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Protect students’ rights to use online media to expose wrongdoing, SPLC tells appeals court

(06/14/12 4:09pm)

In the case of a Mississippi student disciplined for a rap video about inappropriate behavior by school coaches that was posted to YouTube, the Student Press Law Center (“SPLC”) is asking a federal appeals court to clarify that whistleblowing about school wrongdoing is constitutionally protected speech.



SPLC Calls for FERPA Reform After ‘Outlandish’ Court Ruling Shielding Iowa Rape Records

(07/13/12 3:23pm)

The Student Press Law Center (“SPLC”), a nonprofit legal-assistance organization that supports student journalists nationwide, released the following statement Friday in response to the Iowa Supreme Court’s July 13 ruling in Press-Citizen Company v. University of Iowa.


Society of Professional Journalists honors SPLC’s Mike Hiestand with First Amendment Award

(08/21/12 3:20pm)

Attorney Mike Hiestand, who over the last 20 years has provided legal assistance to thousands of high school and college journalists at the Student Press Law Center, is this year’s recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists’ prestigious First Amendment Award.



Kentucky Student Editors, Tennessee Adviser Recognized for Journalistic Courage

(09/18/12 8:10am)

Students at a Kentucky high school who overcame administrative censorship by launching their own independent publication, and a Tennessee yearbook adviser who was reassigned after defending his students’ right to publish a candid article about being gay, are the winners of the 2012 Courage in Student Journalism Award.


Federal Appeals Court Urged to Strike Down Virginia’s Discriminatory Alcohol Advertising Restrictions

(11/30/12 9:03am)

Groups representing the college media are asking a federal appeals court to declare that the First Amendment prohibits Virginia from enforcing a rule that limits ads for bars and alcoholic beverages in newspapers serving a college student audience.


Open-Government Advocates Support Illinois Newspaper’s Appeal Seeking Records of Investigation of College Coaches

(01/08/13 3:35pm)

The Student Press Law Center (“SPLC”) and other open-government groups are urging the Illinois Appellate Court to grant journalists access to records of a university’s investigation into sexual harassment claims against coaches and a settlement paid to resolve those claims. In a brief filed in support of Illinois’ State Journal-Register, the SPLC argues that records documenting official misconduct or the spending of taxpayer money cannot be withheld on the grounds of federal “student privacy” law. The SPLC filed its friend-of-the-court (“amicus”) brief Jan.


High school students, teachers report student media censorship

(01/09/13 2:42pm)

Twenty-five years after the Supreme Court limited First Amendment protections for high school student journalists, a survey of students and media advisers attending a national journalism convention suggests that censorship in their schools is a common occurrence.Of the 4,540 students and teachers who attended the National High School Journalism Convention in San Antonio, Tex., Nov.



SPLC appoints new slate of board leaders

(01/31/13 9:56am)

Reginald Stuart, an executive with the McClatchy Company who has more than 40 years of experience in the journalism profession, has been elected chairman of the Student Press Law Center’s Board of Directors.The Board also unanimously selected as its vice chairman Patrick Carome, a communications and media lawyer based in Washington, D.C., and as treasurer Kevin Corcoran, program director for the Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation for Education and a longtime journalist.


SPLC urges FCC to consider leniency from indecency fines for student broadcast operations

(06/20/13 4:18pm)

In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission, the Student Press Law Center urges the Commission to reconsider a strict enforcement regime that threatens broadcasters who air “fleeting” profanity with fines that can exceed the entire yearly budget for a student-run radio station.


Free-speech groups warn California school district to rescind unlawful social-media restrictions

(08/12/13 9:05pm)

The Student Press Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California asked a California school district Monday to immediately cease enforcing a “draconian and constitutionally infirm” regulation that requires any student taking part in sports or other extracurricular activities to sign a “contract” agreeing to be punished for any online speech that the school district deems “inappropriate.”


College press freedom award recognizes Alabama journalists’ “sorority discrimination” coverage

(10/23/13 10:58am)

The editor and two reporters with The Crimson White newspaper at the University of Alabama will share the 2013 College Press Freedom Award for taking on the campus establishment to tell a nationally groundbreaking story about racial discrimination in recruitment for sorority membership.


Free-speech groups file brief supporting California college student disciplined for videotaping professors

(11/03/13 9:44am)

A California college student was unfairly disciplined for violating a vague “harassment” rule that gives no fair notice that aggressively asking questions of faculty members could result in punishment, the Student Press Law Center argues in a brief filed with a federal appeals court in San Francisco.



Georgia school’s refusal to release video needed for student death investigation named “FERPA Fib of the Year”

(01/03/14 11:16am)

A South Georgia school district’s insistence that it couldn’t release surveillance video that might shed light on the suspicious death of a 17-year-old student in the school’s gym was named the first “FERPA Fib of the Year” today by the Student Press Law Center.


Rate colleges' quality by measuring transparency, SPLC tells U.S. Department of Education

(02/03/14 1:12pm)

A proposed federal index rating colleges according to quality and affordability should include a measurement of how readily they share information with the public, the Student Press Law Center told the Obama administration in comments filed with the U.S. Department of Education.


Survey: One-third of journalism students, teachers nationwide report administrative censorship

(02/18/14 10:25am)

Twenty-five years after the Supreme Court limited First Amendment protections for high school student journalists, a survey of students and media advisers attending a national scholastic journalism convention indicates that censorship is a fact of life in many schools.


SPLC urges Supreme Court to overturn ruling erecting hurdles to First Amendment legal challenges

(03/04/14 12:35pm)

In a brief filed Monday, the Student Press Law Center urges the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower-court ruling that makes it almost impossible to challenge the constitutionality of a law restricting speech without first violating the law and suffering punishment.