The Current
Thomas A. Edison High School
5801 Franconia Road
Alexandria, VA 22310


The Current Policy Statement

The Current and thecurrentonline.org are, respectively, the print and World Wide Web editions of the the student news magazine of Thomas A. Edison High School in Alexandria, Virginia. The two editions are referred to collectively as The Current in this policy statement.

The print edition of The Current publishes an abridged policy statement in each issue and at least once per year publishes this complete statement. The full policy statement is always available on thecurrentonline.org.

As preservers of democracy, schools should protect, encourage and enhance free-speech and positive exchange of ideas as a means of protecting our American way of life. The Current has been established as a forum for student expression and as a voice in an uninhibited, free and open discussion of issues.

Content of The Current, therefore, represents only the views of the student staff and not school officials.

The Current 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.

Online media may be used by students to educate, to inform and to entertain both the school and the wider community and are entitled to the same protections and subject to the same freedoms and responsibilities as all other student media as outlined in this policy.

Online media are forums for expressive activity and are similar to traditional media in their freedoms, responsibilities and professional obligations. As such they will not be subject to prior review or constraint.

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

As a forum for student expression, The Current will not be reviewed or restrained prior to publication.

The Current staff will strive to not publish any material determined by student editors or the student editorial board to be unprotected, that is material that is libelous, obscene, or materially disruptive of the school process, an unwarranted invasion of privacy, a violation of copyright or electronic manipulations which change the essential truth depicted in photographs.

With this in mind, student journalists have sole right to determine content of official student publications. By not interfering with The Current or other publications content, school officials are therefore not liable for or responsible for content.

The Current’s adviser will not act as a censor.

In case questions arise over specific copy as defined within this policy, the advice of a  practicing communications attorney would be sought. The services of the attorney for the Student Press Law Center are recommended.

The definitions of protections, unprotected speech and other obligations can be found in the Fairfax County Public Schools Student Rights and Responsibilities booklet available to each student at Thomas A. Edison High School.

The The Current editorial board as a whole will be responsible for determining editorial opinions, which represent the opinions of the majority the editorial board. No single staff member of The Current will be held responsible for editorial content decisions.

The Current is a tool in the learning process of journalism and operates as a learning laboratory. Because full participation as a staff member of The Current is co-curricular, only students currently enrolled in a journalism class at Thomas A. Edison High School are considered for staff positions.

As a forum for student expression The Current will accept for consideration all letters to the editors, guest articles and suggestions from any reader.

The Current publishes all letters to the editor provided they are 300 words or fewer and contain the author’s full name and address. Articles and other submissions may be rejected by the staff if they are deemed inappropriate for The Current’s needs.

The staff reserves the right to withhold a letter, article or column for more information if it determines the writing contains items of unprotected speech as defined by this policy. All submissions will be edited for spelling and grammar and checked for verification. Should a submission contain errors in fact, excessive grammatical errors or be too long, it will be returned to the author for resubmission.

Deadlines for letters for the print edition of The Current will be no later than two weeks before the next publication date.

The The Current editorial board reserves the right to accept or reject any advertisement, but generally accepts advertisements deemed appropriate for a public forum for young adults.

In cases involving political or issues advertising, efforts will be made to solicit all points of view. The ultimate decision for all advertising rests with the The Current editorial board.

The Current may cover student, staff, faculty and alumnus deaths as the editorial board is made aware of them. The board reserves the right to decide not to cover a death based on relevance, timeliness, and circumstances decided on by the editorial board.