Fall 2005

Hosty v. Carter: An Analysis

Advocates for college press freedom are on edge. Is the sky falling or will it be business as usual when students return to campus this fall? The June ruling by the U.S. Read more

For college media, summer of 2005 full of challenges

Both of these cases are continuing. The two former editors of the Kansas State Collegian are appealing the decision in their case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. And the student plaintiffs in the Hosty case are petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to consider their claims as well. Both of these cases may ultimately have a very different outcome. Read more

Censored h.s. columnist loses court fight

Former Novato High School student Andrew Smith's editorials on immigration and reverse discrimination were not protected speech, the trial court judge ruled on March 14. Read more

Swimming pools, movie stars ... and censorship

The claim of public disclosure of private facts is based on a Nov. 10, 2004, article printed by the student-produced Harvard-Westlake Chronicle, 'Students' online comments lead to FBI investigation.' The article named the minor Caplin and the school that he transferred to after the Web comments were posted. Read more

Articles about homosexuality spark censorship of newspaper

East Bakersfield Principal John Gibson viewed the spread intended to run in the April issue of the Kernal the night before it was to sent to the printer. The next day the student editors were called in to speak with school officials, who convinced them to run the spread without revealing the identities of the gay and transgendered students who had been interviewed for the piece. Later that night Gibson ordered the entire piece removed out of what he described as a concern for the safety of the students in the article, Kernal adviser Randy Hamm said. Read more

Former editor's appeal to school goes unanswered

Administrators fired Ann Long from her position as editor of the Oracle because she did not receive parental consent before talking to students about their sexuality for an article that ran in December 2004. Read more

School alters student's critical column

His article, ''Un-College Prep,'' criticized the Pinelands Board of Education's decision to discontinue double periods of lab sciences. After submitting the article to Pinelands Principal Thomas Procopio, the article was altered to reflect the opinions of the administration. Read more

School official cancels class that publishes student newspaper

When the principal at Pebblebrook High School cancelled the school's journalism class in May, it seemed likely that Brookspeak, the student newspaper produced by the class, would die with it. Read more

Yearbooks battle censorship

High school yearbook pages composed of senior superlatives and senior messages might be popular among students but they can be more trouble than they are worth for publication staffs.\n\nLisa Rodgers, the editor of the 2005 yearbook at Michigan's Cody High School, discovered this the hard way after a coded message on a senior ''confessions'' page led to the censorship of the book and the dismissal of the publication's adviser in June.\n\nThe yearbook drew the attention of Principal Ronnie Phillips and other staff members because of a picture of a gay couple at homecoming and a coded message on a senior ''confessions'' page that staff members perceived as an accusation that certain teachers had engaged in sexual behavior with students. Read more

Yearbook's Spanish title prompts principal to institute prior review

The book, featuring the question in Spanish (''Quienes somos en verdad?'') on the front cover and in English on the back cover -- a reflection of the school's nearly 90 percent Hispanic majority -- reached the school's students on May 5 with little consequence. Read more

N.Y. students sue to restore newspaper's independence

Former staff members of the Tattler, Ithaca High School's student newspaper, filed a lawsuit against the Ithaca City School District in June claiming their First Amendment rights had been violated and guidelines restricting the paper are unconstitutional. Read more

Heading Underground

Student journalists, in the face of censorship, typically choose one or a combination of these paths, though a road less traveled exists: moving the paper underground. Read more

Advisers lose fights to reclaim jobs

A federal district court has ruled that the removal of Ron Johnson, former adviser of the student newspaper the Collegian at Kansas State University, was not a violation of the student editors’ First Amendment rights because he was removed due to the ‘overall quality’ of the paper and not specific stories. Read more

When school officials fire or remove a student newspaper adviser, student journalists - and student publications - are forced to do the adviser shuffle

Johnson, who had been the paper's adviser for more than 15 years, was told in May 2004 that he was being dismissed, although he would continue to work as a professor in the school of journalism. He said he felt the staff was ''shell shocked'' after learning of his dismissal. Read more

Former adviser alleges college violated 1st Amendment

Former college President Veldon Law said in an affidavit, filed May 25 in federal district court, that he recommended Schartz's contract be renewed, but the Barton County Community College Board of Trustees voted not to renew it. Law, who was fired from the college by the Board of Trustees on July 19 after three former basketball coaches were accused of fraud, declined to answer questions for this story. Read more

Ariz. budget blocks state funding for college papers

Student media advisers at the affected state universities -- Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona -- said the footnote will not have an impact on the papers at their schools because they say they do not currently receive state money. Read more

College grants paper control over content

The policy specifies that the Communicator staff has control over the newspaper, and the college is released from any liability relating to the paper's content. Read more

Former shock jock sues college for pulling him off the airwaves

Antebi sued the college for violating his rights in March under a California statue that protects free expression at private schools, a year after he was fired from his radio show and censured for sexual harassment over his on-air comments. Read more

U.S. Court upholds right to distribute anonymously

Officials at the University of Texas at Austin are debating whether to appeal a federal appeals court ruling that allows students to distribute pamphlets anonymously on campus, a spokesman for the Texas Attorney General's Office said. Read more

Newspaper not bound by court order

The free press rights of student newspapers at private colleges have been upheld after a New York state trial court recognized that private university student newspapers are separate from their universities. Read more

Appeals court extends Hazelwood to colleges

College newspaper advisers, journalists and experts say they are approaching the Hosty v. Carter court case with a mixture of apprehension, caution and a resolve to protect the free press rights of college journalists, after a federal appeals court ruling against student journalists that could allow college officials to censor school-sponsored publications. The 7-4 decision, handed down by an en banc panel of the U.S. Read more

Media advocates push shield law

A panel of journalists, editors and media lawyers urged members of the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing on July 20 to pass the Free Flow of Information Act, introduced in the spring by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) The panel testified that the law was needed to protect other journalists from what happened to Miller. Read more

Criminal case against student photographer ends after settlement

Omar Vega, a sophomore journalism major, has been at the center of a conflict with the university and San Francisco police that started after Vega took pictures of students allegedly breaking into a car and stealing some of its contents. Read more

Bills aim to open private campus crime reports

In July 2003, Amanda Farahany, an attorney representing an alleged rape victim, filed the lawsuit. She was initially successful in her quest for the records when a superior court judge in February 2004 ruled that the department and its records were public. Read more

Lawsuit filed by student journalists opens door to proposed law

State Sen. Jarrett T. Barrios (D-Cambridge) and Rep. Alice K. Wolf (D-Cambridge) introduced similar measures in the state Senate and House that would open records produced by special state police officers employed by educational institutions and hospitals. Read more

College settles with DOE over Clery Act violations

In April, Salem agreed to pay a $200,000 fine to the U.S. Department of Education for Clery Act violations that occurred from 1997 to 1999. These violations included the failure to report five forcible sex offenses and three robberies, and the failure to issue timely reports about threats on campus. Read more

Student journalists fighting for access to documents and records are not always found in the courtroom. More often these students are engaged in everyday battles

These obstacles can delay or prevent the public from obtaining information that could protect students from violent crime, potential health hazards or simply learning how state money is being used. Read more

Foundations pushed to open

It's a question both sides think they know the answer to and one both sides hope the state's supreme court will take up soon: Are the names of individual donors to public university foundations public under the state open records law? Read more