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Waynesboro school board considers sign, ad policy

Commercial advertising in the classroom would be banned unless materials were part of curriculum

September 20, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Waynesboro Area Schools Superintendent James Robertson talked Tuesday about a policy that would guide how signs and other advertisements could be used in district sports facilities.
Herald-Mail file photo

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — The Waynesboro Area School Board is developing a policy that would guide how signs and other advertisements could be used in district sports facilities.

The policy would ban commercial advertising in the classroom unless the advertising materials are a component of the curriculum.

"The policy committee didn't want to get (advertising) into the classrooms," Schools Superintendent James Robertson said.

The school board took a first look at the new policy at a meeting Tuesday and  is expected to finalize it next month.

Robertson said the policy began to take shape in budget committee and athletics discussions. The goal is to explore opportunities for increased revenue.

"I went through and developed a policy like what other communities and school districts use," Robertson said. "It spells out our expectations for signage and other types of advertising."

A first draft of the policy limited sponsorships and advertisements to the football stadium, baseball field and soccer/field hockey field. School board member Chris Lind questioned adding another area to the list.

"Should we consider the softball field over at the middle school, the fence in the back?" Lind asked.

Board member Billie Finn suggested changing the list to "exterior sports facilities," and the board agreed.

According to drafts of the policy, the superintendent or his designee could approve sponsorship and advertising arrangements valued at less than $2,500 per year. Arrangements greater than that level would go to the school board for its consideration.

"As part of the review process, additional competitive vendors may be contacted to determine if they wish to participate in the possibility of advertising and/or entering into a corporate-sponsored contract," the proposed policy said.

The policy states that the term "advertisement" does not include outright gifts or traditional fundraising activities such as magazine or food sales.

All proceeds from advertising and sponsorships would be deposited into a designated fund within the school district's general fund.

The draft policy also addresses prohibiting hostile, political, vulgar, or religious promotion, and libelous messages.

In addition to signs, the policy addresses athletic gear and exclusive rights to sell beverages or snacks.

Robertson said advertisements now mostly appear in programs and other printed materials. He said having a policy would provide the district more protection against undesirable message content.

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