NEWS RELEASE: Courage in Student Journalism Award” goes to Burlington, Vermont high school editors who successfully fought censorship

BHS Register editors speak to the Burlington school board on Thursday. Left to right: Jenna Peterson, Julia Shannon-Grillo, and Halle Newman. VTDigger / Lola Duffort

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 23, 2019 Contact: Diana Mitsu Klos, director of engagement (202) 728-7267/ dmk@splc.org WASHINGTON, D.C. - Students from Burlington, Vermont who broke a story about alleged inappropriate behavior by a faculty member and triumphed over both censorship and prior review are being honored with the “Courage in Student Journalism Award.”  “We fought… Continue reading NEWS RELEASE: Courage in Student Journalism Award” goes to Burlington, Vermont high school editors who successfully fought censorship

Mary Beth Tinker to high school journalists: It’s your job to speak up on behalf of others

Mary Beth Tinker speaks about free expression in front of her famous black armband, on display at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. / Joe Severino

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mary Beth Tinker, First Amendment advocate and former plaintiff in a landmark Supreme Court case that still affects students' speech rights 50 years later, told her story to hundreds of high school journalism students visiting the nation's capital on Nov. 22 — encouraging them to be caring, and use their free speech… Continue reading Mary Beth Tinker to high school journalists: It’s your job to speak up on behalf of others

New, restrictive publications policy hits journalists at a Virginia high school who were already being censored

Robert Owen Wahl / Pixabay

VIRGINIA — Journalism students already dealing with censorship by administrators at Millbrook High School in Winchester, Virginia, now face another barrier to reporting after the passage of a new prior review policy for student publications.  The Frederick County School Board approved the new policy during its Aug. 20 meeting. Under the policy, the school’s principal… Continue reading New, restrictive publications policy hits journalists at a Virginia high school who were already being censored

What is a “public forum for student expression?”

Q: What is a “public forum for student expression?” A: A student publication is a public forum for student expression when school officials have given student editors the authority to make their own content decisions. This can be accomplished through an official policy or by simply allowing a publication to operate without interference from school officials.… Continue reading What is a “public forum for student expression?”

Can I be punished for fighting censorship at my school?

Q: Can I be punished for fighting censorship at my school? A:  You cannot be punished for speaking out and expressing views opposing those of school officials unless you break laws or school rules in how you choose to fight the censorship. For example, if you organized or participated in a protest that included walking out of… Continue reading Can I be punished for fighting censorship at my school?

Ask SPLC: An advertiser wants to include a photo of himself holding a gun. Can we say no?

Q: I am the editor of a public high school yearbook. An advertiser — a local real estate agent — submitted a family photo as part of his ad. In it, he is holding a hunting rifle (we live in hunting country.) Given the many incidents of gun-related school violence I asked for a different photo, but… Continue reading Ask SPLC: An advertiser wants to include a photo of himself holding a gun. Can we say no?

A satirical student publication’s free speech rights may have been violated, court says

Cover of the most recent print issue of The Koala, published in 2016

CALIFORNIA — A student-run satirical publication will proceed with its lawsuit against the University of California San Diego now that an appeals court has reversed a lower court’s dismissal of the case.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit says that the university may have violated students’ rights to free speech. The… Continue reading A satirical student publication’s free speech rights may have been violated, court says

Georgia State University pulls student-produced magazine from freshman orientation

Daniel Varitek / The Signal

GEORGIA — Georgia State University in Atlanta has pulled a student-run magazine from bags handed out to incoming freshmen at orientation. The reason for the last minute change depends on whom you ask. Administrators said printing the 52-page magazine used too much paper. Editors say a story about students with alternative jobs, including a stripper,… Continue reading Georgia State University pulls student-produced magazine from freshman orientation

Newspapers thrown away at two universities following publication of controversial articles

Editors of the Golden Gate XPress found these papers in a trash can in San Francisco State University’s humanities building. Monserrath Arreola / Golden Gate XPress

As the academic year wound down, college news organizations in San Francisco and Buffalo, N.Y. reported their papers were trashed in an effort to conceal controversial stories. An estimated 2,100 copies of the Golden Gate XPress, San Francisco State University’s student newspaper were stolen on May 15. And at the University at Buffalo in New… Continue reading Newspapers thrown away at two universities following publication of controversial articles

Award-winning media adviser resigns after censorship, conflict with school principal

The yearbook staff at Seven Lakes High School. Courtesy of Lisa Silveira.

TEXAS  — An adviser at a high school in suburban Houston has left her job after the principal pulled stories, yearbook spreads and repeatedly questioned her judgment. Katie Moreno, the media adviser at Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas, decided to turn in her resignation after detailing months of censorship and after what her… Continue reading Award-winning media adviser resigns after censorship, conflict with school principal