More than 30 years later and months after the latest round of legal interpretations, open records advocates, elected officials and journalists are questioning FERPA’s application and wondering just how far from the law’s original intent schools are willing to go to shield information from the public.
For both the student and professional media, user comments on Web sites are the basis of a growing number of lawsuits. Editors are attempting to grapple with how they should respond —?ethically and legally —?to controversial comments left on their sites by anonymous posters.
The reach of school officials has extended beyond the schoolhouse gate to the World Wide Web, where pictures on Facebook, a posting on MySpace or a comment on a personal blog can now mean punishments for students.
Search warrants, arrests, pepper spray — most student journalists manage to avoid extreme situations involving law enforcement while doing their jobs. However, two college photojournalists recently found themselves in situations that highlighted tensions between the press and the police
Student journalists and school administrators should be aware of the protection Section 230 may offer — as well as its limits — when they venture into cyberspace.
Henry Rome and Seth Zweifler have, between them, picked up just about every honor that a high school journalist can compete for.