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A04402 Summary:

BILL NOA04402
 
SAME ASSAME AS S02958
 
SPONSORLupardo
 
COSPNSRNolan, Glick, Palmesano, Rozic, Seawright, Magnarelli, Simon, Rosenthal L, Gottfried, Englebright, Rivera J, Stirpe, Fahy, Abbate, Colton, Abinanti, Hunter, Niou, Giglio JM, Salka, Steck, Taylor, Hevesi, Fernandez, Jean-Pierre, Mikulin, Miller M, Walsh, Ra, DiPietro, McDonough
 
MLTSPNSRCook, 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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A04402 Actions:

BILL NOA04402
 
02/04/2021referred to education
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A04402 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A4402
 
SPONSOR: Lupardo
  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. The student journalist free speech movement has been building in momen- tum in recent years, with 14 states passing free speech protections for student journalists. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier that federal law gives schools broad powers to censor student journalists if they have pedagogical concerns. However, concerns schools could use were not specifically defined, allowing schools to censor students for legitimate journalistic inquiries and publications. In March of 2019, CNN published a piece by one such student journalist whose Texas school censored her journalism. The school principal deemed her coverage as not "positive or uplifting," such as an article about how an anti-LGBT backlash to school programming led to the removal of a book from the school reading curriculum. Subse- quent news stories have been written since then similarly highlighting the need for state-level student journalist free speech protections, particularly in the wake of how recent national events, have affected students, their schools, and their communities. 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-3079 of 2020, died in the 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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