Who We Are Find more about us

The Student Press Law Center is an advocate for student First Amendment rights, for freedom of online speech, and for open government on campus. The SPLC provides information, training and legal assistance at no charge to student journalists and the educators who work with them.

Press Freedom & Censorship

Americans have never been more reliant on students to bring them the day's news. We make sure students can fearlessly share ideas and information free from retaliation.

School Transparency

We're shining a spotlight in the dark crevices of campuses where financial mismanagement and safety hazards hide. Citizen engagement starts with open, accountable government.

Civic Participation

Students want a say in education policy, and policymakers need to hear their unique perspective. We help young people use their voices to advocate for social change.

Online Citizenship

The SPLC advocates for sensible, non-punitive responses to online incivility, with curriculum based on the skills, ethics and values of journalism instead of expulsions and arrests.

Ask for Legal Help

Complete this online form to submit a media law question or report censorship to the SPLC.

Open Record Letter Generator

Submitting an open records request is easy with our fully automated, fill-in-the-blanks state open records law letter generator.

Recent News Read our most recent news and blog posts

SPLC urges Education Secretary to side with transparency, not concealment, in Montana sexual assault investigation

Education Department served notice it will side with University of Montana in arguing that FERPA privacy bars disclosure of public records in the disciplinary appeal of Montana's starting quarterback

Reversing district court decision, appeals court rules in favor of former Mississippi student punished for posting rap song online

An appeals court has reversed a district court’s 2012 decision that found a school district could suspend a student who uploaded to the internet a profanity-filled rap song alleging two staff members had inappropriate contact with students.

Va. judge delays release of rejected plea deal in Washington and Lee U. manslaughter case

While he acknowledged the public has the right to access court proceedings and records, Judge Jay Swett determined the public’s access to the document would create substantial prejudice to the defendant’s fair trial rights.

N.M. high school teacher resigns after student’s story about Jesus giving out marijuana stirs controversy

Katrina Guarascio, who taught for eight years at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, said she resigned on Dec. 3 because she didn’t agree with administrators’ “ultimatum” for her to develop stricter plans and discipline for her classes.

Colleges handle sexual assaults inadequately, senators told

Too often, colleges operate in a vacuum and “act as judge and jury” in cases involving serious crimes, said Peg Langhammer, the head of Day One, a Rhode Island-based sexual-assault-resource center. More frequent collaboration with law enforcement would help to define what campuses should handle, Langhammer said.

CUNY journalism student arrested while covering protest over Eric Garner’s choking death

A journalism student at the City University of New York faces a disorderly conduct charge after police arrested her Wednesday night at a protest over a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choking death of Eric Garner.

Know Your RightsFind answers to all your legal questions

Student media guide to due process claims

When Jill Snyder, an eighth grade student at Blue Mountain Middle School in Orwigsburg, Pa., was reprimanded for violating the school dress code, she decided to take matters into her own hands.[1] After school, Snyder went home to create a mock MySpace page ridiculing her school principal.

Don't be mooted: A student plaintiff's guide to keeping your case alive after graduation

Although graduation day is traditionally a time for celebration and for new beginnings, it can bring an unhappy ending to the legal claims of a student who is challenging school censorship. In general, challenges to school policies must be raised by currently affected students. When a student graduates, a court may dismiss her claims as moot.[1] Several federal appeals courts have agreed.[2] Lane v. Simon, a 2007 case decided by the Tenth Circuit, illustrates how this mootness problem can present serious challenges to student press plaintiffs' ability to secure their First Amendment rights through litigation. But Lane also provided a road map of possible ways to overcome a claim of mootness.

Sample press release to help combat censorship

A press release, which provides accurate information — with a point of view — to news media, community members and others who might provide public attention or support is an important tool in getting your message out.

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We need everyone's support to keep the SPLC's services free and readily available, and the backbone of support comes from contributing SPLC members.

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Become an Attorney Volunteer

Become a member of the ARN and provide legal representation to student journalists in need.

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Share your story

Have you experienced censorship as a student or educator? Share your story and how it’s affected you.

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Spread the Word

Become an SPLC Surrogate Speaker. Use this packet to share the history and mission of the Student Press Law Center with new audiences.