Policy on Advertising in the Schools

Pupils, staff members, or the facilities of the school may not be used in any manner for advertising or promoting the interests of any community or non-school agency or organization without the approval of the School Committee.  Exceptions to the rule are:

Appropriate advertising may be sold for the school publications, with the approval of the building principal.

The Superintendent may cooperate in the activities of the community providing such cooperation does not infringe on the school programs or diminish the amount of time devoted to school programs.

No person, unless employed by the School Committee, shall give any notice by reading or otherwise to the pupils of any school within the town except with the approval of the Principal, or shall under any circumstances post upon bulletin boards, or elsewhere on school property, any advertisement or announcement of any kind.

Policy on Gifts and Contributions to the Schools

The Superintendent will recommend to the School Committee the acceptance of gifts and offers of equipment for the schools when the gift is of educational value.  In the case of gifts from industry, business or specific interest groups, no extensive advertising or promotion may be involved in any donation to the public schools.

Gifts, which would involve changes in school plants or sites, will be subject to School Committee approval.

Gifts will automatically become the property of the School Department.  Any gift of cash, whether or not intended by the donor for a specific purpose, will be handled as a separate account and expended at the discretion of the Committee as provided by law.

The School Committee directs the Superintendent to assure that an appropriate expression of thanks is given all donors.

Legal Refs.:  M.G.L. 71:37A

Policy on Library Materials

A procedure for processing and responding to criticisms of approved materials shall be established and followed.  This procedure shall include a formal, signed complaint and a committee appointed by the principal to reevaluate the material in question.  Virtually all material that is challenged usually belongs, but not limited to one of three basic categories:  religion, ideology, or profanity-obscenity.  School Committee policy regarding these areas is as follows:

Religion - factual, unbiased material which represents all major religions shall be included in the library collection.

Ideologies - the libraries shall, with no thought toward swaying reader judgment, make available basic primary and factual material and information on the level of their reading public, on any ideology of philosophy of government which exerts or has exerted a strong force, either favorably or unfavorably, in government, current events, politics, education, or any phase of life.

Profanity/obscenity - materials shall be subjected to a test of literary merit and reality by the librarian and teachers who will take into consideration their reading public and community standards of morality.

In all cases, the decision shall be made on the basis of whether the material presents life in its true proportions, whether circumstances are realistically dealt with, and whether the book has literary or social value.

The final decision on selection and adoption rests with the Superintendent of Schools.

Adopted July 6, 1988
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Policy on Controversial Speakers

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for requesting or permitting outside speakers, or resource persons, to appear before school assemblies or class groups.

The School Committee recognizes that visiting speakers, a valuable supplement to regular school programs, may be of specific persuasion and that their topics may be controversial.  If they are prohibited from speaking because of their points of view, academic freedom is endangered.  Students need to study issues upon which there is disagreement and to practice analyzing problems, gathering and organizing facts, discriminating between facts and opinions, discussing differing viewpoints and drawing tentative conclusions.

However, professional staff members have a serious responsibility to structure correctly the learning situation involving a speaker.  They must have a clear idea of the speakers purpose; prepare students properly; and provide follow-up activities.  When correctly handled, the use of such a speaker becomes an invaluable component in accomplishing the goals of citizenship education, in showing the world as it is and in preparing them to deal with reality.

Therefore, all speakers must be invited through and approved by the school Principal, who shall endeavor to engage speakers for both sides of the issues.  In no instance shall a speaker who advocates unconstitutional or illegal acts or procedures be permitted to address students.  The Principal will seek the advice of the Superintendent who in turn shall seek the advice of the Committee, in all cases of doubt.

Candidates for political office may be asked to speak provided the above guidelines are followed.