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5502 Distribution of Flyers, Brochures, Posters/Signs, and Promotional Materials by Secondary Students

Judicial decisions hold that secondary students have a constitutional right to distribute materials in school facilities, subject to reasonable regulation by school authorities of the time, place and manner of distribution and subject to certain restrictions concerning the content of the material.

The purpose of this policy is to provide for the exercise of this right by Union students in grades 6-12, and at the same time to inform them of the conditions which the Board of Education deems essential to prevent interference with the mission of the district to provide educational services for all district students.

A.      Time and place of distribution: Students may distribute materials at any entrance or exit to a school building for a period not to exceed 30 minutes prior to the commencement of the earliest class and/or not to exceed 30 minutes after the end of the last instructional class. Students may distribute materials at an entrance or exit to a school cafeteria when lunch is being served in the cafeteria. Students may distribute materials before and after regular school hours at the entrances and exits to school gymnasiums, school stadiums, school auditoriums or other school facilities when those facilities are being used. Students will not distribute materials in schools or on school grounds or facilities except as stated above.

B.      Manner of distribution: Students shall not distribute materials in a manner which disrupts a school activity or which impedes the flow of traffic within hallways or entranceways to the school. No person will be compelled to accept any material. A person who declines to accept material must not be threatened, treated with disrespect (verbally or by gesture) or impeded in any manner.

C.      Clean-up: Students who distribute materials will be responsible for removing discarded and leftover materials from the school facility and grounds before they leave the school premises.

D.      Content: The distribution of material shall not be restricted or denied solely because of the political, religious or philosophical content of the material. However, students must realize that rights go hand-in-hand with responsibilities and that students have a responsibility to refrain from the distribution of material which is:

1.       Obscene to minors, e.g., material which, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors and, which an average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find appeals to an obsessive interest in sex by minors to whom distribution is directed.

2.       Libelous, e.g., material which is a false and unprivileged statement about a specific individual and tends to be harmful to the individual’s reputation.

3.       Vulgar, lewd or indecent, e.g., material which an average person would deem improper for presentation to minors because of sexual connotations or profane language.

4.       A display or promotion of unlawful products or services, e.g., material which advertises or advocates the use of products or services prohibited by law to minors.

5.       Group defamation, e.g., material which disparages a group or a member of a group on the basis of race, color, religious affiliation, ethnic or national origin, gender, gender expression, identity or preference; or handicapping condition. This includes racial and religious epithets, “slurs,” insults and abuse.

6.       Disruptive of school operations, e.g., material which, on the basis of past experience or based on specific instances of actual or threatened disruptions, is likely to cause a material and substantial disruption of the proper and orderly operation of school activities or school discipline.

Students are asked to submit materials to the building principal in advance of distribution. If the building principal concludes that the submitted material falls within one or more of the categories of prohibited materials described above, the principal shall notify the students, in writing, within 24 hours (excluding non-school days). Students may elect to distribute material disapproved by the principal, but students should understand that such distribution may subject them to disciplinary action as provided herein, and that the principal may elect to take action to halt distribution of the material.

Principals should consult with the Chief Communications Officer and/or their immediate supervisor.

E.       Violation of policy: Students who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, including suspension. Rights to future distribution may be denied.

F.       Definitions as used in this policy:

1.       Distribution: The circulation of material by distributing copies, selling or offering copies for sale, and accepting donations for copies.

2.       Material: Includes but is not limited to leaflets, magazines, books, brochures, flyers, petitions, newspapers, buttons, badges or other insignia.

3.       Minors: Persons under the age of 18.

G.      If a student is suspended for violation of this policy or if distribution of the material is halted by a principal, the student may appeal the decision in accordance with district student suspension procedures.

H.      Miscellaneous: This policy does not apply to official school publications such as yearbooks or student newspapers published as a part of the school curricula. All schools within the district shall provide a notice to students and parents stating that by permitting the on-campus distribution of materials by students under this policy, the school, the district and the Board of Education are not approving any material distributed by students or endorsing, supporting or advocating the content of the material.


(For information about distribution of flyers, etc., by district-affiliated groups and outside organizations, see Board Policy #1050.)


Revised 6/10/96

Revised 1/16/06

Revised 2/12/07

Revised 12/10/07

Revised 11/10/08

Revised 1/18/10

Revised 12/14/15

Revised 12/11/17