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.
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.
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.
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.
In a 4-3 decision, the Court ruled the Otterbein University Police Department can be compelled to produce public records because it employs sworn, state-certified police officers, who have the same arresting authority as municipal police or a county sheriff.
Sen. John Whitmire said he introduced the bill after Rice University denied his request for information about an incident in 2013 where a surveillance video showed two Rice University police officers beating a suspected bicycle thief with batons.
When an eighth-grade Logan Middle School student refused to remove his National Rifle Association T-shirt because a teacher said it violated the dress code, he was suspended. Now, a lawsuit argues his First Amendment rights were violated.
The law, which saw overwhelming support in both the Senate and House of Delegates, prohibits college officials from requiring or asking students to grant access to their private social media accounts. The rules, which go into effect June 1, also apply to college applicants and prospective students.
The judges were urged to uphold a Fifth Circuit panel's December 2014 ruling in favor of Taylor Bell, an aspiring rap artist suspended from school in 2011 for a profane YouTube video about misconduct by two coaches at his school.
The state's appeal of an order granting author Jon Krakauer access to public records about a campus sexual assault case was filed prematurely, the Montana Supreme Court decides. The order means it will be many months before a ruling that clarifies whether FERPA, the federal student privacy law, forbids colleges from disclosing records about disciplinary appeals in rape cases.
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. After school, Snyder went home to create a mock MySpace page ridiculing her school principal.
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.
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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