Nyler Acasio, a student journalist at McKinley High School, says he knows libeling is not allowed and that their work is based on facts. “We are not writing whatever we want,” Acasio said. “We are writing about issues that matter to our community. This bill allows us to do this.”
Betsy Edwards, executive director of the Virginia Press Association, commended student journalists for their work. “I think student journalists play the same role that professional journalists play and that is to hold people in power accountable and to make sure that tax dollars get spent the way they should,” Edwards said in a phone interview. She added that middle and high school student journalists “are more mature than we probably give them credit for.”
How do you teach student journalists about free speech? Well, by letting them use it. Throughout the nation, and even in local classrooms, student journalists have experienced censorship.
The bill would also broaden explicit free speech protections for student journalists to include audio and visual storytelling platforms.
Frank LoMonte, the former executive director of the Student Press Law Center who now teaches media law at the University of Florida, said the retaliation protections are especially important, because school officials will go to the media advisor first if they want to shut down a story. “That’s so often where that censorship happens,” he… Continue reading Lawmakers again file bills to protect student, working journalists in Virginia
“Students are being onerously and unfairly censored all the time,” Delegate Chris Hurst said. “We have dozens of examples across the Commonwealth.”
WTVR, Richmond, Va. (Dec. 15, 2019) Del. Chris Hurst, D-Blacksburg, introduced HB36 to protect the rights of student journalists from censorship and student media advisers from punishment
“This movement has been growing,” says Hadar Harris, executive director at the Student Press Law Center, “because of committed teachers and students who recognize the need to protect student journalists.”
The Student Press Law Center (SPLC) dubbed 2019 “Year of the Student Journalist,” and after three days in a tranquil suburb of our nation’s capital with fellow advocates from around the country, the rationale for the credo has never been more clear for members of our Pennsylvania New Voices team.
Too often, people who stifle student voices fear what they have to say. I know. I've lived it. Last year, my high school newspaper staff was scrutinized, three of our stories were censored, all print editorials were banned and our journalism adviser's contract was not renewed. And it appears it was all because our administrators valued the image of the school over the truth