The Fuel Online

Publication Policies

The Fuel, the campus student newspaper, and The Rocket, the campus student yearbook, are created to honestly and accurately record the events, occurrences and special topics from the current school year. While each publication varies in style and goal, the binding mission is reporting with journalistic integrity for our entire student population, school faculty, community and readers beyond our local area, without bias to race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, sexual identity, social creed, or any identifier that separates people.

TEKS Objectives (110.66)

  1. The student will understand the individual and staff responsibilities of coverage appropriate for the publication’s audience.
  2. The student will understand media law and journalistic ethics and standards the responsibility to cover subjects of interest and importance to the audience.
  3. The student will understand all aspects of a publication and the means by which the publication is created.
  4. The student will produce publications.
  5. The student will demonstrate leadership and teamwork abilities.

Letter to the Editor

Traditional newspapers have always allowed readers to use the newspaper’s platform to comment on a wide range of issues, taking advantage of their First Amendment rights. The Fuel will also follow that tradition. Students, teachers, parents, community members, and anyone in the Judson community can submit a Letter To The Editor. This letter can comment on any subject the writer chooses concerning the Judson community.

After the letter is reviewed, it will then be posted under “opinions.”

In order for the letter to be posted, the submission must follow these guidelines:

  1. You must submit your name, which will be published as the editorial’s author.
  2. Your submission cannot contain any profanity, nudity, or violence.
  3. Your submission cannot suggest harm against someone or something.
  4. Your submission must be edited for syntax and grammatical errors.
  5. The Fuel has the right to edit the submission for grammatical purposes. We will not change the purpose or tone of your letter.
  6. Your submission must be sent via email. The link is below.
  7. Judson High School’s principal ultimately has the final say if the letter will be published.

If you agree to these guidelines, click here to submit your letter to the editor or email your Word document directly to [email protected].

Newspaper Editor-in-Chief

The newspaper editor-in-chief is chosen by the publications adviser at the end of the previous school year. He or she works closely with the adviser to plan each issue, to run editorial and staff meetings, to supervise and help other editors, to troubleshoot any problems, to represent The Fuel at school meetings in and outside of school, and set the tone of the newspaper for the staff and the school. The editor established a team approach to publishing the newspaper, making sure that all staff members work for a single purpose – to represent the campus at its best. The editor should read, edit, and review all content that is published via The Fuel publication, online, and through social media.


Reporters are responsible for writing copy specific to the story/page requirements. They will also assist in brainstorming news, feature, sports, editorial, and arts stories, gather facts for all assigned stories and attends relevant events for accurate reporting, schedules and conducts interviews, works with the photographer to plan photos for stories, ensures copy is accurate, does not plagiarize, and uses fairness in coverage, good taste in writing and does not disparage or libel anyone.


Photographs are responsible for shooting photographs as assigned. They also edit images down to the final edits, caption all final edits, typing a complete caption, regularly inventories all photo supplies and equipment and recommends reordering when necessary, watches the school schedule to carefully ensure photo opportunities are not missed, works with other photographers to take both desirable and undesirable assignments, ask questions about photo assignments to ensure a good understanding of what is required, assists other staff members in schedule photo assignments, carries a camera to capture spontaneous events, and does no waste photo equipment and/or time and use them for personal projects.

Only photos taken by newspaper or yearbook students will be used in the newspaper or yearbook or approved vendors/photographers. All pictures have to be approved by the publications advisers. It is expected that students take 100 photos per hour they are at the event. The publications adviser is expected to keep at least 10% of the total number of pictures taken.

Students are not allowed to give out pictures without the publications advisor’s approval. Staff members cannot charge any person to have their photo taken in order to be in the newspaper or yearbook. Doing so will cause immediate removal from the journalism staff.


Each staff member will be expected to adhere to professional standards set form by the publications adviser and school administration. Students will be given press passes for the event they cover. These press passes allow students to enter the event for free.

Students will have to pay for events if they do not have a press pass and camera. Students cannot use press passes unless they are covering the event they signed up for.

Students will behavioral issues, ranging from issues in other classes to suspensions, are subject to removal from the journalism program. These are addressed on a case by case basis.


All staff members are expected to adhere to deadlines set form by the publications adviser and the staff. Deadlines for newspaper stories are every three weeks. Deadlines for the yearbook are set forth by the yearbook publisher.

All assignments are to be done on time. This is a non-negotiable. Chronic miss of deadlines will result in removal from the journalism staff(s).

Camera and Equipment Policy

If a staff member does not own their own camera, he or she will be allowed to check one out from the publications adviser. All cameras checked out during the school day are expected to return at the beginning of the next school day, dependent on the assignment. In order to check out a camera, the student must follow the proper check-out protocol.

In checking out equipment, the student and the parent are agreeing that any loss or damage that occurs to the cameras or associated equipment while in the student’s possession is the responsibility of the student.

Being allowed to use this equipment is a privileged only given to journalism staff members, not peers or family members. If the staff member checks out a camera or associated equipment, he or she will be held accountable for any lost or damaged equipment while signed out to the staff member. Equipment cost between $20-$1000. Therefore, it is vital that the equipment is highly taken care of.

This agreement covers the cost of losses or damages not only to the cameras, but all journalism equipment, including but not limited to cameras, camera accessories, computers, and printers.

Code D Students

As outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law, certain information about district students is considered directory information and will be released to anyone who follows the procedures for requesting the information unless the parent or guardian objects to the release of the directory information about the student. If students do not want to have their information released, they must indicate on the student information release form. These students cannot be in any school-related publications.


The U.S. Copyright Office states that the creator’s work is under copyright protection from the moment it is created and “fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or a device.” Students own the copyright to any and all works they create unless the work was created as part of employment under “work for hire,” or they have signed an agreement stating otherwise. Changing a student’s work through prior restraint, particularly if the alteration is done without student consent, is also a form of copyright infringement. If a school administrator tells a student journalist that publication is contingent upon the student making requested alterations to his or her work, that would be a form of de facto copyright infringement.


Plagiarism means claiming someone else’s work is your own by putting it in your story without attribution or credit. In journalism, plagiarism can take several forms.

The easiest way to avoid plagiarism is to do your own reporting. That way you avoid the temptation to steal information from another reporter’s story, and you’ll have the satisfaction of producing work that is entirely your own. But what if another reporter gets a “scoop,” a juicy bit of information that you don’t have? First, try to get the information yourself. If another reporter digs up a piece of information you can’t get on your own, then you must attribute that information to that reporter or, more commonly, to the news outlet that reporter works for.

Once you’ve written your story, read it thoroughly several times to make sure you haven’t used any information that isn’t your own. Remember, plagiarism is not always a conscious act. Sometimes it can creep into your story without your even being aware of it, simply by using information that you’ve read on a website or in a newspaper.

Any plagiarism that occurs will cause immediate removal from the journalism staff.

Obituary Policy

Should a student or faculty member die at any time during the current coverage period, the staff will treat the death in a tasteful manner. A short obituary with the individual’s name, school activities, date of birth, date, and manner of death (if appropriate) and any other information may appear in the publications. This treatment will provide an adequate testimonial to the individual for those closely associated while not overemphasizing the death for other readers.

All is upon the approval of the family and the administration.

If you have any questions, contact Mr. Cabrera, Adviser of Student Media, at [email protected].