School Board Policy 904 -
Distribution of Materials on School District Property for Nonschool Persons or Nonschool Organizations

Adopted: october 9, 1995
REVISED: april 13, 2009
revised: december 13, 2010
revised: may 8, 2017
revised: december 14, 2020
Revised: March 4, 2024

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide for distribution of materials appropriate to the school setting by nonemployees,  and nonstudents, and nonschool organizations on school district property in a reasonable time, place and manner which does not disrupt the educational program nor interfere with the educational objectives of the school district.

II. General Statement of Policy

A. The school district intends to provide a method for nonschool persons and organizations to distribute materials appropriate to the school setting as deemed by the district, within the limitations and provisions of this policy.

B. Political materials that align with the curriculum used for that course may be used for teaching purposes. Care should be given to present politically balanced materials during current political campaigns.

C. Teachers may invite political speakers, but must give equal time to presenters from an opposing party.

D. Campaign literature can be distributed on school property only during nonschool hours.

E. To provide for orderly and nondisruptive distribution of materials, the School Board adopts the following guidelines and procedures.

III. Definitions 

A. "Distribution" means circulation or dissemination of materials by means of handing out free copies, selling or offering copies for sale, accepting donations for copies, posting or displaying materials, or placing materials in internal staff or student mailboxes.

B. "Libelous" is a false and unprivileged statement about a specific individual that tends to harm the individual's reputation or to lower them in the esteem of the community.

C. "Material and substantial disruption" means:

1. Where the school activity is an educational program of the school district for which student attendance is compulsory, "material and substantial disruption" is defined as any disruption which interferes with or impedes the implementation of that program.

2. Where the school activity is voluntary in nature (including, but not limited to school athletic events, school plays and concerts, and lunch periods) "material and substantial disruption" is defined as student rioting, unlawful seizures of property, conduct inappropriate to the event, or participation in a school boycott, demonstration, sit-in, stand-in, walk-out, or other related forms of protest activity.

In order for expression to be considered disruptive, there must exist specific factors upon which the likelihood of disruption can be forecast, including past experience in the school, current events influencing student activities and behavior, and instances of actual or threatened disruption relating to the written materials in question.

D. "Materials" includes all materials and objects intended by nonschool persons or nonschool organizations for distribution. Examples of nonschool-sponsored materials include but are not limited to leaflets, brochures, buttons, badges, flyers, petitions, posters and unsanctioned newspapers whether written by students, employees or others.

E. “Minor” means any person under the age of eighteen (18).

F. "Nonschool person" means any person who is not currently enrolled as a student or employed by the school district.

G. "Obscene to minors" means:

1. The average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the material, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest of minors of the age to whom distribution is requested;

The materials depict or describe, conduct that is patently offensive by prevailing standards in the adult community concerning how such conduct should be presented to minors of the age to whom distribution is requested; and

2. The materials, taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors.

H. "School activities" means any activity sponsored by the school, including but not limited to classroom work, library activities, physical education classes, official assemblies, field trips. and other similar gatherings, school athletic contests, band concerts, school plays, other theatrical productions and in-school lunch periods.

IV. Guidelines 

A. Nonschool persons and organizations may, within the provisions of this policy, be granted permission to distribute, at reasonable times and places as set forth in this policy, and in a reasonable manner, electronic materials which are appropriate to the school setting via our electronic digital backpack process.

B. Requests for distribution of materials will be reviewed by the administration on a case-by-case basis. However, distribution of the following materials is always prohibited. Material is prohibited that:

1. is obscene to minors;

2. is libelous;

3. is pervasively indecent or vulgar or contains any indecent or vulgar language or representations, with a determination made as to the appropriateness of the material for the age level of students to which it is intended;

4. advertises any product or service not permitted to minors by law;

5. advocates violence or other illegal conduct;

6. is deemed to be an insulting or fight inducing message, the very expression of which constitutes injury or harassment of other people (e.g., threats of violence, defamation of character or of a person's race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin or all other protected classes identified in Federal or State statute);

7. presents a clear and present likelihood that because of its content it will cause a material and substantial disruption of the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities, will cause the commission of unlawful acts or the violation of lawful school regulations.

C. Permission for nonschool persons or organizations to distribute materials via  school district practices is a privilege and not a right. In making decisions regarding permission for such distribution, the administration will consider factors including, but not limited to, the following:

1. whether the material is educationally related to our district mission and values;

2. the extent to which distribution is likely to cause disruption of, or interference with, the school district's educational objectives or school activities, or threaten school discipline;

3. the quantity or size of materials to be distributed;

4. whether distribution would require assignment of school district staff, or the use of school district equipment or other resources;

5. whether distribution would require that nonschool persons be present on the school grounds;

6. whether the materials are a solicitation for goods or services not requested by the recipients; and/or

7. whether the materials directly compete with school district programs or services.

V. Time, Place, and Manner of Distribution 

If permission is granted pursuant to this policy for the electronic distribution of any materials, the manner of distribution will be solely within the discretion of the administration on the first and third Thursday of the month and consistent with the provisions of this policy.

VI. Procedures 

A. Any nonschool person or nonschool organization wishing to distribute electronic materials must first submit for approval a copy of the electronic materials to the Director of Community Services and Recreation or designee at least five business days in advance of desired distribution time, together with the following information:

1. Name and contact information of the person submitting the request.

2. A digital sample of the flyers/material in PDF or PNG form, a list of schools you want the materials distributes to, and the student grade levels that will be receiving the information.

3. The following disclaimer statement must be on each item to be distributed: "This event, class, activity or matter is not sponsored or endorsed by White Bear Lake Area Schools District #624 and this information was not produced or printed at the district's expense."

B. The administration will review the request and render a decision.

C. In the event a nonschool person or nonschool organization seeks permission to personally distribute materials on school property, the administration will review the request, and if granted, assign a location and method of distribution and will inform the persons submitting the request.

D. In the event that permission to distribute the materials is denied or limited, the administrator may use any reasonable method to inform the person of the denial or limitation; however, the administrator must, upon request of the person submitting the request, provide a written explanation to the person of the reason(s) for denial or limitation.

E. Approved or denied permission to distribute material does not imply approval or disapproval of its contents by the school, the administration of the school, the School Board, or the individual reviewing the material submitted.

F. In the event that permission to distribute material is denied or limited, the nonschool person(s) or organization may request reconsideration of the decision. The request for reconsideration must be sent to the Superintendent, or designee, be in writing and must set forth the reason(s) why distribution is desirable and in the interest of the school community.

VII. Violation of Policy 

Any party violating this policy or distributing materials without permission will be directed to leave the school property immediately and, if necessary, law enforcement will be notified.

VIII. Implementation 

The school district administration may develop any additional guidelines or procedures necessary to implement this policy, such guidelines and procedures shall be an addendum to this policy.

Legal References: 
U. S. Const., amend. I
Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260, 108 S.Ct. 562, 98 L.Ed.2d 592 (1988)
Doe v. South Iron R-1 School District, 498 F.3d 878 (8th Cir. 2007)
Bystrom v. Fridley High School, 822 F.2d 747 (8th Cir. 1987)
Cornelius v. NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., 473
U.S. 788, 105 S.Ct. 3439, 87 L.Ed.2d 567 (1985)
Perry Education Ass’n v. Perry Local Educators’ Ass’n, 460 U.S. 37, 103 S.Ct. 948, 74 L.Ed.2d 794 (1983)
Roark v. South Iron R-1 School Dist., 573 F.3d 556 (8th Cir. 2009)
Victory Through Jesus Sports Ministry Foundation v. Lee's Summit R-7 School Dist., 640 F.3d 329 (8th Cir. 2011), cert. denied 565 U.S. 1036, 132 S. Ct. 592 (2011)

Cross References: 
WBLASB Policy 505 (Distribution of Nonschool-Sponsored Materials on School Premises by Students and Employees)
WBLASB Policy 512 (School-Sponsored Student Publications)