File: JF-R (pdf)
Adopted: date of manual adoption
STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Each student has the opportunity and the right to use school as a means for self-improvement and individual growth. In so doing, he is expected to conduct his affairs in such a way as to assure other students the same opportunities without serving to restrict or otherwise inhibit their individual and collective rights.
It is the intent of the School District to afford vigilant protection of the constitutional freedoms of all school personnel and students, and to guarantee those protections as provided in the Constitution, including the rights to free inquiry and expression, the right to freedom of association, and the right to administrative due process.
Of equal importance is the right of school authorities to prescribe and control — consistent with fundamental and constitutional safeguards — student conduct in the schools.
In exercising this right, each building principal, working with his staff and with the students, will attempt to achieve the objectives and follow the procedures set forth by Board policies and administrative regulations pertaining to the various aspects of student rights, student conduct, and student discipline.
Objectives to be Achieved
The primary objective is the proper recognition and preservation of a student's constitutional rights and allowance for such rights:
- Freedom of Expression - Students may freely express their points of view provided they do not seek to coerce others to join in their mode of expression and provided also that they do not otherwise intrude upon the rights of others during school hours.
- Personal Appearance - Restrictions on a student's hair style or his manner of dress will be determined where there is a "clear and present danger to the student's health and safety, causes an interference with work, or creates classroom or school disorder" as a result of such hair style or manner of dress. Participation in voluntary activities may necessitate specific requirements for approved grooming and dress due to the nature of the activity.
- The Right to Petition - Students are allowed to present petitions to the administration at any time. Collecting of signatures on petitions is limited to before and after school hours. No student will be subjected to disciplinary measures of any nature for signing a petition addressed to the administration — assuming that the petition is free of obscenities, libelous statements, personal attack, advocation of disruption which poses a probable threat of disruption to the regular school program, and is within the bounds of reasonable conduct.
- Student Property - A student's locker and desk should not be opened for inspection except when approved by the principal because he has reasonable cause to believe that prohibited articles are stored therein. Locker clean-out sessions will be conducted as determined by the school principal. Such clean-outs will be to dispose of waste materials, recover missing books and other school property, and for other just cause as determined by the school principal. Adequate notification of students prior to any such locker clean-out is required. (See Policy JFG, Interrogations by Law Enforcement Officials.)
- Student Due Process Rights - Students are to have clearly established means by which "administrative due process" is available to see that the individual's rights are protected. Students are to be involved, singly and collectively, as citizens of the school with the attendant rights of such citizenship and corresponding responsibilities for the proper conduct of their own affairs and those of other students.
Due process may be defined as a course of legal proceedings in accordance with the rules and principles established for the enforcement and protection of individual rights. The concept applies to any dispute between two parties. As a legal concept, enforceable in the courts, it derives its validity from the presence of a court of competent jurisdiction, which has a duty to see to it that the individual's rights are protected. These same conditions are equally necessary to administrative procedures in schools, although they may be discussed and handled in an informal way in most cases.
Procedures for Student Involvement
Since Board policy stipulates that "an individual student or group of students will have the means by which they may discuss problems, make complaints, seek information, make recommendations, seek redress of grievances, or otherwise act individually or as a group with regard to school problems, curriculum matters, and school activities," student involvement will be encouraged and stimulated at all levels as suitable to the age level and maturity of the students.
Such involvement may be through established organizations such as student government and other recognized student groups, or the building principal may authorize the formation of special committees or task forces to deal with specific topics.
Along with the right to be active participants in the affairs of the school, each student is expected to accept the attendant responsibility to conduct himself in a manner compatible with the school's function as an educational facility. Conduct by students or others which disrupts or threatens to disrupt the operation of a school; which interferes in any manner with the public or private rights of other students or citizens; which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person; or which damages property, will not be tolerated.
Student Identification Cards
To afford protection for everyone in the schools, and to allow prompt and just resolution of individual student concerns or disciplinary problems, each student may be required to carry a student identification card as provided by the school.
Current practice codified in 1978
End of File: JF-R