Independent news site to launch at U. of Redlands following student newspaper’s ‘temporary hiatus’

In response to perceived censorship — following an article that questioned a new scholarship fund’s motives — the Bulldog Weekly’s co-editors launched an online fundraising campaign on Feb. 13 to support an alternative news website, independent from university administrators and the student government. Read more

Kentucky legislators, ACLU butt heads on freedom of expression bill

During his 40 years as a legislator, Kentucky Senator Albert Robinson has kept a consistent platform: God, gun, country and family, a commitment which prompted his latest legislation: a bill aimed at reinforcing students’ religious and political freedom of speech. Read more

High School Students, Teachers Confront Student Media Censorship

Of the 6,406 students and teachers who attended the National High School Journalism Convention in Washing, D.C., Nov. 6-9, 2013, 464 students and 51 advisers responded to survey questions asking about their experiences with censorship of student media. Read more

Active voice: SPLC project strives to empower women in student media

Nabiha Syed, a media attorney for Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP, and a member of SPLC’s Board of Directors, introduced Active Voice, an SPLC project that aims to help young women who face challenges in speaking out. Read more

Appeals Court to rehear case of former Mississippi student punished for posting rap song online

An appeals court has decided it will rehear the case of a former Mississippi student whom school officials punished for posting online a profanity-filled rap alleging two school employees had inappropriate contact with other students. Read more

Prosecutor could drop disorderly conduct charge against CUNY student journalist following protest arrest

A disorderly conduct charge against a student journalist, who was arrested while covering a protest over the non-indictment of police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Gardner, could be dropped if she does not get in trouble again before July. Read more

Texas bill would require private college police departments to make records publicly available

Sen. John Whitmire proposed a bill on Jan. 15 to amend the Texas Education Code to require police departments at private colleges to follow the state’s public records law just like other law enforcement agencies. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice, which has not yet set a date for a public hearing. Read more

Following ‘no-contact’ order saga, Baylor U. student court denies press coverage

Chief justice Cody Coll told the student reporters that they could not photograph or record the court hearing Tuesday because it violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the federal student privacy law. The reporters were also asked to delete all information gathered before their dismissal from the court. Read more

Kansas legislators push for regulations on college employees’ political speech

The Committee on Education held a hearing Wednesday to discuss a bill to prohibit college employees from including their job titles on columns they wrote about state politics for newspapers. Read more

N.D. House approves student free expression bill 92-0

The bill, which Rep. Alex Looysen, a Republican, introduced on Jan. 19, would enhance students’ freedom of expression in school-sponsored media, preventing schools from citing the Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier precedent. The bill would protect students in both public K-12 schools and colleges. Read more

Pa. bills could require university police agencies, state-related institutions to disclose additional information

One bill would require state-related universities — institutions that receive taxpayer dollars but get a majority of their funding from private donors — to create online databases disclosing budget, salary and contract information. The other bill would require campus police departments at all universities to comply with the same open records requirements as municipal police departments. Read more

N.D. bill to protect student journalists' freedom of speech amended in committee

The legislation would enhance students’ freedom of expression in school-sponsored media regardless of school funding, preventing administrators from invoking the Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier precedent. Read more

U. of Tulsa administrator threatens to punish student journalists for investigating student’s punishment over Facebook posts

When George “Trey” Barnett was suspended from the University of Tulsa without a disciplinary hearing for violating the institution’s harassment policy and for sharing information about his pending disciplinary case, he asked the student newspaper to investigate. Read more

Student court at Baylor U. withdraws ‘no-contact’ order on student newspaper

Hours after the student activities department at Baylor University released a statement affirming the institution’s student court did not have the authority to issue “no-contact orders” to students not involved in current proceedings, the judicial board nullified an order it issued to the student newspaper last week. Read more

Md. legislator aims to protect student social media privacy

Sen. Ronald Young, a Democrat, introduced a bill on Feb. 2 to prohibit school officials from requiring or asking students to give administrators access to their social media accounts. Read more

Baylor U. judicial board issues ‘no-contact order’ to student newspaper

The order disallows “contact with any member of the Court” regarding a recent student case except for procedural and substantive questions. According to the order, newspaper staffers’ violation “may result in the party being held in contempt of court” and referred to the dean for judicial affairs for further proceedings. Read more

N.H. bill aims to protect students’ privacy rights online

New Hampshire could become the next state to prohibit school employees from accessing students’ social media accounts under legislation aimed at protecting students’ online privacy rights. Read more

Bill could prevent N.H. high school students from surveying their peers

The bill's author said the rules would also apply to surveys from student reporters because the school serves as publisher and sponsor of the newspaper. He said he hopes schools will tell the newspaper staff they are not allowed to survey students on sensitive topics. Read more

Western Illinois U. editor reinstated after suspension for freelancing video of campus brawl

Administrators at Western Illinois University lifted the student newspaper editor’s suspension Monday — nearly two weeks after they removed him from his job because he sold a video of campus police officers’ response to a fight. Read more

Va. committee to study public records exemption for university presidents

Lawmakers in Virginia mothballed a bill Wednesday aimed at closing a public records law exemption that allows university presidents to withhold their work emails and notes. Read more