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.

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.

Protect Your Access Rights

If a government agency denies your request for records, use our templates to file a complaint in court and learn about legal options in your state.

Recent News Read our most recent news and blog posts

NEWS RELEASE: WKU journalist takes home $2,000 prize for investigative reporting on campus sexual harassment

Western Kentucky's student newspaper is honored at a college media conference for its persistent public-records digging, which provoked the university to file a "reverse FOIA" lawsuit seeking to block disclosure of information about how the college responds to sexual harassment complaints. 

Can Hugh redact personal phone numbers from a state record? It's a close call.

The University of Mississippi is withholding portions of now-departed head football coach Hugh Freeze's cellphone records on the grounds that the redacted calls are "personal." But there is no blanket exemption for "personal information" in the state's Public Records Act. 

Iowa State can not censor marijuana legalization shirts, Eight Circuit reaffirms

Students at Iowa State University can produce and wear T-shirts with the university logo and a pot leaf, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled last month, reaffirming an earlier decision. 

UCF suspends, then reinstates, student who graded breakup letter on Twitter

The University of Central Florida’s decision to suspend a student over a social media post -- and to later reverse the punishment -- has raised questions about the university’s approach to the First Amendment and social media.

Rhode Island governor signs New Voices legislation into law

Not only was Rhode Island the 13th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution and establish statehood, but it is now the 13th state to ensure the free-expression rights of student journalists.

From the SPLC Legal Network: An analysis of the Supreme Court's latest First Amendment ruling, Matal v. Tam

The Supreme Court avoided an expansive reading of the "government speech" doctrine in a closely watched trademark case that represents yet another blow against content-based government restrictions on speech under the Roberts Court.

Know Your RightsFind answers to all your legal questions

Copyright-safe materials available for republication in student media

Links to sites that offer downloadable images and music licensed for reuse

Taking photos and shooting video at protests, demonstrations and crime scenes

College campuses and their surrounding neighborhoods regularly are the scene of mass public gatherings, some celebratory and some enraged, some planned and some spontaneous.

First Amendment and Censorship FAQs

The Student Press Law Center answers your most frequently asked questions about a student’s right to a free press.

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.

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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.