Hamden Public Schools District Policies

5145.2 - Freedom of Speech/Expression

It shall be the policy of the school district to recognize and protect the rights of student expression. It will maintain a balance of these rights with the interests of an orderly and efficient educational process and of a school environment suitable for the healthy growth and development of all students. This policy will not be implemented on behalf of any other interests. 

The school district shall assume no responsibility for the contents of any written material produced, posted, circulated or otherwise distributed, or of student conduct, taken in accordance with this policy, insofar as such matter or conduct may relate to any interests other than those of an orderly and efficient educational process and proper school environments. 

In order to protect the educational process and school environment, printed material produced or distributed within the confines of school district property shall meet the following criteria: 

  1. Material shall be noncommercial.
  2. Material shall not contain libelous or obscene language.
  3. Material shall not advocate illegal actions.
  4. Material shall not contain false statements or innuendoes that would subject any person to hatred, ridicule, contempt or injury of reputation.
  5. Material will not imminently threaten to disrupt the educational process of the school.
  6. Material shall not advocate action that would endanger the health or safety of students.
  7. Material shall not invade the lawful rights of others.
  8. Material published, posted or otherwise distributed shall bear the names of at least two students principally involved in the promotion of this material and, when applicable, the name of the sponsoring student organization or group.
  9. Material may not be sold on school property, nor can material which seeks a donation or solicits funds be circulated unless done within the educational program and pre-approved by the Principal and Superintendent.
  10. Distributors of materials will be held responsible for cleaning up litter caused by such distribution.

(cf. 1220 - Citizens' Advisory Committees) 
(cf. 1312 - Public Complaints) 
(cf. 6144 - Controversial Issues) 
(cf. 6161 Equipment, Books, Materials: Provision/Selection)

Legal Reference:

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969). 

Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104 (1972). 

Amendment of U.S. Constitution - Article I. 

Connecticut Constitution, Article First, Declaration of Rights, Sections 4, 5. 

Academic Freedom Policy (adopted by Connecticut State Board of Education, 9/9/81). 


Policy adopted:  June 27, 2005

Hamden Public Schools     Hamden, Connecticut