Many student newspaper staffs have faced situations like this in attempting to publish stories on homosexuality. But there seems to be just as many success stories where supportive advisers and administrators have said this is an issue that students need to be able to cover.
The study, put out by the First Amendment Center in September, looks at the balance between school safety and protecting students' First Amendment rights.
In September, the Caldwell-West Caldwell School Board in Newark, N.J., agreed to allow the publication of a previously censored article in The Caldron, James Caldwell High School's student newspaper. But the victory may prove temporary, as board members are considering stricter policies that could allow for greater censorship in the future.
California is one of six states with a statute protecting student free expression rights. The laws are often referred to as anti- Hazelwood statutes because many were a specific response to the Supreme Court's 1988 decision limiting students' rights under the First Amendment.
In November, photos of several University of Miami students who indicated they went swimming in a campus lake ' an act forbidden by the university ' appeared on a fellow student's Facebook profile. Patricia Mazzei, Hurricane editor in chief, did not hesitate to run them, accompanied by the headline, "Caught on Facebook."
In what some student free-expression advocates say is an alarming trend, students at both public and private schools are being punished for Internet postings made off school grounds on Web sites not affiliated with the schools.