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

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Can we run a column about a student’s experience being tested for COVID-19?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: One of my classmates, a high school junior, has written a column about being tested for COVID-19. It’s well-written and informative. She talked it over with her parents and wants to use her name. Are there… Continue reading Can we run a column about a student’s experience being tested for COVID-19?

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Can we publish photos of crowded hallways at our school during COVID-19?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: As students and teachers return to school during the COVID19 pandemic, can we take and publish news photos of students/teachers — masked or unmasked — walking in a crowded school hallway? A: Yes. It is long-established law… Continue reading Can we publish photos of crowded hallways at our school during COVID-19?

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Is my publication responsible for libelous quotes from third parties?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Is my publication responsible for libelous quotes from third parties or libelous statements contributors make, such as in guest columns? A: In print or broadcast media, yes. If you publish it, you are taking ownership of it,… Continue reading Is my publication responsible for libelous quotes from third parties?

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Can we create an online directory of alumni that includes their photos and graduation dates?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Can we (student media staff) create an online directory of alumni that includes their photos and graduation dates? A: You can certainly create a directory that includes the names and graduation dates of former students. No special… Continue reading Can we create an online directory of alumni that includes their photos and graduation dates?

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Are fonts subject to copyright protection?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Are fonts subject to copyright protection? A: Yes. Fonts — which are basically computer programs or software that tell your printer or computer screen how to create the shape of a letter or character — meet all… Continue reading Are fonts subject to copyright protection?

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When I request records, do I have to explain why I want them?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Am I required to explain why I want a particular record when submitting an open records request? A: Almost always, states and the federal government FOI laws make clear that the motivation behind an open records request is irrelevant.… Continue reading When I request records, do I have to explain why I want them?

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Can school officials search my personal social media accounts?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Are school officials allowed to search for and look at my personal (non-school-affiliated) social media accounts without my permission? A: Yes. Once you post something online it’s pretty much fair game for anyone (school officials, current or… Continue reading Can school officials search my personal social media accounts?