Senator Steve Cwodzinski Presents Bill to Codify the Rights and Freedoms of Student Journalists

ST. PAUL, Minn. — On Wednesday, Senator Steve Cwodzinski (DFL-Eden Prairie) spoke in support of students journalists in the Education Policy Committee as he presented his bill (SF 3998) to enshrine the right of free speech and expression for student journalists in grades 6-12. He was joined by a student journalist and educators, who testified in support of the bill.

“In 1969, the US Supreme Court case Tinker v Des Moines famously determined that ‘[neither] students [nor] teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate,’” said Senator Cwodzinski. “The freedom of the press is one of the cornerstones of our democracy, and our local radio stations, papers, and TV stations are essential to helping the Minnesotans engage in public life. School newspapers are no different: They encourage students, as both reporters and readers, to take part in their communities and learn about the people around them. As a former high school civics teacher, I have always aimed to equip Minnesotan students with the skills and knowledge to become thoughtful citizens who make the world a better place. This bill to enshrine student journalists’ rights will do just that — it will help teach kids the rights and responsibilities that come with adulthood and foster a spirit of engaged citizenship.”

SF 3998 was laid over for inclusion in an omnibus bill. You can view Senator Cwodzinski’s remarks and student testimony on Senate Media Services’ YouTube.

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Steve Cwodzinski represents District 49 in the southwest Twin Cities metro.

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