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Student Rights in Public Education

What Legal Rights Do Students Have In Public Education? Student rights in public education usually relate to what a student can and cannot do, how far they can argue their point of opinion, and in general basic human rights. The constitution is for everyone to enjoy, regardless of age, color, race, religion, or any other factor of discrimination. However, minors are a special category of person, and in many cases, the rights of minors can be suppressed in ways that the rights of adults simply may not be because of age or the level of maturity.

Although there is a list of guidelines or policy concerning student rights, one must fully absorb the rules and regulations that are implemented by the school and must be abided. The basic human rights correspond to student rights in public school, and this means that students have a right to personal privacy. Teachers should have a defined line up to where they can meddle with their student's lives unless, freely or voluntary given by the concerned party and that whatever was shared must be kept in full confidentiality.

Besides the basic right of students to basic education, there are other outlines of student rights in public education that can ensure child's safety in the school.

Public school student rights have the right to their own beliefs and practices and should therefore have the freedom to make a choice in relation to activities that goes against their belief. A public school student should not be forced or not be allowed to join in an activity that they feel uneasy with. Student has the right to practice their beliefs in religion in the school, although practicing them in an extreme way that causes commotion or any disturbances in the classroom is usually not permitted. All students shall be required to show proper attention to personal cleanliness, health, neatness, safety and suitability of clothing and appearance for school activities.

Students have the right for freedom of expression. Students do not give up their constitutional rights when they walk onto school grounds. That includes your right to free speech. But in some cases, your speech can be restricted at school even if it would be protected if you were in the school grounds. Freedom of speech lets students to hand out leaflets and express their selves in official or unofficial school journals. They are also given the freedom to conduct polls and circulate petitions that would address to their issues in the school. Other activities that expand this right are the organization of clubs, posting notices on bulletin boards and organization of a rally or demonstration at school. Although, doesn't mean that students can be abusive because this right is subjected to some restrictions that is brought about by the school.

Moreover, students have the right of equality and freedom from discrimination. Unfortunately, discrimination might still occur at your school, and it can come in a variety of forms. It might come up in the context of assigning students to academic opportunities, extracurricular activities or special school programs. It might also appear on the treatment of fellow students towards one student and on how he/she has been disciplined.

Other rights of students may include the freedom of access to school records. This right can be exercised by passing a written consent of the parents for their children to have access to his or her student files. However, Schools may give school records to outsiders if there is a lawful court order and they make a reasonable effort to contact the parent beforehand.

Living through and abiding with the public school student rights ensures that students are performing at the very peak of their abilities without second thoughts brought about by fright of pressure or any discomfort while feeling and exercising their right to freedom of speech and choice in any environment that they live in.

Resources On Students' Rights

  1. First Amendment and Dress Codes
  2. The Foundation For Individual Rights in Education, Inc
  3. Sexual Harrassment
  4. School Security and Discipline
  5. Schools and the Law
  6. Violence Against Children in Schools

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