The U.S. Constitution clearly outlines the right to freedom of speech and the press. Yet as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s destructive decision in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlemeier (1988), student journalists are left with fewer rights in comparison to both professional journalists and their fellow students.
Only 16 states currently have laws counteracting the effects of Hazelwood, leaving a majority of student journalists, especially at the high school level, without legal protections against censorship and other threats to student press freedom.
While college students face direct censorship less frequently than their high school counterparts, their First Amendment rights are too often violated in other ways. College journalists are frequently stonewalled, denied access to public information and threatened with budget cuts as forms of indirect censorship.
But we need student journalists, now more than ever!
Student journalists need to know what their individual rights are so they can be empowered to report freely and confidently, producing impactful pieces of bold journalism.
Student Press Freedom 101
How much do you know about student press freedom? Come learn from the experts about the court cases, advocacy and history that led us to our current climate.