Gov. Jay Inslee signs bill protecting students' free speech

OLYMPIA, Wash.  — A measure protecting high school and college students' rights to publish and speak freely in school-sponsored media has been signed by Gov. Jay Inslee.

Under the new law signed Wednesday, editors would be fully responsible for determining what goes into their publication or broadcast. While school administrators wouldn't be able to pre-review college students' work, school administrators at high schools would be allowed to review content, but would not be allowed to censor any content before publishing unless it contains libelous or slanderous material, or is obscene or incites students to commit unlawful acts on school grounds.

The measure, sponsored by Republican Sen. Joe Fain, exempts school officials from any civil or criminal liability resulting from school-sponsored media unless they interfere with or alter the content. It also ensures a student media adviser cannot be terminated, transferred or otherwise disciplined for not censoring students' speech. The new law takes effect in June.