GKDA Non-School Use of School Facilities: Distribution of Non-School Literature


Activities such as distributing literature, displaying signs, petitioning for change, and disseminating information concerning issues of public concern are protected by the First Amendment

Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network, 519 U.S. 357, 117 S. Ct. 855 (1997) (recognizing leafletting and commenting on matters of public concern as protected speech); Boos v. Barry, 485 U.S. 312, 108 S. Ct. 1157 (1988) (recognizing public issue signs as protected speech); Meyer v. Grant, 486 U.S. 414, 108 S. Ct. 1886 (1988) (recognizing the solicitation of signatures for a petition drive as protected speech)

The School may impose time, place, and manner regulations and may reserve its facilities for their intended purposes, communicative or otherwise, as long as the regulation on speech is reasonable and not an effort to suppress expression merely because public officials oppose the speaker’s view.

Perry Educ. Ass’n v. Perry Local Educators’ Ass’n, 460 U.S. 37, 103 S. Ct. 948 (1983)

The School may not require prior review before permitting nondisruptive distribution of written materials on matters of public concern at a parents-only school-sponsored meeting after school hours.

Chiu v. Plano Indep. Sch. Dist., 339 F.3d 273 (5th Cir. 2003)


Written or printed materials, handbills, photographs, pictures, films, tapes, or other visual or auditory materials over which the School does not exercise control shall not be sold, circulated, or distributed by persons or groups not associated with the school or a school support group on any school premises in the School without permission in accordance with this policy.

The Schools classrooms and residential facilities are provided for the limited purpose of delivering instruction and residential living opportunities to students at the School. Hallways in school buildings are provided for the limited purpose of facilitating the movement of students between classes and allowing access to assigned lockers. Classrooms and hallways shall not be used for the distribution of any materials over which the school does not exercise control.

The administrator in charge of each school area in which the School has individual employee mailboxes shall designate an area near the mailboxes where materials that have been approved for distribution, as provided below, may be made available or distributed to students or others in accordance with any time, place, and manner restrictions developed and approved by the Superintendent.

Prior Review

All written material over which the school does not exercise control and that is intended for distribution on School property shall be submitted for prior review according to the following procedures:

  1. Materials shall be submitted to the Superintendent or designee for review.
  2. To be considered for distribution, materials shall include the name of the organization or individual sponsoring the distribution.
  3. Using the standards below at LIMITATIONS ON CONTENT the Superintendent or designee shall approve or reject submitted material within two school days of the time the material is received.
  4. The requestor may appeal the decision of the Superintendent or designee to the Board in accordance with TSBVI Policy GF, beginning at the appropriate Level.

Appropriate law enforcement officials may be called when a person refuses to follow the procedures for submitting materials and fails to leave the premises when asked. [See Policy GKA]

Limitations on Content

Nonschool materials shall not be distributed if:

  1. The materials are obscene, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate for the age and maturity of the audience.
  2. The materials endorse actions endangering the health or safety of students.
  3. The distribution of such materials would violate the intellectual property rights, privacy rights, or other rights of another person.
  4. The materials contain defamatory statements about public figures or others.
  5. The materials criticize Board members or school officials or advocate violation of school rules and fall within the standard described at LIMITATIONS ON EXPRESSION at FNAA (LEGAL).
  6. The materials advocate imminent lawless or disruptive action and are likely to incite or produce such action.
  7. The materials include hate literature that scurrilously attacks ethnic, religious, or racial groups, and similar publications aimed at creating hostility and violence if they fall within the standard described at LIMITATIONS ON EXPRESSION at FNAA(LEGAL).


Unless it has been opened to the public, by policy or practice, a school mail system is not a public forum. The School may create a limited public forum in its campus mailboxes.

Perry Educ. Ass’n v. Perry Local Educators’ Ass’n, 460 U.S. 37, 103 S. Ct. 948 (1983)

[See Policy CPAB regarding use of the School’s internal mail system and FNAA regarding distribution of nonschool literature by students]

Adopted: 5/25/05