2005 Prize ($250)
The Scathing Truth
Pinelands Regional High School
Andrew Resch, graduated from Pinelands Regional High School this year. As a senior, he was a member of the school newspaper, The Scratching Post, and submitted an Opinion Piece for publication that was critical of a Board of Education decision to cut lab periods from college prep science classes. When the paper was reviewed by school officials, they objected to the piece and told Resch to rewrite the article because it could not say that the science classes would not prepare students for college. Resch rewrote the article to comply with their request but returned at the end of the day to find that his rewritten article had been Heavily Edited by the school officials, eliminating his opinions. He then insisted that the article not run with his name on it. The piece ran on the Opinions Page with "Staff" as the byline. In response, Resch wrote and published an independent newspaper, The Scathing Truth, which explained and denounced the school's censorship and championed free expression. He also brought the censorship issue and his underlying criticism of the proposal to the Board of Education, which reversed its decision to eliminate the lab periods.
This year’s judges were Kathy Carter, a reporter for the Star-Ledger and Guy Baehr, Associate Director of the Rutgers Journalism Resources Institute.