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.
Lawmakers in Virginia mothballed a bill Wednesday aimed at closing a public records law exemption that allows university presidents to withhold their work emails and notes.
The changes would exempt documents that identity the applicants for any public-sector job in the state, documents regarding alleged civil rights violations and proprietary university research. The amendment would give law enforcement agencies broader discretion to withhold from the public records that could “interfere with law enforcement proceedings” or constitute an “unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
The bill would make it a misdemeanor if students post to social media to “intimidate or torment” another student or school employee. The bill would also criminalize statements — even if they are true — that are intended or are likely to provoke a third party to stalk or harass a student or school employee.
More than 80 students and faculty gathered in November 2014 to memorialize the loss of three academic programs in the Division of Languages and Literature — communications/theater studies, modern foreign languages and journalism.
The newspaper’s editor said they made the decision after university administrators said The Daily Campus would lose its funding if they kept their previous board structure because a 1940s state law says student organizations that rely on student fees must be entirely student-run.
The plaintiffs in the landmark Tinker student-speech case are asking the Supreme Court to accept, and reverse, a California case finding no First Amendment violation in a school's decision to ban American flag logo apparel that the school claimed might worsen ethnic tensions.
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. Several federal appeals courts have agreed. Lane v. Simon, a 2007 case decided by the Tenth Circuit, illustrates how this mootness problem can present serious challenges to student press plaintiffs' ability to secure their First Amendment rights through litigation. But Lane also provided a road map of possible ways to overcome a claim of mootness.
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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