Spring 2006

Generation disconnect

Perhaps the oral sex article would have raised awareness and maybe even spurred conversations between parents and kids (which could have been fodder for its own embarrassing moments issue). But that article has been censored on two separate occasions. Read more

Going public

“Public forum” may not be as titillating as the other two words that have been causing some controversy recently in high school media — oral sex — but they are more important because they can actually dictate whether a high school journalist has the First Amendment protection to write about oral sex (or teen pregnancy, divorce, teen suicide, etc.). Read more

Access granted

Lawmakers in Massachusetts and Georgia have pushed recently for greater access to campus crime information. A bill before the Massachusetts Legislature would make police departments at private schools in the state that have law enforcement authority subject to open records laws. A Senate vote on the Massachusetts bill has been postponed repeatedly. Read more

For the record: High school reporters use public records to enhance stories

One high school journalism expert agreed that public records are a resource that can be crucial for nailing a great story, but many high school reporters do not take advantage of public records often enough. Read more

The domain game

While most disputes involving student online content result in meetings, suspensions and in-school discipline, a handful of cases have moved to the courts, where students have challenged school punishment and cited their First Amendment right to express themselves online. Read more

Life after Hosty

Some student media at universities in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin may have felt left out in the cold after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Hosty v. Carter in February. The case questioned the authority of administrators at an Illinois university to censor a student newspaper that published articles critical of the school. Read more

Contentious cartoons

Across the United States, college cartoonists like Keesee are dealing with offended readers, protests and scolding administrators over the content of cartoons. Read more

Open debate: Can Catholic schools handle it?

One organization’s efforts to push Catholic universities to adhere more strictly to the Church’s teachings have forced schools around the country to take sides in a debate on free expression. Read more

College Censorship In Brief

A New York appeals court on Jan. 19 ordered Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., to reinstate graduate student Scott McConnell a year after he was kicked out of the school’s education program for writing a paper advocating strict classroom discipline, including spanking. Read more

Illegal speech

All 50 states have civil libel laws that allow victims of allegedly defamatory statements to seek compensation from speakers. Criminal libel laws are different in that they allow the state to fine or imprison speakers of defamatory statements. Seventeen states, including Colorado, currently have criminal defamation laws, according to a December 2005 update on criminal defamation statutes by the Media Law Resource Center. Read more