Student Journalism Freedom of Speech Law Goes Into Effect

A law enacted by the General Assembly expands freedom of expression in school-sponsored media, subject to limited exceptions.

Senate Bill 764 allows a student journalist in a public elementary or secondary school to exercise freedom of speech and freedom of the press in school-sponsored media, subject to restrictions in the bill.

The bill requires each county board of education to develop a written policy regarding the bill’s requirements, which may include limits on

  1. language that has the intent to harass, threaten, or intimidate an individual and
  2. in the case of a policy adopted by a county board, language that may be defined as profane, vulgar, lewd, or obscene.

As reported by the Carroll County Times,

Under new law, a student journalist will have the ability to exercise freedom of speech and freedom of the press in “school-sponsored media,” which includes anything that is supported financially by the school system or produced in conjunction with a class the student journalist is enrolled in, according to meeting documents.

For more information, see the full story from the Times, School administration approaches new journalism policy with caution.

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