Student Publications

The School Committee believes creative student expression to be of educational benefit to the school experience. It encourages freedom of comment, both oral and written, in a school setting with a degree of order in which proper learning can take place. Student publications, such as annual yearbooks or school newspapers, may be developed as part of curriculum and should be of an educational benefit to those who compile, edit, and publish them. 

School administrators are entitled to exercise control over such forms of student expression in order to ensure that students gain the educational benefit; consumers of the materials are not exposed to materials that may be inappropriate or obscene; that materials published are not libelous or slanderous; that materials do not incite students to the commission of unlawful acts, violation of school regulations, or substantial disruption of school operations; and that the views of the individual students are not inappropriately attributed to the school community. Student editors will have initial responsibility in determining content. Faculty advisers will be assigned to guide students engaged in these activities. The faculty advisor and principal may override the editors' decisions but shall give substantial and due regard for the judgment of the editors. 

Below are the related definitions, responsibilities, and procedures:

Definition of Official School Publications: Official school publications include newspapers, yearbooks and literary magazines, which are prepared in regularly scheduled classes or by approved co-curricular organizations and supervised by a faculty adviser appointed by the principal.


1) Responsibilities of Student Journalists:

Student journalists will be responsible for ensuring the appropriateness of material published. Such material shall not be obscene, libelous or slanderous and must not incite students to the commission of unlawful acts, violation of school regulations or substantial disruption of school operations.

Student journalists will adhere to the expectations set forth in the school’s policy for academic honesty as well as Yarmouth's Core Values.

2) Responsibilities of Faculty Advisers:

Faculty advisers will instruct the student journalists in the understanding of the school’s policy for academic honesty, Yarmouth's Core Values, and correct and appropriate journalistic techniques. 

Faculty advisers will consult with the principal onmaterial that may fail to meet either of the aforementioned standards.

3) Responsibilities of the Principal:

The principal is responsible for informing the faculty advisor about the legal requirements of student publications and the expectations set forth in this policy. 

The principal will render a decision on all matters affecting school publications in a timely manner after material is submitted to him/her for review.

Appeal Procedure:

The superintendent is authorized to consider appeals by students who feel that their materials may have been improperly or unfairly censored

Student-generated, Non-school-sponsored Materials:

Distribution of student-generated, non-school-sponsored materials or literature on school property shall receive prior approval by the principal, who shall review and judge the material using the same standards that pertain to official student publications.

Legal Reference:
17 MRSA 2911
Adopted: March 26, 1998
Revised: May 12, 2011