Wilkes County Schools

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Public Notice
5000 Series - Community Relations » 5210 Distribution of Non-School Sponsored Publications

5210 Distribution of Non-School Sponsored Publications

INTRODUCTION
 
The primary focus of each school is its students and its educational program. Non-school sponsored publications may not be distributed at any school or on any school property without prior review and approval by the principal or other appropriate administrator. This policy governs the distribution of any non-school sponsored publication at any school or on any other school property. Nothing in this policy shall be construed to create an open forum that would allow non-school groups or persons access to school property for the purpose of distributing publications.
 
DEFINITIONS
 
The following definitions shall apply to this policy:
 
1. Publication(s). For purposes of this policy the term publication or publications shall include any audio, visual, printed, or written material, including, but not limited to, tapes, banners, films, pamphlets, notices, newspapers, books, web pages, internet productions or other electronic media presentation.
 
2. Direct Distribution and Passive Distribution. For purposes of this policy, the distribution of any nonschool sponsored publication on school property shall be classified as either direct distribution or passive distribution. Direct distribution is defined as the actual delivery of non-school sponsored publications to students. Passive distribution is defined as the availability of non-school sponsored publications to students on school property at a designated location.
 
3. Obscene – Any speech or work which the average person, applying contemporary community standards (as opposed to “national standards”) would find, taken as a whole, appeals to prurient interest, or which depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable law, and which, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, educational, or scientific value.
 
4. Libelous statement – False and unprivileged statements about a specific individual which injure that person’s reputation in the community.
 
5. Substantial disruption – Any conduct which for any reason including inappropriateness of time, place or type of behavior, significantly interferes with school functions, classroom instruction or with the rights of other students or personnel. Examples of substantially disruptive conduct include, but are not limited to, demonstrations, destruction of property, injury to person, shouting or boisterous conduct, related activities and anything that significantly distracts students from instruction or the school district or school personnel from carrying out educational responsibilities. 
 
DIRECT DISTRIBUTION
 
Direct distribution shall apply only to publications from (1) the Wilkes County Schools, (2) agencies or departments within the county, state, or federal government, (3) PTAs or PTOs, (4) non-profit organized youth sports leagues and (5) any other non-profit, secular organization which provides educational, civic, cultural, or recreational programs for youth. Direct distribution may occur at any elementary school, middle school, or high school with the prior consent and at the direction of school administration.
 
PASSIVE DISTRIBUTION
 
A. PASSIVE DISTRIBUTION BY STUDENTS
 
Any student or group of students desiring to distribute on school property any publication, leaflet, or other publication which is not school sponsored must submit the publication to the principal for review prior to distribution. The principal may prohibit distribution if the publication contains speech that is prohibited as below. The principal must decide whether to allow the publication to be distributed within five school days following its submission for review. The requesting student or group of students may appeal the principal’s decision to the superintendent by filing a written request with the superintendent within five school days following receipt of the principal’s decision. Within five school days following receipt of an appeal, the superintendent shall review the publication and notify the requesting student or group of students whether or not the principal’s decision is affirmed. The requesting student or group of students may appeal the superintendent’s decision to the Board of Education by filing a written request with the superintendent within five school days following receipt of the superintendent’s decision. The Board of Education will conduct a hearing upon the appeal within thirty calendar days following the superintendent’s receipt of the notice of appeal. The hearing will be conducted pursuant to Board Policy 2500, Hearings Before the Board.
 
B. PASSIVE DISTRIBUTION BY NON-STUDENTS
 
Any person, group of persons, or entity desiring to distribute on school property any publication, leaflet, or other publication which is not school sponsored must submit the publication to the principal for review prior to distribution. The principal will notify the requesting person, group, or entity of his/her decision within five school days following its submission for review. The requesting person, group, or entity may appeal the principal’s decision to the superintendent by filing a written request with the superintendent within five school days following receipt of the principal’s decision. Within five school days following receipt of an appeal, the superintendent shall review the publication and notify the requesting person, group, or entity whether or not the principal’s decision is affirmed. The requesting person, group, or entity may appeal the superintendent’s decision to the Board of Education by filing a written request with the superintendent within five school days following receipt of the superintendent’s decision. The Board of Education will conduct a hearing upon the appeal within thirty calendar days following the superintendent’s receipt of the notice of appeal. The hearing will be conducted pursuant to Board Policy 2500, Hearings Before the Board. 
 
C. PASSIVE DISTRIBUTION OF APPROVED NON-SCHOOL SPONSORED PUBLICATIONS
 
Non-school sponsored publications which have been approved for passive distribution will be made available to students in the media center or other school location designated by the principal. Such publication may not be available in classrooms, homerooms, assemblies, or in any other part of the school not designated by the principal. Students shall be informed only that they should feel free to take the publication or not to take the publication as they so desire. Located adjacent to the publication shall be a printed notification to students that the publication does not reflect the approval or the disapproval of the Wilkes County Schools. No school employee may comment on or in any way influence a student’s decision whether or not to take the publication.
 
DIRECT STANDARDS FOR REVIEW OF NON-SCHOOL SPONSORED PUBLICATIONS
 
The following standards shall apply in determining whether or not to permit the active or passive distribution of any publication:
 
1. The principal, the superintendent, and/or the Board of Education must review the publication. While a publication will not be screened for viewpoint, the principal, the superintendent, and/or the Board of Education will prohibit the distribution of any publication that is disruptive to the educational environment or for which the subject matter conveyed (a) is vulgar, indecent or obscene; (b) contains libelous statements, personal attacks or abusive language such as language defaming a person’s character, race, religion, ethnic origin, gender, family status, or disability; (c) causes or clearly threatens to cause a substantial disruption of normal classroom activity, any normal school function, or other school activity; (d) encourages the commission of unlawful acts or the violation of lawful school regulations; or (e) advertises any product or service not permitted to minors by law.
 
2. The distribution of non-school sponsored publications may not interfere with instructional time.
 
3. The publication must be clearly identified, through the method of distribution or otherwise, as a nonschool sponsored publications that is neither endorsed nor approved by the school or school district and is not otherwise reflective of the views of the school or the school district.
 
4. Political campaign materials for candidates may not be distributed to students or employees (including through employee mailboxes) or made available on school grounds during school time or at school events. However, on election days, posters and printed materials are permitted at schools used as polling places in accordance with state law and board of elections requirements. 
 
 
 
Legal References: U.S. Const. amend. I; G.S. 115C-36, -47
Cross References: Hearings Before the Board (policy 2500), Collections and Solicitations (policy 5220)
Adopted: August 7, 2006
Revised: