California Ed Code 48907 ensures student voices are heard

First Amendment rights do not stop at the schoolhouse gate.

This was a common mantra among student protesters during the 1960s as the Vietnam War prompted conflicts between school publications and administration. Articles containing anti-war sentiments were censored, so teachers and advisers worked to find a way to allow students to express their opinions with journalistic integrity.

In 1977, a solution was written into law in the form of California Education Code 48907, which guarantees student journalists the same rights as professional journalists: freedom of speech and of the press.

Under the protection of this law, students were once again empowered with a voice. Just as the government cannot interfere with professional publications, no school-affiliated management can censor student publications, given that the content reflects the truth.

Factual and unbiased reporting on controversial topics is vital for school publications since these subjects often pertain to students’ daily lives. The Panther Prowler is dedicated to publishing accurate content with respect to both the school and community.

California Education Code 48907 stipulates that publications cannot contain “obscene, libelous, or slanderous” content. The Panther Prowler strives to reflect each opinion on campus in a thoughtful manner and does not tolerate false or unjustified information.

In all cases of informed writing, California Education Code 48907 does not allow for “prior restraint of material prepared for official school publications.” The Panther Prowler staff understands the responsibility to report authentically and will defend our right to publish and distribute accurate content to our audience.

Under California Education Code 48907, we are able to exercise our First Amendment rights and represent the opinions of the student body.

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