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502.03 Freedom of Expression

It is the goal of the district to protect the educational environment for all students to help ensure it is free from substantial disruption or infringement upon student rights. Student expression should be appropriate to ensure that the students learn and meet the goals of the school district and district activities. Students’ intellectual freedom shall be protected, and discrimination against students based on speech shall not be permissible.

Student expression, other than student expression in student-produced official school publications, made on the District premises or under the jurisdiction of the District or as part of a District-sponsored activity may be attributed to the District; therefore, student expression must be responsible. Student expression must be appropriate to assure that the students learn and meet the goals of the District activity and that the potential audience is not exposed to material that may be harmful or inappropriate for their level of maturity.

Students will be allowed to express their viewpoints and opinions as long as the expression is responsible. The expression will not, in the judgment of the administration, encourage the breaking of laws, defame others, be obscene or indecent, or cause a material and substantial disruption to the educational program. The administration, when making this judgment, will consider whether the activity in which the expression was made is District-sponsored and whether review or prohibition of the students’ speech furthers an educational purpose. Further, the expression must be done in a reasonable time, place, and manner that is not disruptive to the orderly and efficient operation of the District.

Retaliation against a person who files a complaint for a violation of this policy may result in discipline.

Students who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary measures. Employees are responsible for ensuring students’ expression is in keeping with this policy. It is the responsibility of the Superintendent/designee to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.

Legal Reference:
U.S. Const. amend. I.
Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260.
Bethel School District v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675.
New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325.
Tinker v. Des Moines Ind. Comm. Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503.
Bystrom v. Fridley High School, 822 F.2d 747 (8th Cir.).
Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 279.73; 280.22

Cross Reference:
502.00 Series Student Behavior and Discipline
504.00 Series Student Activities Student Health and Safety Regulations
603.70 Teaching Controversial Issues
1004.25 Distribution of Materials


August 12, 2009
January 19, 2015
March 23, 2020
June 20, 2021

January 19, 2015
March 23, 2020
July 6, 2021