SB 855
Establishes the "Cronkite New Voices Act" to protect the freedom of press in school-sponsored media
Sponsor:
LR Number:
3033S.01I
Committee:
Last Action:
1/20/2022 - Second Read and Referred S Education Committee
Journal Page:
Title:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2022

Current Bill Summary

SB 855 - This act establishes the "Cronkite New Voices Act", which provides that in both public high schools and public institutions of higher education, a student journalist, as defined in the act, has the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press in school-sponsored media.

In school districts, the district and student-media advisors may regulate the number, length, frequency, and format of school sponsored media. School districts shall not engage in prior restraint of school-sponsored media except in the circumstances described in the act.

Student journalists shall be responsible for determining the content of school-sponsored media, while student-media advisors are responsible for teaching and encouraging expression and the standards of English and journalism. No student-media advisor shall be subject to disciplinary actions described in the act for refusal to abridge or infringe upon freedom of expression.

No exercise of the rights provided under this act shall be deemed an expression of school policy or the basis for liability of the school district, institution of higher education, or the employees of such entities, except to the extent such an entity or person actively participated. School districts and their employees may also be liable in such actions if they knew of the conduct and failed to take timely action. Student journalists in school districts who are not minors may be liable for criminal or civil actions based on material for which they were responsible or involved.

School districts shall adopt a written freedom of the press policy that includes reasonable provisions for the time, place, and manner of student expression. The policy may also restrict speech that is offensive, threatening, or that fits other similar descriptions provided in the act.

This act is identical to SB 434 (2021), HB 480 (2021), SB 923 (2020), HCS/HBs 743 & 673 (2019), and HB 1940 (2018) and is substantially similar to HB 2317 (2020) and HCS/HB 576 (2019).

JAMIE ANDREWS

Amendments

No Amendments Found.