Winter 1996-97

Mo. newspaper, Minn. editor receive press freedom award

A high school student newspaper and a former college newspaper editor have been named winners of the 1996 Scholastic Press Freedom Award. Read more

Student access to election totals denied

The state supreme court ruled in September against a former high school student journalist’s request for student election vote totals under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act. Read more

Open records win for Hawaii students

Student journalists won a big open records victory in November when the state supreme court ruled that the police department must provide access to the names of disciplined or suspended police officers. Read more

Court orders release of evaluations

The student newspaper at the University of Idaho in Moscow won a judgment against the school in October, securing complete access to classroom-based teacher evaluations. Read more

Student paper breaks scholarship scandal

Information sought by a student newspaper at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge helped expose improperly awarded scholarships and led to the resignation of the school’s chancellor and his top assistant. Read more

N. Carolina media will have access to chancellor committee meetings

The University of North Carolina settled out of court with student journalists and other media seeking wider access to chancellor committee meetings. Read more

Tax law will open private school doors

resident Clinton signed into law significant tax code revisions late last summer that will make it easier for students at private schools to get access to their institution’s tax returns. Read more

Professional paper wages war in Iowa

A first-of-its-kind lawsuit to determine whether open records laws apply to student newspapers was scheduled to begin hearings in December. Read more

Illinois tuition waivers scandal prompts challenge in court, change in state law

Universities, courts and the state legislature are locked in an access struggle involving political patronage and school scholarships. Read more

Court opens Mich. presidential search

A Michigan court has ordered a state university to conduct its presidential searches in open meetings. Read more

Education Department issues rules late, delays implementation of disclosure laws

Waiting to see the graduation rates of your classmates? Well, you better not hold your breath. Unless, that is, you can hold it for six years. Read more

Congress takes aim at campus crime

Congress jumped into action last fall, taking up various issues concerning campus crime. Read more

School found in violation of federal law

In September the U.S. Department of Education found Moorhead State University in violation of the federal Campus Security Act, the first time any school has been investigated and found in “non-compliance” with the five-year-old law. Read more

Ohio Supreme Court considers landmark Miami access case

Jennifer Markiewitz, a 1996 graduate of Miami University of Ohio and the former editor in chief of the student newspaper, along with the current editor Emily Herbert are waging a much-watched battle in the journalism community. Read more

Tar Heel judicial hearing case argued in Dec.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student newspaper’s state open meetings law case against the school’s closed disciplinary hearings was argued in December. Read more

Anti-harassment code struck down by federal court in Calif.

A federal appeals court ruled in August that a community college’s anti-harassment code violates the First Amendment rights of a professor disciplined for requiring students to read and analyze articles from magazines such as Playboy and Hustler. Read more

Okla. professor takes university to court for blocking access to sexual material online

A University of Oklahoma professor has sued the school for violating his First Amendment rights after it implemented a new policy blocking campus access to sexually explicit material on the Internet. Read more

Internet decency case awaits hearing by the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, DC — The Supreme Court is set to hear a case testing the legality of new limits on free speech in cyberspace. Read more

Princeton backs off Internet restriction

Princeton University reversed in September a newly issued policy that would have prohibited use of its Internet access and e-mail systems for “political purposes” after widespread criticism and a threatened ACLU lawsuit. Read more

Photographers can protect themselves by keeping a few things in mind

Photojournalists are often faced with tough choices when covering news stories. They must make on-the-spot decisions that affect the way important issues are covered. Knowing that student journalists have rights when it comes to pictures and film can help protect photographers against unwarranted searches and seizures and ensure that the press acts as an independent and objective reporter. Read more

Student photographer beats subpoena, keeps unpublished pictures

The free press rights of student journalists have benefited from a short-lived legal battle over the unpublished photographs of a crime scene. Read more

Former student wins suit over RFK photos

A former high school student photographer was awarded over $400,000 in August by a Los Angeles jury that found the city negligent in not giving back photographs confiscated by police after Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination. Read more

Portland student loses camera

Unidentified “security men” confiscated a University of Portland photographer’s camera and film in September as he took pictures of U.S. Senate candidate Tom Bruggere. Read more

Law student banned from reporting

A University of Miami honor court has disciplined a student newspaper editor for possessing confidential school records and attempting to write a story on affirmative action. Read more

New student speech protections proposed

A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would have offered new protection for students’ free speech rights. Read more

Conservative paper wins against censoring senate

After a long struggle, a conservative student newspaper at Northwestern University has won the right to distribute freely on campus. Read more

Rosenberger costly decision for U. Va.

Over a year after the Supreme Court struck down the University of Virginia’s attempt to limit funds to a religious student newspaper, the school has recently disclosed the real price of their loss. Read more

Politics squeeze newspapers' funding

The Old Dominion University student senate cut the campus newspaper’s funding over 96 percent last April amid allegations the action was politically motivated. Read more

Oversight policy moves through U. of Texas system

A publications policy that could require prior review by school officials over the student newspaper at the University of Texas at Pan American is still working its way through the university system. Read more

Student newspapers across the country continue to fall victim to theft

Signs of a new school year: the leaves have turned, footballs fill the air and newspaper thieves and America’s college campuses are back in action. Read more

Anti-theft legislation sprouting wings

In many cases, thefts go unreported and unprosecuted. But at a number of schools, student journalists, journalism educators and free speech groups have brought the issue to the attention of state legislators. Read more

23,000 student newspapers stolen

The November elections may have caused rejoicing for some, and disappointment for others. But at The Daily Californian, the student newspaper of the University of California at Berkeley, staff members were frustrated after several individuals were seen taking copies of the November 5 issue of the paper. Read more

Theft cases have progressed at three universities; two criminal cases are successfully prosecuted

Often when student publications are the victims of theft, administrators are unwilling to investigate and prosecute those responsible. At three schools, however, students have fought to convince officials that stealing papers is a crime. Read more

Ex-Rutgers professor sues university

A fired Rutgers University journalism professor is suing his former school for discrimination he alleges occurred over several articles he wrote for the student newspaper. Read more

Teacher sues administrators over bestiality story

A high school teacher who was removed from her position as adviser to the student newspaper last May, has filed suit against the Stanwood School District, the superintendent and the school principal. Read more

Editors, housing board settle suit over ad

A community housing board in Honolulu has settled its complaint that a student newspaper violated a federal housing law by discriminating against certain groups in the paper’s classified advertising space. Read more

Tobacco advertisers say ban could affect student journalism

The struggle between tobacco interests and federal regulators has put students in the middle of what has become a heated First Amendment debate over tobacco advertising. Read more

Story on gay teen life sparks controversy

The editor of a student newspaper in Colorado Springs who authored a story about gay youth has seen a backlash of local and administrative protest, including a push by some to revise the district’s student publications guidelines. Read more

Principal names himself paper's editor

In an unusual twist to the issue of high school censorship, principal Pete McMurry of Itawamba Agricultural High School has named himself editor in chief of the student newspaper after students sought to include a political cartoon in the paper last spring. Read more

School board sues New York Commissioner

A case of high school censorship has gone before the second highest court in the state of New York. Read more

Two bills not passed called restrictive

Bills that could have placed more restrictions on high school student press freedom failed to become laws during the 104th Congress. Read more

Students claim softball suit censorship

At North Platte High School, staff members of the student newspaper have written editorials about a lawsuit against the school district despite what they say was a gag order on the story. Read more

Students lose battle to distribute alternative press

Students in Milwaukee suffered a blow in their censorship battle with high school administrators when a state court ruled in favor of the school’s decision to censor the students’ underground publication. Read more

Suspended student settles writing project lawsuit

A student at a Warrenton high school has settled a lawsuit against a school board for violating his constitutional free speech rights when it suspended him for presenting a creative writing assignment to his English class. Read more

Journalism 'shattered' by principal's censorship

Steve Simpson, who still teaches English at Port Townsend High School, quit his post teaching journalism and advising the Arrow because he said the school principal “left a journalism program that was shattered and journalistically censored.” Read more

Student free speech gains support

Students across the country have been working to see the number of states currently operating under student free expression laws double come January. Next legislative session, lawmakers plan to take the battle for student free speech to the state house. Read more

Story finally told

Nearly three months after students at Hall High School in West Hartford learned that a science teacher was being investigated for improperly coaching students for a state science test, the student newspaper Hall Highlights has finally been allowed to publish their story. Read more

Lawsuit over story on sexual assault dismissed

In a much anticipated decision, a state court in October dismissed a defamation lawsuit involving a law student, a student newspaper and the paper’s coverage of a sexual assault incident that occurred on campus in 1995. Read more

Court favors student; 'trigger happy bitch' held to be 'opinion'

A state court judge has ruled in favor of three McQueen High School students who were sued for libel by an employee of the Washoe County School District. The suit came about because of articles published in December of 1995 in an underground student newspaper. Read more

Paper publishes blank copy

A student newspaper at Washington State University in Pullman published a virtually blank issue protesting the censorship policies of their adviser last October. Read more