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JEA supports Rhode Island House Bill 5550

The Journalism Education Association, along with six other organizations, signed a letter urging Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to sign House Bill 5550, in support of First Amendment free press rights for student journalism.

Lori Keekley, MJE and chair of JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Committee, said, “The Rhode Island legislation clarifies the students’ First Amendment rights. By passing this bill, state legislators are showing students their voices really do matter.”

This bill compares with others passed in 12 states that help restore student freedom of expression that was affected by the 1988 Supreme Court ruling, Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier.

“There’s no doubt the educational experience is best when students have the support and protection to be in the driver’s seat as critical thinkers and communicators. House Bill 5550 empowers students to address critical issues affecting their communities while increasing civic engagement in a meaningful, relevant setting,” JEA President Sarah Nichols, MJE, said.

Details of this bill can be viewed here.

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