Ideas for High School Newspaper Editorials

National and local issues can inspire a successful student editorial.

Authenticity is a common objective for high school newspapers. By including editorials and opinion columns, the newspaper can present ideas and reflect the views of its writers on a number of issues relevant both to the school body and society in general. These editorials often relate to school-based, community or big-picture issues.

1 Environment

The environment affects everyone, and within this subject exists opportunities for a wide range of small- and large-picture editorials. For example, the high school may have a littering problem or issues with a new recycling scheme, both of which a student could critique. On a local scale, a student might write a piece looking at ways to go green around town or reacting to city government initiatives concerning the environment. Some environmental issues are national or international. These include energy use and climate change.

2 Education

Education is obviously a top priority for high school students concerned about what goes on at their current school. It's also a concern for the future, since many attend college. Editorials can react to changes or ideas about how the high school is run. Even a minor issue, such as school lunch times, can serve as a hot topic for affected students. On a larger scale, students might take inspiration for editorials from from educational debates on a national scale. A student might look at whether certain college majors help in getting a job, for example.

3 Ethics and Morals

Launching a debate on ethical and moral standards within an editorial column could kick-start a school-wide conversation. Such topics certainly encourage the writer to research viewpoints outside her own comfort zone. Topics could include the moral necessity of military intervention in an international crisis, drawing on recent or historical examples, or a look at a code of ethics and what it contains.

4 Social Issues

Looking at how people treat one another can turn up a number of interesting editorial topics. For example, a student could critique his high school’s anti-bullying measures. Issues affecting minorities in the school or community may also produce controversy, even if the inspiration for the editorial is found on the national scene. An editorial looking at gay rights or racial discrimination should make for a lively debate as well.

Simon Fuller has been a freelance writer since 2008. His work has appeared in "Record Collector," "OPEN" and the online publication, brand-e. Fuller has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Reading and a postgraduate diploma from the London School of Journalism.