TheStatehouseFile.com: Bill to protect student journalists officially dies

This is an excerpt from an article written by TheStatehouseFile.com reporter and Franklin College student Katie Stancombe. Read the full article here.

Student journalists have no chance of gaining stronger First Amendment rights now that a bill that would have protected them is dead.

A student journalists protections bill, previously known as House Bill 1130, would have prohibited public schools and school corporations from punishing student journalists for exercising their freedom of speech and press rights in school-sponsored media.

But strong pushback from school administrators and the Indiana Department of Education eventually killed the bill.

Author Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, had added the language to another education bill in hopes of keeping the proposed legislation alive.

However, the plug was pulled Thursday when the author of House Bill 1043, Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Lizton, removed the added language for fear that his own bill wouldn’t pass.

“None of the supporters of the student journalism language wanted to see his underlying bill become collateral damage as a result of the Senate Republicans unwillingness to consider the journalism language,” Clere said.

Clere said he doesn’t know whether the bill would have passed the Senate, but said that issue has tremendous support from both sides of the aisle.

“The bill didn’t die for a lack of votes, it died because it wasn’t allowed to receive a vote,” he said.

Read the rest of the article on TheStatehouseFile.com by clicking here.

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