What to do if school officials
threaten censorship after legislation
What to do if school officials threaten censorship
Even though state legislation can provide protection, sometimes others do not understand that and need further education. Use a friendly and informative approach and help them understand. Here are some steps we recommend.
- Share a copy of the law and explain the language and meanings in educational civic and legal terms and benefits to the various communities.
- Use your Talking Points, bill terminology and other supportive arguments to emphasize key points and arguments for student free expression.
- Ask challengers to state their specific arguments in writing so you can respond
- Contact SPLC, use the SPRC Panic Button for legal, ethical and educational advice and support.
- Contact the legislators who proposed the bill and seek their involvement.
- Respond to challengers’ arguments with logical and documented points and seek further time for discussion.
- Contact additional legal and educational sources for support and resources.
- Share print and online resources like New Voices Facebook pages.
- Keep the dialogue meaningful.
- Invite questioners to journalism meetings, including editorial board meetings, so they can see how student decision-making works.
If the educational approach does not seem to work, try other approaches.
- As necessary, share the story of the censorship and legislative background with local and state media. Ideally, you have already shared information and explanation about the legislation with media after it passed
- Enlist community and parental booster groups of your student media for their active intervention