Are you a student journalist or adviser who has been asked to disregard a student’s preferred name, nickname or pronouns in school-sponsored media? The SPLC wants to hear from you.
Student journalists across the country have reported demands by school officials to identify students in the yearbook, newspaper and other outlets solely by the name or pronouns on the student’s educational record or birth certificate, regardless of the wishes of the student and/or their parents, the editorial standards of the student publication, or the application of journalistic ethics.
In order to gain an understanding of the scope and type of pressure on student journalists, the Student Press Law Center is collecting information on the censorship student journalists are facing regarding use of chosen names and preferred pronouns.
This could include:
- Demands that all students be identified by what is on their educational record, regardless of other names or nicknames they may be generally known as.
- Rules regarding the identification of a student’s gender in a school publication.
- Demands that parents of some or all students sign waivers as to the names or pronouns by which students are to be identified.
- Guidance from the state or school district that conflicts with the editorial standards put forth by your publication.
This survey will be open until May 15. All information collected will be kept confidential, but will help to shed light on the scope of this issue so that SPLC and others may provide guidance as necessary. Your support is greatly appreciated and will help us to support you and other student journalists.
If you are experiencing conflict around the use of student names and pronouns and need legal assistance, please contact SPLC’s free and confidential legal hotline: