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
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?”
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?
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?
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 — 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
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
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
Q: Do private school students have any recourse when their free speech rights are stripped? A: Options for fighting private school censorship can vary significantly from school to school. As you are probably already aware, you don't have First Amendment protection from censorship in private schools, so you have to look elsewhere. Reminder: The First Amendment only protects… Continue reading Ask SPLC: What can private school students do when they’re censored?
On a day of coordinated national action, student journalists and their allies published editorials, held events and flooded social media to defend student press freedoms that have increasingly come under attack. The Student Press Law Center dubbed Jan. 30 Student Press Freedom day — a day when student journalists were encouraged to speak out about… Continue reading Student journalists unify, call for new and stronger press freedoms