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

100 copies of student newspaper at Texas Wesleyan U. reported stolen

Kay Colley, student media director, and Paula Justice, The Rambler’s editor-in-chief, noticed the missing copies of the Oct. 8 edition a week later. Two news stands that carry the newspaper — one in the student union and one in the social and natural sciences building — were found empty Wednesday, and a recycling bin near one of the stands was filled with the Oct. 8 edition, Justice said.

After stalling vote, New Jersey high school's publications policy remains unclear

The board postponed the vote Oct. 6 after members received letters from the American Society of News Editors and the Student Press Law Center, objecting to the power the policy gives administrators.

5 students admit to trashing more than 800 copies of Elmhurst student newspaper

The five Rho Theta members admitted they stole and trashed the papers in response to Tuesday’s front-page article about a the sorority’s national headquarters investigating a hazing allegation at the chapter.

Yearbook criticized for ‘most likely to disappear’ category

The students in the photo were graduating seniors at Cameron High School last spring and didn’t know their names and picture were under the “most likely to disappear” category in the 2013-2014 yearbook. Both graduates found out about the category in September, and one, “Brady,” was a special-needs student.

1,900 copies of Iowa State Daily thrown in trash, police investigating incident

Stephen Koenigsfeld, editor-in-chief, and Mark Witherspoon, adviser, found 1,900 copies of Wednesday’s issue thrown in trash cans across Iowa State University’s campus, which amounts to $3,000 lost in advertising and approximately $1,100 in printing costs, Witherspoon said.

Student newspaper withholds fraternity’s name to protect alleged rape victim’s identity, raising ethical concerns

The decision angered some readers, while others praised their actions to protect the victim until more information was available.

Know Your RightsFind answers to all your legal questions

From the hotline: do I have fewer First Amendment rights in a journalism class?

While it's true that these are are factors in figuring out the scope of rights, it's not that simple. 

From the hotline: can I be punished for fighting censorship?

You can't be punished for opposing censorship — at least, not lawfully — as long as you don't break any laws or rules in how you choose to protest.

From the hotline: what do I do when I'm censored?

We spend a lot of time learning about how the First Amendment is supposed to work and very little time learning what to do when it doesn't.

Get InvolvedMake the world a better place for student journalists

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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.