New Voices in Vermont

Current Status: Vermont has a New Voices law, which protects public school student journalists from censorship and protects from retaliation advisers who refuse to infringe on their students’ free press rights. Want to further strengthen student press freedom in Vermont? Join the movement by contacting the SPLC’s Advocacy and Organizing Team at

Know Your Rights

Who is protected from censorship?

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

Student media advisers 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;
  • May be defined as obscene, gratuitously profane, threatening, or intimidating; 
  • May be defined as harassment, hazing, or bullying under state law;
  • violates federal or state law; or
  • Creates the imminent danger of materially or substantially disrupting the ability of the school to perform its educational mission.

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 “without delay” 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 Vermont’’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.
  • Vermont 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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