HIDOE seeks feedback to revise student journalism policy

01-Feb-2024

The Department is seeking feedback through Feb. 29. A final version of the updated policy will be presented to the Board for approval.

​The Hawai‘i State Department of Education is seeking feedback to revise the existing Board of Education policy for student journalism and student publications based on the requirements of a new state law.

In May 2022, the Hawaii Student Journalism Protection Act was signed into law. It requires the Board of Education — the policy-making body for the public school system — to create a written policy for student journalists to exercise their right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press in school-sponsored media, while preventing any undue censorship. The law also provides protection from retaliation for student media advisors who refuse to unduly censor student journalists.

The law prevents censorship of student media except in instances where the content is:

  • Libelous or slanderous;
  • Constitutes an unwarranted invasion of privacy;
  • Is obscene;
  • Violates federal or state law; and/or
  • Incites students as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of an unlawful act, the violation of a lawful school district policy, or the material and substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school.

The Department’s Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design (OCID) is following the Board's policy adoption process, which includes looking at policies from other states and evaluating the current student media policy. A final version of the policy will be presented to the Board for approval.

A summary of the policy requirements can be viewed here and responses will be accepted via this form through Feb. 29.




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