That was the effect when the Washington State House of Representatives voted last night to pass House Bill 1307, the Student Free Press Bill, by a 58-37 count.
The bill still must be passed by the state Senate and signed into law by Gov. Christine Gregoire before it will take effect.
Wenatchee High School adviser Logan Aimone, who stayed up late into the night to listen to debate on the House floor before the vote, had this to report on his blog:
The opposition raised the threat of litigation and of students being minors and even that legislators themselves don't have free speech rights in their state-sponsored media (although they have absolute privilege for comments on the House floor). The opposition also predicted doom and gloom -- schools across the state would shut down student media before taking the risk to have students actually have the final content decision.
All three of the amendments proposed by the 5th Legislative District's representatives Rodne and Anderson failed to be adopted.
What next? The process starts all over again. You can contact your legislative district's senator and urge them to support the bill. It will need to go through another pair of committees before potentially coming up for another vote. Also, a number of student publications have written editorials supporting the bill, another excellent form of showing support for the bill -- especially when clipped and sent to your senator.
Find your legislator here. You can also urge support of this bill through the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000.