Like other things underground, the underground newspaper is usually left unaired and hidden from the general public.
However, many underground newspapers are produced in public high schools and colleges. The definition of these newspapers is thought to be "any publication that is not sponsored by the school."
In high schools, they are frequently, and in a manner that violates the United States Constitution, censored. Most schools feel threatened by students sharing potentially subversive ideas in printed media.
Most schools keep a written policy on non-school-sponsored materials, usually in respect of what is acceptable. This may properly be used in accordance with the Tinker v. Des Moines case only, however.
Despite which case the school's media/communications/journalism policy is based on, the underground newsletter must strictly adhere to the provisions of the Tinker v. Des Moines case.
Schools commonly misinterpret the Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier case which states that the school has the power to censor school-sponsored publications as it sees fit.
Because of their often-shocking material, the underground papers are often lifted before they can even reach their second (sometimes even first) edition.
Underground newspapers come in two popular flavors:
1. Satire - usually poking fun at the happenings on the school's campus in a non-libellious way.
2. Personal convictions - frequently political, sometimes not. These are the ones that schools worry about because of their propaganda-like manner. Schools cringe to think of publications that offer ideas that the student body, as a whole, may not agree with.