Thursday, August 17, 2006
California's bill 2581, nicknamed the "Hosty Bill" after Hosty v. Carter, 412 F.3d 731 (2005), the case decided by the Seventh Circuit, awaits a signature from Governor Arnold Schwartznegger. If he signs it, it would be the first state statute to protect the student press from censorship by their parent institutions. Here is the text of the bill.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. Section 66301 of the Education Code is amended to read:
66301. (a) Neither the Regents of the University of California,
the Trustees of the California State University, the governing board
of any community college district, nor any administrator of any
campus of those institutions, shall make or enforce any rule
subjecting any student to disciplinary sanction solely on the basis
of conduct that is speech or other communication that, when engaged
in outside a campus of those institutions, is protected from
governmental restriction by the First Amendment to the United States
Constitution or Section 2 of Article 1 of the California
(b) Any student enrolled in an institution, as specified in
subdivision (a), that has made or enforced any rule in violation of
subdivision (a) may commence a civil action to obtain appropriate
injunctive and declaratory relief as determined by the court. Upon a
motion, a court may award attorney's fees to a prevailing plaintiff
in a civil action pursuant to this section.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize any
prior restraint of student speech or the student press.
(d) Nothing in this section prohibits the imposition of discipline
for harassment, threats, or intimidation, unless constitutionally
(e) Nothing in this section prohibits an institution from adopting
rules and regulations that are designed to prevent hate violence, as
defined in subdivision (a) of Section 4 of Chapter 1363 of the
Statutes of 1992, from being directed at students in a manner that
denies them their full participation in the educational process, if
the rules and regulations conform to standards established by the
First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 2 of
Article 1 of the California Constitution for citizens generally.
Here is a link to the enrolled bill.