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Opinion

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Editorial Policy

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he student newspaper’s complete Editorial Policy is traditionally published in the first issue each year. A condensed version runs in every subsequent issue.

I. Statement of Policy Student freedom of expression is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Accordingly, school officials are responsible Sophomore Courtney Brinkers works on her Issue 2 column during 5th period. The 20052006 Timberlines ranked Number One in the state, and the staff will receive their 2006-2007 for ensuring freedom of expression for ranking at October’s state convention. Macey Moreland photo all students. It is the policy of Greenwood Community High School that official school-sponsored publications — Timberlines, Woodman and Woodman AM — have been established as limited open forums for student expression. Publications provide opportunities for students to exchange ideas and content that reflect areas of student interest, including topics about which there may be dissent or controversy. GHS student journalists determine the content of official student publications. Accordingly, the following guidelines relate only to establishing grounds for disciplinary actions. II. Official Student Publications A. Responsibility of Students Journalists. Under the direction of a licensed journalism instructor, GHS students who work on official publications are responsible for content. These students: 1. determine the content of the publication 2. strive to produce publications based on professional standards of accuracy, objectivity and fair play. 3. review material to improve sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation. 4. check and verify facts. 5. In case of editorials or letters to the editor concerning controversial issues, determine the need for rebuttal comments and opinions and provide space, if appropriate. B. Prohibited Material 1. Students cannot publish or distribute matter that is “obscene to minors,” which is defined as material that meet both of the following requirements: First, the average person applying contemporary community standards will find the publication as a whole offensive. Secondly, the work as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political, social or scientific value. 2. Students cannot publish or distribute libelous material. However, under the fair commitment rule, a student may criticize school policy or the performance of teachers, administrators, school officials and other employees. 3. Students cannot publish or distribute material that will cause “a material and substantial disruption of school activities.” (a) Disruption is defined as student rioting, substantial participation in a school boycott, sit-in, walkout or other related activities. Material that simulates heated discussion or debate does not constitute this type of prohibited disruption. (b) For a student publication to be considered disruptive, specific facts must exist upon which reasonably forecast a likelihood of immediate, substantial, material disruption to normal school activities if the material were distributed. Mere undifferentiated fear or apprehension of disturbance is not enough; school administrators must show substantial facts that reasonably support a forecast of a specific, likely disruption. (c) School officials must protect advocates of unpopular viewpoints. (d) “School activity” means an educational student activity sponsored by the school and includes, by way of example and not by way of limitation, classroom work, library activities, physical activities, physical education, official assemblies and other similar gatherings, school athletic contests, band concerts, school plays and in-school lunch periods. III. Protection of Speech School officials will not: 1. ban speech solely because it is controversial. 2. prohibit criticism of the policies, practices and performances of teachers, the school itself or any other public officials. 3. cut off funds to student publications because of a disagreement over editorial policy. 4. ban publication or distribution of material written by non-students. 5. prohibit the endorsement of candidates for student office or for public office at any level. IV. Commercial Speech Advertising is constitutionally protected expression. School publications may accept advertising. Acceptance or rejection of advertising is within the review of the publication staff, which may accept ads except those for products or services illegal to students. Political ads may be accepted. The publication should not provide or deny space to only one side of an issue or election. V. Prior Restraint School Administrators do not review student publications prior to distribution. The school assumes no liability for any student publication and urges all student journalists to recognize that with editorial control comes responsibility, including responsibility to strive for professional journalism standards. VI. Obituary Policy Upon the death of any student or faculty member, Timberlines will publish no less than a brief obituary, including a head-and-shoulders photo for the deceased (if available). If the death was the result of a suicide, extreme caution will be taken. VII. Errors Although the Timberlines staff makes every effort to ensure accuracy in reporting, a policy to handle errors is in place. Corrections will appear in the next issue of Timberlines. VII. Circulation Timberlines, the official GHS student newspaper, is created by journalism students and distributed free of charge. On publication day, the paper is strategically placed at points throughout the school to ensure easy access for all students. Likewise, copies are distributed throughout the community and via mail to other schools and subscribers. IX. Questions Questions regarding this policy can be directed to the journalism adviser at 317/889-4000 ext. 442.

Students take a stand on technology addiction Technology takes toll

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By Danielle Clark

ard work, motivation and integrity are some of the most important personal characteristics lost due to an overwhelming technology obsession. Cell phones, video games, and computers are some of the gizmos making teens and parents lazy and fat. For example, instead of vacuuming, we might now use a cordless vacuum that does not need a person to handle it. Once when students get home from school, one of the first tasks they did was either tackle homework or chores. Now, students jump right on computers, ignoring their responsibilities to their schoolwork and their parents. Students too often think the second they get home they have to make plans for that night by either getting on Myspace, AIM or some other form of online chat. They are forgetting their duties as students and members of families. It is the beginning of the school year, and students need to get ready for English and history papers not to mention the Senior Project. But, our accepted grammar has turned to “aim talk”. Meanwhile, video games-- such as Madden08, NCAA 08, and NBA Live-are also huge reasons why teens are getting lazy. We are wasting all of our time and our futures on pointless video games, computers and text messaging.

Modernization makes sense

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By Shannon Veerkamp

ot long ago, floppy disks served as digital storage and books were the only sources for research papers. I am not sorry to say goodbye to those frustrating days. High speed internet alone improved society on a global level. How often a week do people worldwide get on the internet to communicate with family or coworkers, manage bank accounts or play online card games to relax? In fact, the U.S. has the most people with broadband internet in the world at 41 million people. The internet is an oasis of information. Try to imagine life without the internet. Even flash drives and internet access are becoming part of our school supplies lists. My Ipod, computer and digital camera are among my prized possessions. There is nothing wrong with indulging my favorite songs at the end of a long school day or taking crystal clear photos while camping in Brown County. I am also not hurting anyone by talking to friends through Myspace. People who do not believe in a technology-oriented society have not yet experienced the feeling of “Wow, this is so much easier and quicker. Now, I have time to do more important things.” More important things could mean additional time in a more-than-hectic daily routine. Let us learn not to be afraid of change; bigger and better can be achieved with new technology. Remember, once upon a time, a change became our country. But, I have to agree we must moderate our technology use. Playing a video game for a few hours is not harmful — unless playing 12 hours nonstop. It takes nothing more than common sense and self control to live with technology safely and contently.

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