The Student News Site of Frederick High School

Frederick Lantern

53° Frederick, CO
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The Student News Site of Frederick High School

Frederick Lantern

The Student News Site of Frederick High School

Frederick Lantern

Frederick Lantern Editorial Policy


Student editors are responsible for determining the content of the Lantern. In compliance with the Colorado Student Free Expression Law (22-1-120), the Lantern staff has the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press, and while the school administration may provide constructive criticism of the content published, no content in the Lantern shall be subject to censorship by administration unless it is:

  • obscene in nature
  • discriminatory against any protected group or class
  • libelous, defamatory, or untrue
  • a violation of copyright
  • a violation of privacy laws (including FERPA)
  • encourages or threatens violence
  • promotes illegal activity (including gang activity and underage drug use)
  • would lead to substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school.

It is the responsibility of the faculty adviser to supervise the production of the Lantern, enforce the reasonable limitations to freedom of expression listed above, ensure adherence to this editorial policy, communicate content concerns with the administration, and teach the Lantern staff about free and responsible expression and professional standards for English and journalism. The adviser also determines what students may join the Lantern staff, sets the policies for staff dismissal, and dismisses students violating these policies.

As students drive the content decisions, no expression made by students in the exercise of freedom of speech or freedom of the press in the Lantern can be deemed to be an expression of school policy, and no St. Vrain employee, parent or legal guardian, or the district at large can be held liable in any civil or criminal action for any expression published by students (22-1-120.7).

Frederick Journalism holds the copyright for all content published in the Lantern, whether created by the Lantern staff or submitted for inclusion by a reader.  No part of the Lantern may be reproduced by any electronic or physical means without prior permission of the Lantern adviser.



All story content must be original and generated by the Lantern staff. Any non-staff pieces by Frederick students or staff require the original author’s permission in writing. If writing is sent directly to the Lantern with intent for publication, that act of submission constitutes permission.

While the Lantern staff will not alter any interview quotes with respect to context, the staff reserves the right to edit any and all text to adhere to proper grammatical conventions and style. All text will adhere to the reasonable restrictions to free speech outlined in the “General Philosophy” section.

The Lantern is currently evaluating the use of AI tools to aid in story composition. Any allowances or restrictions in the use of AI generative tools will be added to this policy in spring 2024.

The Lantern aims to represent the entire student population by including a diversity of perspectives across its news output. That being said, it is impossible to cover every event that happens in any given week. If an activity sponsor wants coverage of an event, it is up to that sponsor to make the Lantern staff aware of the event.  Even so, we may choose not to cover an event based on a lack of resources (e.g., three events happening on the same night) or due to a belief that the story will not engage or would upset our readers (e.g., a sports event where our team lost in a shutout).

Staff writers will strive to be accurate, true, and impartial. This extends to political coverage. As political changes and events interest and inspire the young adults of Frederick, we would be remiss if we did not cover local and national political matters, especially during election years. While editorials and opinion letters may contain strong and biased political opinions, the Lantern will remain politically neutral in its news reporting and in presenting the opinions of others. To increase accountability, bylines must accompany all published content; opinions and editorials will be clearly labeled as such.

That being said, the Lantern does have a journalistic agenda. As Frederick High’s news website, we adhere to the school’s mission of promoting student well-being and encouraging healthy physical, social, academic, and emotional behaviors. We may print stories that question how well the school fosters these behaviors, but we will never endorse anything destructive to student well-being. We are also committed to promoting good journalism. We will only present perspectives or opinions grounded by verifiable reality-based truth — not on falsehoods or misleading information. For example, we will never run an op-ed promoting the Flat Earth movement. The earth is spherical, the science has been settled since Roman times, and if someone disagrees, they are incorrect. We refuse to provide a platform for nonsense.



All artwork created and photographs taken by the Lantern staff are for the exclusive use of the Frederick Lantern, though the Lantern editors or adviser may consent for the photos to be used by others with permission. Images may not contain obscenity, nudity, sexually suggestive behavior, copyrighted material, gang signs, criminal activity (including drug use), acts of violence, or discriminatory signs or symbols. All questionable content will be referred to the FHS administration before inclusion. Additionally, the Lantern staff may edit and retouch photos that do not meet standards of quality for inclusion in our publication (focus, brightness, colorization, etc).

The only images that may be used in the Lantern are those taken by the Lantern staff, those that are public domain, or those used with specific written permission from the original photographer. The Lantern is currently evaluating the use of AI tools to aid in image creation. Any allowances or restrictions in the use of AI generative tools will be added to this policy in spring 2024.

If a parent or guardian has completed a request with the administration for his or her child to not be photographed prior to publication, their child will not appear in any photos nor will be interviewed for the Lantern. All survey results or data collected by the Lantern will remain anonymous.



The Lantern editors and any ad management company employed by the Lantern may choose to sell advertisement space on the site to local businesses. The Lantern adviser will develop the legal paperwork and price structure for any and all ads, and the editors or their staff will find businesses interested in buying ad space, ensuring all paperwork is complete, creating or obtaining the ad, and placing the ad in the Lantern. The Lantern will not run advertising without a proper signature on the advertising contract by the client (the contract must contain terms of payment, content, size, and publishing dates). If the client violates the contract or misses a payment, their ad will be pulled. If an ad runs with errors, the adviser may offer the client a partial refund of no more than 40% or extend the range of publishing dates.

All advertisements, whether created by the Lantern staff or provided by the paying sponsor, must adhere to the guidelines for written content and images. Anyone under the age of 18 appearing in an advertisement must have a model consent form on file even if the business provided the advertisement. Advertisements must be clearly crafted in the form of traditional adverts—the Lantern does not publish “sponsored content” articles or include any commercial speech in its news features.

The Lantern will not accept advertising for products that are illegal for minors to purchase or for products that go against the promotion of student well-being. Ultimately, the Lantern adviser and school administration must approve all advertisers and may reject any businesses that violate these principles. The Frederick Lantern will not run personal or classified advertising.

Acceptance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement by the Lantern, Frederick High School, the St. Vrain Valley School District, or any individual staff member of the Lantern, FHS, or SVVSD.



Should a Frederick student, staff member, or alumnus die anytime during the school year, the Lantern will defer to the wishes of the family on how to cover the loss to our school community. Should the family of the deceased desire an obituary, one will be provided within a reasonable amount of time after the tragedy. The obituary will be restricted to the circumstances regarding the death, the contributions the person made to the school community, and quotes from survivors about how they will miss that person (note that this is limited to simple testimonials—the Lantern will not print poems written for the deceased or anything else that would constitute an elaborate memorial). The obituary must be approved by the family and the administration before it runs, and specific details (like cause of death) may be withheld if requested by either party.

A specific student’s death may not be used in any non-obituary news coverage: for example, a student who dies in a drunk driving accident cannot be mentioned by name in a Lanternarticle decrying teen drunk driving. However, news articles can refer to these events in vague terms that respect student privacy (e.g., “We have lost students to drunk driving accidents recently”). The exception to this is if the death occurred on school grounds, as a death on campus demands investigation into the safety of the students and ways the school will prevent future tragedy.



The Lantern staff is intent on checking, editing, and proofreading for all mistakes and tries to guard against carelessness, bias, and distortion by emphasis or omission. However, mistakes may appear in our content due to human error. The staff apologizes for any such occurrences, and if factual errors occur, the Lantern will run article corrections or retractions (and note the date and manner of the correction).

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Frederick Lantern Editorial Policy