Senator Nia H. Gill Recognized By The Garden State Scholastic Press Association For Defending The First Amendment Rights Of Student Journalists
MONTCLAIR – Senator Nia H. Gill (D-Essex/Passaic) was recognized on October 28, 2019 by the Garden State Scholastic Press Association (GSSPA) for sponsoring new voices legislation, S1176. New voices legislation provides greater 1st Amendment protections for student journalists. Over 800 high school student journalists participated in the conference. This legislation is supported by GSSPA and New Voices NJ. Senator Gill is calling on her fellow legislators to post, vote for, and pass this legislation.
“Well-informed citizens provide the strength of any democracy and I am committed to defending the 1st Amendment rights of our student journalists” said, Senator Gill. “We look to our students and our young people to inform us now and in the future, they must not be silenced.”
“Since its founding, this Nation has considered the existence of an uninhibited press to be critically important to protecting the freedoms of our democracy. With fewer local media outlets, student journalists are needed to inform their communities. Student journalists in Camden used their platform to illuminate social issues concerning their community. Writers at Montclair State University used their platform to highlight religious discrimination on campus. It was an Arizona State University student who broke the news of the resignation of the U.S. special envoy to Ukraine as part of the ongoing Ukrainian scandal.”
Past GSSPA President, John Tagliareni, said: “Students often feel helpless because they want to provide a service in their schools and communities, and to cover important issues in a mature way, without unwarranted censorship. They now feel a sense of optimism knowing that Senator Gill, is in their corner, and they are more willing to participate as active citizens after the wonderful lessons they learned by hearing her speak.”
“She has been a champion for civil rights, and her sponsorship and support of Senate Bill S1176, is an example of her advocacy for 1st Amendment of student press rights; and in defense of our teachers who need to do their jobs by protecting them from retribution when they support their students’ rights.”