Student media advisers in new territory during campus shut downs over the coronavirus

Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

Editor’s note: Check out the Student Press Law Center’s guide to covering the coronavirus pandemic for resources and tips to help with your reporting. Advisers, see SPLC's resources for teaching remotely. How do you find story ideas when your students aren't at school? How do you transition tried-and-true lesson plans to work in an online format? How do… Continue reading Student media advisers in new territory during campus shut downs over the coronavirus

Coronavirus: Classes canceled, coverage continues

The coronavirus has caused schools to cancel classes, but their student publications are still working to keep their readers informed. Illustration by CDC

Editor's note: Check out the Student Press Law Center’s guide to covering the coronavirus pandemic for resources and tips to help with your reporting.  Daniel Albert, editor-in-chief of The Clipper at Everett Community College in Everett, WA just finished sending the latest issue of the paper to the printer on March 5 when he got… Continue reading Coronavirus: Classes canceled, coverage continues

High school paper censored for “offensive” headline on story about district’s lack of diversity

This is the former cover of the Feb. 13 issue of The Bruin. The students had to reprint the paper and take out the words “in a white school district.” Photo courtesy of Halle Shaeffer

OHIO — Wadsworth High School's student paper, The Bruin, sparked district-wide controversy and conversations about racism with their Feb. 13 story "Black History Month in a White School District." Some praised the coverage for bringing attention to the lack of diversity in the district, while others said the headline discounted the experiences of the already… Continue reading High school paper censored for “offensive” headline on story about district’s lack of diversity

An underground news operation: How student journalists paved their own space at their school

The current staff of Devil’s Advocate, established in 2018, is working as Ellenville High School’s underground news source. Jasmine Shiffer, the editor-in-chief of the outlet, is top row, second from the right. (Devil’s Advocate / Alex Shiffer)

NEW YORK — After Ellenville High School's newspaper was cut, a group of students (and a few supportive adults) created a news app called Devil’s Advocate to bring student journalism back to the school. The app serves as the school’s underground news outlet, operating completely independently of the school.  Ellenville had a well-established newspaper through… Continue reading An underground news operation: How student journalists paved their own space at their school

Connecticut schools can’t claim employee misconduct records are FERPA protected, FOI commission rules

Pexels / Andrea Piacquadio

The Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission, an administrative agency that enforces open record laws, unanimously decided on Feb. 13 that schools cannot withhold educator misconduct records on the grounds of protecting student privacy. The ruling clarifies that public schools can't withhold an entire employee misconduct document because it contains identifying information about a student —… Continue reading Connecticut schools can’t claim employee misconduct records are FERPA protected, FOI commission rules

Do open meetings laws apply to public school student governments?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Does the student government at my public school have to abide by my state's open meetings laws? A: Maybe. Open meetings laws vary by state, and most courts haven’t specifically ruled on whether state open meetings laws apply… Continue reading Do open meetings laws apply to public school student governments?

Resources for covering the 2020 election as a student journalist

Covering the upcoming election as a student journalist can be daunting — but it’s crucial. Student media coverage helps to inform young voters.  The youth vote is always important, but could be especially so in 2020. In 2018, 40.3 percent of college students voted in the midterm, according to Tufts. That’s up from just 19.3… Continue reading Resources for covering the 2020 election as a student journalist

Op-eds, panels, newsroom open houses, TikToks: How student journalists celebrated Student Press Freedom Day 2020

Student journalists around the country engaged with readers, called for grassroots movements to ensure their First Amendment rights, and took a stand against censorship for Student Press Freedom Day on Jan. 29. Student Press Freedom Day was launched by the Student Press Law Center in 2018 to mark the 30th anniversary of the landmark 1988… Continue reading Op-eds, panels, newsroom open houses, TikToks: How student journalists celebrated Student Press Freedom Day 2020

How to report on school employee contracts and salaries

(Pixabay / Free-Photos)

Do you know how much top administrators at your school make?  Employee contracts can provide reporters with newsworthy information about how a public school is utilizing taxpayer money for employee salaries and other benefits. Every record created by a public agency or government body, including public schools, is presumed to be open unless a law… Continue reading How to report on school employee contracts and salaries

Virginia Education Committee guts New Voices legislation with a major amendment, leaving high school journalists unprotected

UPDATE: The Virginia House Education Committee passed an amended version of HB 36 that did not include free speech protections for middle and high school journalists on Monday, Feb. 3. Hillary Davis, Student Press Law Center's New Voices advocacy and campaign organizer, said the Virginia New Voices coalition hopes the legislature will decide to hold… Continue reading Virginia Education Committee guts New Voices legislation with a major amendment, leaving high school journalists unprotected