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

Award-winning media adviser resigns after censorship, conflict with school principal

The yearbook staff at Seven Lakes High School. Courtesy of Lisa Silveira.

TEXAS  — An adviser at a high school in suburban Houston has left her job after the principal pulled stories, yearbook spreads and repeatedly questioned her judgment. Katie Moreno, the media adviser at Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas, decided to turn in her resignation after detailing months of censorship and after what her… Continue reading Award-winning media adviser resigns after censorship, conflict with school principal

Ask SPLC: Can we use unpublished photos from a student who graduated?

Q: Can we use unpublished photos on our news site or in our yearbook or reprint photos that were taken by a student who has since graduated? A: Unless there was a specific agreement between the former staff members and the publication stating otherwise, the former students retain the copyright to any work they created… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can we use unpublished photos from a student who graduated?

New Voices supporters flood New York statehouse, push lawmakers for progress on bill

More than 80 students traveled to Albany on April 30 for a "lobby day" to persuade lawmakers to support a New Voices bill for New York. Photo by Katina Paron

NEW YORK - Supporters for student press freedoms descended on the New York statehouse in Albany on April 30 to raise the profile on a measure to protect the First Amendment rights of high school journalists who attend public schools. The identical “New Voices” bills in the state Assembly (A03079) and Senate (S02297) — called… Continue reading New Voices supporters flood New York statehouse, push lawmakers for progress on bill

Texas New Voices bill gets first hearing in state Senate

Rep. Mary González talks with students journalists supporting her HB 2244 outside of the Public Education Committee room.

UPDATE: A New Voices bill got its first hearing in Texas’ upper chamber in Austin on April 23, marking another first for the New Voices movement in the Lone Star state. The hearing for SB514 was marked by strong testimony and skepticism from some senators on the Senate Education Committee. Texas Senator José Rodríguez, a… Continue reading Texas New Voices bill gets first hearing in state Senate

For second time this session, Arkansas puts more student media protections into law

(Left to right) Bill sponsor Rep. Mark Lowery, Henderson State University student D'erra Talley, Arkansas Press Association executive director Ashley Wimberly, HSU student Sara Densmore, HSU adviser Steve Listopad and HSU student Cle'varus Oney. Credit: Aaron Sadler, Arkansas Press Association communications director.

UPDATE: Protections for Arkansas student journalists were again expanded this year after amendments to the 1995 Student Publications Act were signed by the governor. HB1432, now Act 912, was signed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson during the week of April 8 and makes several incremental changes to the decades-old law. The law now covers all school-sponsored… Continue reading For second time this session, Arkansas puts more student media protections into law

Ask SPLC: Can we use the title of a show as a headline or yearbook theme?

Q. We want to use soap opera titles, such as "Days of our Lives," to head our yearbook sections. Any problems? A.  This question has many popular variants. For example, can we use book titles (Dr. Seuss's "Oh, the Places You'll Go" is a perennial favorite) as our yearbook theme? Can we use movie titles… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can we use the title of a show as a headline or yearbook theme?

Minnesota’s New Voices bill set to advance in House, faces rougher waters in Senate

Emma Yarger, a student journalist at the Echo at St. Louis Park High School testifies in support of the Minnesota New Voices bill moving through the statehouse. Credit: Grace Farley, The Echo

MINNESOTA - A New Voices bill that would protect student journalists in grades six through 12 is making its way to the House floor of the Minnesota Statehouse. The bill, HF1868, was first introduced four years ago. It took a change of party control in the House, and the bill’s author becoming chair of the… Continue reading Minnesota’s New Voices bill set to advance in House, faces rougher waters in Senate

Ask SPLC: Is my newspaper responsible for comments on our posts?

Q: Is my student newspaper legally responsible for online comments that someone outside of our organization may post? A: If the comments are made by outsiders and not your own staff, the Communications Decency Act provides legal shield to you and your website. These protections apply even if you are aware of objectionable content or voluntarily… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Is my newspaper responsible for comments on our posts?

Ask SPLC: Do we have the right to reject advertisements?

Q: Is my newspaper legally responsible for online comments that someone outside of our organization may post? A: If the comments are made by outsiders and not your own staff, the Communications Decency Act provides legal shield to you and your website. These protections apply even if you are aware of objectionable content or voluntarily screen… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Do we have the right to reject advertisements?