Rights and Responsibilites
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Freedom of Speech – Free inquiry and exchange of ideas are essential parts of a democratic education. The School Board respects students’ rights to express ideas and opinions, take stands, and support causes, whether controversial or not, through their speech, their writing, and the printed materials they choose to post or distribute.
Student liberties of expression shall be limited only as allowed by law in order to maintain an orderly school environment and to protect the rights, health and safety of members of the school community. Any speech material should not invade another person’s privacy or constitutional rights, including, but not limited to, freedom from discrimination or harassment.
Students are prohibited from making any expressions which are obscene, libelous or slanderous, or which demonstrably incite students to commit unlawful acts on school premises, to violate school rules, or to substantially disrupt the school’s orderly operation.
- Dress and Appearance – A student shall be free to determine his/her dress and grooming so long as his/her appearance does not endanger physical health or safety, damage property or seriously and immediately disrupt the activities of others.
- Student Activism – Students may express opinions and ideas, take stands and support policies publicly, privately, orally and in writing through established school media. Such expression shall not interfere with the educational program, present a safety or health hazard, or contain obscene, slanderous or libelous statements. Students may not advocate violation of the law or school regulations, except by pursuing such advocacy through established channels.
- Student Disorders – Unlawful student assemblage, violence, disruption, vandalism, or interference with the assigned work of school personnel or students cannot be permitted.
Disruption or interference with the normal operation of the school hinders the Board in fulfilling its legal responsibilities and impinges on the constitutional right of every child to a suitable education.
- Vandalism – Vandalism against school property by students is reprehensible. When incidents of vandalism occur, the administration will:
- Identify the student(s) involved.
- Call together persons, including parents to study the causes and to advise on appropriate disciplinary action.
- Decide upon disciplinary action and assess costs against the students and/or their parents.
- Take action to guard against further vandalism.
INVASION OF PRIVACY
- Search & Seizure – The right to inspect students’ school lockers is inherent in the authority granted School Boards and administrators. This authority will be exercised so as to assure parents that the school, in pursuing its “in loco parentis” relationship with their children, will protect the well-being of those children.
Exercise of such authority requires school officials to
- Protect each child’s constitutional right to personal privacy and protection from coercion
- Emphasize that schools are educational institutions
- Resolve any doubts or questionable disputes in the child’s favor
- Questioning and/or Apprehension – Police – The schools shall cooperate with the police and at the same time protect the rights of children in case of a police investigation. If the police wish to question a child at the school the parents should immediately be notified. During the absence of the parent, the principal should stand in loco parentis and should be present during any questioning.
- In case there is a charge against the parent by the child, the parent will not necessary be notified, but the principal will be present during any questioning.
- If the police hold a warrant for the arrest of the child, the arrest can be made in the school and the parents shall be notified by the principal.
- Teacher, acting as principal in the principal’s absence, will act in his/her place.
- Federal Agents – Agencies of the federal government, such as postal inspectors, treasury agents, and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, also have the power of arrest. Their contacts with the school will be for the purpose of investigation and they ordinarily cooperate with the local police in making arrests. However, on occasion this authority may be exercised directly, and, under such circumstances, school officials will sign the release form before the student is surrendered to the officer.
KETCHIKAN GATEWAY BOROUGH SCHOOL DISTRICT
Adoption Date: 10/13/99