Know your student press rights

Seventeen states currently have legislation that likely protects student press freedom. This guide is here to help answer any questions you may have about the student press freedom legislation in your state and ensure that you and your newsroom know your rights!

Is my state protected?

If you live in one of the 17 states listed below, student media may be free from censorship except in very rare circumstances and advisers may be protected from retaliation. Find and click on your state below for a detailed guide to your law.

Find States with New Voices legislation

Note: Many of these state laws pre-date the modern New Voices movement, but any state law that protects the press freedom rights of at least public high school student journalists is considered a New Voices law. Visit SPLC’s Law Library to learn about other state laws that may protect your press rights.

Know Your Rights presentations

The Student Press Law Center has created state-specific Know Your Rights Google Slides presentations (with speaker notes included) for you to bring into your classroom or newsroom. Search for your state’s presentation below, or use our general New Voices presentation to share more about the New Voices movement and educate others on what these laws accomplish.

SPLC’s Role in New Voices

New Voices is a campaign to restore and protect student press freedom by passing state laws to limit the censorship of student media. (You can learn more about the movement here!)

The Student Press Law Center provides institutional support and guidance for the student-led coalitions in each state that are working to pass laws. Our team stands behind student press freedom advocates across the country at every step along the way, even after a law is passed. Click through the slides below to learn more about how SPLC ensures New Voices laws are doing their job.

  • How does SPLC hold states accountable?
  • WE EDUCATE. We work to ensure that every student, teacher and school administrator knows about the law and what it means for them.
  • WE REVIEW POLICIES. We monitor school districts to make sure their policies match the law and help advocates work for better policies.
  • WE PROVIDE SUPPORT. Through our free legal hotline, our lawyers provide legal guidance as you fight back against unlawful restrictions on your rights.

How You Can Take Action

Whether student press freedom is already protected by law in your state or if you’re still working to get a law in place, there are a ton of easy ways for you to take action and ensure your press freedoms are robustly protected. Here are some of our top advocacy resources for you to keep on hand:

And know that SPLC is always here to help you!

Do you have questions about New Voices legislation in your state? Are your rights under New Voices being violated? Want to learn how to advocate for a better district policy or even stronger state protections? Contact SPLC’s New Voices team and we’ll help you answer any questions you have so you can know your rights and take action for student press freedom!

Contact our team at

If you are experiencing censorship, click through the slides below for some practical steps you can take to fight back and how we can help defend your rights.

  • What should I do if I'm being censored?
  • Know your rights and responsibilities! Check out the guide for your state to learn more about the law and what it means for you.
  • Write everything down. Try to get any communication from your school in writing, or write down your own memory of events as they happen.
  • Contact SPLC’s free legal hotline to talk with an attorney for legal guidance at