College journalists in New Jersey describe years of “intimidation, harassment, threats” by administrators

Youngtown Edition’s staffers posing with signs of support at Board of Trustees meeting / Luna Wroblewski

NEW JERSEY — Student journalists at the County College of Morris recently went before the school’s Board of Trustees with more than two years of documented incidents with school administrators — saying administrators intimidated the student newspaper staff from doing their jobs and eventually ousted their adviser. The Youngtown Edition’s Editor-in-Chief Alexa Wyszkowski, Managing Editor… Continue reading College journalists in New Jersey describe years of “intimidation, harassment, threats” by administrators

Newspaper theft in 2019: 8,500+ issues stolen, trashed in 13 incidents

A copy of the Rocky Mountain Collegian in a recycling bin at Colorado State University. Photo courtesy of Haley Candelario.

Editor’s Note: If you’ve experienced a newspaper theft this year, or if one ever occurs in the future, email Danielle Dieterich at ddieterich@splc.org to report it. At least 8,500 copies of student newspapers at colleges in the United States were reported stolen, trashed or destroyed in 2019. In November alone, thefts were reported at County… Continue reading Newspaper theft in 2019: 8,500+ issues stolen, trashed in 13 incidents

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