Journalism Teachers’ Protection Act Becomes Law in Calif.

High school and college educators in California who back student journalists’ free speech rights now have legal backing of their own to call upon when needed.


A new bill signed into law yesterday by the governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, makes it illegal to fire or otherwise discipline a teacher or adviser for supporting a student’s freedom of speech, including within journalism.


“Under the legislation, a school employee could not be ‘dismissed, suspended, disciplined, reassigned, transferred … solely for acting to protect a pupil engaged in’ constitutionally protected speech,” a recent Los Angeles Times op-ed explained, partially citing language from the bill, which was originally called The Journalism Teachers’ Protection Act. The op-ed later declared: “By providing a narrowly tailored protection for journalism advisors, SB 1370 will help the next generation of media professionals and their mentors, without threatening the educational mission of our schools.”

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