Can school boards require registration to online meetings?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, our community is practicing social distancing, so school board meetings are now held via videoconference. Our administration requires anyone who wants to attend a meeting to complete a registration form, which… Continue reading Can school boards require registration to online meetings?

Does HIPAA limit my ability to report on COVID-19 cases?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: I’m being told the federal HIPAA law limits my ability to report on COVID-19 cases. Is this true?A: No. While HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) may limit the information a medical provider can provide… Continue reading Does HIPAA limit my ability to report on COVID-19 cases?

Can (and should) we publish the name of a student who tested positive for COVID-19?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Recently, we had a student at our school test positive for COVID-19. He lived in an on-campus dorm and rumors are starting to fly, many of them inaccurate. He has not gone public, but we have… Continue reading Can (and should) we publish the name of a student who tested positive for COVID-19?

How can I access information about my school’s plans to cope with COVID-19?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: I am trying to figure out what my school is doing to cope with COVID-19. How can I access information about their plans? A: Your school’s budget has been set since the beginning of the year. But… Continue reading How can I access information about my school’s plans to cope with COVID-19?

Can my access to meetings be limited due to COVID-19?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Can my access to meetings be limited due to COVID-19? A: If you normally would have access to the meetings (and they continue to occur), you have a right to be present. In other words, COVID-19 cannot… Continue reading Can my access to meetings be limited due to COVID-19?

Is my publication responsible for libelous quotes from third parties?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Is my publication responsible for libelous quotes from third parties or libelous statements contributors make, such as in guest columns?A: In print or broadcast media, yes. If you publish it, you are taking ownership of it, regardless… Continue reading Is my publication responsible for libelous quotes from third parties?

Can we create an online directory of alumni that includes their photos and graduation dates?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Can we (student media staff) create an online directory of alumni that includes their photos and graduation dates? A: You can certainly create a directory that includes the names and graduation dates of former students. No special… Continue reading Can we create an online directory of alumni that includes their photos and graduation dates?

Do open meetings laws apply to public school student governments?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Does the student government at my public school have to abide by my state's open meetings laws? A: Maybe. Open meetings laws vary by state, and most courts haven’t specifically ruled on whether state open meetings laws apply… Continue reading Do open meetings laws apply to public school student governments?

Are fonts subject to copyright protection?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Are fonts subject to copyright protection? A: Yes. Fonts — which are basically computer programs or software that tell your printer or computer screen how to create the shape of a letter or character — meet all… Continue reading Are fonts subject to copyright protection?