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

College journalist arrested during Ferguson protests receives settlement from St. Louis County

The American University student plans to donate most of the settlement to a scholarship fund for high schoolers in Ferguson who want to study journalism in college. 

Let the dead stay buried: online archiving does not bring "zombie" defamation claims back to life

Two former "American Idol" contestants waited too long to file their defamation suit against the parent company of MTV and VH1, a federal appeals court decides. The ruling is the latest to apply the "single publication rule" to an article continuously available on a news website. The decision should be reassuring to online publishers -- but with some important cautions. 

Wyoming legislature kills draft proposal to exempt student emails from public records disclosure

A committee of the Wyoming Press Association, students and university officials will form recommendations on what to do with student emails under public records law.

Six California colleges were not fully compliant with the Clery Act, state audit finds

The California audit found 13 reporting errors. Only one college audited correctly reported its crime statistics.

​Memphis college journalist honored with Holland Award for public-records reporting

Student journalist Jonathan Capriel has won a public-records reporting award for several articles that exposed hazing, inequities and consumer rip-offs at the University of Memphis.  

$900,000 settlement reached between former Valdosta State University student and ex-university president

A former student who was expelled from a Georgia university for environmental activism without a hearing has received a $900,000 settlement after eight years.

Know Your RightsFind answers to all your legal questions

The SPLC First Amendment rights diagram

Download a diagram determining students' First Amendment rights by state. 

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.

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.

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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.