Rules for Distribution of Flyers at School by External Groups
The school district expects the primary focus of each school be at all times the academic program of that school. Accordingly, it expects time at school to be devoted to teaching and learning and intends to protect this time from unnecessary disruptions. At the same time, the school district recognizes that because of its obligation to serve the community, because of a long tradition of cooperating with community agencies, and because of the school district’s respect for the valuable work that external organizations contribute toward preparing young people to be successful and satisfied citizens, the district should assist those agencies in making students and parents aware of additional opportunities for growth and development. The purpose of these rules is to emphasize the purpose of school time while also accommodating the needs of certain external organizations to communicate with students and parents about the availability of their programs.
- Each school shall decide whether it wishes to distribute to its students flyers submitted by external organizations. If a school decides not to distribute flyers from external organizations, the school must consistently refuse every request from any external organization to distribute flyers or any other information or items. If a school elects not to distribute flyers for external organizations, the school must still comply with items (i), (j) and (k) under number 5 below in its relationships with all external organizations.
- If a school elects to distribute flyers for external organizations, the school must establish a procedure, rules, and a schedule for distributing to students all flyers submitted by any external organization in compliance with these rules. A school’s rules may include, among other things, details on how flyers are to be counted out and bundled for easier distribution by the school. Schools may not distribute any items or materials for external groups other than the flyers described in these rules.
- The only access permitted to external organizations is the distribution of flyers, if a school elects to distribute flyers under number 2 above. Schools may not permit other forms of access (e.g., posters, P.A. announcements, school websites, meetings, etc.) to external organizations at school during the working hours of the school.
- A school’s PTA (the PTA’s of all schools within a school’s feeder pattern) is not considered external organizations for purposes of these procedures. Schools may choose to distribute or not distribute PTA materials as they deem most appropriate.
- All distributions of flyers from outside groups shall comply with each of the following rules:
- An actual sample of any flyer to be distributed shall be submitted to the school’s principal at least two weeks prior to the time the external organization desires it to be distributed. No distribution shall occur during the first two weeks or the last two weeks of a school year.
- The distribution must be to a group or groups of students (e.g., the entire school, particular grade levels) and may not be to individually named students. A school may not distribute flyers only to the organization’s members at the school.
- Schools will distribute only flyers submitted by not-for-profit organizations. No promotions by any for-profit or commercial organization will be permitted.
- The flyer to be distributed must advertise or promote a meeting or series of meetings or an event. The program that is the subject of the flyer must occur outside of the normal school day. Flyers cannot solicit membership only and may not be solely informational, propagandistic, or proselytizing.
- The flyer must relate to a recreational, civic, or educational purpose or must relate to the development of students’ character or values (including programs operated by religious organizations or incorporating the tenets of a religion).
- Flyers intended solely to promote a partisan political cause or a religious organization will not be distributed.
- Both the flyers and their purpose must be appropriate to the age of the students intended to receive them.
- The principal must review all flyers prior to their distribution. If a flyer complies with these rules, the principal will ensure its distribution. Except as these rules require, principals will not discriminate against any flyer on the basis of the political, philosophical, religious, or other content of the flyer.
- No school district employee will promote during work time any of the programs or organizations that are the subject of any flyers and will avoid at all times giving the impression that the school district endorses any such program. For purposes of these rules, “work time” shall be from thirty minutes before school begins for the day to thirty minutes after school ends for the day and during any time that a school district employee is performing any duty on behalf of the school district.
- No school district employee will assist during work time in setting up or organizing any of the programs that are the subject of the flyers. This includes both passing out any material except in accordance with these rules and collecting or receiving back from students or parents such things as permission forms or fees associated with any outside organization.
- Except for conducting meetings in school facilities either before school begins or after school ends (in accordance with district and school rules and procedures for using facilities during non-school hours), a representative of an external organization may not promote the activities of his organization on school premises during school time.
- Principals will not distribute any flyer that either creates or is likely to create a material and substantial disruption of the normal operation of the school.
- Principals will not distribute any flyer with any lewd, vulgar, obscene or defamatory content.
- Principals will not distribute any flyer that in any way promotes alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gangs, or any illegal activity.
- Each flyer submitted for distribution must contain the following notice.
The United States Constitution requires schools to respect the right of all external organizations to distribute flyers to students at school if the school permits any such organization to distribute flyers. Accordingly, the school cannot discriminate among groups wishing to distribute flyers at school and does not endorse the content of any flyer distributed at school. The school encourages parents to assist their children in making choices appropriate for them.