Current Status: New Voices has been introduced every year in Kentucky since 2020, and was first introduced in 1990. The legislative session begins in January 2024. Join the movement by emailing the SPLC’s Advocacy and Organizing Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow New Voices of Kentucky on X and Facebook.
Join the Movement
- Contact your state legislators to let them know why this legislation is important to you. Find out who your legislators are here. Not sure what to say? Check out our phone script and letter-writing tips here.
- Talk with SPLC’s New Voices Advocacy and Organizing Team (email@example.com) about ways to bring New Voices to Kentucky.
Other Ways to Get Involved
- Refine your thoughts with talking points, find answers to frequently asked questions, or find other resources here.
- Locate a copy of your school district’s student media or student expression policy. This toolkit can tell you everything you need to know about your policy and what you can do with it. Some student media policies offer legal protection equal to or even exceeding New Voices protections. If that’s the case, spread the word! (And let SPLC know, too.)
- Help your colleagues better understand student press freedom by inviting an SPLC expert to join you: SPLC In The Classroom.
- Spread the word about New Voices. Enlist all your friends in Kentucky to raise their voices in support of this measure, which ensures the basic First Amendment rights of student journalists and protects their advisers from retaliation.
Why Kentucky needs New Voices
- Kentucky university student newspaper struggles after loss of adviser and funding for student stipends Student Press Law Center (6-13-19)
- After controversial stories are cut, student journalists in Kentucky contact SPLC and launch an underground newspaper Student Press Law Center (3-7-16)
- The First Amendment must extend to student journalists seeking to report the truth Courier Journal (9-17-19)
- Commentary: Student journalists need ‘New Voices Act’ to protect freedom of school-based reporting Northern Kentucky Tribune (2-18-23)
- Kentucky student journalists need new voices legislation: Opinion Courier Journal (2-22-23)
- News Release: The “RedEye” at duPont Manual High School wins The Courage in Student Journalism Award Student Press Law Center (12-3-21)
- Reflections from New Voices student leaders: Luisa Sanchez Student Press Law Center (8-22-23)
- New Voices advocate Brennan Eberwine shares his experiences and advice for up-and-coming student leaders Student Press Law Center (10-18-22)
- Kentucky Student Editors, Tennessee Adviser Recognized for Journalistic Courage Student Press Law Center (9-18-12)
- Kentucky principal censors story about teacher found undressed in car with 17-year-old boy Student Press Law Center (5-10-11)
- OPINION: Student journalism is good for schools, democracy. Support KY’s ‘New Voices’ legislation. Lexington Herald-Leader. (2-21-23)
- Student Press Freedom Day: Empower journalists to do their jobs Kentucky New Era, Hopkinsville, KY (3-1-21)
- New Voices Act gives more voice to student journalists The Manual Redeye, duPont Manual High School, Louisville, KY (2-7-21)
- Student Reporters Could be the Fix Local News Needs. Let’s Give Them the Legal Protections to Cover More than Pep Rallies and STEM Competitions The 74 (1-24-21)
- Student Voices, New Voices PLD Lamplighter, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Lexington, KY (2-14-20)
History of New Voices in Kentucky
- 1990: The first New Voices bill is filed with the legislature, but never voted on by a committee.
- 2009: New Voices legislation is again introduced in the Kentucky legislature, but never voted on by a committee.
- 2020: HB 632, sponsored by Representative Attica Scott, is introduced just before the legislature adjourned due to COVID..
- 2021: HB 187, sponsored by Representative Attica Scott, is introduced but never voted on by a committee.
- 2022: HB 408, sponsored by Representative Attica Scott, is introduced but never voted on by a committee.
- 2023: SB 132, sponsored by Senator Gerald Neal, is introduced but never voted on by a committee.
You can see the list of national endorsers at the bottom of this page