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Policy model 2

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Policy 2: [NAME OF SCHOOL] student media are designated public forums in which students make all decisions of content without prior review from school officials.

Freedom of expression and press freedom are fundamental values in a democratic society. The mission of any institution committed to preparing productive citizens must include teaching these values and providing a venue for students to practice these values, both by lesson and by example.

As preservers of democracy, our schools shall protect, encourage and enhance free speech and the exchange of ideas as a means of protecting our American way of life.

[NAME OF MEDIA] and its staff are protected by and bound to the principles of the First Amendment and other protections and limitations afforded by the Constitution and the various laws and court decisions implementing those principles.

Comment: Again, this board-level model policy removes process details from being points of board action or meddling. It also introduces educational and philosophical language to give administrators insight into and understanding of why student media do what they do. It can aid in community understanding and support of the forum process.

This policy is slightly longer because it adds philosophical wording to support the decision-making without review. This policy could be effective at the board level because it allows others points to be explained in the ethics guidelines and staff manuals.

Designated forum: This language (designated forum in policy or practice) should be included in policies at board or publication level because all public forums are designated either by action or inaction (unless the board clearly says otherwise). Being silent as students operate as a forum is really permitting a designated forum

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