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Saturday, February 3, 2024
HIDOE seeks feedback on revising student journalism policy
By News Release @ 2:24 AM :: 1319 Views :: Education K-12, First Amendment

Student Journalists Still Fighting For Press Freedom In Hawaii

CB: … More than a year and a half after then-Gov. David Ige signed a new law providing more First Amendment protections for student journalists, the Board of Education has yet to officially revise its policy regarding censorship in school-sponsored publications.

The Hawaii Student Journalism Protection Act provides freedom of speech and press protections to school-sponsored student publications at public schools similar to those afforded professional journalists, said Cynthia Reves, one of the bill’s primary advocates and an adviser for McKinley High School’s newspaper, The Pinion. The law also safeguards advisers from any retaliation for upholding student press freedom….

read … Student Journalists Still Fighting For Press Freedom In Hawaii

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HIDOE seeks feedback on revising student journalism policy

The Department is seeking feedback through Feb. 29. A final version of the updated policy will be presented to the Board for approval.

News Release from Hawaii DoE, 01-Feb-2024

​The Hawai‘i State Department of Education is seeking feedback to revise the existing Board of Education policy for student journalism and student publications based on the requirements of a new state law.

In May 2022, the Hawaii Student Journalism Protection Act was signed into law. It requires the Board of Education — the policy-making body for the public school system — to create a written policy for student journalists to exercise their right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press in school-sponsored media, while preventing any undue censorship. The law also provides protection from retaliation for student media advisors who refuse to unduly censor student journalists.

The law prevents censorship of student media except in instances where the content is:

  • Libelous or slanderous;
  • Constitutes an unwarranted invasion of privacy;
  • Is obscene;
  • Violates federal or state law; and/or
  • Incites students as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of an unlawful act, the violation of a lawful school district policy, or the material and substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school.

The Department’s Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design (OCID) is following the Board's policy adoption process, which includes looking at policies from other states and evaluating the current student media policy. A final version of the policy will be presented to the Board for approval.

A summary of the policy requirements can be viewed here and responses will be accepted via this form through Feb. 29.

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