School boards and student media
School boards, elected governing bodies of public schools in many states, set policies regulating school procedures. They do not manage day-to-day activity in schools, but can and do pass policies that may be counterproductive to an administrator’s view of student media.
Administrators should review school board policies that govern student free expression because they are charged with upholding school board and state code governance policies
Some states have enacted legislation that provide broader freedoms than Hazelwood. Other states have legislation defining administrative censorship and prior review.
The following states support student freedom of expression through legislation protecting students from censorship by school administrators: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts and Oregon. California also has enacted anti-retaliation legislation to protect teachers from being disciplined for refusing to control content. Other states, such as Pennsylvania and Washington, restrict administrative prior review and censorship to specific issues and require school board policy to delineate time restrictions for holding publications from production.
School board coverage
The National School Boards Association encourages student journalists to cover school board meetings. This coverage informs school and community members about school board activities. Such real-world reporting experience supports the school’s mission to promote college and career readiness in students.
Supporting student publications
Just as school boards provide funding for athletic and extracurricular trips, student media should receive equal support. By approving and funding trips to journalism conventions and workshops, school boards provide additional student media training opportunities not available in local schools.
When selecting faculty to teach and supervise student media, school boards should hire only those individuals highly qualified in journalism and/or communications. As members of hiring teams, administrators who recommend such highly qualified faculty demonstrate their support of quality student-driven publications. National standards for highly qualified journalism educators appear in the appendix. JEA provides a rigorous national certification program for teachers who advise student publications.
First Amendment and student media
Journalism ethics at center stage
The value of using social media in journalism
Internet access and safety
Differences between law and ethics
Yearbook ethical guidelines for student media
Online ethical guidelines for student media
Visual ethical guidelines for student media
Definitions of prior review, restraint and forums
Which type of forum best serves your students and community
Importance of open forum status
JEA Adviser Code of Ethics
Internet freedom of expression
Why avoiding prior review is educationally sound
First Amendment Press Freedom questions