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Escondido Union HSD  |  BP  1112  Community Relations

Media Relations   

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The Governing Board recognizes that the media significantly influences the public's understanding of school issues and can greatly assist the district in communicating with the community about school needs.

The Board respects the public's right to information and recognizes that the media has a legitimate interest in the schools and a responsibility to provide the community with news.

The Superintendent or designee shall coordinate the release of information concerning the district and the actions of the Board.

Media representatives are welcome at all Board meetings and shall receive meeting announcements and agendas upon request.

Like all visitors, media representatives are encouraged to identify themselves when they enter school grounds so as to avoid causing disruption or confusion. The principal or designee of each school shall provide the media with information relating to his/her school, including information about student awards, school accomplishments and events of special interest.

(cf. 1250 - Visitors/Outsiders)

(cf. 3515.2 - Disruptions)

District employees are encouraged to cooperate 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 unless they have been designated to do so.

The district shall not release information which is private or confidential as identified by law and Board policy or administrative regulation.

(cf. 1340 - Access to District Records)

(cf. 5125 - Student Records)

(cf. 5125.1 - Release of Directory Information)

The district shall not impose restraints on students' right to speak freely with media representatives at those times which do not disrupt students' 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)

During a disturbance or crisis situation, the first priority of school staff is to assure 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.

(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.

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

32210-32212 Willful disturbance of public school or meeting

35144 Special meetings

35145 Public meetings

35160 Authority of governing boards

35172 Promotional activities

EVIDENCE CODE

1070 Refusal to disclose news source

PENAL CODE

627-627.10 Access to school premises

COURT DECISIONS

Lopez v. Tulare Joint Union High School District, (1995) 34 Cal.App.4th 1302

ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS

95 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 509 (1996)

Management Resources:

CSBA PUBLICATIONS

911: A Manual for Schools and the Media During a Campus Crisis, 2001

WEB SITES

CSBA: http://www.csba.org

Policy ESCONDIDO UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: May 15, 2012 Escondido, California