Fall 1998

High school censorship calls soar in '97

Censorship calls to the Student Press Law Center from high school journalists rose by more than a third last year. According to the Center, 304 high school student journalists or their advisers contacted them in 1997 for legal help concerning a censorship matter. Read more

College Hazelwood case rumbles on

Train A leaves Hazelwood, Mo., in 1988 moving at 500 miles per hour. Train B leaves Frankfort, Ky., on the same track, moving in the opposite direction at the same speed. How long will it take before they collide? Mark Witherspoon says about 10 years. Read more

NYPD under attack

By rejecting a student reporter’s application for press credentials in May on the basis that he worked for a student publication, officials at the department’s Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Public Information may have engaged in unlawful discrimination. Read more

Hofstra journalists fight for rights

Journalism instructors at Hofstra University said they are completing plans to make sure that the censorship of their student media does not happen again. Read more

Congress passes free speech amendment

An amendment supporting greater First Amendment protection for college students was included as part of a bill that overwhelmingly passed through Congress this summer. Read more

Publisher settles case with Iowa State

Officials at Iowa State University and an Ames publishing company agreed to an out-of-court settlement in mid-June, ending most parts of a dispute over distribution rights on campus. Read more

Former LSU student acquitted of damage

A former Louisiana State University student, who admitted to burning about 1,000 copies of a free campus newspaper, was acquitted of criminal property damage in late May. Read more

Newspaper staff requests refund after thefts

Editors of a campus newspaper at the University of Chicago said they want to be reimbursed for the cost of replacing stolen newspapers. Read more

Minnesota passes shield law

More than two years ago a tearful Michelle Ames, then-editor of the University of Minnesota’s student newspaper, stood in front of Hennepin County District Judge John Stanoch and said she would not comply with a court order to turn over unpublished negatives taken of a fight on campus. Read more

Campus police apologize for arresting cameraman

When Ball State University junior Chris Hahn started filming the scene of a car accident on campus last March, the last thing on his mind was that he was doing something wrong. Read more

Yearbooks protected

A private Catholic high school in Queens reached an agreement with the New York Police Department recently over the viewing of past issues of the school’s yearbook. Read more

Student sues alma mater for photograph use

A graduate of Lafayette College in Easton has sued the school for using a photograph of him and his mother in a financial aid brochure without his permission. Read more

Miami students rally for free expression

The Miami-Dade School District, nationally known for its liberal stance on student free expression, toyed with the idea of changing that policy this spring, but was met with stiff resistance from students and faculty members. Read more

Protest attracts attention, approval

If nothing else, the more than 200 students who rallied for free expression outside the Miami-Dade School Board building June 10 accomplished one thing: making themselves and their message visible to the public. Read more

'Timeliness' argument used to censor newspaper

A high school principal pulled a story about the formation of a gay and lesbian support group for students on campus from the front page of the school’s student newspaper in May, stating the story lacked timeliness. Read more

Students fight administrative decision

Even though they have received their high school diplomas and are looking forward to their first year of college this fall, Geoff Ward and Catie Fontaine are not letting the Portsmouth High School administration off the hook just yet. Read more

Cancelled class jeopardizes newspaper

Kristin Bates was looking forward to enrolling in Brocton High School’s only journalism class this year. Read more

'Editor in chief' principal, students settle

Itawamba Agricultural High School newspaper editors have agreed to stop threatening the school with a lawsuit challenging the principal, who named himself editor in chief of the paper more than two years ago. Read more

Freedom of expression finds a new ally

A Jefferson High School administrative policy of inspecting the student newspaper before publication has many parents in Lafayette upset and concerned about prior review. Read more

School administrators may be misperceiving the meaning of works published underground

The sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance” echoing off the auditorium walls mixed with the anticipation of receiving a high school diploma were not a part of Nathan Angelo’s graduation ceremonies this past year. Read more

Maybe next time: Anti-Hazelwood legislation gaining momentum

Despite several failed attempts this year at passing legislation to counteract the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1988 Hazelwood ruling, some states are still planning to take on the challenge next session. Read more

Filtering logs open in Utah

The Utah Records Committee, which helps resolve disputes of open records under the Utah Freedom of Information Act, granted the release of log files June 29 containing information about what sites had been blocked by Internet filtering software. Read more

Internet filtering laws receive Senate approval

The Senate incorporated two bills that could radically change Internet access in schools nationwide in an appropriations bill passed in mid-July. Read more

Policy restricts newspapers' online edition

Administrators at the Maize School District instituted Internet guidelines in May that restrict what students and faculty can post on the district Web site. Read more

ACLU sues to quell Internet censorship law

A judge granted the American Civil Liberties Union an injunction June 23 stopping a bill that would censor free speech on the Internet from taking effect. Read more

Teachers plan lawsuit against school for links on Web site

Tired of the unpredictable quality of classes and teachers, a student at City College of San Francisco decided to do something about it. Read more

(Web)master of your domain

The staff of the Kansas State Collegian was trying to create a publicly accessible gopher, a document browsing and searching system on the Internet, so the community could easily access its archives. Read more

School suspends student for content on private Web site

A high school senior, who criticized his school and assistant principal on a private Web site, successfully argued for the reduction of his 10-day suspension last spring. Read more

Modern day Prohibition

Alcohol has been blamed for causing riots and deaths on campus. The Pennsylvania law banning its promotion is accused of violating the First Amendment. Read more

School board refuses to allow pro-abstinence ads

Before the spring of 1997, Kim Houlihan said local high school journalists would accept her advertisements for their newspapers. Then, she was notified that the school board had banned them. Read more

Court refuses to hear advertiser

A Lexington community activist, whose political advertisement was refused by a high school’s student publications, was denied a hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court in late May. Read more

Binge drinking legislation may lead to censorship

An amendment to the revised Higher Education Act could cause problems for campus newspaper editors. Read more

Student pushes for records access

A reporter for the Central Missouri State University newspaper in Warrensburg noticed last spring hundreds of missing entries in the campus police file, from which the newspaper routinely compiles a summary of campus crime. Read more

Meetings too crowded, says professor

The City University of New York Board of Trustees passed a plan May 26 to eliminate remedial education from CUNY and may have violated state open meetings laws in the process. Read more

Legal battle ends with victory for newspaper access

A newspaper received access to records relating to the sexual misconduct of a school employee in February after a year-long court battle. Read more

State Supreme Court to hear journalists' case

The state Supreme Court decided June 17 to review an appellate court decision on a student newspaper’s right to sue Gov. Pete Wilson and the University of California board of regents for violations of open meetings laws. Read more

Law allows closed meetings

The Hawaii state legislature passed a bill in late April allowing the University of Hawaii Board of Regents to close meetings during discussions of donations to the university. Read more

Open judicial hearings fight ends bittersweet

More than two years and $20,000 later, the newspaper at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received an answer it did not want to hear. Read more

A brief look at open records cases across the country

The Wisconsin state Supreme Court granted an appeal July 24 to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for a case involving state open records law. Read more

Jury finds yearbook giant liable

A Sherman jury found Jostens, the yearbook publishing giant, liable for anticompetitive practices in May. Read more

College removes student online newspaper

School officials at Muhlenberg College pulled the college newspaper from the school Web server in March after the online newspaper published articles critical of the school. Read more

Federal bill could impact crime reporting

The Senate and House passed their versions of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act this summer with provisions that could dramatically change reporting of campus crime in public and private schools nationwide. Read more