Official Policies of OTHStoday

OTHStoday Policy

The OTHStoday publications staff abides by the NSPA Model Code of Ethics for High School Journalists. This includes seven key points:
1) Be Responsible
2) Be Fair
3) Be Honest
4) Be Accurate
5) Be Independent
6) Minimize Harm
7) Be Accountable

Executive Board:

The student Executive Board determines the content on

The Executive Board consists of:

OTHStoday Web Editor-in-Chief
Panther Beat Broadcast Executive and Co-Executive Producers
Prowler Newspaper Editor-in-Chief
Panther Yearbook Editor-in-Chief

OTHStoday is a student run news publication, where students can make their voices heard.
Students inherently have “freedom of expression” rights as long as they do not “materially and substantially” disrupt the operation of the school or violate the rights of others.
All requests from the administration for content to be removed must be submitted formally in writing from the current Principal (in the form of a letter or e-mail from school-issued e-mail address) to the current Executive Board, as well as the staff advisers. The final decision for removal will be made solely by the Executive Board, however, they must consult the staff advisers.
If a formal request is made, the current Executive Board will have a face-to-face conversation with the current principal to discuss why it “materially and substantially” disrupts the operation of the school.
Slander, libel, and obscenity are not protected speech under any circumstance in the United States.

Rights of the Student Body:

As the official publication of the O’Fallon Township High School student body, OTHStoday assures all students the following rights:
All students have the right to comment on content published on OTHStoday. All comments must adhere to the comment policy.
All students have the right to submit articles, commentary, photos/videos to OTHStoday. Content submitted will be evaluated by OTHStoday editors, and published if it meets OTHStoday’s expectations for quality and timeliness.

Comments values the opinion of its readers and encourages them to discuss its content.
Comments containing obscene, suggestive, vulgar, profane (including letters followed by dashes or symbols), threatening, disrespectful, or defamatory language will not be published. Comments may be edited for profanity.
Attacks on groups or individuals based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or creed will be rejected.
All threats are taken seriously. If the Executive Board and faculty advisers are worried for someone’s safety, the comment and related identifying information will be passed along to relevant authorities and/or the school administration.
All commenters writing from the school network are subject to the school’s Acceptable Use Policies. At the discretion of the Executive Board, comments and related identifying information will be passed onto the school administration.
All comments are approved by the OTHStoday Executive Board. Comments are reviewed as often as possible. This process results in a delay of anywhere from a few hours to a day before a comment is posted.
Do not misrepresent yourself by using someone else’s name.
OTHStoday encourages its readers to use their real names, but will not publish comments written by people who share their name until it has been verified that the comment was in fact written by that person.
OTHStoday is open to strong opinions and criticism of its work, but OTHStoday does not publish comments discussing its policies and practices. Please stay on topic.
Likewise, we welcome strong opinions and criticism of our reporters work. However, personal attacks on reporters’ will not be published. If you feel strongly that something was reported poorly, or strongly disagree with an opinion, we encourage you to submit a full article or commentary on the subject.
The views expressed in comments are solely the authors’ and do not reflect the views of OTHStoday, O’Fallon Township High School, or the city of O’Fallon.
Once submitted, comments become the property of OTHStoday.

Privacy as a Commenter:

When you submit a comment to OTHStoday, it becomes our property. We adhere to our comment policy when posting.
When you submit a comment, the name you provide, the e-mail address (or Facebook profile link), and your IP address are collected. Submitting a comment is the only time OTHStoday advisers and the Executive Board have access to view your IP address. We cannot pair IP addresses from our analytics with those in comments.
All threats are taken seriously. Comments containing threats to someone’s safety (including your own) will immediately be sent to the OTHS administration and the O’Fallon Police with the all information provided, including IP address.
Hate speech, defined as speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, is not protected speech. At the Executive Board’s sole discretion, comments containing hate speech may be passed along to school administrators if deemed cruel and malevolent. We believe in healthy, strong criticism of ideas and beliefs, not cruelty.

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