Policies and Regulations NEPN Code: KDD-R
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School/Community/Home Relations
Media Relations

Positive relationships with the media are developed and maintained by providing accurate and helpful information to reporters in a timely manner. To insure that information provided to the media is accurate, comprehensive, and complete, and to insure that reporters have appropriate access to the best sources of information, a protocol for providing information to the media has been established.

School District employees shall not release information which is private or confidential as identified by law and Board policy or administrative regulation.

Spokespersons
The Superintendent serves as the primary spokesperson for the School District on all matters of Districtwide interest. The Superintendent may delegate Directors to serve as primary spokespersons for their areas of responsibility. During emergency situations, the Superintendent will designate one spokesperson and a central location for information to be disseminated to media as it becomes available.

Administrative Responsibility
Each building administrator is authorized to keep parents and others informed about a school’s programs and activities. News releases that are of concern to only one school, or to an organization of one school, are the responsibility of the principal. Publicity regarding students shall always be evaluated in terms of the effect on the children.

All administrators shall inform the Office of Community Relations whenever they or anyone in their building or department is contacted by the media. If the topic is sensitive or significant, administrators will notify the Superintendent directly and immediately.

Employee Responsibility
District employees are encouraged to cooperate with media representatives.

When a School District employee is contacted by a representative of the media for a comment or interview on a subject related to the employee’s area of expertise, the employee shall respond in a manner that is accurate and factual. If the employee is not able to respond accurately or the inquiry does not relate to the employee’s area of responsibility, the employee shall refer the inquiry to the appropriate administrator.

In all cases, the employee shall:

  • Attempt to inform his or her supervisor of the media request prior to releasing information. In the event it is not possible to reach the supervisor before release of information and to accommodate the media in a timely manner, the employee shall notify the supervisor immediately following the media contact.
  • Make it clear that he/she is expressing a personal viewpoint unless the employee has been designated to speak on behalf of the District.

Nothing in this regulation is intended as a restraint on the expression of personal opinion by any employee of the School District.

Media Access to Schools
The Office of Community Relations is the primary source for all school information and the first link for media representatives wishing to pursue a school-related story.

The media will have access to all school events to which the public has been invited. Approval from the principal is not required to interview, film, or photograph staff or students at public events such as athletic contests, dramatic productions, music concerts, and graduation ceremonies.

When members of the media enter schools to cover events other than public events, they must register their presence in the administrative office and have the approval of the building principal before interviewing, filming, or photographing staff or students. Group shots that do not identify individual students by name–either still photos or video–may be taken in classrooms, hallways, and on the playground with the principal’s permission.

Before individual students are interviewed, taped, or photographed, the principal will obtain parental permission. A signed form giving parental permission for use of the student’s image in video, print, or broadcast will be kept on file at the school. Parents have the right to request that their child not be interviewed or photographed individually for video, print, or broadcast.

The District has the right to monitor and limit access to its facilities, as well as the property that is owned and operated by the District. In some instances, it may be appropriate to decline to accommodate a media request for access to the school or school personnel. In making a decision to grant or deny access, the highest priority will be given to maintaining an environment conducive to student learning and protecting student and staff rights to privacy.

 

Regulation   Board Action (formerly 1110)
Approved: 09-12-05 34195  
Revised: 05-24-10 35713  
Reviewed: 11-10-14 37049  
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