FREE PRESS -- The Sacramento Bee reports that Senate Bill 1370, which went into effect yesterday, protects high school journalism teachers, faculty advisers to student newspapers or from being dismissed, suspended, disciplined, reassigned, transferred or otherwise retaliated against for acting to protect a student's speech rights.

During the past two years, civil libertarians and First Amendment advocates have documented 16 instances of faculty advisers being disciplined for content in a student newspaper.   
    "Allowing a school administration to censor in any way is contrary to the democratic process and the ability of a student newspaper to serve as the watchdog and bring sunshine to the actions of school administrators," Yee said in a press release.
    In 2006, Yee wrote legislation making California the first state to prohibit censorship of student press by administrators and to protect students from being disciplined for engaging in speech or press activities.
    Yee spokesman Adam Keigwin said some school administrators "realized they could still go after the faculty."