New Voices in New Jersey

Current Status: New Jersey has a New Voices law. Want to further strengthen student press freedom in New Jersey? Email the SPLC’s Advocacy and Organizing Team at

Know Your Rights

Who is protected from censorship?

All school-sponsored publications are protected at New Jersey’s public schools, public colleges and public universities. This includes newspapers, yearbooks, literary magazines, podcasts, broadcast, and more.

Student media advisers and other school employees are protected from professional consequences for refusing to censor student media or override their students’ publication decisions. 

What work can be censored?

Your work can only be restricted if it:

  • is libelous or slanderous;
  • constitutes an unwarranted invasion of privacy;
  • is profane or obscene;
  • violates federal or state law; or
  • so incites students as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of an unlawful act, the violation of school district or college or university policies, or the material and substantial disruption of the operation of the school.

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.

School officials must tell students in advance their reason for censoring student media expression. You should be told before your media is restricted what is unprotected. 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 New Jersey’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
  • Host a public event (SPLC will be happy to join you remotely!). 
  • New Jersey law requires your school board to have a written student journalism policy. Locate a copy of this 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 ( about gaps you see in the law and how we can work to make it stronger.

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