503.30 School Publications

Students may produce official school publications as part of the curriculum under the supervision of a faculty advisor and the principal. Official school publications include material produced in the journalism, newspaper, yearbook, or writing classes and distributed to the student body either free or for a fee.

Any expression made by students, including student expression in official school publications, is not an expression of official District policy. The District, Board, employees or officials are not liable in any civil or criminal action for any student expression made or published by students unless the employees or officials have interfered with or altered the content of the student speech or expression. The liability, if any, is only to the extent of the interference or alteration of the speech or expression.

Official school publications are free from prior restraint by employees or officials except as provided by law. A faculty advisor will supervise student writers to maintain professional standards of English and journalism and to comply with the law including, but not limited to, the restrictions against unlawful speech. The production of official school publications is guided by the law and by the ethical standards adopted by professional associations or societies of journalism.

Persons, other than students, who believe they have been aggrieved by student expression in a student-produced official school publication will follow the grievance procedure by contacting the building Principal or Chief Officer of Academic Services/designee. Students who believe their freedom of expression in a student-produced official school publication has been restricted will follow the grievance procedure outlined in Board policy 502.04 Student Complaints and Grievances.

The Superintendent/designee is responsible for developing a student publications code. This code will include, but not be limited to, reasonable rules including time, place, and manner of restrictions. The Superintendent/designee will also be responsible for distributing this policy and the student publications code to the students and their parents.

Legal Reference:
Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260 (1988).
Bystrom v. Fridley High School, 822 F.2d 747 (8th Cir. 1987).
Iowa Code § 280.22 (2007).

Cross Reference:
307 Series Communication Channels
502 Series Student Behavior and Discipline
503 Series Student Activities
1004.25 Distribution of Material

R.R. 1 503.30

  1. Official school publications defined.
    An "official school publication" is material produced by students in the journalism, newspaper, yearbook, or writing classes and distributed to students either free or for a fee.
  2. Expression in an official school publication.
  1. No student will express, publish or distribute in an official school publication material which is:
  1. obscene;
  2. libelous;
  3. slanderous; or encourages students to:
    1. commit unlawful acts;
    2. violate school rules;
    3. cause the material and substantial disruption of the orderly and efficient operation of the school or school activity;
    4. disrupt or interfere with the education program;
    5. interrupt the maintenance of a disciplined atmosphere; or
    6. infringe on the rights of others.

2. The official school publication is produced under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

C. Responsibilities of students

  1. Students writing or editing official school publications will assign and edit the news, editorial and feature contents of the official school publications subject to the limitations of the student publications code and the law.
  2. Students will strive to achieve professional standards of accuracy, fairness, objectivity and thoroughness in each and every aspect of official school publications.
  3. Students will strive to achieve professional standards of grammar, usage, punctuation and spelling for clarity and accuracy of official school publications

D. Responsibilities of faculty advisors.
Faculty advisors will supervise student writers to maintain professional standards of English and journalism and to comply with the law including, but not limited to, the restrictions against unlawful speech.

E. Liability.
Student expression in an official school publication will not be deemed to be an expression of the District. The District, the Board, and the employees or officials are not liable in any civil or criminal action for any student expression made or published by students unless the employees or officials have interfered with or altered the content of the student expression. The liability, if any, is only to the extent of interference or alteration of the speech or expression.

F. Appeal procedure.

  1. Students who believe they have been unreasonably restricted in their exercise of expression in an official student publication will seek review of the decision through the student grievance procedure, under Board policy 502.04 Student Complaints and Grievances.
  2. Persons who believe they have been aggrieved by a student-produced official student publication will file their complaint through the citizen grievance procedure, by contacting the building Principal or Chief Officer of Academic Services/designee.


G. Time, place and manner of restrictions on official school publications.

  1. Official student publications may be distributed in a reasonable manner on or off District premises.
  2. Distribution in a reasonable manner will not encourage students to:
  1. commit unlawful acts;
  2. b. violate school rules;
  3. c. cause the material and substantial disruption of the orderly and efficient operation of the District or school activity;
  4. d. disrupt or interfere with the education program;
  5. e. interrupt the maintenance of a disciplined atmosphere; or
  6. f. infringe on the rights of others.



Legal Reference:
Iowa Code §280.22 (Student exercise of free expression)

Adopted:

Reviewed:
December 18, 2000
April 21, 2003
November 16, 2009
March 25, 2013

December 18, 2018

Revised:
December 18, 2000
November 16, 2009
March 25, 2013

December 18, 2018