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A08333 Summary:

Add Art 18 §§860 - 864, Ed L
Enacts the student journalist free speech act 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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A08333 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                      June 8, 2017
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  PALMESANO  --  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.  "School official" means a high school principal or the designee of
    15  such principal.
    16    2. "School-sponsored media"  means  any  material  that  is  prepared,
    17  substantially  written,  published, or broadcast by a student journalist
    18  at a public school, distributed or generally made available  to  members
    19  of the student body, and prepared under the direction of a student media
    20  advisor.  The  term  does not include media intended for distribution or
    21  transmission solely in the classroom in which the media is produced.
    22    3. "Student journalist" means a public high school student  who  gath-
    23  ers, compiles, writes, edits, photographs, records, or prepares informa-
    24  tion for dissemination in school-sponsored media.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 8333                             2
     1    4. "Student media advisor" means an individual employed, appointed, or
     2  designated  by  a  school  district  to supervise or provide instruction
     3  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  school  district or by use of school facilities or
     9  produced in conjunction with a class in which the student is enrolled.
    10    2. Subject to section eight hundred sixty-three of this  article,  the
    11  appropriate  student journalist shall be responsible for determining the
    12  news, opinion, feature,  and  advertising  content  of  school-sponsored
    13  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.
    17    4. There shall be no prior restraint of material prepared for official
    18  school publications except for the material described in  section  eight
    19  hundred sixty-three of this article.
    20    5.  School officials shall have the burden of demonstrating justifica-
    21  tion without undue delay prior to a  limitation  of  student  expression
    22  under this article.
    23    §  863.  Exemptions.  The  following  forms of expression shall not be
    24  protected by this article:
    25    1. Expression that is libelous, slanderous or obscene;
    26    2. Expression that constitutes an unwarranted invasion of privacy;
    27    3. Expression that violates federal or state law; or
    28    4. Expression that incites students to  commit  an  unlawful  act,  to
    29  violate  the  policies  of  the  school  district,  or to materially and
    30  substantially disrupt the orderly operation of the school.
    31    § 864. Liability. No expression made by students in  the  exercise  of
    32  free  speech  or freedom of the press protected by this article shall be
    33  deemed to be an expression of school policy,  and  no  school  district,
    34  employee,  parent, legal guardian or official of a school district shall
    35  be held liable in any civil or criminal action for any  expression  made
    36  or  published  by students, except in cases of willful or wanton miscon-
    37  duct.
    38    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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