Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Lasso Internal Policies


The Lasso and its staff strive to inform their readers through accurate and factual reports, where information has been thoroughly gathered and verified; serve as an educational laboratory experience for those on staff; be accurate, fair, and impartial in its coverage of issues that affect the school community; not avoid publishing a story solely on the basis of possible dissent or controversy; cover the total school population as effectively and accurately as possible; report all issues in a legal, objective, accurate and ethical manner, in accordance with the Canons of Professional Journalism developed by the Society for Professional Journalists.


The Lasso student Editorial Board oversees the proper execution and production of the newspaper. The Editorial Board consists of all student staff editors who decide on all decisions that pertain directly to The Lasso and its interests. The Lasso faculty adviser guides and educates the student editors and staff regarding the skills needed to produce a newspaper. Material published in school-sponsored news media may not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of the Falls Church City Public School Board.

While The Lasso recognizes the official FCCPS policy (9.46) that its publication is not intended as a public forum, it continues to publish material that is relevant to students and community members within Falls Church. Its reach – through the Internet, social media, and its comments/letters section – nevertheless invites public participation in newsmaking and news dissemination. Student editors review all material prior to publication including all letters and guest commentary before publication. The faculty adviser moderates online comments. In addition to legal standards, student journalists and student editors strive to follow the ethical guidelines of the Society for Professional Journalists (here) and any material published by The Lasso will always meet these as well as our own ethical guidelines.


The Lasso does not print material that it cannot confirm to be true. The Lasso retains the right to publish any and all material obtained through an interview by a staff member, holding that the interviewee was made aware that the information could be published in any form at any time prior to their dissemination of said information.


The following aspects of speech are unprotected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and therefore will not appear in the Lasso:

  • obscenity
  • Fighting words
  • Defamation (including libel, and slander)
  • Pornography
  • Perjury
  • Blackmail
  • Incitement to imminent lawless actions
  • True threats
  • Solicitations to commit crimes



Profanity is protected speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Lasso will not print unnecessary profanity. The Editorial Board reserves the right to edit quotes for unnecessary profanity and will note changes using brackets around supplemented information.



All editorials published are bylined as: “Editorial Staff.” The views stated in editorials represent that of a majority of the Editorial Board. Signed columns or reviews represent only the opinion of the author.

The Lasso strives to provide a chance for comment on all sides of a critical issue. The Lasso staff encourages the publication of dissenting opinions.



The Lasso welcomes contributions from all members of the GMHS community through letters and online comments. Letters to editor will be printed in the “Opinion” section of The Lasso. They will be specified as “Letter to the Editor,” and the author’s name will be noted. Guidelines to write letters to the editor are explained here:

  1. Letters to the editor may be submitted to the Adviser ([email protected]) or emailed to The Lasso Editorial Board ([email protected])
  2. Letters to the editor must include author’s contact information for verification purposes.
  3. Letters to the editor will be verified by a member of the Editorial Board to determine the authenticity of the writer.
  4. The Editorial Board reserves the right to withhold a letter or column or other submission, and request its revision, if it contains unprotected speech or grammatical errors that could hamper its meaning.
  5. All letters to the editor become the property of The Lasso upon receipt.
  6. Comments made on The Lasso’s web site must include a name and valid email address which is verifiable.
  7. Comments made on The Lasso’s web site  will be checked by the Editorial Board or the Adviser before being published.
  8. No material will be printed which contains unprotected speech, or which violates the FCCPS School Board Policy 9.46, the Lasso’s own editorial policies.
  9. The Editorial Board reserves the decision making right right whether or not to publish any letter or comment



Any current student, staff member, faculty member or building administrator who dies during the year will be recognized on The Lasso. Factual information (date of birth, date of death, survivors, organizations, hobbies, interests) will be published in an obituary, including one photograph, if possible. The Lasso will work to obtain permission from the deceased person’s family before publishing any information regarding the cause of death. If permission is not granted, the Editorial Board reserves the final say in publication of cause of death. Suicide will not be listed as a cause of death.



All photographs will be properly attributed to their source and care will be taken to avoid or retake photos that feature inappropriate attire or actions. All artwork, including editorial cartoons, cartoons, etc., represent the interpretations of the artist, not necessarily of The Lasso staff.



The Lasso welcomes suggestions and complaints about errors that warrant correction. Concerns about errors in The Lasso may be submitted through the Editor(s)-in-Chief at [email protected] or through online comments directly on the Web site. The Editorial Board retains the right to determine whether, in fact, an error has been made. Errors that are brought to the attention of The Lasso will be addressed in a timely fashion.

The Lasso will address factual errors online by updating the information within the story and publishing a correction notice.

For information learned after a story was published, the Lasso will strive to publish an update to the original story, if need be.

The Lasso will only retract content if The Editorial Board learns after the publication that the content contained unprotected speech, violated the FCCPS School Board Policy, or the Lasso’s own editorial policy.  



Content of advertisements are not necessarily endorsed by The Lasso or their staff members, Editorial Board or Adviser, or Meridian High School, or the Falls Church City School Board. Advertising revenues and fundraising are to be used to pay for The Lasso supplies and professional development for the student journalists.



Social media will be used to promote The Lasso, to promote published content and to engage the GMHS community. The Editorial Board reserves the right to remove comments that violate any provisions outlined by this policy. Audience engagement through social media should be done in a professional manner.



Questions or complaints concerning material published on The Lasso should be made in writing to the Editor(s)-in-Chief at [email protected] or through comments on the Web site