SPLC calls on Superintendent at Bigelow High School to reprint censored yearbook pages with an apology

On Friday, August 13, SPLC executive director Hadar Harris sent a letter to East End School District (Arkansas) Superintendent Heidi Wilson asking that she reprint pages which had been ripped from the Bigelow High School yearbook and distribute them to the full school community. Harris further asked that the Superintendent attach a formal written apology… Continue reading SPLC calls on Superintendent at Bigelow High School to reprint censored yearbook pages with an apology

What exactly is censorship?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Legal Question of the Week.” Q: What exactly is censorship? A: Anytime someone who works for the school prevents or attempts to prevent you from publishing content in your student publication, you’re dealing with censorship. On the college level,… Continue reading What exactly is censorship?

People around the country celebrated Student Press Freedom Day 2021. Now, the work continues

Feb. 26 marked Student Press Freedom Day 2021: Journalism Against the Odds. Weeks of events, new resources and community building activities culminated on that day with overwhelming nationwide support for a free student press. Students and advisers from all over the country joined together with SPLC and 20 partner organizations.  We hope you're feeling energized and inspired, let's… Continue reading People around the country celebrated Student Press Freedom Day 2021. Now, the work continues

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.”

National, local and student news outlets around the country run op-eds for Student Press Freedom Day

On Feb. 26, people around the country joined the Student Press Law Center in celebrating Student Press Freedom Day 2021: Journalism Against the Odds. Weeks of events, new resources and community building activities culminated on that day with overwhelming nationwide support for a free student press. This year, we relaunched our annual op-ed campaign calling for pieces… Continue reading National, local and student news outlets around the country run op-eds for Student Press Freedom Day

Illinois has a law protecting student press freedom, so why is censorship still happening?

The exterior of the Illinois capitol building on a sunny day

ILLINOIS — In 2016, Illinois passed the Speech Rights of Student Journalists Act, which protects student journalists at public schools from censorship by their administration. But the language in the law does not protect advisers from retaliation over news stories their students produce. Those protections were initially part of HB 5902, but were stripped from… Continue reading Illinois has a law protecting student press freedom, so why is censorship still happening?

Nebraska high school censors student editorial about censorship, and journalism adviser resigns

Three high school students wearing face masks work at laptops at a table.
From left to right, student editors Ramya Iyer, Jaden Taylor and Caleb De La Cruz work in the Westside newsroom in Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 8, 2021. Photo by Mina Testolin

UPDATE: On Feb. 12, the administration at Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska censored a student editorial about censorship. The same day, one of the Westside journalism advisers resigned. This came shortly after Westside student journalists testified on Jan. 29 for a bill that would have prevented this censorship. On Feb. 10, District 66 Superintendent… Continue reading Nebraska high school censors student editorial about censorship, and journalism adviser resigns

Censorship of Student Journalists Persists Despite their Essential Role Reporting on COVID, Protests, Racial Justice and Elections, New White Paper Finds

Contact: Hadar Harris, Executive DirectorStudent Press Law Center(202) 549-6316 / hharris@splc.org Student Journalists Celebrate 3rd Annual Student Press Freedom Day on Feb. 26  Washington, D.C. — In anticipation of the 3rd annual Student Press Freedom Day on Friday, Feb. 26th, the Student Press Law Center released a white paper today detailing a continuing pattern of censorship of student journalists by… Continue reading Censorship of Student Journalists Persists Despite their Essential Role Reporting on COVID, Protests, Racial Justice and Elections, New White Paper Finds

Can my public school administration require us to cover a story in the yearbook?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Legal Question of the Week.” Q: Can my public school administration require us to cover a story in the yearbook? A: Generally no. In addition to protecting one’s right to speak, the important flip-side to the First Amendment is… Continue reading Can my public school administration require us to cover a story in the yearbook?