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 that… Continue reading Can we publish photos of crowded hallways at our school during COVID-19?

Can my school punish me for what I post on social media?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: What authority do public school officials have to punish me for my off-campus use of Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and other private social media platforms? A: That’s a much-debated — and still open — question that depends on… Continue reading Can my school punish me for what I post on social media?

Can my school deny a public records request because of COVID-19?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: I recently submitted an open records law request to my public school for budgetary information related to a time-sensitive story I’m working on. No one is disputing that the records are “public records” that must be… Continue reading Can my school deny a public records request because of COVID-19?

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?

Can school boards require registration to online meetings?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, our community is practicing social distancing, so school board meetings are now held via videoconference. Our administration requires anyone who wants to attend a meeting to complete a registration form, which… Continue reading Can school boards require registration to online meetings?

Does HIPAA limit my ability to report on COVID-19 cases?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: I’m being told the federal HIPAA law limits my ability to report on COVID-19 cases. Is this true?A: No. While HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) may limit the information a medical provider can provide… Continue reading Does HIPAA limit my ability to report on COVID-19 cases?

Can (and should) we publish the name of a student who tested positive for COVID-19?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Recently, we had a student at our school test positive for COVID-19. He lived in an on-campus dorm and rumors are starting to fly, many of them inaccurate. He has not gone public, but we have… Continue reading Can (and should) we publish the name of a student who tested positive for COVID-19?

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?

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?