OSMA aims to raise high school students’ own voices to protect their rights


Annemarie Karabinus

Jan Leach speaks to gathered high school students invited to Kent State’s campus for OSMA about fake news April 14, 2023.

Danielle Stehle, Reporter

Ohio’s Statewide Convention, OSMA, puts emphasis on the importance of the New Voices bill for high school students at Kent State April 14.

Director of OSMA and Center of Scholastic Journalism, Candace Bowen, has used her passion for the first amendment to drive high school students to obtain the New Voices bill in Ohio.

“There has been a rebirth through the Student Press Law Center of the New Voices bill,” Bowen said. This rebirth created a “new push” for schools around the country to fight for high school students’ rights.

Throughout the years, Bowen “fine-tuned” OSMA in supporting students’ writing creating motivation for students.

“We learned the kind of things they want to see,” Bowen said. “Then we framed it into programs.”

OSMA developed a student board giving students the freedom to give feedback on what could be improved. OSMA also developed a better pacing of the convention overall for what would give students the most confidence in their abilities.

High school students invited to Kent State’s campus for OSMA attend a lecture by Jan Leach about fake news April 14, 2023. (Annemarie Karabinus)

As he explored OSMA, Hoover High School sophomore Finn Wilburn developed a better understanding of how to better his journalism skills.

“I learned to not assume and to always ask questions,” Wilburn said. “When interviewing someone, ask for the specifics.”

Bowen’s undergraduate assistant and junior public relations major, Macy Rosen, wants to help high school students obtain this confidence and use their voices for their future.

“Students tend to be overlooked and don’t get the recognition they deserve,” Rosen said. “We want to create awareness about what we are doing and what we want to do.”

With the New Voices bill pushing to be passed, Hoover High School sophomore Allison Moeller understands the true significance behind this bill.

“Students won’t have to worry about their own hard work being cut out,” Moeller said.

Bowen and the faculty at OSMA continue to fight for students’ rights so that students do not have to keep this burden of worry in their lives.

“I love the teaching and I love my students,” Bowen said.

Danielle Stehle is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].