|SAME AS||No Same As|
|COSPNSR||Nolan, Glick, Palmesano, Rozic, Seawright, Magnarelli, D'Urso, Arroyo, Jaffee, Simon, Giglio, Lawrence, Rosenthal L, Rivera, Fahy, Gottfried, Mosley, Englebright, Stirpe, Abbate, Blake, Colton, Sayegh, Abinanti, Salka, Steck, Hunter, Ra, Walsh, DiPietro, McDonough, Niou, Taylor, Hevesi, Fernandez, Jean-Pierre, Mikulin, Miller ML, Kolb|
|MLTSPNSR||Buchwald, Cook, Galef|
|Add Art 18 §§860 - 864, Ed L|
|Enacts the student journalist free speech act to protect student speech at educational institutions unless such speech 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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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A3079 SPONSOR: Lupardo (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to enacting the student journalist free speech act   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this legislation is to extend and protect freedom of speech and the press in school-sponsored newspapers by allowing for more autonomy of student journalists over the content of their publications. This bill will expand freedom of speech and the press by giving final editorial control to student journalists at public high schools, while at the same time continuing long standing ethical standards which will encourage responsible journalism. This bill contains oversight protections.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1: The education law is amended by adding a new article 18 which would be referred to as the "student journalist free speech act". Arti- cle 18 contains definitions, exemptions, and liability. Section 2: Establishes the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: In many states including New York, school administrators have the authority to prohibit content from being published in school newspapers over the objection of student journalists. This legislation would guar- antee freedom of expression and freedom of the press to the student journalists by giving them final editorial control, rather than school administrators. This will allow for student independence and individual initiative; student ownership of their publications which would foster a greater sense of civic engagement and increase the protections of student journalistic expression. Recent news events have highlighted the need to protect and expand student journalists' rights with more editorial control. In April of 2017, a news story demonstrated the importance of expanding freedom of press rights to students. According to a news article from The Washing- ton Post, a group of 6 high school students from southeastern Kansas were writing an article about their new principal in the school newspa- per when they uncovered that she had no valid educational credentials as far as her collegiate degrees. The story quickly made the national news and the unqualified principal lost her post. The Washington Post states that under Kansas law, the students were protected from "'administrative censorship". And because of this they were-able to get the story published. Unlike Kansas, New York State Law does not protect students from "Administrative censorship". Ownership by students over their publications will help foster more responsible student journalism and increase civic, engagement among them. Freedom of expression and press are fundamental principles in our demo- cratic society and those principals should be expanded to student jour- nalists as well.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Formerly a-9801-b of 2018, died in Education Committee.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: This legislation will have no fiscal implications for State or local government.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3079 2019-2020 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY January 28, 2019 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. LUPARDO, NOLAN, GLICK, PALMESANO, ROZIC, SEAWRIGHT, MAGNARELLI, D'URSO, ARROYO, JAFFEE, SIMON, GIGLIO, LAWRENCE, L. ROSENTHAL, RIVERA, FAHY, GOTTFRIED -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. BUCHWALD, COOK, GALEF -- read once and referred to the Committee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to enacting the student journalist free speech act The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new article 18 to 2 read as follows: 3 ARTICLE 18 4 STUDENT JOURNALIST FREE SPEECH ACT 5 Section 860. Short title. 6 861. Definitions. 7 862. Student journalist free speech rights. 8 863. Exemptions. 9 864. Liability. 10 § 860. Short title. This article shall be known and may be cited as 11 the "student journalist free speech act". 12 § 861. Definitions. For the purposes of this article the following 13 terms shall have the following meanings: 14 1. "Educational institution" means a public high school. 15 2. "School-sponsored media" means any material that is prepared, writ- 16 ten, published, or broadcast by a student journalist at an educational 17 institution, distributed or generally made available to members of the 18 student body, and prepared under the direction of a student media advi- 19 sor. "School-sponsored media" shall not include media intended for 20 distribution or transmission solely in the classroom in which the media 21 is produced. 22 3. "Student journalist" means a student enrolled in an educational 23 institution who gathers, compiles, writes, edits, photographs, records, 24 or prepares information for dissemination in school-sponsored media. EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03296-02-9A. 3079 2 1 4. "Student media advisor" means an individual employed, appointed, or 2 designated by an educational institution to supervise or provide 3 instruction relating to school-sponsored media. 4 § 862. Student journalist free speech rights. 1. Except as otherwise 5 provided in section eight hundred sixty-three of this article, a student 6 journalist shall have the right to exercise free speech and of the press 7 in school-sponsored media, regardless of whether the media is supported 8 financially by the educational institution or by use of the facilities 9 of an educational institution or produced in conjunction with a class in 10 which the student is enrolled. 11 2. Subject to section eight hundred sixty-three of this article, the 12 appropriate student journalist shall be responsible for determining the 13 news, opinion, and feature content of school-sponsored media. 14 3. Nothing in this section shall preclude a student media advisor from 15 teaching professional standards of English and journalism to student 16 journalists or from grading the performance of a student in accordance 17 with such standards. 18 4. There shall be no prior restraint of material prepared for official 19 publications of an educational institution except for the material 20 described in section eight hundred sixty-three of this article. 21 5. Educational institution administrators shall have the burden of 22 demonstrating justification without undue delay prior to a limitation of 23 student expression under this article. 24 6. No student media advisor or employee shall be dismissed, suspended, 25 disciplined, reassigned, transferred, or otherwise retaliated against 26 solely for acting to protect a pupil engaged in the conduct authorized 27 under this article; and further no student media advisor or employee 28 shall be dismissed, suspended, disciplined, reassigned, transferred or 29 otherwise retaliated against solely for an action, undertaken in good 30 faith with this article, which results in the prohibition of the publi- 31 cation of speech pursuant to this article. 32 7. Political expression by students in school-sponsored media shall 33 not be deemed the use of public funds for political purposes. 34 § 863. Exemptions. The following forms of expression shall not be 35 protected by this article: 36 1. Expression that is libelous, slanderous or obscene; 37 2. Expression that constitutes an unwarranted invasion of privacy; 38 3. Expression that violates federal or state law; or 39 4. Expression that incites students to commit an unlawful act, to 40 violate the policies of the educational institution, or to materially 41 and substantially disrupt the orderly operation of such educational 42 institution. 43 § 864. Liability. No expression made by students in the exercise of 44 free speech or freedom of the press protected by this article shall be 45 deemed to be an expression of policy, opinion or position of the educa- 46 tional institution, nor shall any such expression be considered to be an 47 endorsement in any way by the educational institution and no educational 48 institution, student media advisor, employee, parent, legal guardian or 49 administrator of an educational institution shall be held liable in any 50 civil or criminal action for any expression made or published by 51 students, except in cases of willful or wanton misconduct. Nothing in 52 this section shall be construed to create any private action on behalf 53 of a student other than to seek injunctive relief allowing the publica- 54 tion of the speech in question. 55 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.