Nebraska high school journalist refuses to back down, publishes her censored article on Confederate flags and racism at school in local paper

A student truck at North Platte High School, Nebraska displays the Confederate flag in the school parking lot. A student stole one of these flags, and another wrote a story about the incident. (George Lauby/The North Platte Bulletin)

NEBRASKA — In September, Jessica Mathieu, a senior at North Platte High School, in southwest Nebraska, stole a Confederate flag from another student’s pickup truck parked in the school parking lot. She posted a video on social media acknowledging that she had stolen the flag, saying, “I know what I did was wrong, but what you’re doing is worse. You’re making people at your school feel like they’re not welcome.”

Nebraska high school censors student editorial about censorship, and journalism adviser resigns

Three high school students wearing face masks work at laptops at a table.
From left to right, student editors Ramya Iyer, Jaden Taylor and Caleb De La Cruz work in the Westside newsroom in Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 8, 2021. Photo by Mina Testolin

UPDATE: On Feb. 12, the administration at Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska censored a student editorial about censorship. The same day, one of the Westside journalism advisers resigned. This came shortly after Westside student journalists testified on Jan. 29 for a bill that would have prevented this censorship. On Feb. 10, District 66 Superintendent… Continue reading Nebraska high school censors student editorial about censorship, and journalism adviser resigns

Censorship of Student Journalists Persists Despite their Essential Role Reporting on COVID, Protests, Racial Justice and Elections, New White Paper Finds

Contact: Hadar Harris, Executive DirectorStudent Press Law Center(202) 549-6316 / hharris@splc.org Student Journalists Celebrate 3rd Annual Student Press Freedom Day on Feb. 26  Washington, D.C. — In anticipation of the 3rd annual Student Press Freedom Day on Friday, Feb. 26th, the Student Press Law Center released a white paper today detailing a continuing pattern of censorship of student journalists by… Continue reading Censorship of Student Journalists Persists Despite their Essential Role Reporting on COVID, Protests, Racial Justice and Elections, New White Paper Finds

Haskell Indian Nations University rescinds unconstitutional directives to student editor in response to joint letter by SPLC, FIRE, NAJA

Haskell Indian Nations University leadership has rescinded an unconstitutional directive forbidding student newspaper editor Jared Nally from engaging in basic newsgathering activity. This comes as a response* to a letter (see below) issued by the Student Press Law Center, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the Native American Journalists Association calling on HINU President Ronald Graham… Continue reading Haskell Indian Nations University rescinds unconstitutional directives to student editor in response to joint letter by SPLC, FIRE, NAJA

SPLC urges Frostburg State University President to terminate investigation into student journalist

SPLC joined the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) in sending a December 14 letter to Frostburg State University President Ronald Nowaczyk expressing concern after the university targeted a student journalist and directed the student newspaper to investigate and punish her.  Read the full letter: https://splc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/FIRE-and-SPLC-Letter-to-Frostburg-State-University-December-14-2020.pdf

What is the difference between prior restraint and prior review?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: What is the difference between prior restraint and prior review? A: Put simply, prior review can be legal (at the high school level) and prior restraint is limited by the First Amendment.  Prior review is when your principal… Continue reading What is the difference between prior restraint and prior review?

University settles lawsuit with satirical campus publication, affirming 1A protections for students

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

UPDATE — The University of California San Diego settled a First Amendment lawsuit with a student-run satirical publication on Sept. 8, 2020, which legal experts say secured significant protections for student journalists against financial censorship. The lawsuit stemmed from a controversial November 2015 article from The Koala, a satirical newspaper on campus. The student government… Continue reading University settles lawsuit with satirical campus publication, affirming 1A protections for students

SPLC and the New England First Amendment Coalition call on schools to protect speech, press rights

The Student Press Law Center and the New England First Amendment Coalition are calling on public school administrators across New England to protect the speech and press rights of students as they return to class this fall.

A high school newspaper was cut during the pandemic. Is it a sign of things to come?

(Medieval Times seniors pose in front of Rialto High School in Southern California. The journalism course’s adviser, Cassandra Rodriguez, is pictured second from left / Photo by Cassandra Garcia)

CALIFORNIA — Cassandra Garcia, a rising senior at Rialto High School in Southern California is fighting to bring back a journalism course at her high school after her principal removed the class from the fall schedule without informing students or the adviser.  Garcia is a reporter for the Medieval Times, Rialto's student newspaper. The school’s… Continue reading A high school newspaper was cut during the pandemic. Is it a sign of things to come?

No criminal charges filed after VCU student government members trashed 875 copies of The Commonwealth Times

An empty newsstand of The Commonwealth Times
SGA members allegedly cleared out kiosks and trashed newspapers last Wednesday VCU’s main campus. (The Commonwealth Times / Hannah Eason)

UPDATE: No criminal charges are being filed after 13 newsstands were emptied at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.  On Feb. 26, 2020, members of VCU's Student Government Association were seen trashing copies of The Commonwealth Times that included an article detailing ongoing conflicts within SGA. According to a statement by the VCU Police Department, detectives… Continue reading No criminal charges filed after VCU student government members trashed 875 copies of The Commonwealth Times