The Board of Education respects the right of pupils to express themselves in written word or picture, or video image or computer generated illustrations, and to distribute printed materials as part of that expression; at the same time, the Board recognizes that the exercise of that right is limited by the rights of other members of the school community.

For the purposes of this policy, “printed materials” include any written or printed cards, letters, circulars, books, pamphlets, notices, newspapers, and similar materials but do not include any publication that is sponsored by this Board.

Certain printed materials are not protected by a pupil’s right of free expression because they violate the rights of others. The Board may identify and prohibit the distribution on school premises of printed materials that are grossly prejudicial to an ethnic, national, religious, or racial group or to either gender; libel any person or persons; seek to establish the supremacy of a particular religious denomination, sect, or point of view over any other; advocate the use or advertise the availability of any substance or material that constitutes a direct and substantial danger to the health of pupils; contain obscenity or material otherwise deemed to be harmful to impressionable pupils; incite violence, advocate the use of force, or urge the violation of law or school regulations; advertise goods or services for the benefit of profit-making organizations; fail to identify the pupil responsible for distribution and the agent responsible for reproduction; solicit funds for nonschool organizations when such solicitations have not been approved by the Board; or promote, favor, or oppose any candidate for election to the Board or the adoption of any bond issue, proposal, or questions submitted at any election.

No printed materials may be distributed on school premises that have not been submitted to the Principal for review in advance of their distribution. Where the Principal cannot show, within two school days, why the materials are unprotected, or where unprotected material is so modified as to be no longer unprotected, the printed material may be distributed. Appeal from the determination of the Principal may be made in accordance with Board policy on pupil grievance.

The Board requires that the distribution of printed material take place only at the places and during the times established by rule in order not to disrupt the orderly operation of the educational program.

N.J.S.A. 2C:34-3

N.J.S.A. 18A:42-4

Adopted: 21 April 2005