What protections do student journalists really have? Check your state on this map
Student journalists at a high school in southeast Kansas investigating the credentials of their new principal found that they had been falsified — and the principal resigned. Those teenagers were able to do that work because of a state law enacted in 1992 that offers K-12 students protection, in addition to the First Amendment, from administrative censorship. But not all student journalists in the country have such protection.
Each state looks at protection for student journalists differently, according to the Student Press Law Center, a nonprofit organization that has been the nation’s only legal assistance agency exclusively devoted to educating high school and college journalists about the First Amendment and supporting the student news media to do their work without censorship. SPLC provides free legal advice, information and materials to students and operates a formal Attorney Referral Network of lawyers who will represent student journalists in the country at no cost.
Here’s a map from New Voices USA, a network of state campaigns to pass anti-censorship legislation to grant extra protections to student journalists.
CLICK ON EACH STATE FOR MORE INFORMATION
Five states have added protection for college and high students against administrative censorship. They are California, Oregon, North Dakota, Illinois and Maryland.