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

Administrators at Columbia College reverse student newspaper staff cut amid financial turmoil

When Chicago bumps its minimum wage to $10 an hour in July, Columbia College will scale back hours for many of its student workers, and until Wednesday, the number of employees on the student newspaper staff would have been reduced by a quarter.

U. of South Carolina student newspaper editor says photo from marijuana rally could have led to thefts

At one distribution location, security footage showed a man walk out of frame with a stack of newspapers and returning empty-handed “before picking up another stack and walking out of frame once again."

Notre Dame police records are private, judge rules in ESPN lawsuit

The University of Notre Dame police department does not have to give ESPN access to police records about student athletes because it is not a public agency under the state’s open records law, a county judge ruled on Monday.

Delta State U. journalism program, student newspaper print funding axed

Despite cries to save student journalism in the Mississippi Delta, the state’s higher education commission voted unanimously to cut Delta State University’s journalism program Thursday.

Federal lawsuit alleges Northern Michigan U. student newspaper board violated adviser’s free-speech rights in termination

In an attempt to get her job back, the ousted student newspaper adviser at Northern Michigan University has filed a federal lawsuit against members of the newspaper’s board of directors, arguing her termination violated her free-speech rights.

Fate of journalism program at Delta State U. to be decided in Thursday board meeting

On Thursday the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees may drive the final nail into the journalism program’s coffin when it decides whether to accept the university’s plan to eliminate the program.

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.

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.

Get InvolvedMake the world a better place for student journalists

become a member

Become a Member

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.

become an attorney volunteer

Become an Attorney Volunteer

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

share your story

Share your story

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

spread the word

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.