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

Ask SPLC: What can private school students do when they’re censored?

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?

Student journalists unify, call for new and stronger press freedoms

The Torch, Bergen Community College (Paramus, N.J.) Photo courtesy of Edriel Fimbres, photo editor

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

Arkansas high school paper republishes censored story, but prior review and threat to adviser’s job remain

Halle Roberts (middle right) and Jack Williams (right) stand with other staff members of The Herald in Har-Ber High School in Springdale, Ark. Photo courtesy of Jack Williams

ARKANSAS — An Arkansas school district drew national criticism after it apparently broke state law by censoring the paper and halting its publication. The district also announced it would implement prior review. Springdale Public Schools backtracked and allowed online publication of the censored story and editorial, but significant obstacles remain unresolved. The Student Press Law… Continue reading Arkansas high school paper republishes censored story, but prior review and threat to adviser’s job remain

450 issues of The OU Daily stolen — writer thinks it’s attempted censorship of front page sexual harassment story

An OU Daily newsstand stands empty outside of the Fred Jones Jr. Art Center Sept. 17. Several newsstands were emptied after an article on sexual harassment allegations against the former School of Drama director was published on the front page. The OU Daily / Kathryn Stacy

OKLAHOMA — An estimated 450 issues of The OU Daily were stolen on Sept. 17 from multiple locations across the University of Oklahoma Norman campus. The stolen issue featured a front page article about sexual harassment allegations against a tenured drama professor who remains at the university but resigned in August from his position as director of the School of… Continue reading 450 issues of The OU Daily stolen — writer thinks it’s attempted censorship of front page sexual harassment story

Vermont high school students use New Voices law to win censorship dispute

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

VERMONT — Student journalists at Burlington High School used the state’s New Voices law to successfully fight back against censorship and prevent the reinstatement of a prior review policy. On Sept. 10, the BHS Register was the first to report  about an investigation by the Vermont Agency of Education focused on the school’s director of guidance, Mario Macias.… Continue reading Vermont high school students use New Voices law to win censorship dispute