99TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2015 and 2016
Introduced , by Rep. Will Guzzardi
SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
Creates the Speech Rights of Student Journalists Act. Defines "student
journalist" as a public high school student. Provides that a student
journalist has the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press in
school-sponsored media, regardless of whether the media is supported
financially by the school district or by use of school facilities or
produced in conjunction with a class in which the student is enrolled.
Provides that a student journalist is responsible for determining the news,
opinion, feature, and advertising content of school-sponsored media.
Provides that the Act does not authorize or protect expression by a student
journalist that (1) is libelous or slanderous; (2) constitutes an
unwarranted invasion of privacy; (3) violates federal or State law; or (4)
so incites students as to create a clear and present danger of the
commission of an unlawful act, the violation of policies of the school
district, or the material and substantial disruption of the orderly
operation of the school. Provides that an employee of a school district
shall not be dismissed, suspended, disciplined, reassigned, transferred,
or otherwise retaliated against solely for acting to protect a student
journalist engaged in conduct authorized under the Act. Effective
A BILL FOR
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AN ACT concerning education.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
This Act may be cited as the
Rights of Student Journalists Act.
As used in this Act:
"School-sponsored media" means any material that is
prepared, substantially written, published, or broadcast by a
student journalist at a public school, distributed or generally
made available to members of the student body, and prepared
under the direction of a student media adviser.
School-sponsored media does not include media intended for
distribution or transmission solely in the classroom in which
the media is produced.
"Student journalist" means a public high school student who
gathers, compiles, writes, edits, photographs, records, or
prepares information for dissemination in school-sponsored
"Student media adviser" means an individual employed,
appointed, or designated by a school district to supervise or
provide instruction relating to school-sponsored media.
Except as otherwise provided in