Are charter school student journalists’ rights protected by the U.S. Constitution?
Yes — at least for now.
Last year, female students at a North Carolina charter school challenged their school’s dress code, which required that all female students wear skirts to school. The charter school argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that the students’ constitutional rights were not protected at school, but the court rejected that argument, ruling that the students’ rights are protected under the Constitution.
On June 26 this year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the appeals court decision, meaning that ruling stands and charter school students still enjoy the same constitutional protections as their public school counterparts.
So, student journalists who attend a charter school have the same rights as student journalists who attend public schools. The ruling is in line with the rulings of most other courts that have addressed the issue, as well as the charter school laws of many states.
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