news

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$900,000 settlement reached between former Valdosta State University student and ex-university president

A former student who was expelled from a Georgia university for environmental activism without a hearing has received a $900,000 settlement after eight years. Read more
5509

Fairmont State administrator removed from newspaper supervisor position after allegations of intimidation

The university president decided to remove a department head from his supervisory position over the student newspaper, after allegations of intimidation once the paper published investigative stories on black mold.  Read more
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Northern Michigan University’s The North Wind gives up lawsuit against newspaper’s Board of Directors

After losing her request for a preliminary injunction that would have let an ousted newspaper adviser keep her job, the advisor and the student paper's editor have dropped their lawsuit — and have helped spearhead the launch of two new campaigns for student press freedom. Read more
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University of Wisconsin system now has fewer disclosure requirements for applicants to top leadership positions

The University of Wisconsin system will no longer have to reveal final candidates for its top positions, now that an exemption has been signed into law with the state biennial budget.  Read more
5506

Canadian student newspaper faces eviction from its office space on campus

A Canadian student newspaper is facing eviction from its campus office that it has held for almost four decades, sparking a social media outcry and a conversation about student press rights in Canada.  Read more
5505

Ousted student newspaper adviser cannot stay in her position as she sues board of directors, judge rules

A federal district judge has denied a request for an ousted newspaper adviser at Northern Michigan University to remain in her position as she sues five current and former members of the paper's board of directors.  Read more
5504

Both a lawsuit and a legislative resolution are trying to open university board meetings in Michigan

A state House bill as well as a lawsuit are both trying to make Michigan public university governing boards subject to the state's open meetings law.  Read more
5503

Wyoming task force proposes to mostly exempt student emails from public records disclosure requirements

Wyoming legislators are seeking an exemption for personal student emails under the state's public records law.   Read more
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Iowa student journalists launch independent newspaper after facing campus retaliation

A small group of student journalists have raised almost $4,000 so far to start an independent newspaper after facing harassment and intimidation from administrators for articles published in their college newspaper.  Read more
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Calif. district installs safeguards for student press freedom, but protests over censorship continue

In response to an ACLU letter that called for an investigation into the alleged censorship of an article in The Matador student newspaper, a California school district announced plans to better protect the student press, but critics have called the district's actions inadequate. Read more
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North Carolina Appeals Court upholds cyberbullying conviction over claims of First Amendment violations

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently upheld a criminal conviction of cyberbullying against a high school student who posted disparaging comments about a classmate on Facebook. Read more
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Texas high school student released from administrative directive, but questions still remain

The Texas high school student who was thrust into the national spotlight when a school administrator ordered him to take down his online photo gallery is awaiting confirmation that he will be allowed to repost his pictures. Read more

Rider tacked onto Wisconsin state budget would limit public access to searches for top university jobs

In a proposal slipped into the state budget that wasn't considered through the normal process for bills, Wisconsin legislators are proposing to repeal a requirement that makes public universities disclose the top five candidates for chancellor, president and other top positions. Instead, the public would be entitled only to the names of those "seriously considered," which might be just one name. Open-government advocates are decrying the maneuver as a step backward for public accountability. Read more

Calif. students say principal forbade them from reporting popular debate coach's firing

Editors at a Pasadena-area high school say their principal ordered them to water down coverage of a popular teacher's removal, claiming it would invade the teacher's privacy. A local ACLU lawyer is asking the district to investigate whether the school censored not only the journalists, but also students who planned to protest the teacher's firing but were pressured to cancel the demonstration. Read more

First Amendment protects students' right to distribute non-student-produced publications, Washington court rules

A federal court struck down as unconstitutional an Everett, Wash., school policy forbidding students from distributing literature they didn't create. The ruling was a partial victory for a high school senior who was disciplined for violating the ban by handing out religious literature promoting his faith. Read more
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Dorm mold story leads to adviser’s termination, student journalists allege

Fairmont State University’s newspaper adviser filed a grievance on Tuesday against the university in response to his dismissal in May, not long after The Columns student newspaper he advised published multiple articles critical of the university’s response to black mold on campus. Read more
5491

Supreme Court overturns man’s conviction for violent Facebook posts

The Court ruled in favor of Anthony Elonis, a Pennsylvania man who was convicted in 2010 under a federal threat-speech statute for violent language he used on Facebook to describe his wife, local elementary schools and an FBI agent. Read more
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Ohio Supreme Court rules in favor of student journalist, opening private university police records

In a 4-3 decision, the Court ruled the Otterbein University Police Department can be compelled to produce public records because it employs sworn, state-certified police officers, who have the same arresting authority as municipal police or a county sheriff. Read more
5489

Texas Legislature votes for transparency in private university police departments

Sen. John Whitmire said he introduced the bill after Rice University denied his request for information about an incident in 2013 where a surveillance video showed two Rice University police officers beating a suspected bicycle thief with batons. Read more
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First Amendment lawsuit says student was punished for wearing a T-shirt advocating gun rights

When an eighth-grade Logan Middle School student refused to remove his National Rifle Association T-shirt because a teacher said it violated the dress code, he was suspended. Now, a lawsuit argues his First Amendment rights were violated. Read more
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