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Story ends for Texas high school paper

Recent editions of The Roar. (Photos provided.)

Midlothian, Texas, U.S.A. – After three years studying journalism at Heritage High School in Midlothian, Texas, senior McGlauthon Fleming IV understood the value of the class.

So when Fleming, now the editor in chief of the The Roar, found out by accident that the school’s journalism program was ending, he was upset.

McGlauthon Fleming IV

Fleming said he found out about the decision in mid-January through a writers group chat. They found out it wasn’t on the course selection of the 2024-2025 school year.

He said he felt angry and confused as to why school officials decided to suddenly cut it off. He then went to his advisor who was also surprised.

Though not confirmed, Fleming said some of his classmates believe the class is being removed because Heritage is trying to let go of elective classes and extracurriculars they don’t consider “important.”

But Fleming said his class was “a collection of free spirits” and always a little different, with a collection of new kids every year.

He described journalism as a “freeing form of self-expression” that allows him to inform his audience of what he is thinking.

“It’s a communication wave of back and forth,” said Fleming, who is a new reporter with Youth Journalism International.

In his sophomore year, he wrote his first article for publication. It was about the U.S. military pulling out from Afghanistan. He said he engaged a lot with many people about what he wrote.

Getting involved made it possible for him to get to know his editor and many other people.

Fleming believes that, though the newspaper’s impact was small, it remained still strong.

The class was an outlet for the people who want to pursue journalism, he said.

But by the time student reporters found out that the school wasn’t keeping the course, he said, the decision was already made.

Heritage Principal Ketura Madison did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Fleming said, the work of the reporters at Heritage will be preserved on the internet. The class produced a website, Fleming said, where readers can see their work.

Courtney Mayore is a Junior Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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