Students may produce official school publications as part of the curriculum under the supervision of a faculty advisor and the principal. Official school publications include material produced in the journalism, newspaper, yearbook, or writing classes and distributed to the student body either free or for a fee.
Any expression made by students, including student expression in official school publications, is not an expression of official school policy. The school district, the board, and the employees or officials are not liable in any civil or criminal action for any student expression made or published by students unless the employees or officials have interfered with or altered the content of the student speech or expression. The liability, if any, is only to the extent of the interference or alteration of the speech or expression.
Official school publications are free from prior restraint by employees or officials except as provided by law. A faculty advisor will supervise student writers to maintain professional standards of English and journalism and to comply with the law including, but not limited to, the restrictions against unlawful speech. The production of official school publications is guided by the law and by the ethical standards adopted by professional associations or societies of journalism.
Persons, other than students, who believe they have been aggrieved by student expression in a student-produced official school publication will follow the grievance procedure outlined in board policy 214.1. Students who believe their freedom of expression in a student-produced official school publication has been restricted will follow the grievance procedure outlined in board policy 502.6.
School administration is responsible for developing a student publications code. This code will include, but not be limited to, reasonable rules including time, place, and manner of restrictions. School administration will also be responsible for distributing this policy and the student publications code to the students and their parents.
Date Board Approved: 9/15/1996
Date Board Updated/Reviewed: 12/18/2017
Legal Reference: Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260 (1988).
Bystrom v. Fridley High School, 822 F.2d 747 (8th Cir. 1987).
Iowa Code § 280.22 (2013).