El Dorado Union HSD | BP 1112 Community Relations
The Governing Board respects the public's right to information and recognizes that the media significantly influence the community's understanding of school programs. In order to develop and maintain positive media relations, the Board and the Superintendent desire to reasonably accommodate media requests for information and to provide accurate, reliable and timely information. Media representatives are welcome at all Board meetings and shall receive meeting announcements and agendas upon request in accordance with Board policy.
(cf. 9322 - Agenda/Meeting Materials)
Like all other visitors, media representatives must register in the school office when coming on campus during school hours and are subject to the lawful authority of the Principal regarding their presence and activities.
(cf. 1250 - Visitors/Outsiders)
(cf. 3515.2 - Disruptions)
The Superintendent or designee and principal or designee of each school may provide the media with information related to district programs and needs, student directory information, including but not limited to, the name of student, school of attendance, grade level, honors, awards, and activities, unless the student's parent/guardian has submitted a written request that such information not be disclosed. Spokespersons designated to speak to the media on behalf of the district include the Board President and Superintendent. Other Board members and staff may be asked by the Superintendent or designee to speak to the media on a case-by-case basis, depending on their expertise on an issue and their communication skills. The district shall not release information which is private or confidential as identified by law and board policy or administrative regulation. No other access to student records or personally identifiable student information may be provided without written parent/guardian permission.
(cf. 1340 - Access to District Records)
(cf. 5125 - Student Records)
(cf. 5125.1 - Release of Directory Information)
(cf. 9010 - Public Statements)
(cf. 9321.1 - Closed Session Actions and Reports)
Interviewing and Photographing Students
The district shall not impose restraints on students' right to speak freely with media representatives at times which do not disrupt the educational program. However, interviews of students may not create substantial disorder or impinge on the rights of others. Therefore, in order to minimize possible disruption, media representatives who wish to interview students at school are strongly encouraged to make prior arrangements with the principal. At their discretion, parents/guardians may instruct their children not to communicate with media representatives.
(cf. 5145.2 - Freedom of Speech/Expression)
In order to protect the privacy and safety of students, a media representative who wishes to photograph students on school grounds should first make arrangements with the principal or designee.
When interviewing or photographing a special education students, he/she shall not be identified as a special education student without prior, written parent/guardian permission.
Media Communications Plan
The district encourages cooperation with members of the press, radio and television. Employees should always make it clear that they are expressing their own personal viewpoints when so doing. They should not express viewpoints on behalf of the district until they have ascertained the district's official position on the matters involved.
In order to help develop strong relations with the media, the Superintendent or designee shall develop a proactive media communications plan. This plan may include, but not be limited to, information related to district programs and needs, student awards, school accomplishments and events of special interest.
(cf. 0510 - School Accountability Report Card)
(cf. 1100 - Communication with the Public)
(cf. 1160 - Political Processes)
The plan shall specify the district's and/or site's primary media contact to whom all media inquiries shall be routed. Spokespersons designated to speak to the media on behalf of the district include the Board president, Superintendent, and public information officer. Other Board members and staff may be asked by the Superintendent or designee to speak to the media on a case-by-case basis, depending on their expertise on an issue.
The Superintendent or designee shall provide training on effective media relations to all designated spokespersons.
(cf. 9240 - Board Development)
Crisis Communications Plan
During a disturbance or crisis situation, the first priority of school staff is to address the safety of students and staff. However, the Board recognizes the need to provide timely and accurate information to parents/guardians and the community during a crisis. The Board also recognizes that the media have an important role to play in relaying this information to the public. In order to help ensure that the media and district work together effectively, the Superintendent or designee shall develop a crisis communications plan to identify communication strategies to be taken in the event of a crisis. Media inquiries shall be routed to the Superintendent or designee, who shall prepare and update an official statement at his/her discretion.
(cf. 0450 - Comprehensive Safety Plan)
(cf. 3516 - Emergencies and Disaster Preparedness Plan)
The crisis communications plan may include but not be limited to identification of a media center location, development of both internal and external notification systems, and strategies for press conference logistics.
The Superintendent or designee shall include local law enforcement and media representatives in the crisis planning process.
35144 Special meetings
35145 Public meetings
35160 Authority of governing boards
35172 Promotional activities
1070 Refusal to disclose news source
Lopez v. Tulare Joint Union High School District, (1995) 34 Cal.App.4th 1302
ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS
95 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 509 (1996)
911: A Manual for Schools and the Media During a Campus Crisis, 2001
Policy EL DORADO UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT
adopted: February 4, 1992 Placerville, California
revised: November 13, 2001
revised: December 2001