The Board of Education of Garrett County recognizes the need to provide an appropriate mechanism for informing students and parents about school and community activities and events in a manner that does not unduly burden school staff. The Board of Education notes that collaboration with the broader community is critical in the achievement of the school system’s mission and goals. Additionally, the Board of Education recognizes the importance of protecting student free speech as required by the Supreme Court of the United States. Therefore, as a service to the community and to honor the First Amendment rights of the United States Constitution, the Board of Education allows distribution of information to and through students. The Board also recognizes the responsibility of the school system to provide a learning environment free from disruption. In this regard, it is the intent of the Board of Education to designate appropriate materials for display and distribution and to maintain a limited public forum at specified times and places. Approval to distribute or display materials in one or more public schools does not imply that the Board or school system endorses the organization or the information it disseminates. It is the Board’s intention that the use of school time, personnel, and resources to accommodate this service be kept to a minimum and no student shall be pressured or coerced to take or respond to the material.
Materials which are incompatible with the educational purpose of the system or that reasonably lead school officials to forecast a material and substantial disruption or interference with school activities will not be permitted. Except as otherwise set forth in Board policy, and regulation, schools generally may not be used for advertising or promoting the interest of commercial, profit-making, political, or other non-school groups, individuals, or organizations. (Board Policy 960)
Garrett County Board of Education adopted a policy and procedure in August 2013 regarding distribution of materials in the schools by non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations need to:
1. Please complete the Distribution of Materials Request Form below.
2. On all materials to be distributed in the schools, the following Board of Education Disclaimer must be placed:
“These materials are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Board of Education of Garrett County, the Garrett County Public Schools, or any agents thereof. See Board Policy and Procedure KHC.”
Please send to the Public Information Office the completed Distribution of Materials Request Form along with the flyer/material (including the disclaimer statement) to be distributed. Once received, the approval process can be initiated.