State and federal courts have decided over 60 cases in the last two decades directly involving censorship of the college and university student press.
Although graduation day is traditionally a time for celebration and for new beginnings, it can bring an unhappy ending to the legal claims of a student who is challenging school censorship. In general, challenges to school policies must be raised by currently affected students. When a student graduates, a court may dismiss her claims as moot.
When Jill Snyder, an eighth grade student at Blue Mountain Middle School in Orwigsburg, Pa., was reprimanded for violating the school dress code, she decided to take matters into her own hands. After school, Snyder went home to create a mock MySpace page ridiculing her school principal.
You can't be punished for opposing censorship — at least, not lawfully — as long as you don't break any laws or rules in how you choose to protest.
Do students at a private high school or college have to check their free speech rights at the campus gate when they walk to school each morning?
The answer to that question is a resounding maybe.
Universities that attempt to limit campus expression areas often end up in court.
Although a university may afford its student newspaper virtually unfettered editorial freedom, the same cannot always be said of its student broadcastmedia.