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UJ: Leading the Pack in Student Rights

Source:http://www.poynter.org


In 2013, six UJ students drafted a student press freedom bill and proposed it to the North Dakota state legislature.

Two years later, The John Wall New Voices Act was passed unanimously, giving students at both high schools and colleges in North Dakota more robust free speech protections than their peers in most other states. It was the first such bill to be passed since 2007.

“It was miraculous that it won unanimous bipartisan acceptance, in a very red state,” said Frank LoMonte, who runs the Student Press Law Center (SPLC), a D.C.-based legal nonprofit focused on advocating First Amendment freedoms for students. SPLC, founded in 1974, is the only non-profit law firm in the country with the sole goal of educating and advocating for student journalists.

In the aftermath of the North Dakota law’s passage, LoMonte said that SPLC’s phones “started ringing off the hook” with calls from students and teachers looking to replicate the legislation in other states.

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Posted:July 19, 2017


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