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Looking for a few open forums

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The upcoming 25th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hazelwood decision reminds us how important it is to have student media that are open forums for student expression either by school policy or by practice. Do they exist? We hope so…
Our goal: To showcase your schools and your policies to the nation on a Forum Map so we see that not all student media are subjected to the limitations and censorship of that misguided decision.

We, JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission (SPRC) and Kent State’s Center for Scholastic Journalism (CSJ), ask all student media that are open forums to complete the attached form and return it or send links to your policies to us.

• Here’s what you do:

Download the writeable form and return it to KentStateCSJ@gmail.com with requested policies and other materials.

• What happens to your submission: SPRC members and officials at CSJ will collect your submissions and determine whether we have what we need. We will then post your school and information to a Forum Map ereh.

• What makes student media an open forum for student expression:

Public forums by policy: An official school policy exists that designates student editors, within clearly defined limitations (libel, obscenity, etc.), as the ultimate authority for determining content. (A publication’s own editorial policy does not count as an official school policy unless some school official has formally endorsed it.) School officials actually practice this policy by exercising a “hands-off” role and empowering student editors to lead. Advisers teach and offer students advice, but they neither control nor make final decisions regarding content.
Public forums by practice: A school policy may or may not exist regarding student media, but administrators have a “hands-off” approach and have empowered students to control content decisions. For some period of time, there has been no act of censorship by school officials and there is no required prior approval of content by a school administrator. Advisers teach and offer students advice, but they neither control nor make final decisions regarding content.

We appreciate your assistance in helping us create this visuals representation to show the nation not all student media have to be subjected to the limitations of Hazelwood.


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