The School Board of Miami-Dade County
Bylaws & Policies
Unless a specific policy has been amended and the date the policy was revised is noted at the bottom of that policy, the Bylaws and Policies of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools were adopted on May 11, 2011 and were in effect beginning July 1, 2011.
 

5722 - SCHOOL-SPONSORED STUDENT PUBLICATIONS, PRODUCTIONS, AND PERFORMANCES

Student publications, productions, performances, and speeches are means through which students learn, under adult direction, the rights and responsibilities inherent in the expression of ideas and information in a democratic society.

Definitions

School-sponsored student media shall include student publications, productions, and performances which are print, performance, or web-based.

"Student publications" shall include any written materials, (including, but not limited to, bulletin boards, banners, flyers, posters, pamphlets, notices, newspapers, playbills, yearbooks, literary journals, books, and t-shirts and other school-sponsored clothing), as well as all web-based communications (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).

"Publication" shall also include distribution and dissemination of a student publication.

"Student productions "shall include vocal and theatrical performances, impromptu dramatic presentations, exhibits, 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).

"Performance" shall include student speeches, cheerleading, dance squads/drill teams, band performances, school-related dance competitions, and cultural performances (formal dance, popular social dance, or recreational dance) presented at school-sponsored events and/or any presentation and broadcast of a student production. Regular and special radio and television programs shall be consistent with the goals approved by the School Board.

All school-sponsored student media, with the exception of those originating from classrooms not otherwise directly associated with student publications and productions, are limited-purpose public forums where students can address matters of concern and/or interest to their readers/viewers. The student journalists and/or performers involved in these publications/productions have the right to determine the content of the student media. The content is open to the public at large at the discretion of the student journalists/performers and may address general matters of public concern.

School sponsors will not review or restrict the content of non-classroom school-sponsored student publications or productions prior to publication/performance, except with respect to unprotected speech. Sponsors are responsible for guiding students in the parameters of unprotected speech and for ensuring that unprotected speech does not appear in student publications or productions. 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.

Student First Amendment Rights & Responsibilities

The student press and student expression are essential in establishing and maintaining an atmosphere of open discussion, intellectual exchange, and freedom of expression at school-related functions. Student journalists, visual and performing arts students, student performers, and student speakers shall be afforded protection against censorship. However, in the school setting, this protection must be balanced against the responsibility to maintain the safe and orderly operation of schools.

The following speech is unprotected and prohibited in all school-sponsored student publications, productions, performances, and speeches because it infringes upon the rights of others and/or is reasonably likely to cause substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities or the educational process: speech that violates copyright law; speech that is defamatory, libelous, vulgar, lewd, or obscene; speech that encourages illegal drug use and speech that otherwise violates the Code of Student Conduct, Board policy, and/or State or Federal law.

Student publications, productions, performances, and speeches, shall be age appropriate for the students who are delivering the material.

School sponsors may restrict speech that is grammatically incorrect poorly written, inadequately researched, biased or prejudiced, or unsuitable for immature audiences. All restrictions on school-sponsored speech and expression must be reasonably related to a legitimate educational concern.

If controversial issues are introduced in school-sponsored publications, productions, performances, and speeches, equal opportunity should be given to present opposing viewpoints.

Advertising

Advertising is permitted in school newspapers, yearbooks, programs, etc. which are published by student organizations. Permission should be given by the club sponsor and must comply with Policy 9700.01.

Outside Agencies

The staffs and students of the school shall not be used to promote the interests of any non-school agency, individual or organization, except that the:

 A.schools may cooperate in furthering the work of any nonprofit community-wide social service agency, provided that such cooperation does not restrict or impair the educational program of the schools;

 B.schools may use film or other educational materials bearing only simple mention of the producing firm, provided such materials can be justified on the basis of their actual educational values;

 C.Superintendent may, at discretion, announce or authorize to be announced, any lecture, community activity, or film of particular educational merit;

 D.schools may, upon approval of the Superintendent, cooperate with any agency in promoting activities in the general public interest that are nonpartisan and noncommercial, when such activities promote the educational or other best interests of the students.

Some examples of activities that are prohibited include, but are not limited to,: publications, productions, performances, and speeches which fail to identify the student or organization responsible; soliciting funds for non-school organizations or institutions when such solicitations have not been approved by the Board; promoting favor or opposing any candidate for election to the Board; and the adoption of any bond issue, proposal, or question submitted at any election.

F.S. 1001.43(3)(c)
Fla. Const. Art. I, Sec. 4

Revised 9/9/15

© Miami-Dade 2015