Student journalists across the country complained of administrative censorship this spring, from students being punished for protesting prior review of their student newspaper to school officials confiscating a publication that published editorials critical of the school.
After more than a year, an ongoing legal battle and the passage of a new law, a student newspaper at the University of Texas at Austin finally got what it asked for in an open-records request — or at least some of it.
A student at the University of Northern Colorado is challenging the state’s criminal libel statute, saying it is unconstitutional after he was almost charged with the crime for comments he published in his satirical online publication.
The Dupo High School senior's First Amendment rights to religious expression and freedom of the press had collided with the school's concerns over the First Amendment's establishment clause, which prohibits schools from promoting religion.
If passed, the bill will amend the Louisiana Public Records Act to allow minors like Baker access to public records, something the current law prohibits. Barker, who helped convince a state legislator to file the bill, wants the bill to pass so that he can successfully file an open-records request as a minor, just to sweeten the icing on his birthday cake.
Two libel lawsuits involving student newspapers in Indiana and Minnesota were filed in the past few months, while a court dismissed a libel suit filed against a student paper in Massachusetts.
The editorials drew the ire of Principal Ann Papagiotas, who ordered the newspaper’s publication date delayed until students changed the editorials to show the school in a more positive light. After the paper was finally published, adviser Pamela Hebert resigned from her advising duties because she was afraid of losing her teaching job.
The State Records Committee ruled in January that the University of Utah must disclose documents relating to the school’s research on animals under the Government Records Access and Management Act.
\nControversies involving student newspapers tend to stem from editorial content, and usually involve administrators censoring a certain article or readers protesting over how events or issues are covered.
The U.S. Supreme Court this spring declined to hear two cases involving an individual's right to distribute literature on school grounds while students in Florida and Ohio filed lawsuits over the same issue.
In April, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case of a New Jersey kindergartner who attempted to pass out pencils that bore the message 'Jesus [loves] the Little Children' during a class Easter party in 1998 and then candy canes with a religious message attached at another time.