Student Speech on the Docket
My personal connection to this cause continues as I sit in an Indianapolis hotel room on the eve of a public policy forum sponsored by J-Ideas of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. A group of 20 or so First Amendment advocates from across the country have gathered on the site of Ball State's new downtown Indianapolis extension to carry on the work begun at our Free Speech in Schools conference last October in Chicago, and revisited this winter in St. Petersburg, Florida, at the Poynter Institute. The goal here is to discuss recent developments in this policy area, including the failed student press bill in Washington state and emerging efforts in the same spirit elsewhere (Oregon, Michigan, North Carolina...). We also hope to craft a model school policy that reflects the realities of school management specific to pedagogical and disciplinary requirements, but also places the First Amendment on a pedestal.
I'll share the fruits of our deliberations in a post later this week. The assembled group is long on talent, energy, and experience, so I am bullish about the good that can come through "strength in numbers" as it pertains to student speech advocacy.