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?

Ask SPLC: An advertiser wants to include a photo of himself holding a gun. Can we say no?

Q: I am the editor of a public high school yearbook. An advertiser — a local real estate agent — submitted a family photo as part of his ad. In it, he is holding a hunting rifle (we live in hunting country.) Given the many incidents of gun-related school violence I asked for a different photo, but… Continue reading Ask SPLC: An advertiser wants to include a photo of himself holding a gun. Can we say no?

Ask SPLC: Can we publish a photo of school employees smoking outside the lunchroom?

Q: One of my photographers took a photo of some school employees smoking outside the school lunchroom. Can we publish the photo or would that be invading their privacy? A: School employees have much the same privacy rights as anyone else. There are certain places (bathrooms, private office, other private spaces not generally accessible to the public,… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can we publish a photo of school employees smoking outside the lunchroom?

Texas New Voices bill times out, will be reintroduced in 2021

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

UPDATE: A Texas New Voices bill timed out in session and will have to be reintroduced in 2021. HB2244 passed out of the House Public Education Committee, but died in the calendars committee, which schedules floor hearings. The legislative session ended May 27. An identical bill in the Senate, SB514, was heard in the Senate… Continue reading Texas New Voices bill times out, will be reintroduced in 2021

New Jersey New Voices bill unanimously passes Senate Education Committee

Bill Rawson / GSSPA

NEW JERSEY — The New Jersey Senate Education Committee unanimously voted in favor of a New Voices bill after hearing testimony from student journalists and advocates. The bill heads to the Senate floor next. S1176 was sponsored by state senators Nia Gill (D) and Shirley Turner (D) and co-sponsored by Michael Doherty (R) and Troy… Continue reading New Jersey New Voices bill unanimously passes Senate Education Committee

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