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Calif. Senate panel OKs bill to protect journalism teachers

By The Associated Press
04.10.08

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.


Update
Calif. bill would protect teachers defending student speech
By Melanie Bengtson But University of California system says it would be unlikely to obey S.B. 1370 if it passes. 06.30.08

Related

Calif. expands freedoms for college press

By Melanie Bengtson New law will give student publications at public universities same free-press rights that professional media enjoy. 09.22.06

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