Student Bill of Rights & Responsibilities

Bill of Rights

Student Bill of Rights (Board Policy 5134)

(As presented in the SFUSD “Student Handbook” 9/2009)

It is impossible to list all of the rights of students.  Therefore, the following list of rights shall not be construed to deny or limit others retained by students on their own campus in their capacity as members of the student body or as citizens.

Students have the right to:

1. a meaningful education that will be of value to them for the rest of their lives.

2. the maintenance of high educational standards. The maximum potential of the student must be developed. Students will have the right to have announced any proficiency tests adopted by the Board of Education.

3. a meaningful curriculum and the right to voice their opinions in the development of such curriculum.

4. physical safety and protection of personal property.

5. safe buildings and sanitary facilities.

6. consultation with teachers, counselors and administrators and anyone else connected with the school.

7. free election of their peers in the student government and the right to seek and hold office.

8. democratic representation on administrative committees affecting students and student rights.

9. participation in the development of rules and regulations to which they are subject and the right to be notified of such rules and regulations.

10. see their own personal files, cumulative folders, transcripts, deans’ files, etc., in conformity with provisions laid out in the California State Education Code (Section 49061-49078), and to be notified if adverse comments are placed in such records.

11. be involved in school activities if they so desire without being subject to discrimination on any basis, provided they meet with the reasonable qualifications of sponsoring organizations.

12. present petitions, complaints or grievances to school authorities and to receive prompt authoritative replies regarding the disposition of their petitions, complaints or grievances.

13. not be penalized in any way by the school administration for the beliefs they hold provided they do not violate the rights of others.

14. respect from teachers and administrators, which would exclude their being subjected to cruel and unusual punishments, especially those which are demeaning or derogatory, or which diminish their self-esteem or exclude them from their peers.

15. be searched by Principal or designee when there is reason to suspect student possession of illegally obtained items. These may include illegal substances, drug paraphernalia, weapons or other objects or substances which may be injurious to the student or others.

16. exercise their constitutionally protected rights of free speech and assembly on their own campus so long as they do not interfere with the operation of the regular school program. However, students must refrain from any distribution or display of materials that are obscene according to the current legal definitions, that are libelous, or that advocate the commission of unlawful acts. Calif. State

Education Code Sec. 48907 states the rights of students to:

A. wear political buttons, armbands or any other badges of symbolic expression.

B. use bulletin boards designated by the Principal without prior censorship requirements or approval by the administration or the Board of Education.

C. distribute political leaflets, newspapers, or other printed matter both inside and outside of school property without prior authorization of, restriction by, school administration or the Board of Education, provided, however, the time of such distribution may be limited to before and after school, during lunch, or other free periods so as to prevent interference with classroom activities.

D. form political and social organizations.

E. determine their own appearances if that appearance is not disruptive to the learning process in the classroom or is unsafe.

F. reasonable use of public address systems in school without prior censorship; however, the time of announcements may be limited to before and after school, during lunch or other free periods so as to prevent interference with class procedures.

Student Responsibilities

It is impossible to list all student responsibilities, but it must be emphasized that lack of responsibility may result in negative consequences for the student.

1. It is your responsibility:

to be prompt to school and to class.

not to be absent from school without parents’ knowledge and consent.

not to leave a classroom without teacher’s permission.

not to leave campus without school permission.

2. It is your responsibility:

to be prepared for class with appropriate materials.

to participate in class activities.

to follow classroom procedures.

to complete assignments, including assigned homework.

to meet proficiency standards.

to progress toward promotion and/or graduation requirements.

3. It is your responsibility:

to demonstrate cooperation and responsible behavior in the classroom and at school activities.

to show respect for staff members, teachers, adult supervisors, classified employees, guest speakers, substitute teachers, and other students.

to learn and carry out the rules and regulations prescribed in the school handbook.

to use proper mannerisms and channels of communication to resolve conflicts.

to respect the property of others.

to be honest.

to use acceptable language.

to show concern for the welfare of the school and student body.

to have pride in one’s work, and the work of others.

to have respect for the differences of others.

not to use rudeness, defiance, disrespectful words or gestures, or profane/vulgar language.

4. It is your responsibility:

to keep the campus clean and free from litter.

to keep the restrooms clean.

to keep the walls of your campus free from writing, carvings or slogans.

to keep all equipment, lockers, desks, and books free from being defaced or damaged.

to keep loiterers away by reporting them to the proper authorities.

to use school property only when permission is granted.

to follow check-out procedures for school equipment.

to safekeep and use school equipment properly.

to return school equipment promptly and in good condition.

5. It is your responsibility:

to take home all information sheets and printed material.

to return to school all requested forms.

to ask visitors to report to the school office.

to dress and groom appropriately.

not to give false identification nor practice forgery.

not to violate rules and regulations prescribed in the student handbook.