Leander ISD High School Student Media Policy
The following policies have been established by the LISD high school student media departments.
The Purpose of Student Media
- The purpose of the newspaper is to inform, educate and incite thought and debate regarding school, local and national issues.
- The purpose of the yearbook is to provide an accurate record of the events of the school year. It is a historical document, reference book and picture book.
- Both publications serve as an educational tool for students, providing real world experience in a high school setting.
Forum for Public Expression
- The student publications are published by the journalism classes in LISD. The publications are open forums for public expression intended for the free and uninhibited exchange of ideas between the students and staffs.
- All stories are written in an entertaining, yet informative way that maintains journalistic integrity. The views published in student media do not necessarily reflect the views of the advisers, staffs, school communities or LISD.
Story Decisions & Policies
- Story and content decisions are student-driven; advisers and administrators do not decide what stories and topics students should cover. With students making the decisions, all LISD high school publications are forums for public expression and fall under the legal guidelines established by the Supreme Court in 1988 from Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeier.
- Under Hazelwood, students make all story and content decisions. Administrators may not control content prior to publication. However, they may offer advice on sensitive issues and criticism on coverage after publication. They may only request changes for stories that would cause a disruption to the educational process.
- The staffs follow the Code of Ethics established by the Society of Professional Journalists. The four main principles include Seek Truth and Report It, Minimize Harm, Act Independently and Be Accountable.
- As part of SPJ’s Code of Ethics to Act Independently, student journalists avoid conflicts of interest and deny favored treatment to special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage. Under this policy, stories, pages and other content may not be reviewed by those outside the staff.
- All student media products are not professional publications, they are publications created by high school students. Every effort is made to produce a quality, accurate account of the year, but some errors are bound to occur.
- After the newspaper or yearbook is printed, it is not possible to correct any mistakes. There are no refunds or reprints for errors. Students and parents are encouraged to focus on all the positive things the newspapers and yearbooks have to offer.
- In the event of a student or faculty death, prior to the yearbook’s publication (mid-March), the yearbook staff will create a memorial ad that will include the student’s photo, birth and death dates and the words, “In Memory.” The ad will run in the current year’s yearbook.
- Any deaths that occur after the final publication deadline will be included in the student newspaper.
- Parents have the opportunity to purchase a senior ad for the year the student would have graduated. This ad will run in the senior ad section or the index, depending on where space allows.
- Only a limited quantity of yearbooks is ordered. Because the books are printed in one press run, it is not possible to order additional books. Students and parents are encouraged to order early and keep a record of their order to guarantee a copy.
- Additional books are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis at a higher price. There is no guarantee additional books will be available after final pre-sales date has passed.
- Since the yearbook is a business that must cover its publication costs, the staff does not offer free books.
- A small group of complementary books are given to the select district personnel and offices.
- Any additional books requested by administrators, staff and district officials must be purchased.
- Yearbooks are a custom product printed in one press run based on the school’s pre-sales. Therefore, there are no refunds.
- Refunds on duplicate yearbook orders are not guaranteed.
Club & Team Photographs
- Club photographs are taken on a set day pre-determined by the adviser. The date (December – February) will be advertised on the yearbook website, school calendar and e-mailed to club sponsors. There are no retakes on make-ups of this day.
- As stipulated with the exclusive photography contract, all club photographs are taken by Photo Texas.
- Team photographs are scheduled by their respective coaches.
- Only team photos taken by Photo Texas will be included in the yearbook.
- It is the student’s responsibility to take a school picture on the scheduled picture day or the retake day. Please check with the school, adviser or school website for the specific dates.
- If a student misses all picture opportunities or enrolls after the scheduled dates, the student may contact Photo Texas to set up a portrait at the studio.
- Because of publication deadlines, the yearbook staffs will not run school pictures taken after the portrait deadline. Please contact the adviser for the final portrait deadline.
- The district has an exclusive photography contract with Photo Texas. Only senior portraits taken with Photo Texas will be used in the people section of LISD yearbooks.
- It is each student’s responsibility to take their portrait by the high school’s portrait deadline. Please check with the school, adviser or school website for the specific dates.
- Because of publication deadlines, the yearbooks will not run senior portraits taken after the portrait deadline.
- The photo company charges a $20 fee for taking portraits at the studio (this fee can be applied to any package ordered). Students who do not wish to pay the sitting fee are encouraged to take their senior portraits on the designated days on campus. Please check with the school, adviser or school website for the specific dates. On-campus portrait times are limited, so seniors are encouraged to sign up early.
- A senior ad contract is required for all senior ad purchases.
- Senior ads must adhere to the picture and word limits set in the contract. The yearbook staffs have the right to edit, remove or delete pictures and messages if the limits are exceeded.
- Proofs of all ads are provided via e-mail. Recipients have three to seven days to respond with any changes. Parents are encouraged to review ads carefully because the staff is not responsible for errors once the ad is approved. Parents have one opportunity to ask for revisions, additional revisions or photo changes will not be accepted. Any ads not reviewed will run as is.
- Photos should be school appropriate. No gestures of any kind, cups, nudity, kissing, drinking, smoking or any illegal activity. No bathing suits or torso nudity at any age.
- Because of copyright law, poems and song lyrics are limited to one to two lines.
- Pre-designed ads or PDFs of ads are not accepted. All ads will be designed by the yearbook students and designed to follow yearbook design standards and be consistent with the rest of the book’s design.
- All photos, messages and payment must be submitted with the contract. For ad payments submitted online, photos, text and the contract must be turned in within one week.
- Senior ad prices are broken down into three price points, based on date of purchase. Full payment is required by the last day of the price point. Failure to pay by that date will result in forfeiture of the ad space and money submitted.
Restriction Forms & Directory Information
- The school district gives all parents an opportunity to restrict their students’ directory information. If this option is chosen, by law the newspaper and yearbook are not allowed to run the student’s name, picture or any reference to the student.
- The yearbook adviser may or not contact parents about this restriction.