NEWS RELEASE: Courage in Student Journalism Award” goes to Burlington, Vermont high school editors who successfully fought censorship

BHS Register editors speak to the Burlington school board on Thursday. Left to right: Jenna Peterson, Julia Shannon-Grillo, and Halle Newman. VTDigger / Lola Duffort

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 23, 2019 Contact: Diana Mitsu Klos, director of engagement (202) 728-7267/ dmk@splc.org WASHINGTON, D.C. - Students from Burlington, Vermont who broke a story about alleged inappropriate behavior by a faculty member and triumphed over both censorship and prior review are being honored with the “Courage in Student Journalism Award.”  “We fought… Continue reading NEWS RELEASE: Courage in Student Journalism Award” goes to Burlington, Vermont high school editors who successfully fought censorship

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

Student Press Freedom Day 2019

The Torch, Bergen Community College (Paramus, N.J.) Photo courtesy of Edriel Fimbres, photo editor

The Student Press Law Center called for students around the country to plan and lead events to demand #StudentPressFreedom on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Highlights from the Day: Kicking off Year of the Student Journalist Student Press Freedom Day marked the official beginning of Year of the Student Journalist, a joint project by the SPLC, Newseum,… Continue reading Student Press Freedom Day 2019

When schools misused privacy laws, these student journalists fought back

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FERPA is a hassle. Schools constantly misuse it. Student journalists are consistently frustrated by it. So we spoke to four current and former student journalists about how they fought their school on FERPA misuse, and how you can too. Transcript: Joe Severino: When student journalists want to dig deeper into what’s happening behind the scenes… Continue reading When schools misused privacy laws, these student journalists fought back

Illinois school district censors student newspaper. Is it a violation of the New Voices law?

The Central Times student newspaper staff / Vivian Zhao

ILLINOIS — A school district censored an article published in a high school newspaper, then locked away the print issues for nearly 24 hours, which students say violated their rights as journalists. The Central Times is the student newspaper at Naperville Central High School in a western suburb of Chicago. The paper’s Editor-in-Chief Vivian Zhao… Continue reading Illinois school district censors student newspaper. Is it a violation of the New Voices law?

Can I be suspended for a social media post?

Q: Can the principal of my school suspend me for a social media post on my private account during non-school hours?  A: Probably not, but there is reason to be cautious about this type of behavior. There was a time when the line between on- and off-campus activities was clear. And generally so was the law.… Continue reading Can I be suspended for a social media post?

New, restrictive publications policy hits journalists at a Virginia high school who were already being censored

Robert Owen Wahl / Pixabay

VIRGINIA — Journalism students already dealing with censorship by administrators at Millbrook High School in Winchester, Virginia, now face another barrier to reporting after the passage of a new prior review policy for student publications.  The Frederick County School Board approved the new policy during its Aug. 20 meeting. Under the policy, the school’s principal… Continue reading New, restrictive publications policy hits journalists at a Virginia high school who were already being censored

Can we use photos of students on our school’s “do not picture” list?

Q: Our school has a group of students on a “do not picture” list because parents did not approve photo releases. Does our publication have to cut out any photographs these students may appear in?  A: Legally, the answer is probably no. The “do not picture list” applies to official publications of the school, and the… Continue reading Can we use photos of students on our school’s “do not picture” list?

Kansas school board revises, approves student publications policy after initial 1A scare

Ben Henschel, Editor-in-Chief of The Harbinger, speaks out against the proposed policy at a July 8 school board meeting. Shawnee Mission School District / YouTube

UPDATE: The Shawnee Mission School Board in Kansas unanimously approved a policy on Aug. 12 that set lawful parameters for what student media in the district can and can't publish.  The final policy is a revision of an initial proposal introduced in July the school board that would have allowed administrators to censor any student… Continue reading Kansas school board revises, approves student publications policy after initial 1A scare

Ask SPLC: Can we use yearbook photos on social media?

Q: Can we post photos we take for the yearbook or newspaper on a social media page? A: If they are staff-generated photos and not photos taken by a private contractor, yes. A private photo studio will have contractual limits on how its photos can be used, and typically (without a substantial extra charge) they are licensed… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can we use yearbook photos on social media?