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

Countering COVID-related FERPA objections

Many times administrators cite FERPA as a reason to restrict access to information which the public is entitled to receive. During the pandemic, we see FERPA being used inappropriately to deny important information to student media. SPLC has developed the letter below for you to download and send (or give) to administrators when they misapply FERPA… Continue reading Countering COVID-related FERPA objections

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 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 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 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?

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?