State bill would protect student journalists

Student journalists could get new protection through a bill that’s proposed in the state Legislature.

The Student Journalist Free Speech Act — Bill A9801 in the Assembly and S07355 in the Senate — was introduced by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-123 of Endwell, and state Sen. Tom O’Mara, R-58 of Big Flats. It would allow for public and private high school and college student journalists to have more editorial control over their work, and prevent administrative censorship.

Currently, school administrators have final say over what is published.

As the law states, its goal is “to protect student speech unless it is libelous, an invasion of privacy, or incites students to commit an unlawful act, violate school policies, or to materially and substantially disrupt the orderly operation of the school.”

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