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

Ohio Supreme Court rules in favor of student journalist, opening private university police records

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.

Texas Legislature votes for transparency in private university police departments

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.

First Amendment lawsuit says student was punished for wearing a T-shirt advocating gun rights

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.

Md. governor gives OK to student social-media privacy law

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.

5th Circuit hears case over student's suspension for posting a profane rap video online

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.

Montana Supreme Court boots open-records appeal in Krakauer case on legal technicality

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.

Know Your RightsFind answers to all your legal questions

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.

Sample press release to help combat censorship

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.

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.