Modifications To ‘Sponsored Banners’ Policy Approved By Board Of Education

The balcony railing in the FHS main gym will be one home of new sponsored banners starting next school year.

The Franklin High School outdoor athletic complex and gym will likely have some new additions starting next school year in the form of sponsored banners.

The Board of Education at its April 27 meeting unanimously approved amendments to the district’s policy regulating sponsorship signage, allowing the banners only at the high school, showing no signs of the discord that accompanied the policy amendments’ introduction in March.

The original policy, adopted in 2010, allowed for banners in any district building.

Under the policy’s amendments, which go into effect on July 1, for the price of $500 for 10 months – from September to June – an entity may sponsor a 6-foot-by-4-foot banner from a recognized school-connected organization.

The Board of Education will vote on a list of approved school-connected organizations, which list will be sent to the district’s Athletic Director. These organizations – such as the FHS Athletic Boosters – will then be able to solicit the $500 donations for the banners, and use the money for their programs.

That’s the other big change from the 2010 policy. Originally, the money raised from the banner was to be used “for the benefit of the district as a whole,” according to the original policy.

The banner can not have any advertising message, it can only display the entity’s name, address, phone number, logo and web site address.

During the fall and spring athletic seasons, the banners will be hung along the inside of the fence which runs along the running track of the FHS athletic complex, according to the regulations also passed by the board at the April 27 meeting.

During the winter athletic season, the banners will be placed on the balcony railing of the high school’s main gym, according to the regulation.

The banners will have to be approved by the district Athletic Director, who will act as the schools Superintendent’s designee. If a banner is rejected by the AD, the school-connected organization can appeal to the schools Superintendent, and then to the Board of Education.

The banners will be constructed of white vinyl with six metal grommets, according to the new regulations. Any lettering or symbols will be printed in royal blue or black ink. The signs will be attached using “zip ties.”

There was no discussion on the amendments or regulations when they came up for a final vote at the board meeting, a stark change from when the amendments were introduced.

At that March meeting, board member Richard Seamon argued for the amendments to be tabled and re-worked, saying that they were too ambiguous. He also brought up the fear that “objectionable content” could be displayed on the banners.

Seamon said he also thought all district buildings should be open to the banner program.

Board President Ed Potosnak said at that meeting that process would be centralized, and that all banners would be approved before they went up. He also suggested that the policy could be further amended at a a later date to include more district buildings.

Seamon, along with board members Christine Danielsen, Ardamon Singh and Pat Stanley voted against introducing the amendments.

Potosnak at the April 27 meeting meeting thanked the board for “working out the language differences.”


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