Student journalist wins First Amendment award for uncovering mishandled sexual misconduct cases

Photo by Diana Mitsu Klos 2019 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award honoree Grace Marion chats with Student Press Law Center Senior Legal Counsel Mike Hiestand and student free speech icon Mary Beth Tinker. Hiestand and Tinker were Hefner award recipients in 2014.

WASHINGTON — A student journalist was honored with a Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment award Wednesday for a series of articles shedding light on how her high school has mishandled sexual misconduct cases, and for a long-running fight against censorship. Grace Marion is the former editor-in-chief of The Playwickian at Neshaminy High School on Langhorne,… Continue reading Student journalist wins First Amendment award for uncovering mishandled sexual misconduct cases

Award-winning media adviser resigns after censorship, conflict with school principal

The yearbook staff at Seven Lakes High School. Courtesy of Lisa Silveira.

TEXAS  — An adviser at a high school in suburban Houston has left her job after the principal pulled stories, yearbook spreads and repeatedly questioned her judgment. Katie Moreno, the media adviser at Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas, decided to turn in her resignation after detailing months of censorship and after what her… Continue reading Award-winning media adviser resigns after censorship, conflict with school principal

Ask SPLC: Can we use unpublished photos from a student who graduated?

Q: Can we use unpublished photos on our news site or in our yearbook or reprint photos that were taken by a student who has since graduated? A: Unless there was a specific agreement between the former staff members and the publication stating otherwise, the former students retain the copyright to any work they created… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can we use unpublished photos from a student who graduated?

New Voices supporters flood New York statehouse, push lawmakers for progress on bill

More than 80 students traveled to Albany on April 30 for a "lobby day" to persuade lawmakers to support a New Voices bill for New York. Photo by Katina Paron

NEW YORK - Supporters for student press freedoms descended on the New York statehouse in Albany on April 30 to raise the profile on a measure to protect the First Amendment rights of high school journalists who attend public schools. The identical “New Voices” bills in the state Assembly (A03079) and Senate (S02297) — called… Continue reading New Voices supporters flood New York statehouse, push lawmakers for progress on bill

Texas New Voices bill gets first hearing in state Senate

Rep. Mary González talks with students journalists supporting her HB 2244 outside of the Public Education Committee room.

UPDATE: A New Voices bill got its first hearing in Texas’ upper chamber in Austin on April 23, marking another first for the New Voices movement in the Lone Star state. The hearing for SB514 was marked by strong testimony and skepticism from some senators on the Senate Education Committee. Texas Senator José Rodríguez, a… Continue reading Texas New Voices bill gets first hearing in state Senate

Open-government advocates unite to support transparency in university foundation finances

Editor's Note: The Student Press Law Center signed onto a friend-of-the-court brief from the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida. This story was originally published by the Brechner Center. A string of mismanagement scandals at university foundations across the country demonstrates the urgency of opening foundations’ financial records to public… Continue reading Open-government advocates unite to support transparency in university foundation finances

Admissions staff conceal copies of student newspapers after front page story about hazmat incident

A coat was put on a newspaper rack to obscure copies of The Mass Media. Photo courtesy of The Mass Media.

Admissions staffers weren’t happy with the front page story run by the University of Massachusetts-Boston’s student newspaper, the Mass Media, during a welcome day earlier this month. The newspaper had reported about a hazmat scare in the dorms that led to a resident being taken to the hospital on a stretcher. Admissions staff, concerned about… Continue reading Admissions staff conceal copies of student newspapers after front page story about hazmat incident

For second time this session, Arkansas puts more student media protections into law

(Left to right) Bill sponsor Rep. Mark Lowery, Henderson State University student D'erra Talley, Arkansas Press Association executive director Ashley Wimberly, HSU student Sara Densmore, HSU adviser Steve Listopad and HSU student Cle'varus Oney. Credit: Aaron Sadler, Arkansas Press Association communications director.

UPDATE: Protections for Arkansas student journalists were again expanded this year after amendments to the 1995 Student Publications Act were signed by the governor. HB1432, now Act 912, was signed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson during the week of April 8 and makes several incremental changes to the decades-old law. The law now covers all school-sponsored… Continue reading For second time this session, Arkansas puts more student media protections into law

In the midst of a student body presidential campaign, police are investigating trashed student newspapers

A copy of the Rocky Mountain Collegian in a recycling bin at Colorado State University. Photo courtesy of Haley Candelario.

COLORADO — About 1,000 copies of the Rocky Mountain Collegian went missing April 9, and fingers are being pointed at a team running for student leadership who were the subject of a critical article published the day before the thefts. The Collegian ran a story in its Monday edition that examined campaign spending discrepancies by… Continue reading In the midst of a student body presidential campaign, police are investigating trashed student newspapers

Ask SPLC: What can private school students do when they’re censored?

Q: Do private school students have any recourse when their free speech rights are stripped? A: Options for fighting private school censorship can vary significantly from school to school. As you are probably already aware, you don't have First Amendment protection from censorship in private schools, so you have to look elsewhere. Reminder: The First Amendment only protects… Continue reading Ask SPLC: What can private school students do when they’re censored?