Spring 1996

Vol. XVII, No. 2

SPLC legal requests rise in '95; high school journalist calls up

Seven years after the Supreme Court's Hazelwood decision, calls from the high school student media seeking legal help from the nStudent Press Law Center hit an all-time high in 1995. Read more

How High the Toll?

The debate over how to deal with “indecent” material getting into the hands of minors via the Internet and computer networks may finally be over, at least from Congress’ view. For media advisers, college and high school students and others who are concerned about First Amendment rights, the debate is just beginning. Read more

Editors win right to refuse ad

NEW YORK Student editors at the City University of \nNew York School of Law at Queens College (CUNY) defeated \na former student in September 1995 in a lawsuit filed \nagainst them for refusing to publish his classified advertisement in \nthe student newspaper. Read more

Dispute over ad contract settled

What could have been a battle over administrative control over the student paper, ended peacefully this spring. Read more

Former adviser drops case for $64,000

An adviser who lost his job after helping journalism students cover controversial stories settled his claim against the university in March for $64,000. Read more

Bestiality story sparks investigation of teacher

A high school newspaper’s story about farm boys having sex with animals has stirred an uproar in the small farming community of Stanwood and has placed the adviser of the paper’s job in jeopardy. Read more

Student sues over name

A case attempting to hold a yearbook adviser responsible for misspelling a student’s middle name was thrown out of court in November. Read more

Gaining Popularity

Fad? Hazelwood-inspired rebellion? Or just searching for a voice? High school students offer many reasons why they produce underground newspapers. Whatever their reasons, most still find themselves getting punished. Read more

Commissioner reverses action

The state commissioner of education has reversed the findings of the Monticello Central School Board of Education, which disciplined Josh Herzog in January 1995 for participating in the publication and distribution of an underground newspaper. Read more

Prior review policy threatened after student writes editorial

Students at Anchor Bay High School in New Baltimore got a harsh warning on what their school administrators find objectionable when the student-produced newspaper, Anchor Bay Times, was hastily sentenced to prior review after administrative complaints that an editorial was unfair and contained errors. Read more

Paper censored due to homosexuality policy

Censorship at Merrimack High School has sparked a legal battle that could set a precedent regarding discussing homosexuality in schools. Read more

Principal violates Kansas press law; superintendent won't punish censor

A middle school principal violated the Kansas Student Publications Act in December by refusing to distribute about 200 copies of Ellsworth High School’s Bearcat and never received any formal punishment. Read more

Cigarette story pulled from student paper

“Two area businesses sell cigarettes to minors,” read the Jaguar Journal headline. Underneath was only a large white space with a logo saying it was an investigative report. Read more

Story about sexual harassment charges removed from paper because 'hurtful'

Censorship. It is a powerful word. One which sparks controversy whenever it is mentioned, and civil unrest wherever it is employed. Censorship is an authority’s right to prior review with the power to delete. It is now being practiced at Port Townsend High School. Read more

Column leads to suspension, prior review

An editor’s column in February prompted administrators at D.C. Everest High School in Schofield to confiscate 1,400 copies of the student newspaper, suspend the student for sexual harassment and require prior review of all future issues of The Jet by the principal. Read more

Missing photo prompts queen to file lawsuit

The San Leandro School District agreed in September through arbitration to pay San Leandro High School’s first black homecoming queen, January Cooper, $3,500 for emotional distress after omitting her photograph from the 1993 yearbook. Read more

States fight Hazelwood

Missouri, the home of the Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier case that curtailed student First Amendment rights, has taken the lead this spring in tackling state legislation that would give students free press protections and counteract that 1988 decision. Illinois, Nebraska and Michigan have also pursued the battle. Read more

Judge rules e-mail grounds for expulsion

A New Jersey appellate court ruled last August, in a unpublished decision, that the Peddie School’s decision to dismiss a student who violated a school-disciplinary rule by “bullying others” via e-mail is acceptable. Read more

Student wins Internet case, says harm done

The Bellevue School District has settled out of court with a student, who was punished last year for creating a satirical computer “home page” about his school. Read more

Universities that allow student editors to make content decisions are protected from libel suits, three courts rule

Three recent court decisions have reaffirmed a principle that should make college administrators less inclined to censor the student press: schools that allow student editors to make their own content decisions will be protected from liability if a libel suit is filed. Read more

Security guard files lawsuit against editors

A controversial underground newspaper at McQueen High School in Reno has resulted in a libel suit against students involved with the publication. Read more

Students v. Professionals

Conflicts between a college student newspaper and a professional newspaper in Ames have made their way to court in a suit over access to the student newspaper’s records. Read more

Experts say healthy relationship leads to positive experience

Competition between student and commercial newspapers does not always lead to a courthouse. Read more

Student paper sues regents over secret phone calls and meeting

Phone calls and a back room meeting have led to a suit against Gov. Pete Wilson and the University of California System Board of Regents. Read more

North Carolina press takes on university system to gain access to chancellor's advisory committees

Journalists from around the state have joined forces to fight the University of North Carolina for access to chancellor’s committee meetings. Read more