The Student News Site of Harrison High School

The Panther Press

The Panther Press

The Panther Press



“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

–The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

“The vigilant protection of constitutional freedoms is nowhere more vital than in the community of American schools.”

–Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District


The HHS Media Editorial Policy pertains to all HHS Media, including The Panther Press printed issues and WWW.PANTHERPRESSHHS.COM online, as well as any social media sites and pages operating as The Panther Press. This full editorial policy will be posted on our website, for public reference.

HHS Media are the official student-produced media of news and information published and produced by HHS Media student-staffers. HHS Media have been established as designated public forums for students to educate and inform their readers of issues of concern to their audience. It will be reviewed by the journalism adviser and potentially school officials prior to publication or distribution. Advisers may—and should–coach and discuss content during the writing process. Most decisions on content, however, are left to The Panther Press appointed editorial board of students. The Panther Press staff takes responsibility for published content in print and online. The opinion pieces reflect the opinions of the writers and not of the staff as a whole, the school, or HSD2 as an organization.



It is essential to preserve the freedom of the press in order to preserve a free society and provide students of Harrison High School with relevant information pertinent to their educational growth and prudent to their concern as students of the school and community.

We believe wholeheartedly that speech should be protected. However, we believe in publishing content that is verified and truthful. We do not publish content that is harmful to the reputation of our students, staff, or district as a whole. We will hold back publication of controversial issues if they are disruptive to the learning environment.



Being that the Media are operated and produced at the discretion of students of the school, an Editorial Board has been created to oversee the proper execution and production of the Media. Editors will meet weekly with the adviser to discuss content and policy. Editors are expected to stay abreast of laws and policies that govern the ethical publication of student media.



As the execution of ethical and proper journalism is a skill that provides students with practical skill sets, there shall be an Adviser to guide and educate the student editors and staff to these ends. The adviser is responsible for teaching from a district-created scope and sequence that covers ethical multi-media production. The newspaper is a secondary objective to the course, and the published content is regulated by both the district policy and the state law.


The Harrison High School and Harrison High School District administration will allow student to publish content of their choosing so long as it abides by the policies set forth in ethical media publication.




All decisions regarding the publication, printing or dissemination of content in the Media will be made in occurrence to the following provisions, while keeping in mind that the overall purpose and goal of the Media is to

  1. Inform, interpret, and entertain their viewers through accurate and factual reports, where information has been thoroughly gathered and verified;
  2. Serve as an educational laboratory experience for those on staff;
  3. Be accurate, fair and impartial in its coverage of issues in all aspects of coverage.
  4. Not avoid publishing a story solely on the basis of possible dissent or controversy;
  5. Cover the total school population as effectively and accurately as possible;
  6. Report all issues in a legal, objective, accurate and ethical manner, in accordance with the Canons of Professional Journalism developed by the Society for Professional Journalists and 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, credibility and advertising



  1. The Media will not print unnecessary profanity including but not limited to social media used by all parts of HHS Media. We reserve the right to edit profane language in our published content both online and in print, and we will regulate social media and online comments as necessary.


  1. HHS students outside of the Media staffs will have the opportunity to submit writing to the newspaper for possible publication. Submissions will need to be received by a determined deadline, and media deemed inappropriate will not be published. Submitted work will not be returned.
  2. Staff and the community may submit letters to the editor both online and in person. Letters can be published anonymously if requested, but anonymous letters will not be accepted by the adviser, as they require verification from the source.


  1. All editorials published will be bylined as: “on behalf of the News Editorial Staff.”
  2. Editorial ideas may be submitted to the Editorial Board by all members of the appropriate staff.
  3. All printed editorial subject matter will be determined by the Editorial Board.
  4. The Media will not publish any material for which there is evidence that the author is using the paper for inappropriate personal gain.
  5. The Media will endeavor to provide a chance for comment on all sides of a critical issue in the same edition.
  6. The Editorial Board will determine the content, including all unsigned editorials. The views stated in editorials represent that of a majority of the Editorial Board. Bylined columns or reviews appearing in the opinion sections represent only the opinion of the author.


  1. All coverage of controversial issues will occur upon a timely subject.
  2. All sides of the issue will be presented and reviewed, as to refrain from any bias, with exception of opinions.
  3. In news, all sides of a school, community, city, state, national or international political issue will be presented factually, as to inform, rather than promote or endorse.
  4. The Media will not publish material that is unnecessarily obscene, libelous, or an unwarranted invasion of privacy.
  5. If question on the veracity of publication persists, the issue will be brought to the Editorial Board which must consider the following questions before publication of the piece:
  6. Why is it a concern?
  7. What is its journalistic purpose?
  8. Is the information accurate and complete?
  9. Are any important points of view omitted?
  10. How would the Board feel if the story was about Board members or someone the Board knows?
  11. What are the consequences of the publication of the piece?
  12. Is there a logical explanation to anyone who challenges the issue?
  13. Is it worth risking Media credibility?
  14. Does it comply with the provisions outlined in this policy?
  15. Does it comply with the purpose and goal of the Media



  1. All articles, graphics, photos, art, columns, pages, reviews and other material creatively conceived—with exception of staff editorials, mug shots and cut-outs—will be bylined with the producer’s name.
  2. All bylined writers will be held accountable for their work.
  3. When more than one person has contributed creatively to a piece of work, any person who has contributed to the work must be bylined as a producer.
  4. Any work included for publication that is submitted by non-staff will receive proper credit.



  1. The Media will emphasize and specialize in informing their readers of school news and unique students of the Harrison High School community.
  2. The Media will cover community, state, national and international news that is relevant to the school community.
  3. The Media will strive to provide coverage of all school organizations and functions.
  4. The Media will publish the facts correctly, explain the issue, and put a stop to any speculative stories surrounding news.
  5. Major district issues, news and developments will be priority over school news (these major issues will be decided by the Editorial Board.)



  1. Any current student, staff member, faculty member or building administrator who passes away during the year will be recognized in the student Media.
  2. The Media will publish factual information (date of birth, date of death, survivors, organizations, hobbies, interests) in a 150-300 word obituary with a photograph, if possible, in the print and online versions of The Media.
  3. The student Media will work to obtain permission from the deceased person’s family before publishing any information regarding the cause of death. If permission is not granted, the Editorial Board reserves the final say in publication of cause of death. Suicide will not be listed as a cause of death unless requested by parents or guardians.
  4. The student Media will treat all deaths in a tasteful, respectful way.
  5. An issue of publication in any of the Media will not be dedicated to, or in memory of, the deceased.


  1. All captions will attempt to identify all subjects in the photo
  2. Students and staff may opt out of appearing in any publication, print or online by submitting a form via our website.
  3. We will not publish photos of students who are not dressed in accordance with our dress code.
  4. We will not publish any naked baby pictures in our senior issue, even if submitted by legal parents or guardians.
  6. Concerns about errors in the student Media may be submitted through the Adviser via email or via the mailbox located outside of the newsroom, Room 201, at Harrison High School.
  7. The Editorial Board retains the right to determine whether, in fact, an error has been made.
  8. Known and/or found errors that are brought to the attention of the student Media will be addressed at the first possible opportunity.



  1. The Media will not accept advertising for products that are illegal for minors to purchase and/or use.
  2. Students, staff, and the community are eligible for advertising as long as proper payment has been made toward the cost of advertising. No discounts will be given to stakeholders.
  3. The Panther Press reserves the right to limit advertising due to space or budget restrictions.



  1. The Panther Press will begin at no less than 8 pages in magazine format, excluding explicitly noted special editions. The number of pages can, however, be altered as needed at the discretion of the Adviser and/or Editorial Board. The staff reserves the right to distribute a special edition as often as they please.
  2. The Panther Press online will be updated daily, and will be available, for free, to all students, staff, families, and the community. The Panther Press online is not restricted.



  1. Letters to editor will be printed in the opinion section of The Panther Press and will be categorized as opinions/editorials on our website. They will be specified as “Letter to the Editor” and the author’s name will be noted.
  2. Information about writing letters to the editor will be printed in every print issue. An electronic form will be available on our website.
  3. Letters to the editor may be submitted to the mailbox outside Room 201, emailed to any journalism staff member, or mailed to Harrison High School, ATTN: The Panther Press.
  4. Letters to editor should not exceed 300 words, must be signed and must include writer’s address and phone number for verification.
  5. Letters to the editor will be verified by a member of the Editorial Board to determine the authenticity of the writer.
  6. No material will be printed where content is obscene, invasive of another’s’ privacy, encouraging physical disruption of school activities, and/or implies libel.
  7. The Editorial Board reserves the right to withhold a letter, column, comment or other submission, and request its revision if it contains unprotected speech or grammatical errors that could hamper its meaning. This also includes inappropriate content as deemed by the Editorial Board.
  8. The Panther Press may, and should, publish as many letters as they receive in one month; however, an author of a letter can only have one letter published per issue.
  9. All letters to the editor become the property of The Panther Press upon receipt and will not be returned to the author, unless a revision is requested.
  10. Comments made on our website must include a name and valid email address which is verifiable.
  11. Comments made on our website and social media pages will be screened prior to publication.
  12. Alerts will be sent to the Editorial Board each time a comment is posted to the site.
  13. Online comments and social media that are found in violation of the editorial policy will be removed.


  1. Sources will be able to have quotes read back at any time during or after an interview or at the reporter’s initiative.
  2. Once an interview is consented to and completed, the Editorial Board reserves the right to determine what can be published and removed from the publications.
  3. Sources will not be able to demand to read and/or listen to the reporter’s completed story and/or perform editing tasks on said story.
  4. The Media reporters will endeavor to include the name and identity of all sources if a reporter believes that doing so will not result in endangerment, harassment or any other form of undue physical, mental, emotional anguish for the source.
  5. The Media reporters will not, within all boundaries of law, reveal a source who asks to remain nameless.
  6. All Media reporters will respect the interviewee’s rights to have information remain “off the record” if the fact is known before the dissemination of information.


  1. All students and staff of HHS are eligible for publication in the student Media.
  2. Any student or staff member wishing to ‘opt out’ of being published in the student Media needs to fill out the appropriate ‘opt out’ form with the guidance office and alert the student Media Adviser of such plans.
  3. All efforts will be made to keep students and staff who have ‘opted out’ of coverage from publication in the Media.
Donate to The Panther Press
Our Goal