A03079 Summary:

COSPNSRNolan, 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
MLTSPNSRBuchwald, 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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A03079 Actions:

01/28/2019referred to education
01/08/2020referred to education
02/18/2020amend and recommit to education
02/18/2020print number 3079a
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A03079 Committee Votes:

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A03079 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A03079 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
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 and charter high schools, while at the same time continuing long standing ethical stand- ards 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 at public and charter high schools 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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A03079 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 28, 2019
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  LUPARDO,  NOLAN,  GLICK,  PALMESANO,  ROZIC,
          JEAN-PIERRE,  MIKULIN,  M. L. MILLER, KOLB -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M.
          of A. BUCHWALD, COOK, GALEF -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Education -- recommitted to the Committee on Education  in  accord-
          ance  with  Assembly  Rule  3,  sec.  2  -- committee discharged, bill
          amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said  commit-
        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 grades nine  through  twelve  of  a
    15  public high school in a public school district or charter school.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 3079--A                          2
     1    2. "School-sponsored media" means any material that is prepared, writ-
     2  ten,  published,  or broadcast by a student journalist at an educational
     3  institution, distributed or generally made available to members  of  the
     4  student  body, and prepared under the direction of a student media advi-
     5  sor.  "School-sponsored  media"  shall  not  include  media intended for
     6  distribution or transmission solely in the classroom in which the  media
     7  is produced.
     8    3.  "Student  journalist"  means  a student enrolled in an educational
     9  institution who gathers, compiles, writes, edits, photographs,  records,
    10  or prepares information for dissemination in school-sponsored media.
    11    4. "Student media advisor" means an individual employed, appointed, or
    12  designated  by  an  educational  institution  to  supervise  or  provide
    13  instruction relating to school-sponsored media.
    14    § 862. Student journalist free speech rights.  1. Except as  otherwise
    15  provided in section eight hundred sixty-three of this article, a student
    16  journalist shall have the right to exercise free speech and of the press
    17  in  school-sponsored media, regardless of whether the media is supported
    18  financially by the educational institution or by use of  the  facilities
    19  of an educational institution or produced in conjunction with a class in
    20  which the student is enrolled.
    21    2.  Subject  to section eight hundred sixty-three of this article, the
    22  appropriate student journalist shall be responsible for determining  the
    23  news, opinion, and feature content of school-sponsored media.
    24    3. Nothing in this section shall preclude a student media advisor from
    25  teaching  professional  standards  of  English and journalism to student
    26  journalists or from grading the performance of a student  in  accordance
    27  with such standards.
    28    4. There shall be no prior restraint of material prepared for official
    29  publications  of  an  educational  institution  except  for the material
    30  described in section eight hundred sixty-three of this article.
    31    5. Educational institution administrators shall  have  the  burden  of
    32  demonstrating justification without undue delay prior to a limitation of
    33  student expression under this article.
    34    6. No student media advisor or employee shall be dismissed, suspended,
    35  disciplined,  reassigned,  transferred,  or otherwise retaliated against
    36  solely for acting to protect a pupil engaged in the  conduct  authorized
    37  under  this  article;  and  further no student media advisor or employee
    38  shall be dismissed, suspended, disciplined, reassigned,  transferred  or
    39  otherwise  retaliated  against  solely for an action, undertaken in good
    40  faith with this article, which results in the prohibition of the  publi-
    41  cation of speech pursuant to this article.
    42    7.  Political  expression  by students in school-sponsored media shall
    43  not be deemed the use of public funds for political purposes.
    44    § 863. Exemptions. The following forms  of  expression  shall  not  be
    45  protected by this article:
    46    1. Expression that is libelous, slanderous or obscene;
    47    2. Expression that constitutes an unwarranted invasion of privacy;
    48    3. Expression that violates federal or state law; or
    49    4.  Expression  that  incites  students  to commit an unlawful act, to
    50  violate the policies of the educational institution,  or  to  materially
    51  and  substantially  disrupt  the  orderly  operation of such educational
    52  institution.
    53    § 864. Liability. No expression made by students in  the  exercise  of
    54  free  speech  or freedom of the press protected by this article shall be
    55  deemed to be an expression of policy, opinion or position of the  educa-
    56  tional institution, nor shall any such expression be considered to be an

        A. 3079--A                          3
     1  endorsement in any way by the educational institution and no educational
     2  institution,  student media advisor, employee, parent, legal guardian or
     3  administrator of an educational institution shall be held liable in  any
     4  civil  or  criminal  action  for  any  expression  made  or published by
     5  students, except in cases of willful or wanton  misconduct.  Nothing  in
     6  this  section  shall be construed to create any private action on behalf
     7  of a student other than to seek injunctive relief allowing the  publica-
     8  tion of the speech in question.
     9    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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A03079 LFIN:

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A03079 Chamber Video/Transcript:

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