02/28/19 -- HCS HB 743 and 673 -- Establishes explicit protections for student journalists

Bill Number: 
HCS HB 743 and 673
Bill Purpose: 
Establishes explicit protections for student journalists
Date of Vote: 
02/28/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HCS HB 743 & 673, introduced by Representatives Craig Fishel (Republican - District 136) and Phil Christofanelli (Republican - District 105) establishes explicit protections for student journalists.  The bill generally forbids schools from exercising prior restraint of school sponsored media, and provides that students have a right to exercise free speech and freedom of the press as it relates to such media.

On first glance, this bill is redundant and unnecessary, as the 1st amendment to the United States Constitution already provides these protections.  It doesn't take much investigation to realize that despite this, many schools ignore the 1st amendment rights of their students, especially when it comes to journalism.  So while it's sad that this bill needs to be discussed, I think it's very important that we explicitly state in our statutes these essential protections aren't lost simply by attending a government school.

I was an enthusiastic "yes" vote on this.  Luckily it passed by a huge margin.passed by a huge margin