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Public or independent schools:
Whose expression is protected is complex

Posted by on Oct 29, 2018 in Blog, Law and Ethics, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


School type, court decisions state laws and how student media are established  can all have a role

by Kristin Taylor
If public school student journalists face censorship, they can turn to the First Amendment. Because public schools are funded by the government, school officials are government agents. Private (also known as “independent”) schools are not funded by the government, so those school officials are not government agents — the First Amendment does not apply.

This might make one assume that public school students have full speech protection and private school students do not, but it’s not that simple.

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Tweet2: Choosing your forum status is like choosing the best medicine

Posted by on Jan 9, 2013 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


Which forum? Best prescription to cure Hazelwood is open forum for student expression.…-best-medicine/ #25HZLWD

Establishing your student media as open forums for student expression – not closed or limited forums – can make a huge difference in developing a cure of Hazelwood. The best forum is like preventative medicine. The worst is like being exposed to active disease cultures. The information and resources below can help you on the road to wellness.hazelwoodcolor

The information below is broken into several categories:
• Deciding which forum best serves your students – and your community
• Importance of  designated forum status
Questions to consider when setting up your forum status
• Questions to ask those who want to limit the forum
• Additional resources (Forum definitionsList of designated open forumsCSJ Forum PowerPointCSJ Forum Application)

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Jury finds for school district in Puyallup case

Posted by on Apr 21, 2010 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


The News Tribune is reporting the jury found for the Puyallup school district. The story indicates more information coming tomorrow.

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Seeking student media with open forum status

Posted by on Oct 24, 2009 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


We’d love to hear from you if  your student media are open forums for student expression by policy and/or practice.

For student media to be designated as a public/student forum, the school must either: • Have a school board- or administrator-enacted policy stating students make final content decisions of protected speech*, or

• Have a student media-generated policy declaring students make all final content decisions and also indicating/verifying that practice has been in effect at least two years, and there is no district or building policy that directly contradicts that practice. During that time, no adult, including the adviser, other faculty members, administrators or publication boards have dictated or changed content

In both situations, the advisers may, as part of the coaching process, offer advice and comment, but not make final content decisions

* The policy can still limit unprotected speech such as libel, obscenity and substantially disruptive material, but it must give other content control to the students

We are updating our Google Maps of forum schools and would like to include all that qualify. In several recent instances, people sought a more precise number of open forums to show administrators or others that such forums were viable.

You can submit your forum status by going here and completing the information. We will then get back to you with a few additional questions.

To see our Google Maps of schools with reported censorship or review issues, go here.

To report censorship or related issues, go here.

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