The Cardinal Times Online


Conway Springs High School Student Publications Policies


The Conway Springs High School Student Publications staffs strive to produce high quality publications for students, about students and by students while striving to develop the skills of professional journalists who tell the whole story of the whole year for every student.


The primary purpose of Conway Springs High School Student Publications is to inform and entertain its audience in a broad, fair and accurate manner on subjects that affect readers, in the areas of student life, academics, organizations, sports and community. The student body is the target audience, though secondary audiences include school personnel, community members and scholastic journalism groups.

Content focuses on coverage that meets the wants and needs of the majority of the target audiences. Student editors will apply professional standards and ethics for decision making; responsibility for content and production is theirs. Under the guidance of the adviser, students will not publish material they consider to be legally unprotected speech, including but not limited to libel, obscenity, content that will provide a material disruption of the educational process, copyright infringement or unwarranted invasion of privacy.

The Board of Education and USD 356 are the publishers of The Talon yearbook and The Cardinal Times Online news website, but the responsibilities for content and production rest with the student staff.


I. Reporting and photography

  1. Sources who are interviewed for a publication are to be notified beforehand that the contents of the interview and their name may be published.
  2. Students involved in a school-sponsored event or at a public activity may be photographed for publication without explicit permission.
  3. All sources in stories must be named. Only the student editors can decide to withhold a source’s name if privacy is necessary, under the guidance of the adviser.
  4. Reporters are responsible for finding adequate and balanced sources (usually at least three).
  5. If a reporter is found to have purposely misquoted, misrepresented, or otherwise fabricated information, in addition to the consequences listed in the student handbook, a student who plagiarizes will participate in a meeting between the Editorial Board, the adviser, and the principal/counselor to determine their future on the publications staff.
  6. Sources do not have the right to read a story prior to publication. If requested, a reporter may share direct quotes with the source to verify accuracy. In the case of a delicate subject matter, a reporter may choose to share the entire or partial story with a source, though changes may not be made unless an error is found.

II. Yearbook

  1. Book sales
    1. Refunds will not be granted.
    2. Exchanges can be made by August 31 for books with minor flaws if no writing has been done in the book. If a book has been written in, then no exchange can be made unless the adviser deems the flaw in the book to be major (e.g., pages are missing or upside down).
    3. Books not claimed at the end of the first semester become the property of the yearbook and can be sold at the current price.
  2. Portraits
    1. All students are asked to have their portraits taken for the yearbook. If students miss the initial portrait day, they are expected to be present on the makeup day, or they will be listed as not pictured.
    2. Student portraits will appear in the section of the yearbook consistent with the official classification as of Dec. 1.

III. Website

  1. The website is created and maintained as part of the class. The adviser will maintain administrative responsibilities, and the students may post or edit their own/others’ posts, based on their individual positions. All students may publish directly to the website; however, all content is required to go through an editing process before publication.
  2. Comments are allowed on each post and are intended to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments containing profanity; direct, personal attacks on others; language that might be interpreted as libelous; or any other language that the adviser deems inappropriate will be deleted. The adviser is responsible for monitoring and deleting inappropriate comments.
  3. Anonymous comments are not allowed; a name and a valid e-mail address must be provided in order for a comment to be approved; however, e-mail addresses will not be displayed.
  4. The website allows sharing of content via social media. However, any comments and/or discussion stemming from social media (e.g., comments on a Facebook post that shared an article) will not be expressly monitored via the adviser, as stated in social media policy number three above.

IV. Social media

  1. Staff account:
    1. Social media will be used to promote CSHS Student Publications, to promote published content and to engage the community.
    2. The student editors reserve the right to remove posts that violate policy.
    3. Information posted on social media platforms should be held to the same standards outlined in section I above in terms of information gathering, fact checking, and appropriateness.
    4. The official social media accounts should avoid promotion of events and remain objective, reporting what is fact. Content posted by specific clubs’ accounts promoting events may be shared/retweeted by the staff account.
    5. Information gained through social media channels should be verified through multiple channels or by confirming a source’s validity before passing it along on a social media account. In breaking news situations, extreme caution will be exercised and speculation will never be published. Staff members posting from these accounts should make every effort to have a school administrator as a source in a situation where a breaking news event pertains directly to the school.
    6. Audience engagement through social media should be done in a professional manner. There should be no interaction with anyone who “trash talks” or otherwise degrades the publication or school.
    7. Mistakes made on social media posts should be corrected as soon as possible and any deleted posts should be acknowledged in subsequent postings. In the event that a personal post is inadvertently posted from a staff account, it will be immediately deleted. It will be acknowledged if deemed necessary by the student editors.
    8. It is the responsibility of staff members to maintain journalistic integrity and follow these guidelines when using social media. If the adviser is alerted to inappropriate use of social media, the adviser and editor-in-chief will meet with the student to discuss any necessary consequences. The adviser may only impose a punishment if the student’s speech caused a substantial disruption to the school day or if it violated staff policy.
  2. Personal accounts:
    1. Staff members are encouraged to use social media outside of class time to give updates on the publications or to share anything that was posted by the staff account. They may share statements indicating coverage of a certain event, encouragement for students to go online and information on how to do so, or general statements of excitement or statements of work (e.g., “Taking photos at the junior wall decorating!” “Love spending quality time with my fellow staffers!” “Read my story on FCCLA because it is looking AWESOME!”).
    2. Staff members are not to share photos, quotes, or content of any kind. They are not to indicate that a specific person will be included unless the story is a profile.
    3. Personal accounts are not directly associated with the publication, but student journalists should remember they represent the publication and the school and should act accordingly.

V. Prior review and controversial topics

  1. Under Kansas law, student journalists are protected from prior review by the administration. However, in the case of a delicate or possible controversial subject matter, the student editors may choose to alert the administration before publication. Administration may request or share concerns about difficult subject matter, but the ultimate decision to publish or not publish rests with the student editors, with the assistance of the adviser.
  2. In the case of a potentially controversial subject, the student editors may choose to publish an editor’s note at the beginning of the article explaining the decision to publish. Also, readers will be encouraged to submit a comment (per the comment policy) and/or a letter to the editor in response to the subject.

VI. Student/staff member death

  1. Per district policy, The Cardinal Times Online will not cover student, faculty or staff members’ deaths.
  2. In the case of a student death during the school year or the summer before the current school year, a yearbook will be offered free of charge to that student’s parents/guardians.
  3. If the student was a senior, a half-page ad will also be offered free of charge in the senior ads section. If the student was not a senior, a quarter-page, senior-style ad will be offered in that student’s class’s portrait section. If a CSHS staff member dies, a quarter-page, senior-style ad will be featured in the faculty portrait section.

VII. Advertising

  1. Acceptance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement by the district, school, student staff as a whole or its individual members.
  2. The staff reserves the right to refuse any business which seeks to advertise products or services that are illegal or generally considered to be unhealthy or undesirable for the students at Conway Springs High School.
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