THE FORUM Staff Policy

The Forum operates as an open forum for student free expression. The publications are for the students, by the students. The content and character of The Forum student publications will cater to and reflect the student body’s interests and ideas by covering a wide variety of events and issues concerning student life at LHS. The staff aims to balance what the audience wants with what it needs and strives to make solid judgments with regards to news value and news awareness. The publications will also cover events, news, and issues outside of the school community as determined by the The Forum staff.

The publications will serve as a medium for student opinions and ideas. The Forum strives to produce objective, well-balanced and accurate reporting and content that features a range of students, their interests and their viewpoints. The staff is dedicated to being fair, accurate, balanced, truthful and responsible. The staff will seek the truth and report it, minimize harm and act independently. We promise to be transparent, accountable and open.

The student Editorial Board will have final say in the content of the publications. The advisers advise. The students make the decisions. The publications’ advisers will not act as a censor or have final say in determining the content of the newspaper. Rather, the advisers will teach journalistic skills and guide the students in making sound legal and ethical decisions. The publications advisers are the faculty members who teach the journalism courses and advise the newspaper club. School officials, administration or faculty and staff, likewise, shall not practice prior review or the have the ability to censor any student publication, with the exception of material deemed to be legally obscene, libelous, substantially and materially disruptive, OR coverage on any one of the following three topics:

In cases where there is the possibility of coverage on any one of the following three topics, the student reporters and Editorial Board will work closely with the school principal and the divisional principals on coverage and content decisions.

  1. Obituaries
  2. Crimes and situations that are currently in the court of law or reasonably bound for the court of law
  3. Termination of employees

The following content is not authorized in any student publication in any way, shape, or form:

  1. Expression which is obscene;
  2. Expression which is libelous, slanderous, or defamatory under state law;
  3. Expression which is false as to any person who is not a public figure or involved in a matter of public concern; or
  4. Expression which creates a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts (as defined by state or federal law), the violation of school regulations, or the material and substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school or which violates the rights to others privacy or that threatens violence or property to persons.

The views of columnists are not necessarily those of the newspaper staff. Opinions will be published on designated pages or otherwise marked. Letters to the editor are welcomed and encouraged, but will only be published if they are accompanied by a name and signature. Letters should be short and free of “bashing” or obscenity. Letters to the editor do not reflect the views of the newspaper staff and will be marked on pages designated as such. The staff reserves the right to edit letters for potentially libelous material and length. The staff will not edit letters for punctuation, grammar and usage. Letters with issues will be returned to the submitter for further review.

In the event of error (omission, misidentification, etc.) the Editorial Board will attempt to mitigate the damage. Every reasonable precaution is made in avoiding errors, but some amount of error is perhaps inevitable. Each case will be evaluated on its own merit. The Editorial Board welcomes questions, comments, concerns, and complaints.

The Forum reserves the right to refuse any advertising not found to be within the publication’s standards, particularly in reference to good taste and to product and/or services that are illegal for the majority of high school readers.

Reporters for The Forum will always identify themselves as functioning in that capacity before an interview or a survey. It is not our intention to catch people in embarrassing or misleading questions. The editors reserve the right to correct gross grammatical errors in quotations, if the source’s meaning will be distorted without such editing. Otherwise, quotations will be reported as stated by informed sources.

Sources will not be allowed to read the final text of any story published by The Forum prior to publication. Reporters may read back quotations to sources, and will follow up with sources who wish to supplement their initial interviews. They will also follow up on anything that may be unclear or needs further explanation or comment before use in a story. The Editorial Board will consider the relative experience of the source in dealing with the press in each case. Sources may wish to have their names withheld from a particular story, and some may have valid reasons for this. The Editorial Board will decide on a case-by-case basis whether anonymity may be granted to protect the source. The Board recognizes that a high school is a very confined community of young people, and that some topics, while important to the community, may involve public embarrassment and official sanctions if names are printed. If the only way to tell an important story is to grant anonymity, The Editorial Board may consider it. Once anonymity is granted, the Board must stand behind its decision, whatever the pressure. This, therefore, is a weighty decision and will not be taken lightly or without due consult.

Printing and publication of The Forum content is paid for by ad sales. All material published by The Forum is copyrighted to @LT Media, year and date of original publishing. LT Media will not publish any material that is a violation of copyright.

Contact the LT Media Editorial Board at or in the LT Media classroom (D203).