Pass the Student Press Freedom Act and protect BC student journalists' rights

Pass the Student Press Freedom Act and protect BC student journalists' rights

July 8, 2021
Signatures: 616Next Goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Visit the official website of the SPFA Campaign to find out more

In May 2021, The Griffins’ Nest Newspaper, a student newspaper from Eric Hamber Secondary in Vancouver, BC, was censored by school administration after reporting on the Vancouver School Board’s decision making process and lack of inclusion of students and teachers.

The article focussed on the VSB’s absence of transparency and disregard for the input of stakeholders when it comes to how the district operates. The Nest recorded the statements of over 100 students across the district and spoke to multiple teachers regarding their stance on the board’s policy-making.
The Nest found that students and teachers were overwhelmingly frustrated and disappointed by the VSB’s lack of consultation, and requested the VSB Communications department provide a comment.

The Communications department provided a comment, but also did something unthinkable: secretly forwarded the request for comment email to The Nest’s school principal.

School administration spoke with The Nest and informed them that the Communications department had forwarded their request for comment and said the article-in-question required the “blessing” of the principal.
The Nest was also told that school administration took issue with several articles, including articles regarding the negative experiences of substitute teachers and the construction of the new school.

After the assistance of legal advocates, including the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, The Nest published in its uncensored entirety.
Following these events, The Nest’s Editor-in-Chief Spencer Izen and Managing Editor Jessica Kim wrote the Student Press Freedom Act to ensure nothing like this happens to another student journalist in BC.

The SPFA is Canada’s first student journalism protection legislation, intended to be passed by the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to protect freedom of expression and of the press. You can read the SPFA in its full form HERE and be sure to spread the word about the campaign!  

Sign this petition to protect student voices and protect our democracy, and ask the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to pass the SPFA into law. 

SPFA Campaign Website

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Signatures: 616Next Goal: 1,000
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