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Distribution of Non-District Materials

The District recognizes that students, employees, and community members may want to share information with the District community that are non-District-sponsored. As the distribution of print materials in school buildings is time and cost prohibitive, posting electronically furthers the District goal of reducing paper usage.

An individual or organization wishing to post material on the CRCSD Virtual Backpack must submit the material to the Community Relations Office (for students) or the Human Resources Department (for employees) through the online submission process available on the District’s website. The submitting individual or organization will receive an electronic approval or denial message within seven (7) business days. If approved, the flyer will be posted directly to the District student or employee Virtual Backpack site and appropriate building sites.

The Virtual Backpack/electronic posting site will contain the following statement:

“The posting of this flyer in no way suggests endorsement of the program by the
Cedar Rapids Community School District.”

Information will not be distributed/posted if it gives the impression that the District is endorsing or promoting a specific business, religion, religious organization, political candidate or a position on a political issue. In addition, material will not be distributed if it:

  • is obscene to minors;
  • is libelous;
  • contains indecent vulgar, profane or lewd language;
  • advertises any product or service not permitted to minors by law;
  • constitutes insulting or fighting words, the very expression of which injures or harasses other people (e.g. threats of violence, defamation of character, or harassing conduct directed at a person in violation of the District’s policies or state or federal law);
  • presents a clear and present likelihood that, either because of its content or the manner of distribution, 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 acts or the violation of lawful school regulations.

Materials to be posted must be approved by the Community Relations Office (students) or Human Resources Office (employees), or by the school building administrator if building specific. Permission to post material does not imply endorsement of its contents by the District, the Board of Education or the individual reviewing the material submitted.

Approval for distribution will be on a content neutral basis except that all materials must have a school-related purpose. For-profit organizations are limited to one item per month. An online record of approval will be maintained in the Community Relations Office (for student information) or the Human Resources Department (for employee information), or at the building if building specific.

Definitions that apply to this regulation include:

1. “Obscene to minors” means:

  • the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the written material, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest of minors of the age to whom distribution is requested;
  • the material depicts or describes, in a manner that is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community concerning how such conduct should be presented to minors of the age to whom distribution is requested (e.g. sexual conduct such as intimate sexual acts (normal or perverted), masturbation, excretory functions, and lewd exhibitions of the genitals;
  • the material, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors.

2. “Minor” means: any person under the age of eighteen.

3. “Material and substantial disruption of a normal school activity” means:

  • Where the normal school activity is an educational program of the District for which student attendance is compulsory and the disruption interferes or impedes with the implementation of that program;
  • Where the normal school activity is voluntary and there is student rioting, unlawful seizures of property, widespread shouting or boisterous demonstration, sit-in, stand-in, walk-out, or other related forms of activity;
  • In order for the expression to be considered disruptive, there must be existing facts upon which the likelihood of disruption can be forecasted including past experience in the school, current events influencing student activities and behavior, and instances of actual or threatened disruption to the material in question.

4. “School activities” means: any activity of students sponsored by the school and includes, by way of example but not limited to, classroom work, library activities, physical education classes, official assemblies and other similar gatherings, school athletic contests, band concerts, school plays and in-school lunch periods.

5. “Libelous” means: false and unprivileged statement about a specific individual that tends to harm the individual’s reputation or to lower him/her in the esteem of the community.

6. “Distribution” means: circulation or dissemination of written material by means of handing out free copies, selling or offering copies for sale and accepting donations for copies. It includes displaying written material in areas of the school which are generally frequented by students.

7. “School-related” means: germane to Pre-K-12 curricular or co-curricular area.

  • Approved: 04-09-79
  • Revised: 06-25-79, 04-25-88
  • Reviewed: 08-28-89, 11-09-92, 06-09-97
  • Revised: 09-27-99, 05-09-05, 04-11-11, 04-08-13, 06-24-13, 06-23-14, 04-10-18, 02-14-2022, 06-13-2022
  • Documents: 1001.1

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