JEA ENDORSES STATE LEGISLATION PROTECTING FREE EXPRESSION OF STUDENTS
JEA’s board of directors celebrates Scholastic Journalism Week by endorsing Washington SB 5064 and New York Assembly Bill A9801 and Senate Bill S7721.
The board endorsement of the bills reflects the organization’s mission and beliefs — including active defense of First Amendment freedoms and journalistic responsibilities.
In both states, the legislations’ purpose — to restore and preserve student expression at both the secondary and collegiate levels — is an integral part of learning in schools. Allowing students to make content decisions lets them practice critical thinking, researching, interviewing, writing, editing and creating visuals while collaborating with other staffers to produce content from which their communities can learn.
By being accountable for their decisions, students learn how a free and responsible press can improve their school communities. Student journalists model civics in action so not only do they see how democracy works, but so do those who read and view student media.
Washington 5064 and New York Assembly Bill A9801 and Senate Bill S7721 are all based on proven educational best practices, will promote student growth as citizens and have a sound educational foundation that will benefit citizens of Washington and New York far beyond only in journalism newsrooms.
In addition to providing endorsements of pending legislation, JEA will host a half-day preconference training July 9 at its upcoming Advisers Institute in Las Vegas. The interactive workshop, led by JEA’s Student Press Rights Director Lori Keekley, MJE, will help participants in various stages of their legislative efforts including finding a sponsor, writing the bill, lobbying legislators, testifying at hearings, talking with oppositional groups. Interested participants should register in advance; because of the goal of having a small group, space will be limited.
Please contact Keekley concerning New Voices questions or requests for JEA New Voices Bill endorsement.