Editorial Policy

AHS Media Editorial Policy

The AHS Media Editorial Policy pertains to all student-produced media at Arvada High School. This includes the Arvada Argos news site, The Arvadan yearbook, BDTV and SPLAT creative arts magazine, as well as all extensions of the Media (including social media accounts).

AHS Media are the official student-produced media of news and information published and produced by AHS Media staffers. As designated public forums, AHS Media aim to 1) inform the students and community of Arvada High School while engaging the public in diverse ideas and representation; 2) establish and maintain a tradition of student-determined expression through journalistically responsible, ethically reported and edited content; 3) focus on wide inclusion and accurate documentation; and 4) capture and share stories that focus on details that people may overlook but are important to those involved and affected.

In accordance with the Colorado Student Free Expression Law (C.R.S § 22-1-120), content produced by AHS Media will not be subject to review or restraint by school officials prior to publication or distribution. Advisers may encourage expression that is consistent with high standards of journalism, and discuss content during the creation process. However, the editorial board will make all final decisions of content.

The content of AHS Media is determined by the student staff and reflects only their views. No content may be deemed to be an expression of school policy; and no Jeffco Public Schools employee, or parent, or legal guardian, or official of Jeffco Public Schools shall be held liable in any civil or criminal action for any expression made or published by AHS Media staff. The student editorial board and student staff members assume complete legal and financial liability for the content of the publication.



Jeffco Public Schools policy (JICEA) and the Colorado Student Free Expression (C.R.S § 22-1-120) law both determine that students have the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press. All student media referenced in this policy are designated as public forums for student expression. 

In order to “freely and creatively express their views,” AHS Media will uphold and be bound to the First Amendment and other protections and limitations afforded by the Constitution, various laws, and court decisions implementing those principles. 

AHS Media will not publish content that violates these principles, including material that:

  1. is obscene.
  2. is libelous, slanderous, or defamatory under state and federal law.
  3. is false as to any person who is not a public figure or involved in a matter of public concern.
  4. creates a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts, the violation of lawful school regulations, the material and substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school and school activities, or which violates the rights of others to privacy.



Membership in AHS Media shall be open to students who are currently enrolled in the journalism and publications programs at Arvada High School. A student who submits work for publication and agrees to complete assignments on a regular basis may also be admitted as a staff member without having to be enrolled in a journalism class. Membership on AHS Media staff shall not be restricted based on race, ethnicity, religion or spirituality, sexuality or gender identity/expression, national origin, or visible or invisible disability.

The editorial board is the decision-making body for the media represented and shall consist of all student editors in each publication. The board is responsible for all decisions that pertain directly to the business of AHS Media and their interests, and they will vote on all decisions impacting the organization at large. Editors will be selected during spring and summer by the adviser and staff for each upcoming school year

The adviser(s) will supervise the production of the publications and will teach and encourage free and responsible expression. The advisor will guide AHS Media staffs accordance with this Editorial Policy and will provide instruction in the various journalistic and media production processes. The advisor will also ensure that AHS Media remain public forums of student expression. The adviser may caution, act as legal consultant and educator in terms of unprotected speech, but has no power over censorship or veto except for constitutionally valid reasons which are still subject to approval by the Editorial Board.

Colorado State law protects advisers from dismissal, suspension, disciplinary action or other retaliation solely for acting to protect a student engaged in lawful free expression or for refusing to infringe upon conduct that is protected by law or the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.



The content published for AHS Media are conceived and created by students who are staff members as well as members of academic programs. Content focuses on coverage that meets the needs and wants of the student body of Arvada High School. AHS Media staff will follow ethical and legal guidelines (such as those set forth by the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Press Photographers Association) in their pursuit of maintaining high standards of accuracy, objectivity and fairness. 

While the staff encourages constructive criticism of content or of publication processes, the final authority for content rests in the hand of AHS Media staff and its editorial board. Any work submitted by students who are not members of an AHS Media staff must be verified for accuracy and must comply with this Editorial Policy prior to publication. 



Concerns regarding errors in published content may be submitted to the adviser and/or the AHS Media staff. Errors that are brought to the attention of the student Media will be addressed regardless if realized by author, audience or staff member. 

For online and digital platforms, if changes are made to a story after it has been published, the change will be noted along with the date and time the change was made. For print media, due to costs, reprinting with corrections is not possible. In the case of a discovered error, the editorial board will issue a written apology to those affected.



To help fund production, AHS Media sells advertising space at rates published annually. Advertising that promotes or sell products that are illegal for minors to purchase or use will not be published. Ads in violation of this Editorial Policy will not be published. The editorial board reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of advertisements and refuse sale and publication without cause.

The Arvadan yearbook also sells space to recognize and celebrate seniors. Rates and submission dates will be provided to rising seniors in May of their junior year and will be published online by Aug. 1. After the final due date, if any space remains it will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. AHS Media staff are not responsible for errors in printing resulting from not following submission specifications.

Errors in ads and senior tributes will be addressed in the following manner:

  1. Minor errors: One reprint or a few reprints of the ad on stickers.
  2. Major errors: Partial repayment up to the cost of the book.
  3. Errors that destroy the intent of the ad: Complete refund of the ad.



Should a student or staff member die during the coverage period, AHS Media will treat the death in a tasteful, respectful manner. 

In the yearbook, a memoriam will be printed at the end of the individual’s corresponding portrait section or in the senior tribute section if no space is available in the portrait section. The memoriam will include the words “In Memoriam” as well as the individual’s name, date of birth, date of death and photos gathered by AHS Media as well as any submitted by family and/or friends. If the death occurs after the printing deadline, the memoriam will appear as a crack and peel sticker in the book.

A memorial may also be posted on social media following the same guidelines as the yearbook  memoriam, along with a 150-300 word obituary on the Argos news site. Students may choose to cover the death as a news story or a possible feature. The editorial board will handle such a pursuit in a fair and sensitive manner, and editors will communicate with the family of the individual to hear their wishes as part of the process.

Activate Search
Editorial Policy