CALIFORNIA ' In January the mayor of Berkeley, who admitted to trashing 1,000 copies of the University of California at Berkeley's student newspaper, pled guilty to the offense in an Oakland court.
TEXAS ' This year the Texas Office of the Attorney General has supported open government in response to numerous open-records law violations involving schools.
'My commitment to open government is unwavering,' Attorney General Greg Abbott has said.
MARYLAND ' The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in January that off-duty sheriff's deputies violated the Constitution when they purchased nearly all available copies of the St.
Reporters from student newspapers across the country were surprised when the doors to open meetings were slammed in their faces this year.
College officials at three schools cited privacy concerns in stonewalling reporters from meetings, and after they protested, some officials went as far as threatening them with legal action.
PENNSYLVANIA 'Restaurants and bars hoping to draw college crowds by advertising drink specials in local student newspapers received a sobering reminder from a federal district court in February.
MINNESOTA ' Despite a recent district court ruling requiring the University of Minnesota to hand over documents related to its search for a new university president, news organizations will have to wait to find out who was considered for the post.
The university's board of regents received a temporary stay from the state court of appeals March 20, putting on hold a ruling by district Judge Pamela Alexander that ordered the names of finalists and other pertinent information to be released by that day.
In her March 13 ruling, the Hennepin County District Court judge said that the board of regents had violated the Minnesota Data Practices Act and the Minnesota Open Meeting Law by withholding the names of presidential finalists during the search last November.
'The statutes do not limit the board in who they may select as university president,' Alexander wrote.
MISSOURI ' The Parkway Central High School principal rejected the student newspaper's proposal to run advertising for a pregnancy center in its February edition.
Principal Bill Myer said he was concerned that publishing the Pregnancy Resource Center ad, which offered free pregnancy screenings, would force the Corral to accept ads from any reproductive service organization, regardless of their views on abortion or birth control.
NEW YORK ' The New York Court of Appeals denied a request to hear Cornell University's latest appeal in a case that will decide whether its biotechnology records are subject to the state Freedom of Information Law.
In 2002, a lower court ruled in favor of former radio host Jeremy Alderson, who requested the files because he was concerned that the college was hiding the possible risks of genetically engineered crops from the public.
Cornell will now have to prove that each individual record is exempt from freedom of information laws.
CALIFORNIA -- The U.S. Supreme Court in March declined to hear a case over the rejection of a graduate student's thesis that could have addressed the application of its Hazelwood standard at the collegiate level.
CALIFORNIA ' State legislation intended to protect expression regarding matters of public concern broke new ground late last year when two appellate panels provided free-speech protections to students and high school media.
Two libel cases focusing on the rights of high school students to publish or pass along controversial comments made by classmates were thrown out of the California Court of Appeals in December 2002.