Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs


Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs


Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs


Policy Manual


The Riverside Brookfield High School Clarion staff intends for its newspaper commenting section to serve as an open forum for the free exchange of opinions and ideas related to its stories.  It intends for this forum to be open to all commentators, regardless of race, creed, color, gender, or sexual orientation.  The Clarion staff strongly supports critical commentary.

At the same time, the Clarion staff is also aware of their role within a “Character Counts” school and a “Community of Caring.”  It intends that the stories and dialogue in its paper serve as a model supporting the six pillars of trust, responsibility, respect, fairness, compassion, and citizenship.

To that end, all comments submitted to the Clarion are subject to the following policies before publication:

  • All comments are moderated.  They will be viewed and approved by the editor-in-chief and/or sponsor before publication.  Comments that do not meet our policy expectations will not be published.
  • The Clarion staff encourages readers to identify themselves in comments though they accept anonymous comments.  If a reader does identify himself in a comment, the staff will make every effort to verify the comment with the identified poster before publishing it.
  • When a reader submits a comment, he is asked for a valid e-mail address and an identifying name.  While the Clarion does log IP addresses of commenters, this information as well as e-mail addresses will be kept private.  However, if a commenter makes a deliberate threat towards any other individual or institution, this information will be shared with school administration and local authorities.
  • Comments and the students who make them are subject to the same rules of Acceptable Use under which the school operates (see Acceptable Use Policy).
  • Comments that are irrelevant/completely off the topic of the story within which they originate will not be published.
  • Comments that make factual allegations which cannot be proven and/or are not part of common knowledge will not be published.
  • Comments whose sole purpose is to personally attack or degrade without making a factual argument will not be published.
  • Comments which contain “hate speech” will not be published.
  • The Clarion staff takes its work professionally but also asks that its readership realize it is a student newspaper.  To that end, comments whose sole purpose is to criticize grammatical errors within a story will not be published.
  • The Clarion staff reserves the right to edit comments for length and content.  If a comment is sent which is partially inappropriate due to content (see above), the Clarion staff will attempt to publish the portion of the comment which is appropriate.
  • Clarion staff are prohibited from responding directly to comments.  The exception will be “editor/sponsor notes” where we seek to correct or clarify inaccurate information.
  • At the discretion of the sponsor and Editor-in-Chief, comments may be removed from the site after they have been published.
  • The views and opinions expressed in comments do not, in any way, reflect the views of the Clarion staff and/or Riverside Brookfield High School as an institution.


Clarion makes use of Facebook social media to help promote and distribute its stories.  However, at this time, Clarion will not publish any comments from its readership on its Facebook page and will delete those comments if made.  This includes “likes” and “dislikes” of posts.

Public Promotion:

Clarion may engage in public promotion of its work which includes posting advertisements of stories to local forums (e.g. Riverside Info or Town Connection).  However, neither the sponsor, Editor-in-Chief, nor any other Clarion staff member will respond directly to comments on these forums.  If one of our readers has questions that arise from a promotional post, we encourage them to contact the sponsor ([email protected]) or the school administration directly.

Staff Editorials:

Unsigned staff editorials represent the collective opinion of the entire Clarion student staff.  The student staff engages in multiple whole class discussions to determine the content of their editorials and then writes and publishes them collectively.  No teacher, including the Clarion sponsor, is directly involved in the writing of staff editorials.  While the article’s byline will read “Clarion Staff Editorial,” per RB School Board Policy 7.3-10, all staff members names will be listed at the end of the editorial as well.

Staff editorials do not in any way represent the official opinion, ideas, or attitude of the school, its faculty and support staff, its sponsor, its administration, or its school board and should not be construed to do so

Opinion Columns:

Opinion columns represent the personal opinion of one or more student staff writers.  These columns will be signed with individual names.

Opinion columns do not in any way represent the official opinion of the Clarion staff as a whole or the opinion, ideas, or attitude of the school, its faculty and support staff, its sponsor, its administration, or its school board and should not be construed to do so.

User Submissions:

Clarion readers are encouraged to use the “U Report” button on our web site to submit media (photos, videos, etc.) or story ideas to our site.  However, once material has been submitted, it becomes the property of the Clarion staff to use, publish, and distribute as it sees fit.


At this time, Clarion does not accept outside advertising except for the advertising provided by its CMS School Newspapers Online.


At this time, Clarion does not accept fully published outside stories in most cases.  Student reporters must enroll in the Clarion class in order to publish on the Clarion web site.

Exceptions can be made at the discretion of the sponsor when relating to curricular projects in other RB classes, opinion columns from outside authors that Clarion itself solicits, and/or columns from previous Clarion writers who are still attending RB but not able to enroll in the class due to scheduling conflicts.

Hard Copy

Currently, Clarion’s primary role is as an online newspaper.  However, Clarion does typically publish quarterly 12-page hard copy issues which are distributed within the walls of the school building.  These issues are archived online digitally on our Archives page and can also be checked out at our school library.  You can also request an individual copy of an issue by e-mailing the sponsor ([email protected]) while supplies last.

Sponsor’s Role

The faculty sponsor of the Clarion’s role is to serve as a facilitator and guide for the production of the student newspaper.  He does not materially participate in any way in the actual writing of any material for the web site.  No material on the news web site or in the hard copy newspaper should be construed to be reflective of the opinion or attitudes of the sponsor.

The sponsor’s duties include but are not limited to:

  • Selecting the editorial board for the newspaper.
  • Training editors and staff reporters in the proper functioning of the newspaper.
  • Teaching the staff the fundamentals and ethics of proper journalism.
  • Maintaining attendance and grades for the class.
  • Maintaining the budget and supplies for the class.
  • Coaching and guiding students on all stages of the story production process from idea generation through research, writing, editing, and publication.
  • Working with the Editor-in-Chief to maintain quality control of stories before publication.
  • Working with the Editor-in-Chief to address errors and corrections in the newspaper.
  • Working with the Editor-in-Chief and school administration to maintain open communication about the newspaper, its policies, and its content.
  • Arranging and facilitating student access to relevant community members involved in news stories.
  • Entering student work in national and local competitions.
  • Working to recruit students to enroll in the class.


While Clarion intends to offer complete coverage of all school news and events, its readers should be aware that it is a student newspaper.  Students attend a 52-minute class, 5 days a week and complete outside reporting as homework along with all of their other classes and activities.  These limitations make it impossible for Clarion to cover every school function and event.  While the sponsor may suggest ideas for stories, the student editors are ultimately responsible for determining the final content of the newspaper.


Clarion reporters abide by the ethical code of the Society of Professional Journalists as well as noted reporter Jim Lehrer’s published code of ethics.