Editorial Policy of The Rattler Report

The Rattler Report is a district approved and student-produced news and feature publication originally published as a paper six times a year and went live as an online news publication on September 24, 2010.  As an online publication, The Rattler Report will be updated weekly or as necessary by the news value of timeliness.

The publication has been established as a public forum for student expression and for the discussion of issues of concern to its audience.
Since Rattler Report is a forum for student expression, the editorial board, which consists of the staff’s top editors, will determine the content of the news both in print and online.  Material may not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of NEISD school officials. The views stated in editorials represent that of a majority of the editorial board. No single member of the editorial board can be held responsible for editorial content decisions. Signed columns or reviews represent only the opinion of the author.

The Rattler Report welcomes comments on its online content; however, all comments are moderated by the journalism adviser, campus administration, and student editorial board.  We reserve the right to remove and/or edit a comment should it be anonymous or from a falsely named person or e-mail address, not meet with our approval, or seem inane and/or inappropriate in content. We will also edit or remove comments that do not contribute serious discussion on the topic or from users who troll for the sake of ridiculousness, argument, or other superfluous purposes.

Online media produced by the Rattler Report are entitled to the same protections, and subject to the same freedoms and responsibilities, as media produced for print publication.

Student journalists may use online media to report news and information, to communicate with other students and individuals, to ask questions of and consult with experts, and to locate material to meet their news-gathering and research needs.

The Rattler Report and its staff are protected by and bound to the principles of the First Amendment and other protections and limitations afforded by the Constitution and the various court decisions implementing those principles.

The Rattler Report and its staff will strive to publish only legally protected speech following the legal definitions for libel, obscenity, and invasion of privacy. The staff will also refrain from printing stories that create a material disruption of school activities. Specific definitions for the above instances of unprotected speech can be found in the Law of the Student Press.

Staff members will strive to correct any error before publication; however, if the editorial board determines a significant error is printed, a formal correction will most certainly be posted.

The adviser of the Rattler Report will not act as a censor or determine the content of the paper. The adviser will offer advice and instruction, following the code of ethics set forth for advisers by the Journalism Education Association. The adviser will help the staff cover all issues in a legal, objective, accurate, and ethical manner, according to the Canons of Professional Journalism developed by the Society for Professional Journalists. The Canons of Professional Journalism include a code of ethics concerning accuracy, responsibility, integrity, conflict of interest, impartiality, fair play, freedom of the press, independence, sensationalism, personal privacy, obstruction of justice, creditability, and advertising.

In case questions arise over the specific copy as defined within this policy, the advice of a communications attorney from the Student Press Law Center is recommended. An assistant principal has access and ability to prior review the content of the paper, both printed and online. The assistant principal overseeing the Rattler Report is Brenda Cerroni. She can be reached at bcerro@neisd.net.

The Rattler Report staff raises and pays all costs through advertising sales and fundraisers.
Rattler Report will accept all advertisements with signed or electronically submitted contracts provided they do not advocate illegal activity for minors and are not racist, sexist, and/or otherwise in poor taste, as determined by the editorial board, adviser, and campus administration.

The Rattler Report is a member of the Texas Association of Journalism Educators, Journalism Educators of America, National Scholastic Press Association, Interscholastic League Press Association, Quill and Scroll Society, American Scholastic Press Association, and the Student Press Law Center.

The Rattler Report