Britton Deerfield School District
Bylaws & Policies


The Board of Education sponsors student publications and productions as means by which students learn, under adult direction/supervision, the rights and responsibilities inherent when engaging in the public expression of ideas and information in our democratic society.

For purposes of this policy, "school-sponsored student media" shall include both student publications and productions. "Student publications" shall include any written materials, (including, but not limited to, banners, flyers, posters, pamphlets, notices, newspapers, playbills, yearbooks, literary journals, books, and t-shirts and other school-sponsored clothing), as well as material in electronic or on-line form (including, but not limited to, websites, web logs ("blogs"), video or audio clips, and newsletters or announcements transmitted by e-mail, wireless broadcast or other similar distribution/dissemination). "Student productions" shall include vocal and theatrical performances, impromptu dramatic presentations, or any electronic media (including, but not limited to, radio and television programs, podcasts, and other video or audio productions that are recorded for re-broadcast or broadcast in real time using any available broadcast technology). Further, the term "publication" shall include distribution and dissemination of a student publication; and the term "performance" shall include presentation and broadcast of a student production.

The following speech is unprotected and prohibited in all school-sponsored student publications and productions: speech that is defamatory, libelous, obscene or harmful to juveniles; speech that is reasonably likely to cause substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities or the educational process; speech that infringes upon the privacy or rights of others; speech that violates copyright law; speech that promotes activities, products or services that are unlawful (illegal) as to minors as defined by State or Federal law; and speech that otherwise violates school policy and/or State or Federal law. The Board authorizes the administration to engage in prior review and restraint of school-sponsored publications and productions to prevent the publication or performance of unprotected speech.

The Board designates the following official, school-sponsored student media to be limited-purpose public forums:


 B.newspaper newspaper

 D.drama productions

 E.fine arts publication

 F.student apparel

 G.special newsletters

 H.student banner

As limited-purpose public forums the student journalists or performers associated with the publications and/or productions listed above may address matters of concern and/or interest to their readers/viewers. These limited-purpose public forums are not open to the public at large and are not intended to address general matters of public concern. As limited-purpose public forums, school officials will not routinely and systematically restrict content of the publications and/or productions listed above prior to their publication/performance; however, school officials may review the content and reject an article/publication/production due to one of the following four (4) reasons where:

 A.poor grammar or writing is evident;

 B.a legitimate question of age appropriateness of the material exists;

 C.matters beyond the limited scope of the forum are included; and/or

 D.the content involves unprotected speech.

These publications and/or productions shall contain a notice to the reader/viewer that the material, while school-sponsored, is student directed and subject only to limited prior review. Given these student publications and/or productions have been designated as limited-purpose public forums, the school assumes no liability for their content beyond that covered by the school officials' limited prior review. With editorial control comes responsibility. Student journalists and performers are expected to establish and enforce standards for their publications/productions that are consistent with professional journalism/theatrical/broadcast standards.

While school-sponsored student media generally may be published/performed outside the school community (i.e., to the general public), the student media may only be published/performed to students, staff and parents/family members.

All other school-sponsored student publications and productions, including classroom and/or other curricular, co-curricular, or extra-curricular/club-related publications and/or productions, are nonpublic forums. As nonpublic forums, the content of these other student publications and productions can be regulated for legitimate pedagogical school-related reasons. School officials shall routinely and systematically review and, if necessary, restrict the content of all school-sponsored student media except those publications/productions listed above, prior to publication/performance in a reasonable manner that is neutral as to the viewpoint of the speaker.

Advertising is permitted in all school-sponsored media that have been designated as limited-purpose public forums.

The students in the class(es)/activity(ies) associated with the above listed student media will determine whether to include advertisements in the publications/productions. Acceptance or rejection of specific advertisements is within the control of the publication/production staff, which may accept any ads except those for activities, products or services that are illegal for students and/or that violate State or Federal law.

The publication/production staff is encouraged to consider the age appropriateness of the ads they select.

Revised 8/10/09
Revised 9/14/09

© Neola 2009