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3220 - Freedom of Expression

A. General Standards for Student Expression

The free expression of student opinion is an important part of education in a democratic society. Students' verbal and written expression of opinion on school premises is to be encouraged so long as it does not substantially disrupt or interfere with the operation of the school and does not unduly impinge upon the rights of others.

Students are expressly prohibited from the use of vulgar and/or offensive terms in classroom, curricular, or assembly settings.

Student expression that takes place off campus also may be subject to District regulation if there is a sufficient nexus to the school based on the totality of circumstances.

Students may be subject to corrective action or discipline for violating the District’s standards for verbal and written expression.

The District’s standards and rules for student expression are detailed further in 3220P.

B. Curricular Student Publications

Student publications produced as part of the school's curriculum or with the support of the associated student body fund are intended to serve both as vehicles for instruction and student communication. They are operated and substantively financed by the District.

Students managing such publications will be taught, consistent with professional standards of journalism, to ensure that material appearing in such publications reflects all areas of student interest, including topics about which there may be controversy and dissent; and that controversial issues may be presented but should be approached with academic rigor and with a variety of viewpoints considered, explained, and discussed.

Consistent with RCW 28A.600.027, such materials may not be defamatory, obscene or profane, incite lawlessness or a substantial disruption of the school, invade the privacy of others, discriminate in violation of 3210 or 3210P, bully or harass in violation of 3207 or 3207P, or violate federal or state laws.

3220P details these standards and the procedures for prompt review of any materials that appear not to comply with the standards and potential corrective action or discipline.

C. Student Distribution of Materials

Students may distribute publications or other material on school premises in accordance with 3220P. Such activities may be subject to limits on the time, place, and manner of distribution, including the potential need for prior authorization for the posting of such material on school property.

Students responsible for the distribution of material that leads to a substantial disruption of school activity or otherwise interferes with school operations shall be subject to corrective action, including suspension or expulsion, consistent with student discipline policies.

Materials shall not be distributed on school grounds by non-students and non-employees of the District except as provided in 4238.



Last Revised:


Related Procedures:

Cross References:



  • 28A.600.027 Student expression in school-sponsored media

Management Resources:

  • Policy News, August 2001 A Few Civil Liberty Reminders