Student Press Rights at Risk

A great piece in USA Today appeared the other day in support of students’ rights to free speech. Its author, Frank LoMonte, explains that free speech on campus is still at risk all over the country, and it might not be what you think:

…by far the greatest danger to the ability of students and educators to discuss issues of public concern on college campuses is image-obsessed administrators, who increasingly regard transparency and accountability as annoyances to be minimized…

Administrators have been the worst offenders. I’ve followed Frank’s work as he has been the head of the Student Press Law Center for years, and this theme has been a regular one.

I’ll say Montgomery College has been better than so many of the schools Frank must deal with weekly. We at the Advocate have had our troubles on occasion with the MC administration, but usually the administration is understanding. (There was one fight back in the early 2000s on the Germantown campus that I wish I had helped fight harder, but that problem has been fixed.)

I don’t know where I’m going with this post other than to say that I hope the college admin will continue to have hands-off attitude. It’s just the right thing to do; plus, it’s the law.

Frank gave all the colleges in Maryland help in that regard. With the help of legislators such as Maryland state senator (now Congressman) Jamie Raskin (D), ¬†Frank championed the Maryland New Voices law, codifying the free speech rights of the student bodies on all of Maryland’s college campus. You can find it in the college’s Policies and Procedures manual here: Freedom of Expression; see section F, specifically.


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