Free expression resources
Looking for information about legislation for student free expression in your state?
New Voices USA is a nationally organized, locally driven and student-powered movement to promote state legislation to enact student free expression.
The Student Press Law Center leads the project and works with other journalism education groups, including the Journalism Education Association and The Center for Scholastic Journalism.
Why get involved? According to New Voices Talking Points, “censorship is detrimental for students and society. Punishing students for their speech teaches them that censorship, often arbitrary and without limits, is acceptable. But in a society dependent on journalists and the public keeping the government in check, we cannot afford to have curiosity and confidence bred out of our students. We cannot afford to stifle today’s new voices because they are tomorrow’s media leaders and citizens.”
JEA supports and endorses many of the state bills and will endorse others when contacted.
Currently, 10 states have passed such legislation and one has state code protection. According to the SPLC, 15 others have taken steps toward such legislation. These states can be seen here.
CSJ hosted Nov. 18, 2016, a Legislative Symposium on state legislation. Look for videos, summaries and additional information soon on this site.
Some points from the symposium include:
• It is important that local groups lead the legislation. National groups provide background and assistance but the energy comes from within the state.
• Students should play a large role in showing why free expression is needed.
• Organization and planning are essential.
Additional resources include:
• Information in states with campaigns
• Importance of student free expression and widespread information on legislation