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
Email

Adam Goldstein, attorney advocate
(202) 728-7267
Email

Press Releases

More Press Releases

In the News

  • Protecting Student Journalists in a New-Media Era. Chronicle of Higher Education (2/11/2016). Frank LoMonte spoke about the importance of passing student press freedom legislation state by state. "Censorship has always been a harmful educational practice, but now it's also a futile and self-defeating practice," he said. "While schools are nervous about newspapers, they are utterly petrified by how people are talking about the school on social media, and journalism is an antidote."
  • Free Press Advocates Oppose Jailing Media-Blocking Missouri Professor. Inside Sources (1/26/2016). Frank LoMonte said jail would be "overkill" for Melissa Click, but she should complete a service project "that informs the public about the need for journalists to have access to public spaces to perform their essential watchdog role."
  • Lawyer: Policy silencing council members 'unconstitutional.' WAVY-TV (1/14/2106). Frank LoMonte said a city council's policy prohibiting members from discussing closed session items with the public is unconstitutional. 
  • Opinion: De Anza students: Fight to keep your free speech rights. La Voz News (12/1/2015). Frank LoMonte said subjecting student groups' social media accounts to administrative control "speaks to the overwrought and hysterical response of educational institutions across the country to social media."
  • San Gabriel High students' journalism wins award, but you can't read it. Pasadena Star-News (11/13/2015). Frank LoMonte said the censorship and retaliation happening at San Gabriel High School is a "national disgrace, and the public knows about it only because these young journalists are unafraid to tell the truth, even in the face of intimidation tactics." 
  • 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.