8465 - Freedom of Expression

The Grand Island Public Schools recognizes the rights of students to exercise their expression of ideas under the Constitution of the United States. At the same time, the school district reserves the authority to restrict student expression which substantially interferes with school operations, or its educational mission, and it reserves the right to make rules for the use of school property and equipment.

Student expression, other than student expression in student?produced official school publications, made on the school district premises or under the jurisdiction of the school district or as part of a school?sponsored activity may be attributed to the school district; therefore, student expression must be responsible. Student expression must be appropriate to assure that the students learn and meet the goals of the school activity and that the potential audience is not exposed to material that may be harmful or inappropriate for their level of maturity.

Students will be allowed to express their viewpoints and opinions as long as the expression is responsible. The expression shall not, in the judgment of the administration, encourage the breaking of laws, defamation of persons, be obscene or indecent, or cause a material and substantial disruption to the educational program. The administration, when making this judgment, shall consider whether the activity in which the expression was made is school?sponsored and whether review or prohibition of the students' speech furthers an educational purpose. Further, the expression must be done in a reasonable time, place, and manner that is not disruptive to the orderly and efficient operation of the school district.

Students may request an opportunity to exercise their right to free expression by submitting the request in writing to the building principal. The building principal investigates for clarification and forwards request to the District Safety Committee. The District Safety Committee will review the request for facts, impact, context, and action to be taken. The District Safety Committee will make a recommendation to the Superintendent for final approval.

Students who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary measures under student conduct policies. It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent or designee to implement this policy.

Legal Reference:
U.S. Const. amend. I.
Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260 (1988).
Bethel School District v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675 (1986).
Tinker v. Des Moines Ind. Comm. Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503 (1969).
Bystrom v. Fridley High School, 822 F.2d 747 (8th Cir.1987).

Cross Reference:

Policy Adopted:  06.14.2018

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