right of public school students to freedom of speech is guaranteed by the
Constitution of the United states and the Constitution of the
(b) Students shall
have the right to express themselves unless the expression materially and
substantially interferes with the educational process, threatens serious harm
to the school or community, encourages unlawful activity or interferes with
another individual's rights.
Students may use publications, handbills, announcements, assemblies, group
meetings, buttons, armbands and any other means of common communication,
provided that the use of public school communications facilities shall be in
accordance with the regulations of the authority in charge of those facilities.
(1) Students have the responsibility to obey
laws governing libel and obscenity and to be aware of the full meaning of their
(2) Students have the
responsibility to be aware of the feelings and opinions of others and to give
others a fair opportunity to express their views.
(d) Identification of the individual student
or at least one responsible person in a student group may be required on posted
or distributed materials.
School officials may require students to submit for prior approval a copy of
materials to be displayed, posted or distributed on school property.
Bulletin boards must conform to the
(1) School authorities may restrict
the use of certain bulletin boards.
(2) Bulletin board space should be provided
for the use of students and student organizations.
(3) School officials may require that notices
or other communications be officially dated before posting, and that the
materials be removed after a prescribed reasonable time to assure full access
to the bulletin boards.
School newspapers and publications must
conform to the following:
(1) Students have a
right and are as free as editors of other newspapers to report the news and to
editorialize within the provisions in paragraphs (4) and (5).
(2) School officials shall supervise student
newspapers published with school equipment, remove obscene or libelous material
and edit other material that would cause a substantial disruption or
interference with school activities.
(3) School officials may not censor or
restrict material simply because it is critical of the school or its
(4) Prior approval
procedures regarding copy for school newspapers must identify the individual to
whom the material is to be submitted and establish a limitation on the time
required to make a decision. If the prescribed time for approval elapses
without a decision, the material shall be considered authorized for
(5) Students who are
not members of the newspaper staff shall have access to its pages. Written
criteria for submission of material by nonstaff members shall be developed and
distributed to all students.
(h) The wearing of buttons, badges or
armbands shall be permitted as another form of expression within the
restrictions listed in subsection (c).
School officials may set forth the time
and place of distribution of materials so that distribution would not
materially or substantially interfere with the requirements of appropriate
discipline in the operation of the school.
(1) A proper time and place set for
distribution is one that would give the students the opportunity to reach
(2) The place of
the activity may be restricted to permit the normal flow of traffic within the
school and at exterior doors.