Legislation could hinder online student papers in N.J.

NEW JERSEY — A bill passed by the state House of Representativesin June that was meant to protect the privacy of students in the GardenState also has the ability to greatly restrict the rights of the high schoolstudent press.

HB 592, which is currently in the Senate, would make it illegal forany personal information about students to be posted on a school Web sitewithout written consent from a legal guardian. This could include an onlinestudent newspaper.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Barbara Buono and Assemblyman GeorgeGeist, could require schools to prohibit student newspapers from postinganything from students’ names to photos on a school-sponsored Web site,despite the fact that such material routinely appears in the print versionof student publications available in public libraries and other places.

Neither Buono nor Geist returned calls made to their offices by theReport.