Student at Pembroke wonders if video should be disqualified from festival
Derek Hagen submitted this video with the following message.
Okay I go to Pembroke Jr/Sr high school and me and my friends made a video entry to submit to the Digital Media Arts Festival and its run by BOCES and they had disqualified our video, only 16 days before the competition. I was just wondering if you could post the video and see if users agree or disagree that it should have been disqualified.
I immediately e-mailed Derek to find out why the video was disqualified. He has not responded.
This morning I spoke with Gary Mix, superintendent of the Pembroke Central School District. He wasn't aware of this particular video or why it was disqualified.
If you watch the video, you might pick up on three possible reasons: portrayal of a drunk student, the murder/suicide theme or the overall quality of the production.
Sharon Kaiser, coordinator, learning technologies at BOCES said she was aware of the video but didn't know it had been disqualified or why, she said. She said she wasn't handling that part of the festival.
Mix noted that Supreme Court cases have upheld a school's right to limit student expression in school sponsored activities. Reasons for limiting speech can include vulgarity, sexual innuendo and of course the school maintains an anti-alcohol and anti-drug stance.
"Over the years there has been a perception that students have unlimited free speech," Mix said, "but there are some constraints."
He added, "What I hope would not get lost in the discussion is that through the Media Arts Festival there is a tremendous opportunity to integrate across curriculum. We can include literature, social studies, arts and music and give students a chance to showcase their creativity. It's a tremendous opportunity for students."