Yee honored for protecting student journalists


By Bay City News Service

State Sen. Leland Yee, whose district includes Woodside and Portola Valley, will receive two awards today (April 17) for authoring bills that protect student journalists and their advisers from retaliation by school administrators for exercising free speech rights.

The Journalism Education Association will present Sen. Yee with its Friend of Scholastic Journalism Award at a ceremony in Portland, Oregon. The award goes to an individual or group that makes a significant contribution to scholastic journalism.

The California College Media Association will also present Sen. Yee's staff with the organization's first annual Leland Yee Award, given to an individual who goes "above and beyond" in supporting college media. The ceremony will be held at Hearst Castle in San Simeon.

"It is essential that our high school and college campuses have a press free from censorship and that our laws protect students and teachers from retaliation by administrators," Sen. Yee said in a prepared statement.

In 2006, Sen. Yee authored AB 2581, which prohibited censorship of college student press in California and made it illegal to retaliate against students for exercising free speech rights. In 2008, SB 1370 extended this protection from retaliation to university employees, including faculty advisers.

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