Guide to avoiding trouble when publishing off campus

Have as little contact with the school as possible:

  • The more contact you have with the school, the more likely a court is to find that school officials have some authority to control your actions. To be an independent, you should act independently.
  • If you are creating a Web site, do it at home, on your own computer, on your own time, and with a service you pay for. Do not use the school’s equipment or resources.
  • Encourage students to look up your Web site after school and off school grounds, instead of on campus.
  • If your publication concerns school activities, place a disclaimer on it, making clear that you have no official ties to your school.

Obey all school rules and orders from school authorities:

  • Challenge conduct that you believe violates your rights, but do so at an appropriate time.
  • Advise the administration that you will fight their ruling.
  • Contact the Student Press Law Center or other legal experts if you feel your rights have been violated.

Keep in mind you are responsible for everything you publish:

  • Even if your school cannot regulate you, you are still bound by the laws of privacy, libel, obscenity and copyright.