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2512 George Mason Drive • P.O. Box 6038 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-0038   757.263.1000 • 757.263.1240 TDD

Policies and Regulations

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Regulation 7-6.1

COMMUNITY RELATIONS

Communications with the News Media

The news media must receive permission from the Department of Media and Communications before visiting individual schools. Representatives of the news media must report to the principal immediately upon arrival unless they are providing coverage for spectator-attended events.

  1. Routine Situations
    1. The Department of Media and Communications will advise the principal, or designee, of media requests that its staff receives to visit individual schools for the purpose of news coverage. When arriving at a school, news media must check into the school office and inform the principal, or designee, of the purpose for the media inquiry or visit. If the news media representative has arrived at the school without advising the Department of Media and Communications, the principal or designee should so advise the department.
    2. Staff members may respond to media inquiries concerning their areas of responsibility but should advise their supervisor and the Department of Media and Communications of the contact prior to participating in any interviews. Any requests for interviews that fall outside of the purview of the staff member contacted by the news media should be referred to the Department of Media and Communications.
    3. A principal or designee will accompany the media representative during the visit on school grounds.
    4. The principal will deny the media access to a student(s) or to an activity if the access interrupts the educational process.
    5. The principal must guard the privacy of students. Parental/legal guardian permission is necessary prior to granting interviews with students under the age of 18.
  2. Emergency Situations
    1. Generally the Department of Media and Communications will work collaboratively with the principal and other school departments and/or city agencies to coordinate the release of information during emergency situations. However, it is recognized that on occasion the timing or scope of an emergency situation may result in the need for the principal to respond to the initial inquiries. In these cases, while the principal may respond directly to the media representative, he/she should so advise the Department of Media and Communications and the Department of School Leadership.
    2. The principal shall not release information emanating from an emergency situation to the news media when a public safety agency has taken command of the incident at hand. In instances where the incident is not a public safety matter but involves a School Division investigation or student discipline, the principal will refer all media inquiries to the Department of Media and Communications.
  3. Staff-Initiated News Releases
    1. Staff members will be encouraged to initiate positive stories about school activities.
    2. School or department-generated news releases will be sent to the Department of Media and Communications to avoid duplication of information, to assure the appropriateness of the information for the media source and to coordinate media contacts.

Approved by Superintendent: July 16, 1991
Revised by Superintendent: August 14, 1993
Revised by Superintendent: January 5, 2005
Scrivener’s Amendments: July 30, 2013
Revised by Superintendent: May 21, 2014