It may be October, but the Student Press Law Center and New Voices advocates across the country already have their eyes on 2024. That’s right — New Voices is kicking off our next set of campaigns TODAY!
The 2024 legislative sessions begin in January, but the critical work starts now. And we need your help. Here is a quick breakdown of what New Voices looks like going into the upcoming legislative season and, most importantly, how you can make a difference for student press freedom today!
To join the movement now, email email@example.com with your name and preferred non-school email address!
What is New Voices?
New Voices is the campaign to restore and protect student press freedom by passing state laws to limit the censorship of student media. Each state’s grassroots, nonpartisan coalition is led by students and other press freedom advocates.
At a minimum, New Voices laws restrict censorship of student media at the high school level — where the effects of the Supreme Court’s Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier decision have their strongest impact — and make clear exactly when schools can restrict the content of student media. Many states also protect advisers from retaliation when they refuse to infringe on their students’ rights unlawfully. Some laws also apply to student media at the college level.
What’s my state’s status?
Seventeen states have laws protecting at least the press freedom of high school student journalists. Ten of those laws have passed since 2015. (Note: Many of these state laws pre-date the modern New Voices movement, but any state law that protects the press freedom rights of at least public high school student journalists is considered a New Voices law.)
In 2023, eight states introduced and considered New Voices legislation and West Virginia’s bill became law. Coalitions in more than a dozen other states are working to see New Voices legislation introduced. Click the map below to learn more about the New Voices campaign in your state!
What if my state already has a New Voices law?
Know your rights and spread the word. SPLC has created unique tools for each state to know and share your rights.
Want to strengthen student press freedom in your state even further? Contact the SPLC’s Advocacy and Organizing team to find out how your law can more robustly protect student media.
What can I do to support New Voices?
- Learn more about the movement
- Spread the word
- Connect with your state group
- Contact your legislators
- Protect student press freedom in your school district
- Help support SPLC’s advocacy and organizing work
Last but not least, connect with our team to share other ideas or to get involved in your state! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and preferred non-school email address to join the movement!