504 Student Activities

504.1 Student Government

Code No. 504.1

STUDENT GOVERNMENT

The student government provides for student activities, serves as a training experience for both leaders and followers, promotes the common good, develops high ideals of personal conduct, acts as a clearing house for student activities, seeks to interest students in school affairs and helps solve problems that may arise.

The principal, in conjunction with the students and licensed personnel, shall set forth the guidelines for the student government's elections, operations, and other elements of the government.  

 

 

Date of Last Review:  June 2013

Date of Revision:

December 9, 2002                   

 

 

Legal References:

 

279.8, 280.14, Code of Iowa                                    

 

543245

DECORAH COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD OF DIRECTORS

504.2 Student Organizations

Code No. 504.2

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

Students and staff members may apply to form a school-sponsored student organization.  Applications shall be made to the building principal who shall make a recommendation to the Superintendent, stating the purpose and the objectives of the organization.  No student organization shall be school-sponsored unless approval has been given by the Board of Directors and a District-approved sponsor is appointed.  No religious or political group shall be school-sponsored.

Secondary school student-initiated groups which are not school-sponsored may meet on school premises during non-instructional time.  The meetings shall be strictly voluntary on the part of the students, may not interfere with the orderly conduct of school activities, and shall take place before school classes begin or after school classes end.  The time and place of the meetings shall be approved in advance by the building principal, or its designee, and the meetings must be supervised.  Non-school persons may not direct, conduct, control or regularly attend the meetings.  Employees of the District may attend student-initiated groups organized for political or religious purposes only in a custodial capacity and shall not plan, encourage attendance, criticize or in any way participate in such meetings if the meetings occur during the employee’s work day.  The District shall not deny student-initiated groups the right to use school facilities pursuant to this section on the basis of the religious, political, philosophical, or other content of the speech; however, all meetings must be lawful.  Student-initiated groups which are not school-sponsored shall not use the school name, mascot, or other sign or symbol that might imply District sponsorship.  Any announcements regarding student-initiated groups shall indicate that they are not school-sponsored.

 

 

Date of Last Review:  June 2013

Date of Revision:

July 15, 2013                          

 

 

Legal References:

 

279.8, 280.3, 280.14, Chapter 287, Code of Iowa;   

Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. §4071, et seq.               

 

00959308

DECORAH COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

504.3 Student Publications

Code No. 504.3

STUDENT PUBLICATIONS

It is the policy of the Decorah Community School District that all official school publications shall be free from prior restraint by school officials except as provided by law.  An editorial board comprising participating students under the supervision of publication advisers shall be responsible for the content of official student publications.  The editorial board shall be guided by the Iowa Code and by ethical standards adopted by professional associations or societies of journalism.  Publications shall provide students an opportunity for the exchange of ideas and robust debate about topics of student interest, including those that may be controversial.

Student expression in official school publications is not an expression of school policy.  Public school districts and employees or officials are not liable in any civil or criminal action for any student expression made or published by students, unless the school employees or officials have interfered with or altered the content of the student's speech or expression, and then only to the extent of the interference or alteration of that speech or expression.

Schools possess a substantial educational interest in teaching student writers journalistic skills.  Journalism advisers shall supervise student writers to maintain professional standards of English and journalism and to comply with Iowa law including the restrictions against unlawful speech.

It is the policy of the District to encourage the resolution of complaints arising from the application of this policy through an appeal process.  If an item is deleted by the adviser, there may be an appeal to the building principal, who shall respond promptly (within three (3) school days).  If the principal denies distribution, an appeal may be made to the Superintendent who shall respond within three (3) school days.

The building principal shall designate the time, manner and place of distribution of all student publications so as to prevent interference with the proper and orderly operation of the schools.

The Board of Directors believes it has a compelling interest in promoting the ideals of citizenship and personal and civic responsibility.  This includes discouragement of illegal activities and the purchase or use of products which are illegal to minors.  Therefore, advertisements, whether purely commercial, quasi-commercial, or political in nature, that encourage illegal activity or activity that is in violation of properly adopted school regulations, or encourage or promote the purchase or use of products or services that are illegal for minors will not be accepted for publication or broadcast.  The editorial board of the publication is responsible for enforcement of this policy.

 

 

 

Date of Last Review:  June 2013

 

Date of Revision:

 

July 15, 2013                          

 

 

Legal References:

 

 

256.9(36), 279.8, 280.22, Code of Iowa; 281 I.A.C.

12.6(1)                                                                     

 

 

00959322

 

DECORAH COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD OF DIRECTOR

504.3R1 Official Student Publications Regulation

Code. No. 504.3-R1

OFFICIAL STUDENT PUBLICATIONS REGULATION

A.        Definitions.

The following definitions are provided to assist in the interpretation of this Regulation.

1.              An “official school publication” is any curricular or co-curricular student publication or broadcast, including but not limited to newspapers, yearbooks, literary magazines, television, radio or cable television programs produced in curricular or co-curricular journalism or journalism-related activities under the sponsorship of the District and distributed or disseminated to the student body either free or for a fee.

2.              “Obscene material” means that which the average person, applying community standards, finds as a whole to appeal to a minor’s prurient interest in sex, and depicts or describes in an offensive way sexual conduct or sexual acts, and which lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.  For purposes of an audience of students, forms of expression that are vulgar, indecent, lewd, or sexually explicit may be considered obscene.

3.              “Libelous” statements are false, unprivileged statements the average reader would interpret as statements of fact and which damage the reputation of an individual or business.

4.              “Encourage” means to spur on, stimulate, or foster.  Mere factual reporting of controversial issues shall not be considered encouragement.

5.              “Material and substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school” means student actions or behaviors that can reasonably be believed or feared to significantly interrupt school activities or intrude unreasonably in school affairs.  The phrase also includes interference with the rights of others.  Examples that might reasonably lead to the forecast of material and substantial disruption include, but are not limited to, student violence or rioting; unlawful seizures of property; vandalism to or destruction of property; boycotts, sit-ins, walk-outs or related activities at school.

            The undifferentiated fear or apprehension of a potential disturbance is not adequate justification for suppressing student expression; the ability to show substantial facts that reasonably support a forecast of likely disruption is required.  Past experience under similar circumstances, current events influencing student activities and behavior, and instances of actual or threatened disruption relating to the material in question may be considered.

B.        Prior Restraint of Material Prepared for an Official School Publication.

No student shall publish in an official school publication material which is obscene, libelous, or encourages students to commit unlawful acts, violate school rules, cause the material and substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school, or infringe on the rights of others.

C.        Fair Comment Rule.

Student journalists are entitled to the protection of the “fair comment rule,” which provides that all persons are free to express opinions on matters of common interest.  Students are free to comment responsibly on school policies or the performance of school administrators, teachers, or employees, so long as the comments or criticisms are statements of opinion and are not libelous.  However, student journalists are not entitled to a wholesale defamation exemption under the fair comment rule merely by including the disclaimer “In my opinion” or a similar phrase in conjunction with a false and damaging statement.

Public officials or “public figures” who claim to be libeled must prove the student journalist made false statements with actual malice, i.e., that the journalist knew the statement was false or acted recklessly in failing to verify the statement.  School officials are generally deemed public figures in student publications concerning school-related activities.  School employees may or may not be public figures; the determination often depends on the involvement of the employee in issues of public importance.

Private persons, those not in the public eye, must show that a statement was made negligently, i.e., that the journalist failed to exercise reasonable care in preparing the article, to prove libel.

D.        Advice.

If, in the opinion of the student editor, student editorial staff, faculty adviser, or school official, material proposed for publication may fall within the prohibitions of Section B of this Regulation, legal advice should be sought.

E.         Appeal Procedure.

Students who believe they have been unreasonably restricted in the exercise of their freedom of expression in official student publications have the right to appeal the decision utilizing the Student Complaint Procedure.

F.         Complaint Procedure.

Any person aggrieved by the content of official student publications is directed to use the public's complaint procedure.

G.        Responsibilities of Student Journalists.

Student journalists who participate in official school publications are responsible for the content of those publications.  Student journalists should at all times strive to achieve professional standards of accuracy, fairness, objectivity and thoroughness in each and every aspect of the publication.  Student journalists should also strive to achieve professional standards of grammar, usage, punctuation and spelling, which are important to the clarity and accuracy of the publication.

H.        Responsibilities of Faculty Advisers.

Schools possess a substantial educational interest in teaching student writers journalistic skills.  Journalism advisers shall supervise student writers to maintain professional standards of English and journalism and to comply with Iowa law, including the restrictions against unlawful speech in Iowa Code Section 280.22.

I.          Liability.

Student expression in official school publications shall not be deemed to be an expression of school policy.  The public school district and school employees or officials shall not be liable in any civil or criminal action for any student expression made or published by students, unless the school employees or officials have interfered with or altered the content of the student’s speech or expression, and then only to the extent of the interference or alteration of the speech or expression.  Student journalists must recognize that with editorial control comes responsibility for the content of the publication.

 

 

Date of Last Review:  June 2013

Adopted:  December 9, 2002

 

543248

DECORAH COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD OF DIRECTORS Page 3 of 3

504.4 Student Social Events

Code No. 504.4

STUDENT SOCIAL EVENTS

School-sponsored social events shall be approved by the principal and placed on the school calendar prior to public announcement.  They shall be under the control and supervision of school personnel.  The hours and activities of the event shall be reasonable and in keeping with Board policy.

School-sponsored social events are open to the students enrolled in the District.  Others, such as alumni or out-of-town students, may attend as the date or escort of students enrolled in the District with the permission of the licensed personnel supervising the event.

 

Date of Last Review:  June 2013

 

Date of Revision:

December 9, 2002                   

 

 

Legal References:

 

279.8, 280.14, Code of Iowa                                    
 

 

543249

 

DECORAH COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD OF DIRECTORS

504.5 Student Performances

Code No. 504.5

STUDENT PERFORMANCES

Students, as part of the educational program, may participate in contests or other public and private events approved by the building principal that will be of benefit to the student and the educational program.  Performance at such events is a privilege and not a right.

Students who fail to abide by this policy and administrative directives may be subject to disciplinary action which may include the loss of the privilege to participate in an event.  Students who perform at such events serve as ambassadors of the District and must conduct themselves in the same manner as required in the regular school day.

 

Date of Last Review:  June 2013

 

Date of Revision:

July 15, 2013                          

 

 

Legal References:

 

279.8, 280.13, 280.14, Code of Iowa                       

 

 

00959325

 

DECORAH COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD OF DIRECTORS

504.6 Student Fund-Raising

Code No. 504.6

STUDENT FUND-RAISING

Students may raise funds for school-sponsored events with permission of the building principal and the Superintendent.  All monies are accounted for by the District and therefore must be turned into the District office, and the District's business office in turn will issue checks.  Fund raising by students for nonschool-sponsored events is also allowed.  Collection boxes for nonschool-sponsored organizations, however, must have prior approval from the building principal and the Superintendent before being placed on school property.

 

 

Date of Last Review:  June 2013

 

Date of Revision:

July 15, 2013                          

 

 

Legal References:

 

11.6, 256.9(18), 279.8, 280.14, 291.6, 291.12,       

298A.8, Code of Iowa; 281 I.A.C. 12.3(1), 12.3(10)

 

 

00959326

 

DECORAH COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD OF DIRECTORS