While serving to instruct students in the basic skills of responsible journalism, official school publications shall be free to provide thoughtful, relevant commentaries on all topics within the bounds of good taste.

Student editors in journalism, newspaper, yearbook and writing classes shall assign and edit the news, editorial and feature content of their publications. Faculty advisors shall help the student editors judge the literary value, newsworthiness and propriety of materials submitted for publication. All statements and editorials must be substantiated by fact. Editorials may freely aim constructive criticism at school organizations, procedures and policies, but such criticism should reflect the opinions of a cross-section of the publication staff. Editorial columns that express only the opinion of the writer shall be bylined.

As space permits, editorial pages shall be open to any students wishing to express their ideas or to rebut editorials in a letter. School newspapers shall print a fair selection and accurate representation of the letters they receive.

Faculty advisors shall supervise student publications so as to maintain professional standards of English and journalism and to assure that their content complies with the provisions of Board policy. The advisors and/or principal shall exercise no prior restraint of prepared material except as provided in the Publications Code (BP 5145.2) for that which is obscene, libelous, slanderous, or incites students to commit unlawful acts, violate school rules, or disrupt school operations.

Legal Reference:
Education Code
48907 Student exercise of free expression

First Reading: 10/13/04

Governing Board Adoption: 11/10/04

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