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?

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