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A great day


Yesterday was a great day for scholastic journalism.

It was a great day because California Senate Bill 438 passed its Senate Judiciary Committee hearing 5-0 and now goes to Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.

As you probably know, California Educational Code already protects student expression. SB 438 simply clarifies current law (48907) adding “charter schools” to the protection in the California Student Free Express Law. This bill will make it explicitly clear that all schools, including charter schools, must grant freedom of press without prior review. So yesterday’s hearing was a small victory for scholastic journalism, and that made it a great day.

It wasn’t such a great day last fall when administrators prevented publication of Evolution, the student newspaper at Orange County High School of the Arts, a charter school in Southern California. That’s what sparked this whole thing–and luckily, Senator Leland Yee again came to the rescue in support of scholastic journalism.

It’s a great day when advisers (current and former) attend a hearing for proposed legislation and find themselves supported by professional journalists as well as members of the ACLU and CTA. It’s a great day when legislators stand up for student expression.

It will be an even better day when other states follow suit.

Sarah Nichols, MJE

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