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504.3 Student 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 print or official electronic formats in the journalism, newspaper, yearbook, or writing classes and distributed to the student body either free or for a fee.

Official publications such as the school newspaper, yearbook, and other publications created for publication at school must be submitted to the faculty advisor/sponsor for approval prior to distribution. School and other publications which are obscene, libelous, or slanderous shall not be expressed, published or distributed in any official school publication. Materials that encourage students to commit unlawful acts, violate lawful school regulations, or could cause the material and substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school shall not be expressed, published, or distributed in any official school publication.

Official school publications are free from prior restraint by employees or officials except as provided by law. A faculty advisor shall 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 shall be guided by the law and by the ethical standards adopted by professional associations or societies of journalism.

Any expressions made by students, including student expression in official school publications, is not an expression of official school policy. The school 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 speech or expression. The liability, if any, is only to the extent of the interference or alteration of the speech or expression.

Persons, other than students, who believe they have been aggrieved by student expression in a student-produced official school publication shall follow the grievance procedure outlined in board policy 203.14 Handling General Complaints By Citizens. Students who believe their freedom of expression in a student-produced official school publication has been restricted shall follow the grievance procedure outlined in board policy 505.5 Resolution Of Student Concerns.

The Superintendent shall be responsible for developing a student publications code. This code shall include, but not be limited to, reasonable rules including time, place, and manner restrictions. The Superintendent shall 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.

Cross Reference:  Series 1001 Public Communications
Public Complaints about Employees
Series 503 Student Activities
Policy 203.14 Handling General Complaints by Citizens
Policy 505.5 Resolution of Student Concerns
Policy 1007 Distribution of Materials
Policy Primer-Volume 7, Number 3-May 31, 1994

Adopted:   Unknown
Modified:  06/21/21
Reviewed:  06/07/21

  • Series 500 Students