Current Status: The West Virginia legislature is adjourned for the year.
2022: SB 216, sponsored by Senator Mike Azinger, was introduced on January 12, 2022. The bill was initially approved by the Senate Education committee, but on February 17, 2022 the Senate Judiciary committee amended the bill to strip out all protections for middle and high school students, leaving only college students protected. The Senate approved the amended legislation, but it did not clear the House before the legislature adjourned for the year.
2021: SB 617 – the Student Journalist Press Freedom Restoration Act – was introduced on March 10, 2021 by Senator Mike Azinger. The bill was jointly assigned to the Education and Judiciary Committees. The legislation was not heard or considered by the committee before the legislature adjourned on April 11.
- Contact your state legislators to let them know why this bill 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.
- Refine your thoughts with talking points, a printable flyer and other resources here.
- Get looped in with volunteer coordinators to let them know about your efforts and learn about other ways to get involved:Hillary Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Enlist all your friends in West Virginia 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.
- If you are a student or adviser who was censored, intimidated or retaliated against, contact SPLC’s legal hotline.
Why West Virginia needs New Voices
- Protect the Rights of Student Journalists – Support SB 216. The Parthenon, Marshall University. (2-23-22)
- Accountability cannot exist without a free student press The Daily Athenaeum, West Virginia University, Morgantown (1-30-19)
- Editorial-in-Chief: Journalism’s role at WVU The Daily Athenaeum, West Virginia University, Morgantown (8-16-18)
- Fairmont State administrator removed from newspaper supervisor position after allegations of intimidation Student Press Law Center (7-22-15)
- Dorm mold story leads to adviser’s termination, student journalists allege Student Press Law Center (6-3-15)
You can see the list of national endorsers at the bottom of this page.