Policies for Flyer Distribution

Policy Code: 5210 Distribution and Display of Non-School Material

B. DISTRIBUTION AND DISPLAY BY NON-STUDENTS
1. Distribution and display of “school-sponsored or curriculum-related publications and materials” as defined in section E are permitted during the school day, on school grounds and at school activities.
2. Distribution and display of publications and materials from school-related groups that have received prior approval of the [principal or superintendent or designee] pursuant to the standards in section C below and the standards for review of the decision in section D below are permitted at reasonable times and places as designated by the [principal or superintendent or designee].  The term “school-related group” is defined in section E.  The principal or superintendent or designee shall not discriminate on the basis of viewpoint in granting or denying permitted school-related groups permission to distribute or display non-school material.
3. The following agencies and organizations are permitted to distribute or display educational information or information about programs and activities of interest to students:
a. local, state and federal government agencies and departments;
b. non-profit organizations that offer educational, recreational, cultural or character development activities or programs for school-aged children, including but not limited to scouts, YMCA or YWCA, organized youth sport leagues, etc.);
c. school/business partnerships or incentive programs that directly enhance or support the school’s educational program; and
d. community colleges, universities, and other non-profit institutions of higher education.
All publications and materials that one of the permitted agencies or organizations would like to distribute or display must be submitted to the [principal or superintendent or designee] for approval prior to distribution or display.  Approval for distribution or display will be granted pursuant to the standards in section C below and the standards for review of decisions in section D below.  If approved, the publications and materials will be distributed or displayed at reasonable times and places as designated by the principal or superintendent or designee.
4. The [principal or superintendent or designee] shall not discriminate on the basis of viewpoint in granting or denying permitted agencies and organizations permission to distribute or display non-school materials.
5. The superintendent is authorized to adopt regulations regarding approval forms, how many times a year groups may distribute or display publications or materials, delivery and bundling requirements, etc.
6. Nothing in this policy will be construed to create a public forum that would allow non-students unrestricted access to school property for the purpose of distributing or displaying publications or materials.
C. DISTRIBUTION AND DISPLAY STANDARDS FOR NON-SCHOOL MATERIALS
School officials shall apply the following standards to approve the distribution or display of all non-school material on school property:
1. While materials will not be screened for viewpoint, the reviewer shall prohibit the distribution or display of any publication or material that (a) is vulgar, indecent or obscene; (b) contains libelous statements, personal attacks or abusive language such as language defaming a person’s character, race, religion, ethnic origin, gender, family status, or disability; (c) causes or clearly threatens to cause a material and substantial disruption of a school activity; (d) encourages the commission of unlawful acts or the violation of lawful school regulations; (e) is inappropriate considering the age of the students in the school; (f) contains information that is inaccurate, misleading or false; or (g) advertises any product or service not permitted to minors by law.
The principal or superintendent’s designee, depending on who makes the initial decision, shall notify the superintendent before approving or prohibiting distribution or display of any publications or materials that raise a question as to whether a specific action by school officials might violate the Establishment of Religion Clause, the Free Exercise of Religion Clause, or the free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  The superintendent shall consult with the board attorney to determine the legally appropriate course of action.
2. The distribution of non-school material must not interfere with instructional time.
3. Non-school publications and materials distributed or displayed to students must be clearly identified, through the method of distribution or otherwise, as non-school materials that are neither endorsed nor necessarily reflective of the views of the school board or the school system.
4. In order to minimize disruption to the learning environment, political campaign materials may not be distributed to students or employees (including through employee mailboxes and e-mail) or made available on school grounds during school time or at school events.  However, on election days, posters and printed materials are permitted at school buildings used as polling places in accordance with state law and board of elections requirements.
This provision does not prohibit a teacher from using political literature or campaign material for instructional purposes.  However, any teacher using these materials for instructional purposes shall not use his or her position to promote a particular candidate, party or position on a specific issue.  The teacher also shall attempt to use a variety of materials that represent balanced and diverse viewpoints on the political spectrum.
D. PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING DISTRIBUTION OR DISPLAY OF NON-SCHOOL MATERIALS
1. Any individual or organization wishing to distribute or display non-school-sponsored publications or materials must first submit for approval a copy of the publication or material to the principal or superintendent or designee at least five school days in advance of the distribution or display time, along with the following information:  (a) the name and phone number of the individual submitting the request; (b) the date(s) and time(s) of day of intended distribution or display; (c) the desired location for distribution or display of material; and (d) if the distribution or display is intended for students, the grade(s) of students for whom the distribution or display is intended.
2. Within five school days, the principal or superintendent or designee shall review the request and render a decision.  In the event permission to distribute or display the material is denied or restricted, the individual submitting the request will be informed in writing of the reasons for the denial or restriction.
3. Any request denied or restricted by the principal or superintendent or designee may be appealed in writing to the [superintendent or designee or board, depending on who made the initial decision].  [If the principal made the initial decision, the superintendent or designee shall review the decision and render a decision within 10 school days.  Any request denied by the superintendent or designee may be appealed to the board of education.]  The board will review the request at its next regularly scheduled meeting.  As appropriate, the superintendent or the board will consult with the board attorney concerning a request to distribute or display non-school literature.
4. Permission or denial of permission to distribute or display material does not imply approval or disapproval of its contents by school system administrators, the school board or the individual reviewing the material submitted.
E. DEFINITIONS
The following terms used in this policy are defined as follows:
1. Obscene
“Obscene” describes any speech or work that the average person, applying contemporary community standards (as opposed to “national standards”), would find, taken as a whole, appeals to prurient interest; or that depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable law; and that, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
2. Libelous Statement
Libelous statements are false and unprivileged statements about a specific person that injure that person’s reputation in the community.
3. Non-School Material
Non-school material includes any publication or other written information that is not a school-sponsored or curriculum-related publication or material.
4. Material and Substantial Disruption
A material and substantial disruption is any conduct that for any reason, including inappropriateness of time, place or type of behavior, significantly interferes with school functions, classroom instruction, or the rights of other students or school employees.  Examples of material and substantial disruption include, but are not limited to, demonstrations, destruction of property, injury to students or other persons, shouting or boisterous conduct, and anything that significantly distracts students from instruction or prevents school personnel from performing their educational responsibilities.
5. School-Sponsored or Curriculum-Related Publications and Materials
School-related materials or publications are:  (a) materials published by the school system for distribution (i.e. school calendars, menus, school newsletters, etc.); (b) materials that are approved by school officials and related to activities or events that are officially sponsored by the school (i.e. announcements for sports teams, clubs, field trips, school plays and concerts); or (c) materials that are directly related to instruction.
6. School-Related Group
School-related groups are organizations formed to support the school in an area of recognized need, such as the PTA, the PTO, teachers’ and principals’ organizations, and booster clubs.
The superintendent shall adopt necessary regulations to ensure that this policy is implemented throughout the school system.
Legal References:  U.S. Const. amend. I; Peck v. Upshur, 155 F.3d 274 (1998); G.S. 115C-36-47
Cross References:  Collections and Solicitations (policy 5220), Advertising in the Schools (policy 5240)
Adopted: August 14, 2008
Revised:  September 12, 2013

Policy Code: 5220 Collections and Solicitations

The board is committed to minimizing disruptions to instructional time and the educational environment.  Collections and solicitations are discouraged and shall not disrupt instructional time.  Employees and students shall not be required to contribute or respond to any collection or solicitation.
The superintendent shall develop regulations governing collections and solicitations.  The regulations shall specify the type and number of collections and solicitations permitted and an approval process for collections and solicitations subject to the following guidelines.
1. Outside organizations and/or sales representatives shall not solicit individual employees or students during working hours or the school day unless prior written approval is granted by the principal or the superintendent.
2. As a general rule, students, school organizations, teachers and/or other school employees may not sell commercial products during the instructional school day.
3. Individuals and organizations must secure approval from the principal prior to conducting collections or solicitations on school grounds.
4. Fliers and other materials that are to be distributed or displayed in conjunction with an approved collection or solicitation must be approved by the principal based upon the criteria in Section C of policy 5210 , Distribution and Display of Non-School Material, and/or policy 5240, Advertising in the Schools.
Legal References:  G.S. 14-238 , 115C-36 , -47
Cross References:  Distribution and Display of Non-School Material (policy 5210 ), Advertising in the Schools (policy 5240)
Adopted: August 14, 2008; Revised June 11, 2009

Policy Code: 5240 Advertising In The Schools
Students and the educational program must be the focus of the school system.  In order to maintain an educational environment conducive to learning and to minimize intrusions upon instructional time, advertising for and promotion of commercial products and services are discouraged during the instructional day.  School officials shall screen and approve the distribution and display of advertising materials and messages publicized through school media or displayed on school property and at school events.
A. APPLICABILITY OF POLICY
This policy is intended to govern requests to advertise products or services on school grounds or through school publications and electronic media by
1. individuals;
2. non-profit organizations not otherwise permitted to distribute or display materials or messages by policy 5210, Distribution and Display of Non-School Material; and
3. for-profit organizations and businesses.
B. PROHIBITED ADVERTISEMENT AND PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES
The board of education prohibits advertising, commercial or promotional messages, and other items and materials that (1) are vulgar, indecent or obscene; (2) contain libelous statements, personal attacks or abusive language such as language defaming a person’s character, race, religion, ethnic origin, gender, family status, or disability; (3) cause or clearly threaten to cause a material and substantial disruption of a school activity; (4) encourage the commission of unlawful acts or the violation of lawful school regulations; (5) are inappropriate considering the age of the students in the school; (6) include information that is inaccurate, misleading or false; or (7) advertise any product or service not permitted to minors by law.
C. SCHOOL FORUMS
Although permitting some advertising within the school system, the board does not intend to create a public forum or to open school facilities, including its electronic media, print publications, or school facilities, for unlimited access by outsiders and advertising by the general public.
D. REGULATIONS GOVERNING ADVERTISING IN THE SCHOOLS
The superintendent shall develop regulations governing advertising in the schools subject to Section B above and in accordance with the following guidelines.
1. Advertising is permitted in school publications such as yearbooks, school newspapers, newsletters, and event programs.  School officials may permit the publication of commercial advertisements for a reasonable fee or an in-kind contribution that advertises or promotes an outside organization’s products, programs or services.
2. School officials may sell, for a reasonable fee or an in-kind contribution, commercial advertisement space on stadium, athletic and/or gymnasium billboards, banners, or signage for advertisements or promotions of an outside organization’s products, services, programs or activities.
3. School officials may permit boards, displays or banners that acknowledge donations or sponsors of a school or the school system.
4. School officials shall prohibit advertising through the school system employee and student e-mail system and the school system website.
5. Advertising in school publications, in school media, in school facilities and on school property shall be limited to an advertiser’s (a) name, brand name, and/or trade name; (b) logo; (c) location or place of business and contact information; (d) slogans that identify the advertiser but do not promote it; and (e) products, programs or services in a value-neutral description.
6. School officials have discretion to determine whether to use commercially sponsored materials or materials containing commercial advertising in school instructional programs and activities.
7. Collection of student data for marketing purposes is governed by Section B of policy 4720, Surveys of Students.
8. School officials may accept donations of equipment and supplies that contain advertising messages.  However, such donations must comply with the requirements of policy 8220, Gifts and Bequests.
E. PROTECTION OF STUDENT PRIVACY
Neither the school system nor the school administrators at any school shall require students to provide marketing information to vendors either through the provision of personal information or through marketing surveys.  In addition, neither the school system nor any school administrator shall enter into any contract for products or services, including electronic media services, in which students are asked to reveal personal information for collection by the providers of such services.  For the purposes of this section, personal information includes, but is not limited to, the student’s name, telephone number, e-mail address and home address.
F. PROCESS TO REQUEST TO ADVERTISE
Any entity or individual interested in advertising or promoting products and services pursuant to this policy or school system regulations must submit a request to the principal (for advertising specific to an individual school) or to the superintendent’s designee (for system-wide advertising).  The principal or superintendent’s designee may approve advertising that complies with board policies and regulations and respond within 30 working days.
If the principal or superintendent’s designee denies a request for approval to advertise a product or service, the entity seeking to advertise may submit a request for the superintendent to review the decision made by the principal or the superintendent’s designee within five working days.    The superintendent shall review the request and make a decision within 10 working days of receiving the request for review.  As needed, the superintendent shall consult with the board attorney concerning a request to advertise.
Any request denied by the superintendent may be appealed to the board of education if the right to an appeal is mandated by G.S. 115C-45(c).  A decision as to whether an appeal is mandated by G.S. 115C-45(c) shall be made in consultation with the board attorney.  If an appeal is not mandated by G.S. 115C-45(c), the board, in its sole discretion, may decide whether or not to review the superintendent’s decision.
Legal References:  115C-36-45(c), -98
Cross References:  Surveys of Students (policy 4720), Distribution and Display of Non-School Material (policy 5210), Gifts and Bequests (policy8220)
Adopted:  November 18, 2013