Nevada New Voices Act (2017)
The Nevada New Voices legislation was introduced into the Senate on March 20, 2017 and was passed unanimously less than one month later. The act was signed into law by Governor Brian Sandoval on June 2, 2017 and became effective on October 1, 2017. The law protects the First Amendment rights of all students, but does allow for reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on student publications. The law also protects student journalists and advisers from retaliation for exercising their First Amendment rights, but prohibits cyber-bullying.
Right of pupils to constitutional expression; limitation; adoption of policy for pupil publications; resolution of complaint by pupil of violation of right.
1. Each pupil of a public school, including, without limitation, each pupil of a university school for profoundly gifted pupils, is entitled to express himself or herself in a manner consistent with the rights guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
2. Any expression described in subsection 1 must not be disruptive of instruction at a public school, including, without limitation, a university school for profoundly gifted pupils, must not be used to engage in bullying or cyber-bullying or intimidate any person and must not be organized, broadcast or endorsed by a public school, including, without limitation, a university school for profoundly gifted pupils.
3. The board of trustees of each school district, the governing body of each charter school and the governing body of each university school for profoundly gifted pupils shall adopt a written policy for pupil publications which:
(a) Establishes reasonable provisions governing the time, place and manner for the distribution of pupil publications;
(b) Protects the right of expression described in subsection 1 for pupils working on pupil publications as journalists in their determination of the news, opinions, feature content, advertising content and other content of the pupil publications;
(c) Prohibits, without limitation, the following:
(1) Restricting the publication of any content in pupil publications unless the content would substantially disrupt the ability of the public school to perform its educational mission;
(2) Dismissing, suspending, disciplining or retaliating against an employee or other person acting as an adviser for a pupil publication or as an adviser for pupils working as journalists on a pupil publication for acting within the scope of that position, including, without limitation, taking responsible and appropriate action to protect a pupil engaged in conduct protected pursuant to the written policy or refusing to perform an action which violates the written policy; and
(3) Expelling, suspending or otherwise disciplining a pupil for engaging in conduct in accordance with the policy, unless such conduct substantially disrupts the ability of the public school to perform its educational mission and the disruption was intentional; and
(d) Includes a disclaimer indicating that any content published in a pupil publication is not endorsed by the public school.
4. The board of trustees of each school district, the governing body of each charter school and the governing body of each university school for profoundly gifted pupils shall adopt a policy prescribing procedures for the resolution of a complaint by a pupil of the school district, charter school or university school for profoundly gifted pupils that the rights of the pupil described in subsection 1 or 3 have been violated. The policy required by this subsection may be part of a comprehensive discrimination grievance policy of the school district, charter school or university school for profoundly gifted pupils or may be a separate policy.
5. As used in this section: