Editor’s note: The California Senate passed a bill making it illegal for high school and college journalism teachers to be punished by school administrators for protecting their students’ right to free speech. The bill now goes to the California State Assembly.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California would protect high school and college journalism teachers from administrators upset by students’ stories or editorials, under a bill approved by a Senate committee.
The bill (S.B. 1370) by state Sen. Leland Yee would make it illegal to retaliate against teachers trying to protect students’ right to free speech.
Yee, a Democrat from San Francisco, also authored a 2006 law that bars administrators from censoring college newspapers or disciplining student journalists for what they write.
He says their teachers need more protection, too.
California Newspaper Publishers Association lawyer Jim Ewert says faculty advisers in California have been fired or reassigned at least 12 times recently because of something written by student reporters.
The bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 8 is opposed by school administrators’ associations. They say it is so broad it also could protect incompetent journalism teachers.