State Law: Stop While We Affix Ads to Your School Bus


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Noting that state funding for student transportation has been slashed as Missouri deals with a very tight budget, State Representative Mike Kelley (R-Lamar) proposed a new idea: Advertising on both the outside and inside of school buses.

HB1273 would permit the State Board of Education to write the actual rules regarding the advertising. Half the money raised from ad sales would have to pay student transportation costs; the remainder can be spent at the school board's discretion

And of course, there would be restrictions on the types of ads allowed.

The regulations would prohibit any advertisements that:

(1)  Contains obscenity, sexual material, gambling, tobacco products, alcohol, political campaigns or causes, public advocacy or lobbying of matters before the General Assembly or any state agency or the governing authority of any political subdivision, or religion;

(2)  Promotes drug use or any illegal activity or antisocial behavior;

(3)  Contains harmful, discriminatory, false, misleading or deceptive, or not age appropriate or otherwise appropriate for school buses as determined by the local school board; and

(4)  Contains an actual or implied school district endorsement for a product or service.

Setting aside the vagueness of terms such as "antisocial behavior" (single-player video games and reading are both solitary activities -- do they qualify as antisocial?), isn't the fact that any ad that makes it to the inside of the bus has been approved by the school board sort of a school district endorsement?