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

Nebraska New Voices legislation not likely to pass in 2019, but there is optimism about the future

Photo by Julia Holmquist

March 26, 2019 A New Voices bill in Nebraska will likely not make it to the governor’s desk this year. Advocates, and staff for Sen. Adam Morfeld who is sponsoring LB206, said the bill has successfully passed through legislative committees and is on the floor of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature. But largely due to timing,… Continue reading Nebraska New Voices legislation not likely to pass in 2019, but there is optimism about the future

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

PODCAST: New Voices advocates talk struggles and successes

Missouri supporters Mitch Eden, Jack Rintoul, Rep. Deb Lavender, Thora Pearson and Maddie Meyers Photo by: Hannah Hall, Lavender's Chief of Staff
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Cory Dawson: Since 1988, student reporters have lived under a Supreme Court ruling that gives school administrators vast control over what goes into their school’s newspapers. Since then, students, advocates and media advisers have worked to put press freedoms for student journalists into law by passing New Voices laws in 14 states. These laws  protect… Continue reading PODCAST: New Voices advocates talk struggles and successes

A record number of states have introduced New Voices bills in 2019

More bills protecting the First Amendment rights of student journalists are moving through statehouses than ever before, according to a Student Press Law Center tally. The 11 bills are part of a nationwide effort to pass “New Voices” bills in state legislatures, which effectively counteract and clarify the limits of the 1988 Hazelwood School District… Continue reading A record number of states have introduced New Voices bills in 2019

House lawmakers ‘fast-tracking’ Missouri New Voices bill in 2019

Mitch Eden, Jack Rintoul, Rep. Deb Lavender, Thora Pearson, Maddie Meyers Photographer: Hannah Hall, Lavender's Chief of Staff

Feb. 13, 2019 UPDATE: Missouri’s New Voices bill passed a key House committee vote on Wednesday, Feb. 13. HB 743 passed unanimously in executive session, with all twelve committee members supporting it, House General Laws committee Vice Chairman Jered Taylor (R-District 139) said in a text message. The vote moves the bill to the House… Continue reading House lawmakers ‘fast-tracking’ Missouri New Voices bill in 2019

Arkansas high school paper republishes censored story, but prior review and threat to adviser’s job remain

Halle Roberts (middle right) and Jack Williams (right) stand with other staff members of The Herald in Har-Ber High School in Springdale, Ark. Photo courtesy of Jack Williams

ARKANSAS — An Arkansas school district drew national criticism after it apparently broke state law by censoring the paper and halting its publication. The district also announced it would implement prior review. Springdale Public Schools backtracked and allowed online publication of the censored story and editorial, but significant obstacles remain unresolved. The Student Press Law… Continue reading Arkansas high school paper republishes censored story, but prior review and threat to adviser’s job remain

Vermont high school students use New Voices law to win censorship dispute

BHS Register editors speak to the Burlington school board on Thursday. Left to right: Jenna Peterson, Julia Shannon-Grillo, and Halle Newman. VTDigger / Lola Duffort

VERMONT — Student journalists at Burlington High School used the state’s New Voices law to successfully fight back against censorship and prevent the reinstatement of a prior review policy. On Sept. 10, the BHS Register was the first to report  about an investigation by the Vermont Agency of Education focused on the school’s director of guidance, Mario Macias.… Continue reading Vermont high school students use New Voices law to win censorship dispute