Session of 1998
By Senators Bleeker, Brownlee, Harrington, Lawrence, Salmans and
          10             AN ACT concerning student publications; relating to rights and respon-
11             sibilities thereof; amending K.S.A. 72-1506 and repealing the existing
12             section.
14       Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
15           Section 1. K.S.A. 72-1506 is hereby amended to read as follows:
16       72-1506. (a) The liberty of the press in student publications shall be pro-
17       tected. School employees may regulate the number, length, frequency,
18       distribution and format of student publications. Material shall not be sup-
19       pressed solely because it involves political or controversial subject matter.
20           (b) Review of material prepared for student publications and   en-
21       couragement of the expression of such material in a manner that is con-
22       sistent revision or correction of such material to comply with high stan-
23       dards of English and journalism shall not be deemed to be or construed
24       as a restraint on publication of the material or an abridgment of the right
25       to freedom of expression in student publications. Nothing in this section
26       shall be deemed to prohibit the board of education of a school district, or
27       the employees thereof, from establishing written guidelines that define
28       high standards of English and journalism applicable to a student publi-
29       cation.
30           (c) Publication or other expression that is libelous, slanderous or ob-
31       scene or matter that commands, requests, induces, encourages, com-
32       mends or promotes conduct that is defined by law as a crime or conduct
33       that constitutes a ground or grounds for the suspension or expulsion of
34       students as enumerated in K.S.A. 72-8901, and amendments thereto, or
35       which creates a material or substantial disruption of the normal school
36       activity is not protected by this act.
37           (d) Subject to the limitations imposed by this section, student editors
38       of student publications are responsible for determining the news, opinion,
39       and advertising content of such publications. Student publication advisers
40       and other certified employees who supervise or direct the preparation of
41       material for expression in student publications are responsible for teach-
42       ing and encouraging free and responsible expression of material and high
43       standards of English and journalism. No such adviser or employee shall

SB 669


  1       be terminated from employment, transferred, or relieved of duties im-
  2       posed under this subsection for refusal to abridge or infringe upon the
  3       right to freedom of expression conferred by this act.
  4           (e) No publication or other expression of matter by students in the
  5       exercise of rights under this act shall be deemed to be an expression of
  6       school district policy. No school district, member of the board of edu-
  7       cation or employee thereof, shall be held responsible in any civil or crim-
  8       inal action for any publication or other expression of matter by students
  9       in the exercise of rights under this act. Student editors and other students
10       of a school district, if such student editors and other students have at-
11       tained the age of majority, shall be held liable in any civil or criminal
12       action for matter expressed in student publications to the extent of any
13       such student editor's or other student's responsibility for and involvement
14       in the preparation and publication of such matter.
15           Sec. 2. K.S.A. 72-1506 is hereby repealed.
16           Sec. 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
17       publication in the statute book.