Winter 2004-05

States to renew Hazelwood challenges in 2005

In 1988, the Supreme Court ruled in Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier that educators could censor school-sponsored student expression, including some student publications, if a legitimate educational concern exists. The ruling has limited the rights of high school student journalists under the First Amendment. Read more

Closed-door talks spur law change

A bill modifying the state's Sunshine Act, introduced in response to closed talks between Dickinson School of Law and Penn State University, quickly passed the state senate in June. Read more

Drinking in the victory

While student journalists across Pennsylvania quietly celebrate their legal victory against an eight-year ban on alcohol advertising in student publications, students in three states are still working under similar laws. Read more

Overcoming Hazelwood

Nearly two decades ago, Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier turned student journalism on its head by vastly expanding the amount of control school administrators could exercise over some forms of school-sponsored student expression, including some student newspapers. The 1988 Supreme Court ruling reflected a paradigm shift from the 1969 case Tinker v. Read more

Calls to SPLC legal help hotline jump in 2003

A total of 355 high school and college student journalists contacted the Center for help on freedom of information-related matters last year, up from just 262 calls during the previous year. The Center's finding echoes reports by commercial news media and citizen groups nationwide that, in the wake of the September 2001 terrorist attacks, government agencies have tightened control over previously available government information. Read more

Yearbook rejects student's photo

When Londonderry High School’s yearbook decided to reject a senior picture for being too non-traditional, it joined the ranks of dozens of other staffs that have made similar decisions by restricting everything from props such as musical instruments to the family pet. Read more

Court orders retrial in teacher's suit

Students' rights to publish and distribute underground newspapers could be in jeopardy after a recent court ruling raised the possibility that administrators could be held liable for harassing content. Read more

Censored high school columnist takes case to court

After failing to reach an agreement during court-mandated mediation, a high school student whose opinion column was banned from the student newspaper will face his school district in court over claims of First Amendment violations. Read more

'Bong Hits for Jesus' case goes to appeal

Frederick has filed suit against the school for violating his First Amendment rights. In 2003, a federal district court ruled in favor of the school after determining the parade was a school-sponsored event. Read more

Students punished for 'dark' writing

Creative writing assignments and personal journals have become an object of concern for many administrators who fear that works which are "dark" or contain violent images are actually threats by students. Read more

Sunshine laws on winning streak

Any cowboy will tell you: The sun goes down in the west. But for news organizations across the country, there has been plenty of sunshine west of the Mississippi River. Read more

Colorado gov. proposes legislation to force open CU Foundation books

In the wake of two lawsuits and a grand jury investigation involving the fundraising arm of the University of Colorado, state officials are accusing the University of Colorado Foundation of having an "anonymous nature" – and, the officials say, they are ready to do something about it. Read more

Off-campus Web sites endure censorship

When such sites are created and viewed off-campus or are used for fair comment and criticism, public school officials typically have no real legal ability to censor content or punish students. Read more

School kills policy of blocking victims' names

The state attorney general squashed a short-lived policy created by the University of Kentucky to black out victims' names on police incident reports, saying it violated the state's open-records law. Read more

Private schools keep police records shut

The battle for access to police records at private universities continues at five schools, as open-records advocates at two of the five continue legal action. Read more

No-Talking Zones

Despite a federal district court ruling ordering Texas Tech University to loosen its campus speech code restrictions in October, critics of university "free speech zones" say the number of campuses in America with speech codes is not declining. Read more

New school policies battle censorship

Between refining a policy that prevented student media from contacting administrators and passing a policy that inserted the protection of free speech into the college’s faculty handbook, students and school officials at Ohio University have taken steps to challenge First Amendment restrictions on campus. Read more

All quiet on Hosty v. Carter front

College media advocates have been on the edge of their seats since January 2004 awaiting a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Hosty v. Carter -- a ruling that was expected months ago. Read more

Officials replace student newspaper

Two months after Manatee Community College officially dissolved the student newspaper the Lance, the paper’s editor in chief, Jim Malec, says he will not let the publication die. Read more

Full speed ahead for Hampton Script

After the first issue of Hampton University's student newspaper was postponed in September due to the lack of an adviser, the Script now has three new advisers, new editorial policies and a better staff morale, adviser Kia Dupree said. Read more

Who is a journalist?

At Boston College's student newspaper, covering peace rallies during the war in Iraq or crazed Red Sox fans in downtown Boston is important, said editor Ryan Heffernan, because college students are often involved in such events. Read more

Student newspaper wins fight for independent funding

Editors at the University of Northern Colorado’s student newspaper have settled two lawsuits filed in the spring, guaranteeing the Mirror access to student government records and establishing the paper’s independent funding. Read more

The Heat is On

One article said that student government officers had lied about their reasons for pulling funding for a footrace in honor of a student that was training for a marathon when she was raped and killed. Another article criticized over-spending oo the fall campus concert, making a spring campus concert impossible. Read more

Police seize reporters' photos, notes

Without the backing of professional news organizations, student journalists often find themselves at the mercy of government officials who refuse to treat them as other professional reporters. Read more

Freedom fighters honored by SPLC

A student newspaper at a Virginia college and four student newspaper editors at an Ohio high school that battled efforts by school administrators to control the content of their publications have been named the winners of student press freedom awards co-sponsored by the Student Press Law Center. Read more