Grand Haven's student publication of community significance since 1927

The Bucs' Blade

Grand Haven's student publication of community significance since 1927

The Bucs' Blade

Grand Haven's student publication of community significance since 1927

The Bucs' Blade

Staff Policy

The Bucs’ Blade Staff Policy

 The Bucs’ Blade is a newspaper that publishes information relevant to the times as well as material that is essential to the overall well being of its readers.  It is The Bucs’ Blade’s responsibility to cover school, city, state, national and international events and issues that affect the concerns of the campus, its students or its readers.

The Bucs’ Blade, a tabloid-sized newsmagazine, is published seven or eight times per school year by the advanced journalism class at Grand Haven High School.  It is written primarily for the students of Grand Haven High School.  Secondary audiences that receive the newspaper include some members of the local community, faculty and staff, other school journalism programs throughout America and organizations that promote the development of scholastic journalism.  The Bucs’ Blade recognizes that the newspaper is read by and must address a variety of readers.  Accordingly, the staff will recognize criticisms and opinions from the entire audience.

The Editorial Board is the decision-making and policy setting body of The Bucs’ Blade and governs its day-to-day operation.  The voting membership of the board consists of the Editor-in-Chief, Business Manager, Design Editor, Managing Editor, Photo Editor, and Page Editors.

Every proposal requires a majority vote to pass, although for a variety of reasons the adviser may request a unanimous vote for passage of an issue of great importance or controversy.  Should the adviser disagree with an opinion or decision reached by the board, he may request a reevaluation after an explanation of his opinion.

The Bucs’ Blade strives for the highest standards of accuracy, completeness and careful research in its presentation of material.  However, since there are deadlines to meet, the paper will go to press with the facts as they stand on deadline.  The staff assumes responsibility for the accuracy of these facts.  Rumor, gossip or innuendos are not, nor will they ever be, the basis for any story appearing in The Bucs’ Blade.

When an error merits correction, as determined by the Editorial Board or the adviser, it will promptly be published in the news brief column or on the editorial page.  Responsibility for composition of the correction lies with the editor, while the correction is subject to review by other members of the Editorial Board and the adviser.  Correction notification forms are available in the main office or in room 0205 and should be returned to room 0205 upon completion.  All correction requests are subject to review.

Any full-length story, artwork or photo that includes original work will carry a byline.  Any story that expresses an author’s opinion or analysis will carry a byline and a standing column head to indicate that the story represents an individual opinion.  Editorials will not carry bylines and will represent the position of the paper as a whole.

The paper operates as an open or public forum.  Essays and other nonfiction literary works are welcomed.  However, any item submitted is subject to review by the Editorial Board.  All letters to the editor must include the writer’s name, signature and class or position, and must be free of obscene and potentially libelous material. Typed, double-spaced letters are preferred but legible, handwritten letters are acceptable. Names of individuals will be held upon request.  Letters will not be edited, except in rare cases to prevent legal liability, to edit material that is in poor taste, or to fit space requirements.  Letters previously published, addressed to third parties, or photocopied will not be published.  The Bucs’ Blade can only print as many letters to the editor as space will allow, but any reader input is greatly appreciated.  Letters should be addressed to the editor, placed in an envelope and mailed to The Bucs’ Blade c/o Grand Haven High School; placed in Mr. Sikkenga’s box in the main office , or hand delivered to room 0205.

Editorials represent the collective opinion of The Bucs’ Blade staff.  Opinions expressed in the Letters to the editor section are not necessarily those of The Bucs’ Blade staff, high school student body, faculty, administration or school board.  Signed columns and letters to the editor represent the views and opinions of the writer.  The Bucs’ Blade will publish constructive criticism supported by facts and logical conclusions.  Opinion writing critical of a policy, action or viewpoint will provide practical suggestions for an alternative solution to the problem.  Most of what is published is the work of individuals.  The staff and the adviser are responsible for all material that appears in The Bucs’ Blade.  Administrators have a non-review role; they may offer advice on sensitive issues and will offer criticisms that are warranted following publication.  However, the Editorial Board reserves the right to determine what material will be printed.

Controversial subjects, based on the need to inform the public, may be dealt with in The Bucs’ Blade.  Before assigning a controversial subject, the Editorial Board will determine if there is a genuine need to print the story.  (Reader interest alone does not merit printing a story).  Controversial stories must represent both sides of the issue fairly.  Upon completion of the story, the board will meet again to determine if the story is printable, or if revisions are necessary.

Students cannot publish libelous or obscene materials but profanity may be published in cases where it is necessary.  The Editorial Board will determine these cases.

The Bucs’ Blade will print an obituary for every deceased member of the Grand Haven Area Public Schools, which includes students, faculty, staff and administration.  A picture, when available, shall be printed, along with each individual’s name, position, and accomplishments.  Depending on circumstances, cause of death may be published.  Prior to final publication, the individual’s relatives will be contacted.  If this is not possible, other arrangements will be made (arrangements to be determined by the Editorial Board, depending on the specific circumstances). If an individual’s relatives wish to contribute other information or explain the situation in further detail, the Editorial Board will then make a decision regarding a follow-up story.

All copy must conform to The Bucs’ Blade Publication Stylebook.  When the Publication Stylebook does not have an answer, staff will consult the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook.  The final authority, should the AP not have the answer is Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language.  

The Bucs’ Blade is guided by the canons of the Journalism of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. This code of ethics outlines the principles of responsibility, fairness, accuracy and independence.

Advertising is used to raise money for the publication by bringing the buyer and seller together, making it a vital part of the newspaper.  The Bucs’ Blade reserves the right to refuse any advertisement that makes reference to products, services, substances or paraphernalia that are illegal to minors, or which are deemed inappropriate to the Grand Haven Community.   Advertising rates, publication dates and terms are as set forth in the rate packet.

All staff members who do not follow school policy are subject to punishment.  Any staff member found in possession of drugs or alcohol is subject to dismissal.  Intentional plagiarism is automatic grounds for dismissal from staff.



The Bucs’ Blade staff may be reached at the following address:

Room 0205

                        Grand Haven High School

                        17001 Ferris

                        Grand Haven, MI  49417


            During the business day, The Bucs’ Blade may be reached at   [email protected]. The Bucs’ Blade can also be reached at (616) 850-6263.


            Copies of The Bucs’ Blade can be picked up on the newsstands located in the main office, Room 0205, the library, the Loutit Library and the Bookman.