Judge: Schools Not Liable For Student Newspaper Content

WASHINGTON — Public high schools are not liable for the content of student-run newspapers, according to the ruling of a Washington state court judge. The ruling was in response to a Seattle landlord’s libel lawsuit against Roosevelt High School.

In a March 2009 article for The Roosevelt News, student Emily Shuggerman wrote that Hugh and Drake Sisley had “been accused of racist renting policies,” the Student Press Law Center reports. The Sisley brothers sued Seattle Public Schools, alleging that the article defamed them.

The ruling is the first to clearly allow students to make editorial decisions without the school being held accountable for any wrongdoing.

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