Current Status: Massachusetts has a student free expression law, which includes protections for student publications. It does not protect advisers from retaliation for refusing to infringe on their students’ press rights. Want to strengthen student press freedom in Massachusetts? Join the movement by emailing SPLC’s Advocacy and Organizing Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Know Your Rights
Who is protected from censorship?
Students have an unabridged right to expression in public schools, and an explicit right to write, publish and disseminate their views. This includes newspapers, yearbooks, literary magazines, podcasts, broadcast, and more.
What work can be censored?
Student expression can only be limited when it causes a disruption to the school environment.
What happens if I’m being censored?
Try to get any communication from your school in writing, or write down your own memory of events as they happen. Contact the Student Press Law Center immediately.
Join the Movement
- Know your press freedom rights and make sure others do as well. Spread the word about Massachusetts’s New Voices laws on social media and in your newsroom.
- Help your colleagues better understand student press freedom by inviting an SPLC expert to join you: SPLC In The Classroom.
- Look up your school district’s student media or student free expression policy. (You can use this toolkit to help you find it and some examples of red flags to look out for.) If the policy seems like it endorses censorship or doesn’t match the New Voices law, let SPLC know!
- Advocate for even more student press freedom. Is the law not good enough? Talk with SPLC’s New Voices Advocacy and Organizing Team (email@example.com) about gaps you see in the law and how we can work to make it stronger.