Kent City Community Schools
Administrative Guidelines
 

5723 - STUDENT RIGHTS OF EXPRESSION

In accordance with Board of Education Policy 5722 and Policy 9700, students have the right, protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to exercise freedom of speech. This includes the right to distribute or display, at reasonable times and places, written material, petitions, buttons, badges, or other insignia, except expression which:

 

A.

is obscene to minors or adults;

   
 

B.

is libelous;

   
 

C.

is pervasively indecent or vulgar;

   
 

D.

advertises any product or service not permitted to minors by law;

   
 

E.

constitutes insulting or fighting words, the very expression of which injures or harasses other people (e.g., threats of violence, defamation of character or of a person's race, religion, or ethnic origin);

   
 

F.

presents a clear and present likelihood that, either because of its content or the manner of distribution or display, it will cause a material and substantial disruption of school or school activities, a violation of school regulations, or the commission of an unlawful act.

Distribution or display of material in any of the above categories is prohibited on school premises or at any school-related event.

Procedures

Any student wishing to distribute or display nonschool material must first submit for approval a copy of the material to the principal twenty-four (24) hours in advance of desired distribution/display time, together with the following information:

 

A.

name of the student or organization

   
 

B.

date(s) and time(s) of day of intended display or distribution

     
 

C.

location where material will be displayed or distributed

   
 

D.

the grade(s) of students to whom the display or distribution is intended

The principal should either approve the material or indicate how it violates the guidelines listed above or the time, place, and manner restrictions listed below. If permission to distribute or display the material is denied, the student shall have the opportunity to make necessary revisions and/or deletions.

Permission to distribute or display material does not imply approval of its contents by either the School, the administration of the School, or the Board.

The student submitting the request shall have the right to appear and present the reasons, supported by relevant witnesses and material, as to why distribution/display of the written material is appropriate.

If the student is dissatisfied with the decision of the principal, s/he may submit a written request for appeal to the Superintendent. The Superintendent will render a decision within forty-eight (48) hours.

Time, Place, and Manner of Distribution or Display

The distribution or display of written material shall be limited to a reasonable time, place, and manner as follows:

 

A

No material may be distributed or displayed during the time or at the place of a school activity if it is likely to cause a substantial disruption of that activity.

   
 

B.

No material may be distributed or displayed if it blocks the safe flow of traffic within corridors and entrance ways of the school, including driveways and roadways.

Definitions

The following definitions shall apply:

 

A.

"Obscene to minors" is defined as:

   
 

1.

the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the written material, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest of minors;

   
 

2.

the material depicts or describes conduct that is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community concerning how such conduct should be presented to minors;

   
 

3.

the material, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.

   
 

B.

"Minor" means any person under eighteen (18) years of age.

Disciplinary Action

Distribution or display by any student of nonschool-sponsored material prohibited by these guidelines will be halted and disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with the procedures contained in AG 5600A and/or AG 5610.

Any other party violating this guideline will be requested to leave the school property immediately and, if necessary, the police will be called.

A version of this administrative guideline is to be published in student handbooks at the secondary level.

© Neola 2010