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7.25 - Guidelines for School-Sponsored Publications, Productions, and Websites [HS]

School-sponsored publications, productions and websites are governed by the Speech Rights of Student Journalists Act, school board policies and the student/parent handbook. Student journalists are responsible for determining the news, opinion, feature, and advertising content of those publications, productions, and websites. 

Student journalists must:

  1. Make decisions based upon news value and guided by the Code of Ethics provided by the Society of Professional Journalists, National Scholastic Press Association, Journalism Education Association, or other relevant group;
  2. Produce media based upon professional standards of accuracy, objectivity, and fairness;
  3. Review material to improve sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and punctuation;
  4. Check and verify all facts and verify the accuracy of all quotations;
  5. In the use of personal opinions, editorial statements, and/or letters to the editor, provide opportunity and space for the expression of differing opinions within the same media to align with the District’s media literacy curriculum mandate; and
  6. Include an author’s name with any personal opinions and editorial statements, if appropriate. 

Student journalists may not create, produce, or distribute school sponsored media that:

  1. Is libelous, slanderous, or obscene;
  2. Constitutes an unwanted invasion of privacy;
  3. Violates Federal or State law, including the constitutional rights of third parties; or
  4. Incites students to (a) commit an unlawful act; (b) violate any school district policy or student handbook procedure; or (c) materially and substantially disrupt the orderly operations of the school.

The District will not engage in prior restraint of material prepared by student journalists for school-sponsored media, unless the material fits into one of the four prohibited categories listed above, in which case the Building Principal and/or student media advisers may review, edit, and delete such media material before publication or distribution of the media.

No expression made by students in the exercise of freedom of speech or freedom of the press under this policy shall be deemed to be an expression of the School, District or an expression of Board policy

Round Lake Area Schools Community Unit District 116 Policy, 7:315, Restrictions on Publications; High Schools