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
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
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