Can my school cut my student publication’s budget because they don’t like the stories we produce?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.”

Q: Can my public school cut funds to my student publication because they don’t like the stories we are producing? 

A: Absolutely not. This is censorship. At a public school, student editors are responsible for determining the content that will be published in their student media outlet. Legally, they must be allowed to do this free of any pressure, intimidation, or threats from school officials, including your student media adviser. Any changes to your publication’s funding that are predicated on content are unconstitutional. You should contact the SPLC if you are facing this situation.

Legal questions should be directed toward SPLC’s legal hotline. Ask SPLC questions will be selected based on trends in the legal hotline. The legal hotline is confidential and no identifying information will be used in the Ask SPLC segment.