We encourage vigorous discussion and debate on controversial subjects and welcome constructive criticism of our coverage, but we insist on keeping the tone productive and respectful. We reserve the right to moderate these discussions and delete comments that violate our policy.
So, we have established some basic guidelines and rules to help you navigate. We have no desire to stifle discussion of controversial issues or avoid blunt talk. We are not going to agree on everything, but we can disagree without being disagreeable. We believe the civility of the discourse on our website is vital to its success and will take whatever action is necessary to safeguard it. So, those who disregard our rules, should not be surprised if we block their comments
- Be polite. If you can remain polite and civil even when arguing your most passionate point, most of the rules that follow will not be necessary
- Focus your remarks on positions and issues rather than on personalities. We will not allow personal attacks either on other visitors who post comments or on our journalists and bloggers – this includes, but is not limited to, name-calling (no idiots, morons, dopes, jerks, fascists, etc., etc.), libel, defamation, racial insinuations, or derogatory comments about someone else’s family. Under no circumstances will we allow anything that might be taken as threatening, harassing, bullying, obscene, pornographic, sexist, or racist
- Don’t use obscenities: We are not going to publish a list of words we object to; you know what they are. If you have any doubt about whether a word is vulgar, that’s probably a good indication that you should not. This includes masked or veiled profanities that combine letters and dashes.
- Stay on topic: if we cannot figure out how what you have written pertains even peripherally to the point of the specific article or blog, we will likely remove your comments. It is best to pick a single point and address it succinctly without rambling. If you have another issue to raise, you can always do it in subsequent comment post.
- Be coherent: If the spelling, grammar or logic of your post is incoherent or so confusing that we cannot figure out what you are trying to say, we will likely remove it. Support your points with clear, articulate argument, facts, and citations.
- Keep your comments to 300 words or less. Generally, anything longer needs to be very, very interesting to the larger community.
- Do not post under different usernames and do not impersonate anyone else. We do not share email addresses publicly, so use of a fake email address could result in your posts being blocked. You’re welcome to post under a username that allows you to retain anonymity, but we encourage everyone to use his or her real name. We believe that people who post under their own names tend to carry on more compelling and respectful conversations.
- Anything you post should be your own work: you are welcome to link to relevant content and to quote limited amounts from other people’s work with attribution, but don’t copy and paste whole articles or long passages. If you want to reference a relevant article, include a link or a short passage.
- Please respect other’s privacy: We are always interested in meeting and engaging with new people, but most users will not want their phone numbers or e-mail addresses shared in a public forum.
- PLEASE DO NOT USE ALL CAPS IN YOUR POSTS. THIS IS CONSIDERED SHOUTING AND IS INAPPROPRIATE.
- Posting corrections and complaints: if you have a correction or criticism of reports produced by our journalists, the fastest way is to contact us directly by email. We do read the comment threads and will occasionally join the discourse, but the threads are not the most efficient way of reaching us. In the same vein, if you believe another commenter has violated our policy, email is, again, the best way to reach us.
- Do not use our website to advertise, promote, recruit, campaign, lobby, solicit or proselytize. This is a place to express any and all of your ideas and experiences on education and engage in healthy discussion and debate. We understand that there is a fine line between discussing and campaigning, so please use your best judgment – and we will use ours.
- You are solely for the content you post. The Southern Education Desk is not responsible for content posted by its users. We do not and cannot review all user-generated content posted on SouthernEducationDesk.org. We do have the right (but not the obligation) to review, screen, edit, move or delete any content posted on our website.
- We reserve the right not to publish rumors, allegations, conspiracy theories and other information which we know or can ascertain to be false or unsubstantiated.