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
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?
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
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.
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?
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
OHIO — Wadsworth High School's student paper, The Bruin, sparked district-wide controversy and conversations about racism with their Feb. 13 story "Black History Month in a White School District." Some praised the coverage for bringing attention to the lack of diversity in the district, while others said the headline discounted the experiences of the already… Continue reading High school paper censored for “offensive” headline on story about district’s lack of diversity
If your student publication is funded fully or in part by student fees, you should have a plan in place in case of a budget cut. If the cuts come after critical coverage of the university or your student government, you may be able to claim the university or student government violated your First Amendment… Continue reading What to do when your student news outlet’s budget gets cut
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
Editor’s Note: If you’ve experienced a newspaper theft this year, or if one ever occurs in the future, email Danielle Dieterich at firstname.lastname@example.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