In accordance with the United States Constitution and M.G.L. C.71 Ss. 82-85, the rights of students at Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School to freedom of expression shall not be abridged, provided that such right shall not cause any disruption or disorder within the school. Freedom of expression shall include without limitation, the rights and responsibilities of students, collectively and individually, (a) to express their views through speech and symbols, (b) to write, publish and disseminate their views, and (c) to assemble peaceably on school property for the purpose of expressing their opinions.
ASSEMBLIES: The Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School provides a regular program of assemblies for students throughout the year. Students, regardless of the number, also have the right to assemble peacefully, both formally and informally, unless such assembly will be substantially disruptive to the educational process or ongoing school activities or will result in students incurring an unexcused absence. Any assembly planned by students during regularly scheduled school hours shall be held only at a time and place approved in advance by the Executive Director or her designee. No expression made by students in the exercise of such rights shall be deemed to be an expression of school policy and no school officials shall be held responsible in any civil or criminal action for any expression made or published by the students.
BULLETIN BOARDS: Ample bulletin board space is provided for the use of students and student organizations, including a reasonable area for notices relating to out- of-school activities or matters of general interest to students. Although there shall be no prior censorship or requirement of approval of the contents or wording of notices or other communications, the following general criteria on posting will apply:
- Materials to be posted must be dated by the student or student group wishing to post them. If the posting is an announcement of an event, the date should be the date of the event. If the posting is a notice rather than an announcement of an event, the date should be the date that the notice is posted. The name of the student or student group must also appear on the posting.
- The student or student group is requested to remove posted material after a reasonable time so that others may use the bulletin board space.
- The school will not allow any materials to be posted which cause or contribute to a disruption of the educational process, that is, anything that interrupts or deters teachers from teaching or students from learning.
- Notices or announcements of events that are posted on spaces other than bulletin boards (such as walls, doors, or windows) without the expressed permission of the Executive Director will be removed to ensure compliance with fire and safety
DISTRIBUTION OF PRINTED MATERIAL AND CIRCULATION OF PETITIONS:
Students shall be free to distribute handbills, leaflets, and other printed materials and to collect signatures on petitions concerning either school or out-of-school activities or matters of general interest to students. Although there shall be no prior censorship or requirement of approval of the contents or wording of such materials, the following general criteria shall apply-
- All printed matter and petitions distributed or circulated on school property should bear the name of the sponsoring organization.
- Distribution of material or collection of signatures shall be limited to periods before school begins, after dismissal at the end of the day, and during mealtime so as not to interfere with the regular school program.
- The place and manner of such activities shall be reasonably restricted to permit the normal operation of the school to continue without interruption and to prevent the use of coercion in obtaining signatures on petitions.
- In the cases of petitions presented by students to the Executive Director, students shall have the right to have their petition considered and to receive a reply.
- The distribution and selling of material for monetary gain by an individual or an organization that is not sanctioned by the Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School shall not be allowed.
Return to the Parent and Student Handbook.