From the schoolhouse to the statehouse, the debate continues over how much freedom legislators will grant to the student press. In March, state senators held a hearing on a bill that aims to trim the rights restored to the student press in 1992 after the Supreme Court granted discretionary power to school administrators with its 1988 Hazelwood ruling.
The Kentucky State censorship case represents the first time a federal court has used the U.S. Supreme Court1s 1988 Hazelwood decision to justify censorship of college student publications. But it also represents another first: an outpouring of support for college press freedom from journalism schools and college journalism professors.
The University of Pennsylvania was in compliance with federal laws when it defined its campus boundaries for purposes of reporting crime, the U.S. Department of Education concluded in February.
The inspiration for Senate bill no. 669 limiting the student press may have come from sour local politics. According to Gene Anderson, the attorney for one student who testified against the bill, the legislation has its roots in Great Bend's school board.
With only eight issues left in the fall semester, board members of the student newspaper at the University of Kansas fired its editor in November, claiming he was responsible for a series of decisions that offended readers and tarnished the Kansan's reputation.
The Appellate Court of Illinois has ruled that the Athletic Council of Illinois State University, an advisory body to the president and athletic director on athletic issues, is responsible for adhering to the state open meetings and open records acts.
State legislation to counteract the Supreme Court's 1988 Hazelwood decision has seen little success thus far in 1998.
Members of the student press at American University no longer need to worry about being censored by the school's administration.
The Nevada Board of Regents violated the state open meetings law when it used phone calls and faxes to decide how it would respond to a publicly dissident regent, the state supreme court decided in April.
"Although student disciplinary hearings are serious and adversarial in nature, students are not entitled to the procedural protections of a criminal trial," Chief Judge Judith Kaye wrote in a unanimous decision for the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division in early December.