Common Sense Online is a student newspaper of Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland. Common Sense Online is run by students under the sponsorship of the faculty adviser and works closely with print counterpart Common Sense, established in 1970. Common Sense has won numerous awards, including the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Crown and Gold Medal. Common Sense Online is a forum for community expression and invites letters and comments from our readers.
Common Sense Editorial Policy
COMMON SENSE is a 16- to 24-page newspaper published by Wootton High School students. COMMON SENSE is written primarily for the approximately 2,400 students attending Wootton High School, and is distributed free of charge to all members of the school community.
Secondary audiences which receive the newspapers include other school journalism programs and organizations which promote the development of scholastic journalism.
The editorial board is the decision-making body of the newspaper which governs its day-to-day operation. The COMMON SENSE staff has adopted the following editorial policy to express the rights, responsibilities and philosophy of this newspaper.
COMMON SENSE is an accessible public forum which provides information and entertainment in addition to various viewpoints on debatable issues in the form of editorials and columns. Funds for production come from advertising. Letters to the editor, guest columns and all material submitted for publication must include the writer’s name, signature and class or position. Typed, double-spaced letters are preferred, but legible, handwritten submissions are acceptable.
COMMON SENSE will not print anything in the newspaper that is deemed libelous, obscene or in poor taste, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s justified standards. Rights are reserved to postpone, edit or withhold from publication anything submitted which does not meet the specifications. The meaning of any submission will not be altered, but we reserve the right to correct spelling, grammar and punctuation when necessary.
Additionally, COMMON SENSE refuses to print criticism which is not constructive and not supported by facts. The editors and adviser will make the final decision on all material appearing in COMMON SENSE.
Letters should be addressed to the editor, taken to the Publications Room (241) and given to a member of the staff or to the Adviser. As an open forum, COMMON SENSE sells advertisements for publicity and to pay for printing costs. The rates are available on our website. We will refuse any advertisement which makes reference to illegal or controlled products, services, substance or paraphernalia. We reserve the right to refuse any other advertisement deemed inappropriate to the Wootton community.
As a responsible newspaper, COMMON SENSE will not intentionally invade the privacy of any person and will make every effort to spell names correctly and make accurate class and position identifications. Accurate reporting of fact is the goal of the staff.
Opinions will be clearly marked and found on the editorial pages or as designated on other pages. Corrections will be printed when mistakes are found or brought to the attention of the staff. Original stories will carry bylines, although stories rewritten by someone other than the original author will not receive a byline.
Commentaries and opinion columns are the expressed opinion of the author and not of COMMON SENSE and its Editorial board or its adviser. Furthermore, the opinions conveyed are not those of the Wootton High School faculty or school board.
Members of the staff are guided by the Canons of Journalism of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, a code of ethics which outlines the principles of responsibility, fairness and accuracy. The COMMON SENSE editorial policy reflects these philosophies of scholastic journalism. We will do our best to uphold our policy at all costs, unless it violates the basic protections of journalists or the freedom accorded all journalists under the Maryland School Code.
Editors-in-Chief: Tyler Kessler & Mia Saidel
Managing Editors: Washiq Ahmed, Sophie Lehrenbaum & Katie McRae
Arts Editor: Courtney Pories
Commons Editor: Sofie Jacobs
Feature Editors: Adam Hurwitz & Rebecca Jahnke
News Editors: Ross Davis & Jonny Harvey
Opinion Editors: Maria Zlotescu
Sports Editors: Elliott Burklow & Sam Eichberg
Photo Editor: Adam Hurwitz
Business Manager: Joshua Lee
Staff Adviser: Evva Starr