Can my public school administration require us to cover a story in the yearbook?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Legal Question of the Week.” Q: Can my public school administration require us to cover a story in the yearbook? A: Generally no. In addition to protecting one’s right to speak, the important flip-side to the First Amendment is… Continue reading Can my public school administration require us to cover a story in the yearbook?

What is the difference between prior restraint and prior review?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: What is the difference between prior restraint and prior review? A: Put simply, prior review can be legal (at the high school level) and prior restraint is limited by the First Amendment.  Prior review is when your principal… Continue reading What is the difference between prior restraint and prior review?

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?

Can we publish photos showing protesters’ faces?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Our publication has posted online photos of police brutality protests in our city, and we are receiving requests from politically active students to blur the faces of protesters who can be identified in the photos. Are… Continue reading Can we publish photos showing protesters’ faces?

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, regardless… Continue reading Is my publication responsible for libelous quotes from third parties?

Do open meetings laws apply to public school student governments?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Does the student government at my public school have to abide by my state's open meetings laws? A: Maybe. Open meetings laws vary by state, and most courts haven’t specifically ruled on whether state open meetings laws apply… Continue reading Do open meetings laws apply to public school student governments?

Can our newspaper wish students a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah”?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Can we wish students a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” in our student publication? Generally, yes. Your school officials or even some of your peers may be quick to cite the separation of church and state as… Continue reading Can our newspaper wish students a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah”?

Does FERPA prevent me from reporting on a fight between students at my school?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Does FERPA prevent me from reporting on a fight that took place on my campus between two students? A: No. FERPA punishes schools that have a policy or practice of disclosing a student's education records without the… Continue reading Does FERPA prevent me from reporting on a fight between students at my school?