Updated: Feb 8, 2021
NEPN/NSBA Code: KHB
ADVERTISING IN THE SCHOOLS
The School Board believes that product advertising and/or endorsement in the schools should be limited, tactful, and in good taste. The Board has an obligation to assure that students, who are required by law to attend school, are not subjected to commercial messages of any kind without careful analysis of the benefits and risks that pertain in each instance. Since the issue of advertising in the schools can be attended by strong opinions, the Board may seek comments and recommendations from the administration, the professional teaching staff and the community prior to considering any form of advertising in schools, on school grounds or on school buses.
The Board is opposed in principle to accepting any programming, equipment or services that are offered only on the basis of mandatory exposure of students to product advertising. Corporate involvement shall not require students to observe, listen to, or read, commercial advertising. The Board recognizes, however, that in some instances product names, logos or advertising may be acceptable when the programming, equipment or services can be clearly shown to be of significant benefit to the school program.
The Board reserves the right to consider requests for advertising in the schools, on school grounds or on school buses on a case-by-case basis, except that:
A. Brand specific advertising of food or beverages is prohibited in school buildings, on school grounds or on school buses except for food and beverages meeting standards for sale or distribution on school grounds in accordance with Department of Education rules. For the purpose of this paragraph, “advertising” does not include advertising on broadcast media or in print media such as newspapers and magazines, clothing with brand images worn on school grounds or advertising on product packaging.
B. Consistent with its efforts to promote a safe and healthy school environment, the Board will not agree to displays of advertising in school buildings, on school grounds, or on school buses for tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, firearms, drugs (including prescription and over-the-counter medications), performance enhancing substances, dietary supplements, or other products deemed inappropriate for the school.
C. All company logos appearing on district property including non-cash donations shall be for information purposes only without slogan or message.
D. Public signs indicating the district’s appreciation of a business, non-profit organization or individual’s support of education shall be permitted if approved by the school board.
E. The Board shall review for approval all sponsorships of any kind from any source including naming rights that exceed $1000 annually and extend beyond a one-year agreement. The Superintendent may enter into an agreement valued at less than $1,000 with a term of one year or less, consistent with the requirements of this policy.
F. No partnership, sponsorship, or advertising agreement with the district will be exclusive, nor shall it be construed as an endorsement of the business, it’s products or services. All sponsorships must show a significant benefit to the school program. The Board reserves the right to terminate any agreement at any time.
G. Athletic facilities may be used for commercial advertising to support school programs. The Superintendent shall have approval rights on the content and form of all advertising. Placement and design of all signage hung on school grounds/property must be approved by the building principal and Superintendent in accordance with applicable guidelines.
H. Schools are permitted to incorporate advertisements from community businesses in their school publications and to sell advertising space to appropriate vendors in support of the school, subject to Superintendent’s approval and in accordance with applicable guidelines.
Promotion of any image or activity that is not in keeping with the established goals and purposes of the Board is prohibited.
J. The district reserves the right to review and refuse any submission which, in the judgment of administrators, is not appropriate to the public school setting or which includes messages of a personal, political, social, or religious nature. Advertising activities are not intended to create a public forum.
Legal Reference: 20-A M.R.S.A. § 6662
Me. Dept. of Ed. Rule Ch.51
Cross Reference: EFE – Competitive Food Sales – Sales of Foods in Competition with the School Food Services Program
Adopted: December 3, 2009
June 12, 2019