Students around the country have their viewpoints silenced every year, and the 2005-06 school year was no exception. In Illinois, Indiana and Utah students faced efforts to prevent them from speaking their minds on topics such as immigration reform, homosexuality and sexually transmitted disease.
As a result of Machesky’s censorship and a successful lawsuit by Dean, student press advocates in Michigan successfully lobbied state Sen. Michael Switalsky, D-Roseville, to sponsor legislation defending the rights of high school student journalists.
But student press advocates say they are concerned that NEOLA’s cookie cutter method of drafting policies diminishes local input and that the policies’ vague language leads to confusion that can have severe consequences for students’ First Amendment rights.
Although it may at times be difficult to sort out, Kulenych said that Jonathan Law High School’s policy against publishing students’ last names and pictures online is designed to protect students from Internet predators. Administrators adopted the policy for the newspaper after it launched its site in 2004. Kulenych said some of his journalism students were at first confused and disappointed, but they have since accepted the policy.
But some experts worry that the free speech benefits of online social networking are getting lost in the debate over Internet safety.
Since November, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the American Association of University Professors have come out in support of Fischler, asking the college to reinstate him. College Media Advisers has censured the college and Dolphin staff halted publication in protest of the administrators’ decision.
By Whitney McFerron, SPLC staff writer
GEORGIA -- Gaining access to campus crime records has often been an arduous task for journalists at private colleges and universities, but some states are taking steps to make all campus police departments subject to open records laws.On the last day of its session this year, the Georgia Legislature passed a bill that will provide journalists in the state with all new access to crime records at private colleges and universities, student press advocates say.
Student paper faces $800,000 defamation lawsuitVIRGINIA -- A student newspaper is being sued for $800,000 on allegations that the paper published defamatory statements last year about a rape victim.
Student journalists in California have long enjoyed extensive free press protections. And if the state Legislature has its way, those freedoms may be expanded even more.