Student media adviser removed just nine days before semester begins

This summer, former journalist Fernando Gallo was ousted as head adviser to the Inquirer, the student publication at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California. Gallo was removed from his position less than two weeks before the fall semester began, a move the student editor believes was a result of critical coverage of administrators. 

The Inquirer had run several unflattering stories about the administration's handling of racist graffiti on campus, including an op-ed from the editorial board that questioned why it took the administration two days to notify students of the incident, and asked why the school didn't seem to have a plan for preventing similar situations. This was not the first time threatening graffiti had been found on campus.

After months of rising tensions between Gallo and the Inquirer, and the administration, Gallo had his teaching schedule reduced from six classes to three. A month and a half later, he was told he wouldn't be teaching at all. Gallo has been replaced, and the Inquirer continues to report, but the students are understandably upset about the situation. 
“I really want student journalism at DVC to be how it was like when we had Fernando around, where it was pieces that were daring, pieces that held admin accountable, but mostly pieces that really voice the student population.”

— Emma Hall, Editor-in-chief of the Inquirer
Read more

Advisers at Risk

Unfortunately, Gallo's situation is not an outlier. SPLC has resources available on our website to help advisers know their rights and navigate tricky situations. For immediate help, please contact SPLC's legal hotline.
Contact the hotline

On a lighter note, Happy Halloween!

If you're still looking for a last-minute Halloween costume idea, may we suggest Malin Moeller's incredible costume "Modern Superhero: Defender of the Free Press!" It might be the best ever???

Thanks to Malin's mom, Julie Moeller and A Mighty Girl for letting us share the photo.

Last chance to apply — intern with SPLC!

We're seeking self-starting storytellers to chronicle student media organizations in perilous times, recognize trends in student media and help SPLC expand its audience and impact. Applications are due Nov. 4 for spring 2020 paid internships. (That's Monday!)
Apply now

Q: Is there an age limit for requesting public records under an open records law?

Currently, Louisiana is the only state that requires a requester be the “age of majority,” which in Louisiana is currently 18. Likewise, there is no age requirement to request federal records under the federal Freedom of Information Act.


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