Freedom of Expression Policy
From its inception, Loomis has prepared students to lead lives that allow them to be their best selves and contribute to the common good. Inherent in that is the ability to engage in complicated, nuanced, and sometimes difficult discourse. This exercise allows us to examine and challenge our own beliefs and assumptions. Robust and spirited conversations can lead to exceptional learning, the type of learning that fosters intellectual and personal growth.
It is also the case that Loomis places great importance on creating an environment where all members are treated with dignity and respect and can pursue their highest goals. These aims are not mutually exclusive; indeed, we balance freedom of expression with respect for members of our community on a regular basis. It is important that our community members have the freedom to learn, to contribute, and to participate in the life of the school. These reasonable expectations lead us to identify a narrow range of situations in which the school might restrict expression. Expression will be limited when it:
- violates state or federal law;
- constitutes slander, threats, or harassment;
- unreasonably invades individual privacy or violates confidentiality interests; or,
- is directly incompatible with the functioning of the school.
This is not to say that we always expect expression to be agreeable or popular, but we do expect it to be responsible and respectful in order to foster the best possible community for learning and growth. It is also important to remember that expression comes in many forms. Loomis is including in this policy all manners of expression including but not limited to verbal, written, and electronic communication; decorations or adornments such as flags or posters; clothing items; etc. Any manner of expression (posting, electronic communication, etc.) must have an affiliated person or group identified in order to facilitate any necessary follow-up. We believe that the Loomis community will continue to be a place where intellectual inquiry and discourse reflect our goals of being our best selves for the common good.