Students' First Amendment Rights

Freedom of Speech and Assembly
 
All students possess the constitutional right to freedom of speech and press, the constitutional right to assemble peaceably, and to petition the government and its representatives for a redress of grievances, subject to reasonable limitations upon the time, place, and manner of exercising such rights.
 
Students are entitled to orally express their opinions. Such opinions shall not interfere with the freedom of others to express themselves. The use of obscenities or personal attacks is prohibited.
 
All student meetings in school buildings or on school grounds may function only as a part of the formal educational process or as authorized by the principal.
 
Students have the freedom to assemble peacefully. There is an appropriate time and place for expression of opinions and beliefs. Conducting demonstrations, which interfere with the operation of the school or classroom, is inappropriate and prohibited.
 
Students are entitled to express in writing their personal opinions. Such written expressions must be signed by the author. The distribution of such material may not interfere with or disrupt the educational process and is subject to the guidelines of Procedure 3222P (Distribution of Materials by Students), which is available to all students in the school board policy manual located in the library of each secondary school and in the principal’s office in each elementary school.
 
Students who edit, publish, or distribute handwritten, printed, or duplicated matter among their fellow students within the school must assume responsibility for the content of such publications.
 
Libel, obscenity, vulgarity, and personal attacks are prohibited in all publications.
 
Commercial solicitation will not be allowed on school property unless expressly approved by the school administration.
 
Student Search
 
All students possess the constitutional right to be secure in their persons, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. The following rules shall apply to the search of a student or of school property assigned to a specific student (locker, desk, etc.) and the seizure of items in his/her possession:
  • General searches of school property may be conducted.
  • Search of a specific area assigned to a student should be for a specific item and take place in his/her presence.
  • There shall be reasonable cause for school authorities to believe that possession of the item(s) constitutes a crime or rule violation.
  • Illegal items, such as firearms or weapons, are reasonably determined to be a threat.
  • Items which are used to disrupt or interfere with the educational process may be temporarily removed from a student’s possession.
Equal Educational Opportunity
 
Students have the right to equal educational opportunity and shall not be unlawfully discriminated against because of national origin, race, religion, economic status, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, previous arrest, previous incarceration, or physical, mental, or sensory handicap.
 
Freedom from Interference with Education
 
All students shall have the right to be free from unlawful interference in their pursuit of an education while attending the public schools.
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