South High School
The administrators, staff, and students of South High School shall protect, encourage and enhance free speech and positive exchange of ideas as a vital part of our membership in a democratic society.
The Southerner, the official, student-produced news medium at South High School, has been established as a designated public forum for student editors to inform and educate their readers as well as for the discussion of issues of concern to their audience. It will not be reviewed or restrained by school officials prior to publication or distribution. Advisers will teach, coach and discuss content during the writing process, but advisers will not act as censors of the publication.
Because school officials do not engage in prior review, the content of the Southerner is determined by and reflects only the views of the student staff or individual student writers. The student editorial board and responsible student staff members assume complete legal and financial liability for the content of the publication.
Electronic media (including online, broadcast and podcast media) produced by Southerner students are entitled to the same protections – and subject to the same freedoms and responsibilities – as media produced for print publication. As such they will not be subject to prior review or restraint.
The Southerner and its staff are protected by and bound to the principles of the First Amendment and other protections and limitations afforded by the Constitution and the various laws and court decisions implementing those principles.
In accordance with these laws and court decisions, The Southerner will not publish any material determined by student editors or the student editorial board to be unprotected, that is, material that is libelous, obscene, materially disruptive of the school process, an unwarranted invasion of privacy, a violation of copyright, or a promotion of products or services unlawful for minors as defined by state or federal law.
Definitions and examples for the above instances of unprotected speech can be found in Law of the Student Press published by the Student Press Law Center.
The Southerner student editorial board as a whole is responsible for determining editorial opinions, which represent the opinions of a majority of the editorial board. No single member of The Southerner staff can be held responsible for editorial content decisions. Signed columns and reviews represent only the opinions of the individual authors of those reviews.
The duly appointed executive editor or co-editors shall interpret and enforce this editorial policy.