Rep. Melissa Shusterman (D-157) is introducing a bill which would enable school districts to empower student editors of school newspapers to have the final say concerning what gets printed.
In a House memorandum released on Feb. 28, Shusterman said that Pennsylvania’s education regulations currently allow school principals and administrators to “silence student voices through prior review” of school newspapers.
“Defending the free press and free speech rights of students fulfills our duty to protect their constitutional rights and lets them know that we care about their voices,” Shusterman said in the statement.
The bill would allow “school districts to implement policies to place administrative review in the hands of student editors to help ensure journalistic integrity.”
Shusterman said that student journalists might be the “sole source of news for these communities” and need to be freed from the restrain of school administrators.
“I am an advocate for government transparency, and that starts with our students,” Shusterman said. “Please join me in co-sponsoring legislation that will help to foster the same culture of transparency in our schools and support student journalists who provide an essential service to their schools and communities.”