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 — 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
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
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
Q: Can we use unpublished photos on our news site or in our yearbook or reprint photos that were taken by a student who has since graduated?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otherwise, the former students retain the copyright to any work they created… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can we use unpublished photos from a student who graduated?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 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
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
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 - 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
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?