NORWICH FREE ACADEMY
STUDENT PUBLICATIONS AND PRODUCTIONS POLICY
Student publications are important elements of the instructional program and contribute directly to the accomplishment of the school's goals. The Board of Trustees shall encourage this development.
Freedom of speech and of expression in student publications and productions as guaranteed by the First Amendment is to be observed scrupulously by the administration, faculty and students.
Rights of Students:
1. To print factual articles dealing with topics of interest to the student writers.
2. To print, on the editorial page, opinions on any topic, whether school related or not, which students feel are of interest to themselves or to the readers.
Responsibilities of Student:
1. To submit copy that conforms to good journalistic writing style;
2. To re-write stories, as required by an advisor, to improve journalistic structure, sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation;
3. To check facts and verify quotes;
4. In the case of editorials on controversial issues, to provide space for rebuttals, in the same issue if possible, but otherwise no later than the following issue.
Material Not Permitted in Official School Publications or Productions:
1. Material which is obscene, offensive, vulgar, indecent or libelous or which violates anyone's rights of privacy;
2. Profanity, including but not limited to language which would not be used in "The Norwich Bulletin" or "The New London Day;"
3. Material which criticizes or demeans any race, religion, age, sex, ethnic group or other protected classes;
4. Ads for cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, or any other product not conducive to good health or the best interests of the school.
5. Any material, the publication or production of which would cause substantial disruption of the school and/or place persons or property in danger. Substantial disruption is
hereby defined as the threat of physical violence in the school or nearby community and/or the disruption of the school's educational program; and
6. Endorsements of political candidates or ballot measures, whether such endorsements are made via editorial, articles, letter or photograph cartoon. The newspaper may, however, publish "fact sheet" types of articles on candidates and ballot measures, provided such articles do not endorse any person or position, and provided equal space is provided for all candidates for a particular office or both sides of a ballot measure.
7. Productions or publications that use inappropriate language or cover inappropriate topics for a school sponsored forum.
Determination of Appropriateness:
The publication or production advisor shall have the primary responsibility of reviewing each publication or production prior to its presentation to determine if it satisfies all the conditions of these guidelines. The publication's administrative liaison may also review these efforts prior to its presentation.
Resolution of Differences:
In the event of disagreement as to whether a proposed publication or production should be presented, the school shall have a review board. The review board shall consist of the administrative liaison; the advisor; and two representatives from S.A.B. who shall make a determination. All appeals from this review board will go to the Superintendent/Head of School.
In any and all student publications and productions, the Superintendent/Head of School reserves the right to render a decision as to its appropriateness and ultimate presentation.
Legal References: Academic Freedom Policy (adopted by Connecticut State Board of Education 9/9/81)
Adopted: January 11, 1995
Policy Revised: April 21, 2009