UNC-Chapel Hill is misapplying the FERPA student privacy law to withhold public records that could help journalists shed light on the way the university does, or does not, punish students found liable for sexual assault, an SPLC legal brief argues.
From the SPLC Legal Network: A new FOI obstacle for journalists who need access to student testing data
A recent opinion by the Virginia Supreme Court illustrates just how closely requests for teacher-specific information can be scrutinized, and drives home the importance of carefully considering an open-records request before making it.
An SPLC Tip Sheet: 5 Takeaways for Student Journalists from Rolling Stone's Libel Settlement
The now-resolved Rolling Stone libel case provides a roadmap of avoidable hazards that future journalists can observe when covering sensitive campus stories.
Student newspaper stands by its April Fools’ Day edition despite university investigation and community backlash
The University of Wisconsin-Superior launched an investigation into its student newspaper’s April Fools’ Day edition last week.
Illinois student press freedom bill passes unanimously through House committee
The Illinois New Voices bill would extend First Amendment protections to high school journalists. College journalists in the state are already protected.
Montana school board upholds principal’s suspension for publishing “Free the Nipple” student newspaper edition
The principal was suspended for three days without pay because she did not censor an issue of the student newspaper that had explicit language and partially-nude photos.
Public records deflate myths about "profitable" college athletics
Contrary to the image of college sports as a moneymaker, most athletic programs (even championship-caliber powerhouses) rely on student fees and grants from their parent institutions to make ends meet. Recent investigations by The Washington Post and The Chronicle of Higher Education have captured the enormity of the growing financial burden that athletics imposes on debt-strapped students.
Get it off your chest? Not anymore. LGBT rights can be debated on T-shirts in schools.
Students' First Amendment right to wear T-shirts with social or political statements is a fiercely disputed issue that regularly ends up in court. A new ruling from Tennessee adds to the consensus that speech on a T-shirt cannot be banned as "disruptive" just because it addresses an issue of social controversy such as LGBT rights.
Appeals court won't apply Hazelwood to teacher trainee's case, instead creates new "professional standards" exception
A federal appeals court sided with the University of Hawaii's dismissal of a student who made unprofessional comments that the university believed rendered him unfit to enter the teaching profession. The ruling appears to lower the bar for the protection of students' speech when enrolled in a pre-professional program, enabling colleges to remove those students even without showing that their speech was unlawful or disruptive.
New federal rule would protect college journalists from IRB demands to review their "research"
Federal rules require "research" involving "human subjects" to be approved by colleges' Institutional Review Boards. Overzealous colleges occasionally have insisted that student journalists submit their surveys or questionnaires for institutional pre-approval, violating basic principles of press freedom. The SPLC is urging the federal government to adopt a proposal categorically removing journalism from the purview of IRBs.