7:310 Restrictions on Publications; Elementary Schools

School-Sponsored Publications and Web Sites

School-sponsored publications, productions, and web sites are part of the curriculum and are not a public forum for general student use.  School authorities may edit or delete material that is inconsistent with the District’s educational mission.

All school-sponsored communications shall comply with the ethics and rules of responsible journalism.  Text that is libelous, obscene, vulgar, lewd, invades the privacy of others, conflicts with the basic educational mission of the school, is socially inappropriate, is inappropriate due to the maturity of the students, or is materially disruptive to the educational process will not be tolerated.

The author’s name will accompany personal opinions and editorial statements.  An opportunity for the expression of differing opinions from those published/produced will be provided within the same media.

Non-School Sponsored Publications Accessed or Distributed On-Campus

For purposes of this section and the following section, a publication includes, without limitation: (1) written or electronic print material, and (2) audio-visual material, on any medium including electromagnetic media (e.g. images, MP3 files, flash memory, etc.), or combinations of these whether off-line (e.g., a printed book, CD-ROM, etc.) or on-line (e.g., any website, social networking site, database for information retrieval, etc.), or (3) information or material on electronic devices (e.g. data or voice messages delivered by cell phones, tablets, and other hand-held devices).

Creating, distributing and/or accessing non-school sponsored publications shall occur at a time and place and in a manner that will not cause disruption, be coercive, or result in the perception that the distribution or the publication is endorsed by the School District.

Students are prohibited from creating, distributing and/or accessing at school any publication that:

  1. Will cause substantial disruption of the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities;
  2. Violates the rights of others, including but not limited to material that is libelous, invades the privacy of others, or infringes on a copyright;
  3. Is socially inappropriate or inappropriate due to maturity level of the students, including but not limited to material that is obscene, pornographic, or pervasively lewd and vulgar, contains indecent and vulgar language, or sexting as defined by School Board policy and Student Handbooks;
  4. Is reasonably viewed as promoting illegal drug use; or
  5. Is distributed in kindergarten through eighth grade and is primarily prepared by non-students, unless it is being used for school purposes. Nothing herein shall be interpreted to prevent the inclusion of material from outside sources or the citation to such sources as long as the material to be distributed or accessed is primarily prepared by students.

Accessing or distributing “on-campus” includes accessing or distributing on school property or at school-related activities. A student engages in gross disobedience and misconduct and may be disciplined for:  (1) accessing or distributing forbidden material, or (2) for writing, creating, or publishing such material intending for it to be accessed or distributed at school.

Non-School Sponsored Publications Accessed or Distributed Off-Campus

A student engages in gross disobedience and misconduct and may be disciplined for creating and/or distributing a publication that: (1) causes a substantial disruption or a foreseeable risk of a substantial disruption to school operations, or (2) interferes with the rights of other students or staff members.

Bullying and Cyberbullying

The Superintendent or designee shall treat behavior that is bullying or cyberbullying according to Board policy 7:180, Prevention of and Response to Bullying, Intimidation, and Harrassment, in addition to any response required by this policy.

Cross Reference: 

6:235 Access to Electronic Networks

7:180 Preventing Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment

8:25 Community Relations

Legal Reference(s):

105 ILCS 5/27-23.7

Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, 108 S.Ct. 562 (1988).

Hedges v. Wauconda Community Unit School Dist. No. 118, 9 F.3d 1295 (7th Cir. 1993).

Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist., 89 S.Ct. 733 (1969).

Date Adopted:   April 22, 2017

Date Amended:  February 7, 2017