Students may distribute, at reasonable times and places, unofficial material, including but not
limited to petitions, buttons, badges, or other insignia. If the district allows students to use
its technology resources for noncurricular purposes, any exchange of unofficial material
which is delivered or accessed using district technology resources is also subject to this
policy. However, students cannot distribute expressions which:
A. Are obscene to minors.
B. Are libelous.
C. Are pervasively indecent or vulgar (secondary schools)/contain any indecent or
vulgar language (elementary schools).
D. Advertise any product or service not permitted to minors by law.
E. Constitute insulting or fighting words, the very expression of which injures or
harasses other people (e.g., threats of violence, defamation of character or of a
person's race, religion or ethnic origin).
F. Present a clear and present likelihood that, either because of their content or their
manner of distribution, will cause a material and substantial disruption of the proper
and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities, will cause the
commission of unlawful acts or the violation of lawful school procedures.
Anyone wishing to distribute unofficial material must first submit for approval a copy of the
material to the principal or designee 24 hours in advance of desired distribution time,
together with the following information:
A. Name and phone number of the person submitting request.
B. Date(s) and time(s) of day of intended distribution.
C. Location where material will be distributed.
D. The grade(s) of students to whom the distribution is intended. Within 24 hours of
submission, the principal (or his or her designee) will render a decision whether the
material violates the Guidelines in Section I or the time, place and manner
restrictions in Section III of this policy. In the event that permission to distribute the
material is denied, the person submitting the request should be informed in writing
of the reasons for the denial.
Permission to distribute material does not imply approval of its contents by the school, the
administration, the Board, or the individual reviewing the material submitted.
If the person submitting the request does not receive a response within 24 hours of
submission, the person shall contact the office to verify that the lack of response was not due
to an inability to locate the person. If the person has made this verification and there is no
response to the request, the material may be distributed in accordance with the time, place
and manner provisions in Section III.
If the person is dissatisfied with the decision of the principal (or designee), the person may
submit a written request for appeal to the superintendent of schools or his or her secretary.
If the person does not receive a response within three days (not counting Saturdays, Sundays
and holidays) of submitting the appeal, the person shall contact the office of the
superintendent to verify that the lack of response is not due to an inability to locate the
If the person has made this verification and there is no response to the appeal, the material
may be distributed in accordance with the time, place and manner provisions in Section III.
At every level of the process, the person submitting the request shall have the right to appear
and present the reasons supported by relevant witnesses and material, as to why distribution
of the unofficial material is appropriate.
III. Time, Place and Manner of Distribution
The distribution of unofficial material shall be limited to a reasonable time, place and manner
A. No unofficial material may be distributed during and at the place of a normal school
activity if it is reasonably likely to cause a material and substantial disruption of that
B. Distribution of unofficial material is prohibited when it blocks the safe flow of traffic
within corridors and entrance ways of the school or when it disrupts the use of district
The following definitions apply to the following terms as used in this policy:
A. "Obscene to minors" is defined as:
1. The average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find
that the unofficial material, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest
of minors of the age to whom distribution is requested; and/or
2. The unofficial material depicts or describes, in a manner that is patently
offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community concerning how
such conduct should be presented to minors of the age to whom distribution
is requested, sexual conduct such as intimate sexual acts (normal or
perverted), masturbation, excretory functions, and lewd exhibition of the
3. The unofficial material, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic,
political or scientific value for minors.
B. "Minor" means any person under the age of 18.
C. "Material and substantial disruption" of a normal school activity is defined as
1. Where the normal school activity is an educational program of the district for
which student attendance is compulsory, "material and substantial disruption"
is defined as any disruption which interferes with or impedes the
implementation of that program.
2. Where the normal school activity is voluntary in nature (including, without
limitation, school athletic events, school plays and concerts, and lunch
periods), "material and substantial disruption" is defined as student rioting,
unlawful seizures of property, widespread shouting or boisterous conduct
inappropriate to the event, participation in a school boycott, demonstration,
sit-in, stand-in, walk-out or other related forms of activity.
In order for expression to be considered disruptive, there must exist specific
facts upon which the likelihood of disruption can be forecast, including past
experience in the school, current events influencing student activities and
behavior, and instances of actual or threatened disruption relating to the
material in question.
D. "School activities" means any activity of students sponsored by the school and
includes – by way of example, and not by way of limitation – classroom work, library
activities, physical education classes, official assemblies and other similar gatherings,
school athletic contests, band concerts, school plays, and in-school lunch periods.
E. "Unofficial material" includes all written or pictorial communications except school
publications funded and/or sponsored or authorized by the school. Examples include
leaflets, buttons, badges, insignia, brochures, flyers, petitions, placards, underground
newspapers, websites, links to websites, and e-mails, whether created by students or
F. "Libelous" is a false and unprivileged statement about a specific individual that tends
to harm the individual's reputation, or to lower him or her in the esteem of the
G. "Distribution" means circulation or dissemination of unofficial material by means of
handing out free copies, selling or offering copies for sale and accepting donations
for copies or delivery via district technology. It includes displaying unofficial
material in areas of the school which are generally frequented by students.
V. Disciplinary Action
Distribution by a student of unofficial material prohibited in Section I or in violation of
Section III may be treated as a violation of the student discipline code.
VI. Notice of Policy to Students
A copy of this policy will be published in student handbooks and posted conspicuously in
* * * * * * *
Note: The reader is encouraged to check the index located at the beginning of this section
for other pertinent policies and to review administrative procedures and/or forms for
Cross Ref: EHB, Technology Usage
JFH, Student Complaints and Grievances
KI, Public Solicitations/Advertising in District Facilities
Legal Ref: §§ 167.161 - .171, 573.010, RSMo.
Bystrom v. Fridley High School Independent School District, 822 F.2d 747 (8th Cir.
St. Charles R-VI School District, St. Charles, Missouri
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