliferated?


Iowa passes child labor bill

The bill makes it easier to work at a younger age

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) announced she will sign a bill that makes it easier for younger children to work, in some cases as early as 14 with parental permission. Other states, such as Wisconsin and Arkansas have introduced similar legislation or have passed it, respectively.

The bill also increased the hours children can work –– children under 16 can work up to six hours a day –– and makes it so 16- and 17-year olds can, with permission from their parents or guardians, serve alcohol.

A report by 60 Minutes on 102 illegally employed children at slaughterhouses across the country was aired three days after Reynolds said she would sign the bill.

What you can do —

A crux of this reasoning fell upon the desire to increase experiential learning for kids, who want “to learn about new professions and gain workforce experience,” according to a legislator. This coincides with a burgeoning movement in education to increase experiential learning, especially at the high school level.

Is your school looking at similar programs? Does your student body want more opportunity to work-to-learn or get on-the-job experience, while still in school? Have your schools looked at bringing more structured opportunities to your student body that would give students work experience before leaving school?

Also, what is the labor market like where you are? Is it difficult or easy to find summer jobs for teens?

What’s viral

King Charles III officially coronated

Opportunity for some light-hearted coverage

King Charles III was officially crowned on Saturday, marking the first time in more than 70 years the tradition will take place in the United Kingdom.

What you can do —

How did this story manage to creep its way into your hallways? Was it mentioned in passing or were students engaged with the event? Were there watch parties among your student body? If there’s a (self-proclaimed) British monarch nerd on staff, you could have them do an explanatory piece describing some of the rituals of the ceremony.


It’s time to order!

Don’t delay any longer.

We’ve now hit the busiest season of the year, but don’t let that deter you. Just remember, we need at least three weeks lead time from when you order and the date it is needed. We have started processing and filling the May orders that have either a purchase order or payment. (Please remember, we need to have either payment or the purchase order in order to send your order.)

The quickest way to submit an order is via our online system. If paying with a purchase order, you can submit the PO number and then we will still ship. If you want to use the paper version, that is fine. We suggest scanning and emailing these documents. 

We are working to process and send all orders (that are paid for or accompany a Purchase Order or check) within a 24-hour period.

> Start the process here.

Scholarships for Students

Act now — deadline is May 12

Quill and Scroll will award scholarships again this year to students who want to study and/or practice journalism in college.

Student scholarship applications are now open, and they’re for students who are Quill and Scroll members or for students who have won awards in any number of Quill and Scroll contests. Apply for the grants — which can pay up to $1,500 for your first year in college — before May 12.

YEC open for entries

Looking for something to do after the yearbook deadline and before distribution? Enter the YEC!

The 2023 Yearbook Excellence Contest is open for entries. The cost for each entry in all 33 categories is $7, and schools will be divided by size — Class A for 1,000 or more students, and Class B for 999 or fewer students,

Entry deadline is Oct. 2, and here is a link to complete descriptions of those 33 categories.

Judges will award first, second and third places in each category for each class, and they’ll award honorable mentions so that between 10 and 15 percent of all entries are recognized in every category. All students named as award recipients will be eligible to apply for Quill and Scroll student scholarships in May of their senior year.

Quill and Scroll administrators will then tally points (5 for first place, 4 for second, 3 for third and 1 for HM) to determine a Blue and Gold Award winner for each class. Last year’s winners were Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (Class A) and Christ Presbyterian Academy of Nashville, Tennessee (Class B).

Here’s a complete list of last year’s winners.

Critique forms available

News Media Evaluation is the best way to get objective feedback about your news operation

The Quill and Scroll News Media Evaluation provides news media staffs a one-of-a-kind assessment of your publication(s) with constructive comments and suggestions for improvement from qualified evaluators. Judges will provide a thorough analysis and rating to schools, and the evaluation exercise and feedback are instructive and developmental.

High schools and junior high/middle schools may enter their multimedia news operations, newspapers, news magazines and/or online news sites until June 15, 2023. Entries and ratings are returned in early September 2023. This service is open to non-member schools as well as member schools.

Here’s the web page with all the information about entering your publication.

Workshop set for June 26-29, in Dallas

The Gloria Shields NSPA Media Workshop returns to the Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria June 26-29, 2023, with bonus classes on June 25. Workshop registration is $140 per student or adviser.  The extra cost for the Sunday bonus class is $20 per person.

In 2022, 635 students from 90 schools took advantage of the instruction from our exceptional faculty. Watch the workshop website for additional 2023 workshop details as they become available.

> Watch the preview video for 2023.

Final Chapter activity/discussion point idea: 

Last Scroll was  our final Chapter activity of the year. We will resume these next fall. If you need one, we have a webpage full of them!

Just a thought

I have a secret.

While we often highlight the Quill and Scroll induction as a formal affair, one of my inductions was before school and we had donuts and clementines. (I always offered a healthier item as well.)

Remember, it’s never too late. 

The end of the school year can be frenetic at best and we all know it. If you weren’t able to induct Quill and Scroll members at the end of the year, nothing says you can’t do it during a summer planning meeting and take some time to enjoy each other. 

Going through the pledge and the ceremony also helps students think through what their mission actually involves, which is one of the reasons I inducted students. By going through this, students might hear something that resonates with them and can help in the goal setting process.

Think about it. I’m here all summer! 

If you still have a month of school left, it’s not too late either. My goal is to process and send every order with either payment or a purchase order within a 48-hour period for the month of May. (For those of you who will ask, it’s business days.)

— Lori Keekley