Random thoughts. Free speech for student journalists. What a concept.


I spotted State Representative Will Guzzardi having breakfast at Dunlay’s as we were going to Sunday’s Logan Square Farmers’ Market.

Sweet corn. Raspberries. White fish and pasture-raised chicken. That isn’t what Will Guzzardi was having for breakfast. That is what we bought at the Market.

Guzzardi was still recovering from being a Bernie delegate to the DNC in Philly.

We exchanged pleasantries. But he did not mention that his bill protecting Illinois high school journalists had just passed both chambers of the Illinois legislature and had been signed by Governor Rauner.

It has been 25 years since the United States Supreme Court ruled that first amendment rights and freedom of the press don’t count if the journalist is under 18 years old.

Guzzardi’s bill, cosponsored by Senator Dan Biss and even supported by my old nemesis Elaine Nekritz will give those rights to Illinois high school students.

Stan Zoller is a member of the Illinois Journalism Education Association who approached Nekritz about supporting the Guzzardi/Biss bill.

“Some people were concerned that we were going to give student journalists the right to storm the Bastille. And that’s not the case. You can see the law says that administrators can step in in cases of obscenity or libel issues. So the key is responsible journalism. And how can you argue with that?”

It seems that somebody argued against it when it came before the Supreme Court. Now laws like this must be passed state by state.

That’s crazy.

I’m glad it has come to Illinois after 25 years.

As far as storming the Bastille is concerned, I always thought that was a good thing. And it’s not as if anybody needed a law to do it.

3 Replies to “Random thoughts. Free speech for student journalists. What a concept.”

  1. Do you have any thoughts or info on the April 28,2016, Chicago Tribune commentary by Diana Furchtott Roth. This stated that the US Congress could and should create a state pension bankruptcy only law to solve Illinois and other states pension debt. This new law then would over throw the pension protection clause.

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