SPLC’s 5 minute guide to B.L. v. Mahanoy

Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., No 20-255 B.L. v. Mahanoy is a free expression case the Supreme Court decided in June 2021. The case has major implications for public school students across the country. This page is a primer for reporters, students and teachers who want a quick explanation of the case and how… Continue reading SPLC’s 5 minute guide to B.L. v. Mahanoy

What exactly is censorship?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Legal Question of the Week.” Q: What exactly is censorship? A: Anytime someone who works for the school prevents or attempts to prevent you from publishing content in your student publication, you’re dealing with censorship. On the college level,… Continue reading What exactly is censorship?

What is the latest copyright law on embedding photos?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Legal Question of the Week.” Q: What is the latest copyright law on embedding photos? A: The law is not settled, but there have been some recent developments that suggest you probably want to exercise more caution. Following some… Continue reading What is the latest copyright law on embedding photos?

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?

SPLC urges Frostburg State University President to terminate investigation into student journalist

SPLC joined the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) in sending a December 14 letter to Frostburg State University President Ronald Nowaczyk expressing concern after the university targeted a student journalist and directed the student newspaper to investigate and punish her.  Read the full letter: https://splc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/FIRE-and-SPLC-Letter-to-Frostburg-State-University-December-14-2020.pdf

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?

Guidance on creating a policy about reporting in-person during COVID-19

Whether your school plans to have classes in-person, remotely or a hybrid system this semester, we encourage you to create a class / publication policy about in-person reporting. A simple policy can give clarity and set expectations for your students at the start of the school year. SPLC crafted the following suggested language to guide… Continue reading Guidance on creating a policy about reporting in-person during COVID-19