School Committee Approves Flyer Distribution

After a hiatus of flyer distribution in the schools, the committee has agreed to allow the dissemination of flyers alerting students of activities and events in town.

In the past, the policy did not prohibit flyer distribution due to legal liabilities surrounding advertising. The new policy will ensure that students have equal and fair access to community groups that can be conveyed on flyers and distributed to students twice a month.

The school committee has outlined proper protocol for organizations to follow, limiting the types of outside agencies that may use the schools for the distribution of literature and information.

The following organizations are allowed to share flyers within the district:

Non-profit organizations that provide services or support for children and families within Winthrop

Community organizations that provide services or support for children and families within Winthrop

Public agencies and bodies that provide services or support for children and families within Winthrop

Organizations interested in dispersing flyers in the district, must give seven days’ notice and will need to satisfy the following provisions of M.G.L. Chapter 55, the new campaign finance law: : 

School buildings and facilities of any kind, and public employees while they are at work may not be used to promote or oppose a candidate for office or a political party or a vote on a ballot question, or aid or promote a political party.

All flyers must be approved by the Superintendent prior to distribution.

Outside agencies shall provide the school with sufficient copies of the literature to be distributed at their own expense. They must be collated and packed by class size. The distribution of notices and flyers shall occur two days per month, scheduled by the building principal under direction of the Superintendent.

Building principals may include flyers on their social media pages or include them in emails to parents provided they share all flyers in this manner.

Under the new policy, students will not be required to read or take home a notice or flyer by an outside agency. The School Committee designates each school facility as a limited public forum to which certain types of outside agencies may have access for the purpose of distributing literature and information regarding events and activities available to the students of Winthrop.

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