About The Norse Star – Policy

The Norse Star is a publication created by and for students for Stoughton High School and the greater Stoughton, Wisconsin community. Students enrolled in the Advanced Journalism course produce the content for The Norse Star.

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715 – Publication Guidelines

Adoption Date: 12/5/1994, Revised: 9/22/2008

700 – Instruction

Student publications include, but are not limited to, student newspapers, yearbooks, literary magazines and fine arts performances and exhibits.

715.10 Purpose of Student Publications:

  1. to teach students the ways and ethics of professional journalism and creative expression;

  2. to provide the student body with a forum for open expression within the parameters of student publication guidelines;

  3. to enlighten the school community about events relevant to it.

715.11 Student Rights and Responsibilities:

The rights and responsibilities of students are to:

  1. adhere to those professional standards and ethics consistent with the activity regarding questions that may not be addressed by other parts of these student publication guidelines.

  2. adhere to the District’s philosophy of education and its educational goals and objectives.

  3. be open to student expression, containing news and opinion pieces, and be available to the student body and members of the community.

  4. report and editorialize on events, ideas, or issues affecting the school, community, state, nation, and world.

  5. report in a balanced, objective manner.

  6. strive for truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, and fairness in preparation and publication.

  7. produce publications which contain proper sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

  8. know, understand, and observe applicable laws regarding libel, slander, obscenity, privacy, copyright and substantial disruption of school activities.

  9. refrain from speech and illustrations that are sexually explicit, vulgar, lewd, libelous, slanderous, or obscene. Occasional use of obscenities, profanities, vulgarities shall be consistent with Associated Press guidelines.

Material which is “obscene” is defined as:

  1. the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the publication, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest in sex;

  2. the publication depicts or describes, in an apparently offensive way, sexual conduct that includes sexual acts (normal and perverted), masturbation, and lewd exhibition of the genitals;

  3. the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

  4. refrain from speech, illustrations, or the distribution of materials which will cause substantial disruption of, or material interference with, school activities. A substantial disruption or interference includes, but is not limited to:

    A. student rioting,

    B. unlawful seizures of property,

    C. destruction of property,

    D. widespread shouting or boisterous conduct,

    E. substantial student participation in a school boycott,

     F. sit-in, stand-in, walk-out, or other related form of activity.

5. Material that stimulates heated discussion and debate does not constitute the type of substantial disruption prohibited.

715.12 Advisor Responsibilities:

The responsibilities of the advisor is to:

  1. guide and direct student publications within the framework of the District’s philosophy of education and its educational goals and objectives;

  2. review materials and their content for violations of the publication guidelines and work with students to correct those errors;

  3. help students develop and monitor an annual budget that reflects expenditures, receipts and proper accounting practices;

  4. teach students to publish with accuracy, insight, fairness, responsibility and with good form and style;

  5. teach students the professional standards and ethics associated with the activity;

  6. review and discuss school and Stoughton community standards of decency and good taste as they instruct and guide the publication; and,

  7. teach students about pertinent school and District policies that govern the publication.

715.13 School Board and Administrator Responsibilities:

The responsibilities of the Board and administrator are to:

  1. provide well-qualified advisors for the publications and hold them accountable for the above listed responsibilities;

  2. encourage high quality publications while remaining aware that trial and error is part of the learning process;

  3. support official student publications produced within the student publications guidelines;

  4. not engage in prior review of official student publications because of disagreement over editorial content; and,

  5. not prohibit criticism of school and District policies and practices.