West Clermont Local School District
Administrative Guidelines
 

5722 - SCHOOL-SPONSORED STUDENT PUBLICATIONS AND PRODUCTIONS

In general, the objectives of school-sponsored student publications and productions are to:

 

A.

communicate to those who are actively interested in the school  i.e., students, teachers, parents, administration, alumni, and other members of the school community;

   
 

B.

provide vehicles for the expression of student thought and action and to act as catalysts for helping students realize goals and objectives;

   
 

C.

create a wholesome school spirit and to support the best traditions of the school;

   
 

D.

promote and encourage school-sponsored activities;

   
 

E.

provide training in useful and purposeful writing, speaking, artwork, photography, and layout;

   
 

F.

create a desire for the best forms of journalism or theatrical production, both in and out of school;

   
 

G.

record in permanent form the history of the school;

   
 

H.

promote cooperation among taxpayers, parents, the school, and its students.

In implementing Board of Education Policy 5722, the following guidelines are applicable:

 

A.

Under those circumstances when the school-sponsored student media is subject to prior review and restraint, the following school officials are designated to conduct the prior review/restraint:

   
 

1.

Building principal

   
 

2.

Superintendent

   
 

Prior review involves the practice of a school official reading or previewing a student publication/production prior to its publication/performance. Prior restraint involves the practice of a school official after reading or previewing the material taking action to modify, inhibit, ban or restrain some or all of the style and/or content of the student publication/production prior to its scheduled publication/performance.

   
 

The staff of the student publication/production shall submit the content of the publication/production to the principal at least minimum of ten (10) school days prior to its scheduled publication/performance. The principal shall read/review the publication/production to verify its style and content are consistent with Board Policy 5722 and community standards.

   
 

The reviewing school official shall either approve the publication/production or notify the affected students at least five (5) school days before the scheduled publication/performance if there are any problems with the style and/or content of the publication/production.

   
 

The reviewing school official may regulate the style and/or restrict the content of the student publication/production for legitimate pedagogical, school-related reasons. Any such prior review and restraint shall be conducted in a reasonable manner that is neutral as to the viewpoint of the speaker.

   
 

If an article/publication/production is published/performed without being reviewed in advance and approved, the students involved in the unauthorized publication/performance may be disciplined.

   
 

Appeal: If the staff of the student publication/production disagrees with the reviewing official's determination, the staff may appeal the decision to the Superintendent, who retains the final authority to determine whether a school-sponsored student media will be published/performed.

   
 

B.

Students who work on school-sponsored student publications/productions shall:

   
 

1.

endeavor to produce media based upon professional standards of accuracy, objectivity and fairness;

   
 

2.

review and edit material to improve sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation;

   
 

3.

check and verify all facts and verify the accuracy of all quotations;

   
 

4.

comply with all State and Federal laws;

   
 

C.

Excellence in writing and/or speaking will be sought and the ethics of responsible journalism and/or literary merit will determine what will be published/performed. Presentation of facts or ideas is to be based on careful research.

     
 

D.

Students shall have the right to express their views and attitudes on all issues provided the speech is not: 1) defamatory, libelous, obscene or harmful to juveniles; 2) reasonably likely to cause substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities or the educational process; 3) an infringement upon the privacy or rights of others; 4) a violation of copyright law; 5) a promotion of activities, products or services unlawful (illegal) as the minors as defined by State or Federal law; or 6) otherwise a violation of school policy and/or State or Federal law.

   
 

E.

Language, pictures, music, or symbols that are obscene, libelous or protected by copyright and/or trademark are prohibited.

   
 

F.

A by-line shall accompany every printed article, publication, or production.

   
 

G.

School publications/productions shall not promote, favor, or oppose any candidate for election or the adoption of any bond issue, proposal, or questions submitted at any election.

   
 

H.

Advertisements shall reflect the spirit of these guidelines. Advertisements shall not be accepted that encourage or advocate violence or disregard of the law, promote the sale of any substance the use of which is prohibited by law (such as drugs and alcohol or of any paraphernalia associated with sex or drugs), any item that would be offensive to a significant population of the school community, or items not in keeping with school purposes or that violate State or Federal law.

   
 

I.

The following types of student expression are not protected (i.e. such expression is subject to prior review and restraint, and/or disciplinary action subsequent to its publication/performance):

   
 

1.

Expression that is obscene, harmful to juveniles and/or considered a sex offense under State or Federal law. "Harmful to juveniles" is defined as material or performance describing or representing nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse in any form to which all of the following apply:

   
 

a.

the material or performance, when considered as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest of juveniles in sex;

   
 

b.

the material or performance is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable for juveniles; and

   
 

c.

the material or performance, when considered as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, and scientific value for juveniles.

   
 

2.

Expression that is defamatory (i.e., speech that is libelous or slanderous). Libelous statements are provably false and unprivileged statements of fact that demonstrate injury to an individual's or business's reputation in the community. If the allegedly false statement involves a "public figure" or a "public official" the statement must be published "with actual malice" to constitute libel (i.e., the speaker knew the statement was false or the speaker published it with reckless disregard of the truth and/or without trying to verify the truthfulness of the statement). If the allegedly false statement involves an individual who is not a public figure or public official, libel occurs if the speaker published the statement willfully or negligently (i.e., the speaker failed to exercise reasonably prudent care when publishing the statement).

   
 

3.

Expression that will cause or is reasonably likely to cause a substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities or the educational process, and/or an infringement upon the privacy and/or rights of others. For student media to be considered disruptive, specific facts must exist upon which one could reasonably forecast that a likelihood of immediate, substantial material disruption to normal school activity or the educational process would occur if the publication or production is published/performed or has occurred as a result of the publication's or production's publication/performance.

© Neola 2011