January 4, 2022:
New Jersey became the 15th state to enact New Voices legislation on Dec. 21, when Gov. Phil Murphy signed state Senate Bill 108 into law. High school student journalists now have the right to report the news without administrative interference. Legislators first introduced a New Voices bill in December 2015 following two censorship controversies — one school removed a newspaper adviser who stood up for his students and another tried to block the publication of an investigative story on the district superintendent’s alleged misconduct. Such shenanigans are now against the law in New Jersey, but unless you live in California, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont or Washington, they can happen anytime at your local high school.