Winter 2007-08

LoMonte to lead SPLC

Frank Daniel LoMonte will be the Student Press Law Center’s next executive director, officially joining the SPLC on Jan. 2, 2008. Read more

Farewell from Mark Goodman

As many Report readers know, at the end of 2007 I am leaving the Student Press Law Center to become the Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University. After 22 years as executive director, I can say what a wonderful experience this has been. Read more

Editors under fire

When criticism and scrutiny hit the newsroom, it is the editor who absorbs much of the flak. Keeping a cool head — and having a little media savvy — is important when hoards of protesters are calling for your removal, collegiate press experts say. But having a good understanding of school speech policies, your publication board’s bylaws and the law might help more when fighting to keep your job. Read more

School searches newsroom

It happened after hours, in the dark, when the reporters and editors had all gone home. Read more

Shield law may leave gap

For many journalists, the passage of the Free Flow of Information Act through the House of Representatives was an important step in creating the first federal shield law, which would protect journalists from being compelled by federal prosecutors to disclose their sources and other unpublished material in most circumstances. Read more

Walking a fine (color) line

Only a few hours after the Little Hawk staff distributed its October edition — with a cover story about students’ attitudes toward race, including a colorful pie chart indicating 13 percent of students polled viewed blacks unfavorably and 2 percent viewed whites unfavorably — the principal pulled all remaining copies, saying the issue caused a disruption. Read more

Some officials silence 'Jena Six' demonstrations

Several students around the country felt the chill of censorship as they commented on or showed their support for the “Jena Six” — the name given to the six black students in Louisiana who activists point to as symbols of racial injustice in the legal system. Read more

Free-speech rights upheld in modern-day Tinker

Just months after a lone United States Supreme Court Justice said he thought “the Constitution does not afford students a right to free speech in public schools,” a federal district judge upheld three students’ rights in a modern-day Tinker case, affirming once again that students can wear black armbands as a silent protest and do not lose their First Amendment rights at school. Read more

Twenty years of Hazelwood

Student journalists around the country feared the Hazelwood case — arising from a Missouri principal’s decision to censor newspaper articles about teen pregnancy and divorce — would create a “chilling effect” by making it easer for high schools to censor speech, especially in student publications. Read more

Close call in California

Twenty years after the Supreme Court announced its decision in the landmark student press case Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, experts still struggle to gauge its impact. Read more

Hazelwood's rule proves hard to pin down

Twenty years later, students, scholastic press advocates — and administrators — say Hazelwood has left them under a cloud of confusion about how much power administrators have to censor student speech. What constitutes a “legitimate pedagogical concern” still remains an active topic of debate. Read more

Hazelwood expanded principals' authority to censor — but not all school leaders choose to exercise the power

When Nelson Beaudoin became principal of Kennebunk High School in Kennebunk, Maine, seven years ago, he said students thought his philosophy about free speech was novel, even a bit strange. Read more

Safety alerts go high-tech

The text message to students read: “From Public Safety. Male was found on campus with rifle. Please stay in your buildings until further notice. He is in custody, but please wait until the all clear.” Read more

Digital divide

Former editor in chief Jenny Redden of Oklahoma State University’s student newspaper, The Daily O’Collegian, always thought of the newspaper and its Web counterpart,, as one and the same. Read more