Southeastern U Reporter Gets Backed by Student Press Law Center

Southern U Reporter speaks with attorney Frank LoMonte on the First Amendment. LoMonte is the executive director of the student press law center, a legal assistance agency that advises high school and college journalists on their legal rights as journalists (splc.org).
LoMonte skyped with the class and discussed ways in which executive session is limited, how Louisiana law permits a journalist to enter any meeting that is open to the public and other techniques for helping journalists get their story.
LoMonte told the class to look into the Amanda Tatro case. Amanda Tatro made a Facebook post threatening her ex-boyfriend with a tool that she learned about in embalming lab called a trocar. A fellow student saw the post and told the professor. Tatro was suspended from school but was shortly reinstated. She also received an “F” in the class. Tatro challenged the grade arguing that the post should’ve been protected under the First Amendment. The Minnesota Supreme Court heard Tatro’s argument on Feb. 8. “Tatro told the Daily that if her appeal is unsuccessful at the state level, she’ll appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court” (Rupar).
LoMonte spoke several times on the importance of journalists knowing their rights and to follow cases such as Tatro’s so that we are knowledgable on our rights and responsibilities as journalists. The Student Press Law Center offers free legal advice and can be reached online at www.splc.org.

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