New Voices U.S.

New Voices State Tracker

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New Voices State Tracker

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New Voices USA is a network of state-by-state campaigns to pass anti-censorship legislation that will grant extra protections to student journalists. The movement is inspired by the success in North Dakota, where in 2015, the state legislature unanimously passed a bill that ensures the free-speech rights of journalism students in public schools and colleges. The Student Press Law Center tracks state-by-state laws and pending campaigns.

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15 Comments

15 Responses to “New Voices State Tracker”

  1. Grace Weaver on May 2nd, 2016 10:46 am

    I was wondering if I could use the map in my story which is about the New Voice Legislation.

  2. adviser on November 18th, 2016 12:25 pm

    Absolutely!

  3. Melissa Stanzione on April 6th, 2017 1:09 pm

    Is this current as of April 6, 2017?

  4. Mike Donoghue on May 26th, 2017 7:26 pm

    Please change the Green Mountain State to Green.

    Vermont Gov. Phil Scott signed the bill this week. (We are no longer blue!) Thank you legislature and Governor.

  5. Christine L. Perez on September 5th, 2017 8:17 pm

    Hello,
    I am the adviser of a SNO middle school newspaper in Orange County, California. Do these laws also protect middle school reporters? I just had my principal inform me that the superintendent has stated for the first time that the questions any reporter may have for board members need to be sent to him first. What are my protections as a middle school journalism adviser in California?

  6. Frank LoMonte on September 5th, 2017 9:57 pm

    The law in California applies to “pupils of the public schools” at all levels. http://www.splc.org/article/1977/02/california-student-free-expression-law-includes-adviser-protection-provision Please send us a message at director@splc.org or encourage your students to do so. If your students directly contact school board members, as is their legal right, the school cannot legally take any adverse action either against you for “refusing to censor” them or against the students. SPLC often writes letters to school districts to help them understand the law and this may be the right situation for such a letter. But please correspond with confidentially using that splc.org email and fill us in on the back-story that led to this order from the superintendent. Thank you for getting in touch!

  7. Justin on May 2nd, 2018 2:00 pm

    So does this new bill overturn the previous case law Hazelwood School District et al. v. Kuhlmeier et al 484 U.S. 260?

  8. Frank LoMonte on May 10th, 2018 11:45 am

    What the bills do is create a STATE-protected right that supplements students’ federally protected rights (which, after Hazelwood, are not very protected). So Hazelwood is still on the books, but in a state with a New Voices law, students (and fired advisers) do not have to rely on the federal First Amendment to protect themselves, because they can rely on state law instead. States give people more than the bare minimum of constitutional rights all the time. So that’s how the laws work — they don’t exactly “overrule” Hazelwood, but they make Hazelwood irrelevant.

  9. Rachel on May 10th, 2018 9:38 am

    I have started a campaign in Ohio. How do I registrar with this web site? I am very passionate about student free speech.

  10. Frank LoMonte on May 10th, 2018 11:46 am

    So glad to hear from you! Message me at flomonte@splc.org and we’ll start working together, including setting up an Ohio section on the website and creating an Ohio Facebook page. Thanks, we think Ohio very much ought to be a New Voices state.

  11. Toddy Turrentine on July 2nd, 2018 8:16 am

    Is there a legislative champion for a New Voices law in Connecticut? Also, has this law backfired in any schools, with a student paper publishing racist, homophobic, misogynist, or other hateful stories?

  12. Frank LoMonte on December 25th, 2018 7:43 am

    To answer the second question, we’re aware of no instances in which a student has cited a New Voices law to insist on a “right” to publish personal attacks, and the law has plenty of latitude for an administrator to withhold material on the grounds that it would substantially disrupt school operations or incite violations of the law. So a column that said “let’s all beat up [members of a certain minority]” would most certainly remain legally unprotected speech and a New Voices law would have no effect at all on a school’s ability to change or remove it. But in our experience, that’s not at all how student journalists use their freedom. They take their publications quite seriously, and in fact, when they’re censored it’s often because they’re calling for MORE tolerance toward members of minority groups and the school is influenced by the bigotry of a few vocal community members to censor the speech.
    We would love to see a movement take hold in Connecticut, and if you’d like to get in touch to get involved, the best contact is Diana Mitsu Klos, dmk@splc.org.

  13. Lauren on September 4th, 2018 1:35 am

    Hi, I was wondering why the Hazelwood case decision does not hold precedence over the state level New Voices statutes. Because the Hazelwood case was brought to the U.S. supreme court, shouldn’t it hold precedence? I am so thankful to live in California where New Voices legislation has existed for a long time, but I am writing an article about the movement and I am a little confused. Thank you!

  14. Frank LoMonte on December 25th, 2018 7:40 am

    Great question. A state can always give its citizens added protection above-and-beyond what federal law requires. Hazelwood basically told states “you must give your students at least this much First Amendment protection,” but states (or districts) are free to go above that minimum; they just can’t go below. So that’s why a state anti-Hazelwood law is effective.

  15. Jennifer Cox on November 8th, 2018 9:49 am

    I would like to use this graphic in a textbook I am working on, titled “Beyond the Basics: Feature Storytelling for the Digital Age.” Whom may I speak with about getting permission?

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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New Voices State Tracker