Amoli Agarwal is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Horizon student newspaper of Westwood High School in Austin, Texas. Agarwal coordinates New Voices Texas’ advocacy efforts with members of the Texas Legislature.
“Protecting the rights of student journalists who wish to publish important information reinforces basic constitutional rights like freedom of speech by extension. While the journalists in question are students, their voices are equally, if not more essential than their adult counterparts. Fear of unjust consequences can prevent crucial knowledge from being shared, and New Voices legislation is necessary to eliminate this fear by clearly outlining the roles of administrators in student publications.”
What I Do
As the Legislative Officer of New Voices Texas, I aim to form connections with and garner support from the Texas Legislature. I hold the responsibility of communicating our efforts to public officials and extensively studying the legislative process to further our movement in the upcoming legislative session.
I will set up and attend meetings with both school board members and state legislators. I will ensure that the bipartisan nature of the legislation is emphasized to all of the officials I meet with. I aim to work closely with legislators by making compromises and gaining understanding in two-way conversations.
By the end of the school year, I hope to have obtained the support of at least one state senator and representative before going into the January session. I hope that by the end of the school year, we will be a little closer to instating New Voices legislation and changing the story for many student journalists across the state.