Guidance on creating a policy about reporting in-person during COVID-19

As student journalists prepare for reporting this semester in the midst of major uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, many are wondering what policies to institute concerning in-person reporting. Below you’ll find suggested language crafted by the SPLC to guide you should you decide to implement newsroom policies regarding how staff members and contributors conduct their reporting.  This… Continue reading Guidance on creating a policy about reporting in-person during COVID-19

Countering COVID-related FERPA objections

Many times administrators cite FERPA as a reason to restrict access to information which the public is entitled to receive. During the pandemic, we see FERPA being used inappropriately to deny important information to student media. SPLC has developed the letter below for you to download and send (or give) to administrators when they misapply FERPA… Continue reading Countering COVID-related FERPA objections

Can we publish photos of crowded hallways at our school during COVID-19?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: As students and teachers return to school during the COVID19 pandemic, can we take and publish news photos of students/teachers — masked or unmasked — walking in a crowded school hallway?A: Yes. It is long-established law that… Continue reading Can we publish photos of crowded hallways at our school during COVID-19?

Student media advisers say they’re anxious about going back to school during COVID-19

Some student media advisers are scared going into the fall semester—both for their students’ safety, and the state of their journalism programs. Photo by Engin Akyurt via Unsplash

Sarah Verpooten watched as a parent at an Aug. 3 school board meeting advocated for returning to in-person classes. He was speaking into the microphone when he pulled down his mask to wipe his nose, pulled his mask back up, and continued speaking. That meeting resulted in a “very surprising vote” to return to in-person… Continue reading Student media advisers say they’re anxious about going back to school during COVID-19

SPLC, joined by 28 orgs and individuals, sends letter of concern to N. Paulding High School admin and school board over free speech restrictions

On August 7, the Student Press Law Center sent a letter of concern signed by 28 national organizations and individuals to the principal of North Paulding High School, the district superintendent and the school board. (See the full list of signatures below the letter.) See the letter as a PDF Mr. Gabe Carmona, PrincipalNorth Paulding… Continue reading SPLC, joined by 28 orgs and individuals, sends letter of concern to N. Paulding High School admin and school board over free speech restrictions

The Student Press Law Center condemns the suspension of Georgia students for posting photos of their crowded school during COVID-19

For immediate release: Aug. 6, 2020 For more information: Diana Mitsu Klos, 202-728-7267; dmk@splc.org Download the statement as a PDF The Student Press Law Center condemns in the strongest terms the reported suspensions of at least two students at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia who posted photos and a video on social media… Continue reading The Student Press Law Center condemns the suspension of Georgia students for posting photos of their crowded school during COVID-19

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?

COVID-19 coverage by student journalists

Student journalist have been at the forefront of news reporting amid the coronavirus outbreak. In this unprecedented time, student reporters are working together, sometimes from thousands of miles apart, to cover campus and community news. In recognition of the essential work of student journalist, the Student Press Law Center has put together a list featuring… Continue reading COVID-19 coverage by student journalists

Can my school deny a public records request because of COVID-19?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: I recently submitted an open records law request to my public school for budgetary information related to a time-sensitive story I’m working on. No one is disputing that the records are “public records” that must be… Continue reading Can my school deny a public records request because of COVID-19?