For the Media

Since 1974, the Student Press Law Center has been devoted to educating high school and college journalists about the rights and responsibilities embodied in the First Amendment, and supporting the student news media in covering important issues free from censorship. The Center provides free information and educational materials for student journalists and their teachers on a variety of topics.

Media contacts

Frank LoMonte, executive director
(202) 872-1704

Adam Goldstein, attorney advocate
(202) 728-7267

Press Releases

More Press Releases

In the News

  • The plot against student newspapers? The Atlantic (09/30/2015). Frank LoMonte said image-conscious colleges are taking advantage of difficult economic times "to rid themselves of journalists they never liked anyway." 
  • Body cams in schools? Controversy erupts after Iowa district proposes new push for transparency, The Seventy Four (09/08/2015). Frank LoMonte said this proposal is the first he's heard of. "Any time you see a new technology introduced that has potential to change the game for the application of discipline, it's worth watching," he said.
  • D.C. principal says prior newspaper review keeps students 'safe and protected,' Washington Post (8/31/2015). Frank LoMonte said a high school principal's threatened policy to exercise prior review for the student newspaper could be a violation of D.C. code. "This is a highly decorated program and darned if the principal hasn't made up her mind to screw it up," he said.
  • For student journalists in North Dakota, free press is getting a bit more free, Associated Press (8/30/2015). Frank LoMonte said North Dakota's new anti-Hazelwood law restores common sense to student journalism. "Student journalism is a resource to the entire school community, but too often students are told they're not permitted to express any opinions or expose any facts that portray the school in an unflattering light," he said. 
  • Private email use illegal? 'Hard to say,' The (Illinois) News-Gazette (8/11/2015). Adam Goldstein said former University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise's disclosure that she and fellow administrators used private email accounts for UI business is "certainly unlawful."
  • UH won't say what happened to 5 suspended fraternity members, Houston Chronicle (7/28/2015). Frank LoMonte said universities can withhold information only if it caused a person in the overall community to figure out who the students are. "I doubt very seriously releasing a statistic such as six students were suspended would cause the average person on campus to make a match," he said.
  • How university foundations try to avoid public scrutiny — and what reporters can do, Columbia Journalism Review (7/16/2015). Frank LoMonte said there is a strong public interest in the openness of donor information. "It's ironic that the institutions that claim they'll be unable to raise money if they can't protect their donors' privacy will engrave the donors' names in 10-foot-high letters into the facades of buildings," he said. 
  • Lawmakers seek to ban disclosure of student emails, Casper Star Tribune (7/6/2015). Frank LoMonte said if this bill passes, Wyoming would be the first in the country to exempt all student emails. "It’s fine to say that emails containing confidential educational information can be withheld, but it really makes no sense to have that as a blanket proposition," he said.
  • Removal of faculty advisers sparks concern about independence of student publications, Columbia Journalism Review (6/22/2015). Frank LoMonte said college newspaper advisers are often most vulnerable at schools in remote communities underserved by professional media. "If schools continue to play Whac-A-Mole with smaller programs, then the one-percenter programs—the Cronkites, the Medills—will be the only real games left in town," he said. 
  • A principal yanked a drug article from a student newspaper, so it ran online, The Washington Post (4/5/2015). Frank LoMonte said equating writing about a behavior with encouraging it would disallow students from covering a variety of topics relevant to high school students, including drunken driving and sexually transmitted diseases. "There's obviously a difference between exposing people to information and exposing them to a drug," he said.
  • Emails made public by Board of Regents dwindling, The Cedar Rapids Gazette (3/20/2015). Frank LoMonte said public officials often avoid a paper trail so that their actions are not scrutinized, adding that "a lot of government officials have their emails on a tight purge, knowing that they are subject to disclosure of public records."
  • Bill aims to shine light on police actions at private schools like SMU, The Dallas Morning News (3/18/2015). Frank LoMonte said private university police departments should have to abide by the same accountability standards as other officers. "It's scary to think that there are people walking around with loaded guns who can shoot you and don't have to explain why," he said.
  • When does writing raise red flags?, The Gazette (Cedar Rapids) (2/22/2015). Frank LoMonte said the key to responding to violent speech "is about whether authorities react in a measured way or whether they immediately go to arrest and prosecution."
  • UVa asking Congress to reform student privacy laws, The Daily Progress (1/23/2015). Frank LoMonte said a 2011 memo from the Department of Transportation effectively allows universities to share information in any situation where public safety is at risk. He said the rape of one student by another student - or any other person on campus - probably would fulfill the exception outlined by the Department of Education.
  • Uniontown Area considers discipline for players' 'I can't breathe' shirts, The Morning Call (1/16/2015). Frank LoMonte said a 2011 memo from the Department of Transportation effectively allows universities to share information in any situation where public safety is at risk. He said the rape of one student by another student - or any other person on campus - probably would fulfill the exception outlined by the Department of Education.
  • Why 2012 public masturbation incident doesn’t appear in GRCC’s annual crime report, (10/20/2014). Frank LoMonte said it is more important for colleges to issue timely warnings for criminal activity on campus than to report the incident in the institution's Clery statistics. "Frankly, that's much more useful to people than the statistics, which are of little to no value anyway," he said.
  • Northern Highlands BOE tables changes to publications regulations, (10/7/2014). Frank LoMonte said in its proposed student publications policy, the Northern Highlands Board of Education would "represent an officially sanctioned campaign of retaliation against student journalists for the exercise of constitutionally protected rights." 
  • First Amendment expert: Someone's lying about secret Huntsville student social media monitoring, (9/24/2014). Frank LoMonte said the Huntsville City Schools superintendent "needs to lose his job" after he said the NSA told school district officials to monitor students' social media accounts.
  • Social media policies of student-athletes criticized, The Daily Tar Heel (9/23/2014). Frank LoMonte said the government can't make even a discretionary privilege, such as an athletic scholarship, contingent on adhering to a code of appropriate speech.