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Schools restrict student recruitment
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Liberty County School System flier policy

• Approved fliers will be placed in a designated area at each school that will be easily accessible to students and parents.
• The flier must have an educational benefit that doesn’t conflict with the programs of the Liberty County School System.
• The flier is approved if presented by a group or organization that has a current contract or agreement with the Liberty County Board of Education for a product or service.
• The flier may be approved if presented by an approved Georgia governmental agency.
• Approved fliers for teachers will be placed in a designated area that will be easily accessible to teachers.
• If the flier offers a benefit to teachers or staff, it may be approved and placed in the teachers’ designated area. 
• If the flier represents a school board-approved program or event, it may be approved for posting in the schools.
• Fliers will be made available for access by students, parents and/or teachers but will not be distributed nor placed in individual teacher mailboxes. 
• Fliers will not be provided nor reproduced by the Liberty County School System. Copies must be provided by the sponsor of the activity or event.
• Fliers must include the following statement: “This flier is for information only and should not be interpreted as an endorsement by the Liberty County School System.”

With the start of school, parents in Liberty County may be exploring the many extracurricular activities available to their children.
To protect students as well as provide equal access for groups like the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, Boy Scouts of America and 4-H, the Liberty County School System has a flier policy with guidelines for groups to follow when publicizing their various organizations.
The Rev. Rich Wright, senior pastor of Hinesville First United Methodist Church and membership chair of Boy Scouts of America Liberty District, said in his experience there are public school systems that allow scouts to come into the schools to recruit, and others, like LCSS, that have set guidelines. Wright said his organization has no problem with the local schools’ flier policy.
Liberty County School Superintendent Dr. Judy Scherer said school-related recruitment can be a touchy issue for school systems.
“It falls under the equal-access clause,” Scherer said. “If one organization comes in, we must allow access to others.”
Scherer cited a 2006 court case where a gay-straight alliance at White County High School in Cleveland, Ga., sued the White County School System. Members of the gay-support club PRIDE, Peers Rising in Diversity Education, claimed the school system violated their rights under the federal Equal Access Act, which requires schools to treat all school groups and students equally. PRIDE, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, alleged the high school blocked the club from meeting in the 2005-06 school year while allowing other groups to meet. Federal Judge William O’Kelley ordered all non-curricular clubs, including PRIDE, be allowed to return to the high school.
“We have a flier process that works well,” Liberty County Deputy Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Conley said. “Because everyone has to have equal access to students, we have to be very protective of who we give information to and who has access to the students.”
Conley approves the fliers to be distributed in the schools. She said she may receive three or four such requests a day.
“We don’t do mass mailings or mass emails,” Conley said. “I have a stamp and I sign (the original flier).”
The signed and stamped original flier is reviewed by LCSS public relations facilitator Demere’ Bowen, who then calls the particular group’s coordinator to pick up the approved flier. The group is responsible for making copies of the signed and stamped original flier and distributing copies in the schools at the allotted information table. These fliers must have the signature and stamp for school principals to review before being distributed, Conley stressed.
Scherer explained that groups with approved fliers may set up tables at open houses and during other school functions to distribute information to students and parents. Group representatives are not permitted to go from one classroom to another, she said.
“We allow people to come to the schools at open houses and fall festivals, any time there are groups of students and parents coming together. It’s on an information-available (basis). We don’t allow our students be a captive audience,” Scherer said.
She said the bottom line is schools do not advertise organizations that are not approved, even if they support them.

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