Updated: Apr 6, 2020
NEPN/NSBA Code: JICEC
STUDENT DISTRIBUTION OF NON-SCHOOL MATERIALS
It is beneficial to the basic educational mission of the school for students to express their own views concerning a wide variety of topics and issues and share them in an appropriate manner with other students in the school. Students’ rights to express their views in the school, however, must be exercised responsibly and with consideration for the special characteristics of the school environment. The school has a duty to ensure students views are expressed in a manner that is consistent with the basic educational mission of the school.
The following rules shall apply to student distribution of non-school materials on school premises.
A. Distribution Limited to Student-Prepared Materials
Student expression of their own views in their own words or through preparation of their own materials can have educational value. Materials that are not prepared by students, however, may not provide such educational benefit, and the schools shall not be used by outside individuals or groups to further their goals through communication with students and/or staff. All materials must meet the guidelines delineated in Section D.
B. Copy for Principal 24 hours in advance of the time.
A copy of the materials shall be provided to the principal at or before the time distribution is to begin, along with the name of the student or students who are distributing the materials.
The principal shall determine whether the materials comply with the guidelines of this policy and shall consult with the Superintendent and legal counsel if necessary.
The school's determination that the material complies with the guidelines does not imply approval of its contents by the school, the administrators of the school, the Board of Directors, or the individual reviewing the material submitted. The distributors and authors of the material shall be solely responsible for its contents.
C. Guidelines - see section F
Materials distributed on school premises shall not include expression that: (see Section G for definitions)
1. Is obscene to minors;
2. Is libelous;
3. Is pervasively indecent or vulgar, if distributed in the high school or junior high school; contains any indecent or vulgar language, if distributed in the elementary schools;
4. Advertises any product or service not permitted to minors by law;
5. Constitutes insulting or fighting words, the very expression of which injures or harasses other people (e.g., threats of violence or harassment based on race, religion, ethnic origin, handicap or gender);
6. Presents a clear and present likelihood that it will cause a material and substantial disruption of the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities, or will cause/promote the commission of unlawful acts or violation of Board/school policies/rules;
7. Expresses religious beliefs or points of view that students would reasonably believe, due to the content or format, to be sponsored, endorsed or given official imprimatur *1 by the school; and/or
8. Is deemed inappropriate to the age and emotional maturity of students.
D. Time, Place and Manner of Distribution
Students may distribute materials at any entrance or exit to the school before and after school and in a location in the cafeteria designated by the principal during all lunch periods. Students shall not distribute materials in a manner which disrupts any school activity or blocks or impedes the safe flow of traffic within corridors and entranceways of the school. No students or staff members shall be compelled or coerced to accept any materials. Students who distribute materials shall be responsible for cleaning up materials thrown on the grounds and within school buildings.
E. Compliance with Policy
Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action.
F. Policy Definitions
1. Obscene to minors is defined as:
a) The average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the written material, taken as a whole appeals to the prurient *2 interest of minors;
b) The material depicts or describes sexual conduct in a manner that is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community; and/or
c) The material, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors.
2. Minor means any person under the age of 18.
3. Libel is a false statement about a specific individual that tends to harm the individual’s reputation or to lower him/her in the esteem of the community.
4. Distribution means circulation or dissemination of materials by means of handing out free copies, selling or offering copies for sale and accepting donations for copies. It includes displaying materials in areas of the school which are generally frequented by students.
5. Materials include any form of communication including but not limited to writing, printing, recorded tape, film, video, computer disk, and amplified voice. For purposes of this policy, “materials” include tangible objects bearing no verbal communication or messages that are nonetheless distributed for the purpose of communication or expression.
Cross Reference: JICE – School-Sponsored Student Publications
KHC – Public Distribution of Non-School Materials
*1 A person's acceptance or guarantee that something is of good standard
*2 Encouraging interest in sexual matters
Adopted: November 12, 1992
Revised: May 24, 2001
Revised: June 1, 2017