Know Your Rights
Who is protected from censorship?
All school-sponsored publications are protected at Oregon’s public schools, public colleges and public universities. This includes newspapers, yearbooks, literary magazines, podcasts, broadcast, and more.
What work can be censored?
Your work can only be restricted if it:
- is libelous or slanderous;
- constitutes an unwarranted invasion of privacy;
- violates federal or state statutes, rules or regulations or state common law; or
- So incites students as to create the clear and present danger of the commission of an unlawful act, the violation of school policies, or the material and substantial disruption of the orderly 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. 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 Oregon’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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) about gaps you see in the law and how we can work to make it stronger.