High schoolers and New Voices activists flooded the New York statehouse to gain support for New Voices legislation

   Student press freedom advocates descended on the New York statehouse in Albany on April 30 to raise the profile on a New Voices bill (A.3079 / S.2297) that would protect the First Amendment rights of public high school journalists. 
   More than 80 students plus a large group of advocates, media advisers and professors spent the day meeting with lawmakers on the House and Senate education committees to garner more support for the bill. They also held a well-attended press conference to highlight the need for student press freedom protections.
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   The bill has bipartisan support in both houses of the state legislature (including more than 30 co-sponsors), and has been endorsed by organizations representing newspaper editors and publishers in New York state.
   With only six more weeks in its legislative session, students and New Voices supporters are making a full court press. New York New Voices Advocacy Day drew significant attention to the need for New Voices protections in New York, garnered media attention through editorials and coverage, and mobilized both students and lawmakers alike.  
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“One of the students said there was a lead problem at their school, but the newspaper wasn’t allowed to report on it. But that’s a really important story.” 
   – Zoe Taylor,
The Curtis Log
Curtis High School



“This virtually unchecked censorship has taken away countless opportunities from student journalists who practice good, truthful and impactful journalism.”

   – Lauren Thomas,
yearbook staff at
Corning-Painted Post High School

Featured Year of the Student Journalist post:

Student journalists waste no time! This group spoke to a lawmaker about why he should support a New Voices bill during an elevator ride:
Whether it's a coordinated campaign or a single tweet, we want to hear from you! Make sure to tag @splc on Twitter or @studentpresslawcenter on Instagram and use #StudentPressFreedomDownload the logo to use on your masthead, opinion page, social media, etc. 

Q: Can we use unpublished photos on our news site or in our yearbook or reprint photos that were taken by a student who has since graduated?

A: Unless there was a specific agreement between the former staff members and the publication stating otherwise, the former students retain the copyright to any work they created while staff members and have only granted the publication a one-time permission to print their work. It’s unlikely that former staffers would object to the use of their work, but you really should seek their permission before publishing their work.

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