The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Carlmont Journalism Policies

Carlmont Journalism 

Carlmont Journalism is a nationally renowned media arts program run by the students of Carlmont High School. Our staff works to deliver the latest news to our student body, their families, and the community. News within our school and beyond is important to us, so we are committed to providing timely information, current events, and thought-provoking ideas to our audiences through storytelling, design, video, photography, and other emerging technologies. 

More than just another high school journalism program, our mission is to think beyond the “Bay Area Bubble” and stretch the community’s mindset to include those of the rest of the state, country, and world. We aim to encourage our community to step up and be educated advocates of change.

Code of Conduct

Members of the Executive Board will be held to the highest ethical standards and are expected to be examples for the other members of the media program. Upon violating these standards, said member will be subject to disciplinary methods up to removal from the board and/or class.

Scot Scoop

Scot Scoop is Carlmont High School’s online publication, created and updated entirely by journalism students. Scot Scoop also features media segments from ScotCenter. Articles are posted to the website daily throughout the year in order to keep our community informed. Our mission is to provide a credible source of information for our community through engaging stories covering topics such as news, sports, campus, features, and opinions. We strive to maintain reliable reporting while covering the hard-hitting topics that interest our community.

Comment Policy

Scot Scoop intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. Threats, intimidation, invading privacy, inciting others to commit violent acts, and discriminatory harassment include conduct (written or graphic) directed against any person or group of persons because of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran’s status and that has the purpose or reasonably foreseeable effect of creating an offensive, demeaning, intimidating, or hostile environment for that person or group of persons are taken very seriously and are subject to review by the Scot Scoop Editorial Board.

Additional information about this policy can be found here.

Transparency and Anti-corruption

Bribery or blackmail, in any form, will not be tolerated and will be reported to the Executive Board, adviser, and/or school administration (if applicable). Tampering with the integrity of a story in any way (including falsifying or copying information) is not tolerated. Any examples of this will result in discipline, including possible suspension, expulsion from the program, withdrawal of letters of recommendation, and/or loss of publication rights.


  • A relationship within the confines of the journalism program can be defined as:
    • Siblings
    • Cousins
    • Offspring
    • Other personal relationships that could introduce bias or cloud judgment 
  • If any member or the teacher has a personal connection with another member of the class who is subordinate, the person with the “higher standing” must disclose this to the entire Executive Board.
  • The person should recuse themselves from decisions that could affect the subordinate person. 
  • Major assignments will be graded blindly by the teacher if said teacher has a relative or personal connection with a student in the class.
    • In the event that this is not possible, the teacher will have another English teacher grade the assignment.
  • Siblings will not directly edit for each other unless they circle/copy editing. 
  • Should romantic relationships (or personal conflicts) develop within the class, members of the Executive Board should be informed to ensure no conflicts of interest exist within the workflow.
  • Resources/skills that would be available to other students can be made available to relatives. 
  • Executive Board meetings and decisions are not disclosed with relatives any more than with the rest of the class. 
  • Relatives with a “higher standing” in the class will not treat relatives with higher or lower standards than they would treat other students. Familiarity is acceptable, but professionalism is expected.
  • If another student believes there is preferential treatment between relatives, they should discuss specific instances with another member of the Executive Board or with the adviser if applicable.
    • No “I feel like…” statements. “I saw…” or “I watched…” only.
  • Regardless of their relationship with members of the Executive Board, each member of the class will have equal opportunities to explore media.
  • Nominations for selective awards will be chosen based on preset criteria.
  • Awards for in-class achievements will be given based on preset criteria and in consultation with the Executive Board and the Editorial Board for the publication.

Anonymous Sourcing

Only use anonymous sources if the reporter and the editor can reasonably forecast some sort of harm that may befall a person now or in the future by including their name.

A source shall be granted anonymity upon request if revealing the source’s identity in the specified published work…

  • May result in physical or emotional harm to the person or others
  • May result in loss of employment or inclusion in a group
  • May result in legal harm to the person or others 
  • This may result in intervention by the school, including but not limited to suspension or expulsion.

The source’s identity will not be revealed to anyone except the writer and editor of the article and the Editor-in-Chief of the publication. The journalism adviser is a mandatory reporter but is not obligated to know the source’s identity. Journalism students are not mandatory reporters and, therefore, have no obligation under the law to report any issue that may cause harm to the source.

Guest Writers

  • Guest writers will be held to higher standards than students within the journalism class. Attending class is the only exception.
  • Guest writers report to the Editors-in-Chief of the given publication unless an exception has been agreed upon preemptively. All requests to write articles should be directed to the Editors-in-Chief.
  • Guest writers must meet with their editor as frequently as the editor sees fit, and all deadlines must be met.
  • Guest writers are expected to demonstrate ample knowledge of ethical journalism.
  • Editors reserve the right to cut an article at any time.  
    • See the Executive Board’s policies, which define unpublishable content

Cutting Content

  • Editors will notify creators before cutting and will give creators the opportunity to refine their work to publishable status.
    • Creators are responsible for the quality of the content they expect to publish.
  • Content will be cut based on the following:
    • Consistent lack of journalistic integrity
    • Consistent failure to meet deadlines
    • Consistent inability to acknowledge editor feedback
    • Failure to meet guidelines for publication

Death Policy

If a Carlmont student, teacher, or staff member dies, a news brief will be published in a timely manner on Scot Scoop. News briefs should be unbiased, fact-based coverage and include:

  • Who, what, when, where, why
  • Person’s full name if the family allows media coverage
  • If opinion/subjective: should focus on a broader topic (focusing on more general implications of suicide, gun violence, etc.

COVID-19 and other diseases

  • By default, any reporting about a student or staff member who contracts COVID-19 must respect the privacy of the person. This can include granting anonymity to sources.
  • A person who wishes to be publicly revealed as having one of these diseases must do so in writing, and the Executive Board must approve it.
  • Any deaths that may result from COVID-19 or another disease should be handled according to the established death policy.
  • The board may vote to override this policy by at least a ¾ margin if they decide the coverage is newsworthy enough to warrant that decision.

Emergency Publications

  • In most cases, following the emergency, the social media team will do some form of coverage. This does not qualify as an emergency publication. 
  • Any person within the Carlmont Journalism Program (MAS included) can spearhead an emergency publication. 
  • Any person wishing to create an emergency publication must contact the Executive Board and the advisor.
  • The Executive Board must vote with an 80% majority to create the emergency publication. The Board must also agree with an 80% majority on which medium the emergency will be published.
  • Emergency multimedia publications must be created within 24 hours of the event.
    • Example: Smoke on the water
  • Emergency print publications must be created in response to a topical event that will remain relevant for at least two months.
    • Example: Issue 4.5 (Gun Reform & School Safety)
  • Should the emergency publication require funding, it must be established before creation. 
    • Money may not come out of the planned annual budget.
    • Money may come from a budget overflow or a donation.

Takedown Policy and Requests

If an article/published media violates any of the above policies, the Executive Board, in consultation with the Journalism Adviser, will consider moving forward in the process of taking down said content. As an open forum for student expression, the adviser does not have the power to remove or change content. The Executive Board has complete jurisdiction over the content published in any of the publications housed in the Carlmont media program. Requests can be made by emailing  [email protected].

Should such processes be unclear or how the article was published be questionable, the Board will evaluate the media in question based upon the following criteria. These guidelines coincide with the National Student Press Association’s (NSPA) guidelines for responding to takedown requests.

At the very least, a takedown request should generally prompt at least the following three questions:

  1. Is the information inaccurate?
  2. Does it violate a person’s expectation of privacy?
  3. Is this defamatory?

If the answer to the above is no, the board has no grounds to remove or take down the article. The board may decide to make changes or negotiate a solution to help the requester feel more comfortable with the outcome.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Carlmont Journalism Policies