Former president of Haskell Indian Nations University fired after making unconstitutional directives to student editor and faculty

UPDATE: The former president of Haskell Indian Nations University Ronald Graham has been fired. An internal investigation commissioned by the Haskell National Board of Regents confirmed Graham’s actions violated the First Amendment, “stifling the free speech rights of students and faculty.” The regent’s vote to remove Graham follows a unanimous vote of ‘no confidence’ from… Continue reading Former president of Haskell Indian Nations University fired after making unconstitutional directives to student editor and faculty

Nebraska high school journalist refuses to back down, publishes her censored article on Confederate flags and racism at school in local paper

A student truck at North Platte High School, Nebraska displays the Confederate flag in the school parking lot. A student stole one of these flags, and another wrote a story about the incident. (George Lauby/The North Platte Bulletin)

NEBRASKA — In September, Jessica Mathieu, a senior at North Platte High School, in southwest Nebraska, stole a Confederate flag from another student’s pickup truck parked in the school parking lot. She posted a video on social media acknowledging that she had stolen the flag, saying, “I know what I did was wrong, but what you’re doing is worse. You’re making people at your school feel like they’re not welcome.”

SCOTUS agrees to hear B.L v. Mahanoy Area School District, calling student’s off-campus First Amendment rights into question

"Portico of the SCOTUS" by John Brighenti is licensed under CC BY 2.0

UPDATE: The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of a Pennsylvania public high school student who was punished by her school after she cursed her cheer team on Snapchat on a Saturday night while off campus. Legal experts and educators have watched the case, B.L. v. Mahanoy closely — the high court's… Continue reading SCOTUS agrees to hear B.L v. Mahanoy Area School District, calling student’s off-campus First Amendment rights into question

University settles lawsuit with satirical campus publication, affirming 1A protections for students

Cover of the most recent print issue of The Koala, published in 2016

UPDATE — The University of California San Diego settled a First Amendment lawsuit with a student-run satirical publication on Sept. 8, 2020, which legal experts say secured significant protections for student journalists against financial censorship. The lawsuit stemmed from a controversial November 2015 article from The Koala, a satirical newspaper on campus. The student government… Continue reading University settles lawsuit with satirical campus publication, affirming 1A protections for students

Florida college SGA cuts paper’s budget following election violation story

The PantherNOW staff in a Zoom meeting. Photo from Gerard Albert

Florida International University's student government cut the budget of the student paper, PantherNOW, for the fourth year in a row on March 24. This came just two weeks after the paper reported the Elections Board violated an election code that said SGA must publish the ballot a week before the election, leaving students unaware of… Continue reading Florida college SGA cuts paper’s budget following election violation story

What to do when your student news outlet’s budget gets cut

Piggy bank tipped over with coins spilling out
Pixabay / kschneider2991

If your student publication is funded fully or in part by student fees, you should have a plan in place in case of a budget cut. If the cuts come after critical coverage of the university or your student government, you may be able to claim the university or student government violated your First Amendment… Continue reading What to do when your student news outlet’s budget gets cut

Mary Beth Tinker to high school journalists: It’s your job to speak up on behalf of others

Mary Beth Tinker speaks about free expression in front of her famous black armband, on display at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. / Joe Severino

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mary Beth Tinker, First Amendment advocate and former plaintiff in a landmark Supreme Court case that still affects students' speech rights 50 years later, told her story to hundreds of high school journalism students visiting the nation's capital on Nov. 22 — encouraging them to be caring, and use their free speech… Continue reading Mary Beth Tinker to high school journalists: It’s your job to speak up on behalf of others

What is a “public forum for student expression?”

Q: What is a “public forum for student expression?” A: A student publication is a public forum for student expression when school officials have given student editors the authority to make their own content decisions. This can be accomplished through an official policy or by simply allowing a publication to operate without interference from school officials.… Continue reading What is a “public forum for student expression?”

Student journalist wins First Amendment award for uncovering mishandled sexual misconduct cases

Photo by Diana Mitsu Klos 2019 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award honoree Grace Marion chats with Student Press Law Center Senior Legal Counsel Mike Hiestand and student free speech icon Mary Beth Tinker. Hiestand and Tinker were Hefner award recipients in 2014.

WASHINGTON — A student journalist was honored with a Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment award Wednesday for a series of articles shedding light on how her high school has mishandled sexual misconduct cases, and for a long-running fight against censorship. Grace Marion is the former editor-in-chief of The Playwickian at Neshaminy High School on Langhorne,… Continue reading Student journalist wins First Amendment award for uncovering mishandled sexual misconduct cases