While Sept. 17 is a day to celebrate the U.S. Constitution and all of the rights and protections it affords, it's ironic to celebrate when there are so many threats to press freedom.
The Student Press Law Center has submitted formal comments to the Tennessee Department of Education urging it to amend draft regulations implementing the state’s new ban on so-called “prohibited concepts" to ensure that student journalists will not be penalized under the new law. The SPLC has called upon Commissioner of Education Dr. Penny Schwinn to… Continue reading SPLC urges Tennessee to protect student media from investigation
Student Press Law Center attorneys are available to speak with media about the ruling in this major student speech case and its implications.
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 — 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.”
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
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 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
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
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