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Newark USD  |  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 required 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. The principal or designee may accompany the media representative(s) on campus to assist their access to staff, classrooms, and students.

(cf. 1250 - Visitors)

(cf. 3515.2 - Disruptions)

District employees are encouraged to cooperate with members of the press, radio and television. Employees shall always make it clear that they are expressing their own personal viewpoints when so doing. They shall not express viewpoints on behalf of the district unless they have been designated to do so.

Media representatives who wish to interview or photograph students at school are strongly encouraged to make prior arrangements with the principal so as to alleviate any possibility of disturbances on campus and to protect the privacy and safety of students. This also allows the principal to arrange for interview times that will not interfere with the student's class attendance, and contact the parents/ guardians when appropriate.

When interviewing or photographing a special education student, he/she shall not be identified as a special education student without prior, written parent/guardian permission.

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)

During a disturbance or crisis situation, the first priority of school staff is to address the situation at hand. At such times, media inquiries shall be routed to the Superintendent or designee, who shall:

1. Prepare an official statement responding to the particular situation.

2. Update the official statement as events unfold.

3. Keep staff and students well informed.

(cf. 9010 - Public Statements)

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 NEWARK UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: October 17, 1995 Newark, California

revised: February 3, 2004