The news media can be an important means of communicating information about the schools to the community. The Wilkes County Board of Education commits to cooperate in every reasonable way with the news media as the primary purveyors of public information, recognizing their right to all the facts and their responsibility to publish or broadcast these facts in full.
The superintendent is responsible for establishing an effective working relationship with the news media. The news media should be notified whenever necessary to relay information to the public, such as when there are emergency school closings. The superintendent is also expected to identify opportunities to educate the news media regarding the goals of the Wilkes County Board of Education and schools, especially as they relate to student success and the educational program. The superintendent should also inform the news media of the results of the schools’ efforts to improve student performance.
The superintendent may designate a spokesperson to provide information to the news media. The school district will respond to the media’s requests for information in compliance with the Wilkes County Board of Education policy on public records, policy 5070.
The Board of Education policy on visitors to schools, policy 5020, applies to news media. News media are expected to cooperate with the schools in their efforts to provide a safe, orderly and inviting learning environment in which disruptions to instructional time are minimized. The principal or superintendent may require news media to leave or prevent news media from entering school grounds if the news media’s presence interferes with these efforts.
Each school shall develop a press release form for news releases going from the school and bearing the name of the school. This policy is not intended to be censoring in nature but is intended to provide for continuity of news releases, to protect the integrity of the school, and to protect the individual rights of the students.
Legal References: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g; G.S. 115C-47, -114, -319 to - 321, -402; 132-1 to -9; Public Database Indexing Guidelines and Recommendations, N.C. Division of Archives and History; N.C. Attorney General Advisory Opinion, letter to Elizabeth Buford, February 26, 1996.
Cross References: Board Meeting News Coverage (policy 2325), Visitors to the Schools (policy 5020), Emergency Closings (policy 5050), Public Records (policy 5070)
Adopted: January 9, 2006