main content starts here

Student Rights and Responsibilities, Policy 5300.15

Preface

Students in the public schools of New York State have the right to a free appropriate education when they are between the ages of 5 and 21 years or until they receive a high school diploma, whichever comes first.  All students who reside within New York State and are between the ages of 6, and the school year through which they become 16, are required by law to attend regularly either public or non-public school that are approved for equivalency of instruction by the appropriate school authorities or in the home in accordance with the Regulations of the Commissioner.  (Under certain circumstances, a student may act in such a manner as to warrant limitation or denial of his/her right of access to school in our District.)  Thus, bona fide students of the Warwick Valley Central School District have the right to attend our schools and pursue their education and training in their effort to become productive, contributing members of society.  This right to a free public school education extends to all students, including those with disabilities.

These and other rights, privileges and benefits are offered to students in the Warwick Valley Central School District and are not unrestricted; they come with a price tag.  Every individual freedom or right carries with it the burden of responsibility.  The Warwick Valley Board of Education policy concerning the conduct of students recognizes that:

It is the responsibility of students to conduct themselves in keeping with the level of their maturity, acting with due regard for the supervisory authority vested by the Board in all District employees.  Students must also act with due regard for specific school rules and regulations, for the educational purpose underlying all school activities, for appropriate use of school property, and for the rights and welfare of pupils and staff.

The District’s aim is to provide an environment in which a student’s rights and freedoms are respected, and to provide opportunities which stimulate and challenge the student’s interests and abilities to his/her highest potential.  These opportunities will be available as long as the student pursues these interests and studies in an appropriate manner, and does not infringe upon the rights of others.

The Board of Education assures District students that they shall have all the rights afforded them by federal and state constitutions, statutes and regulations.  The District recognizes all federal, state and local laws in connection with these rights.


Students’ Rights

Students shall have the right:

  1. to due process;
  2. to free inquiry and reasonable expression. (For a more detailed discussion concerning school newspapers, non-school publications and materials, and symbolic expression, see the appropriate section of Policy 5300.40);
  3. to freedom of association;
  4. to freedom of peaceful assembly and petition;
  5. to participate in school activities and be heard in the decision‑making process;
  6. to have freedom from discrimination;
  7. to equal educational opportunity;
  8. to protection from illegal, irresponsible invasion of personal privacy;
  9. to receive fair treatment (nondiscrimination) as provided for in Federal Civil Rights legislation in areas such as race, sex, creed, color and national origin; and
  10. to present, in a constructive manner, grievances and complaints to school officials without fear of reprisals or prejudice.

Students’ Responsibilities

  1. to consider academic success as a top priority after ensuring that their individual needs are met;
  2. to approach their schoolwork in a serious, conscientious manner;
  3. to attend school on a regular and punctual basis;
  4. to consider active participation in cocurricular activities which are a vital part of school life
  5. not to prevent any other person from enjoying his/her right to a safe, orderly, healthful, clean school environment which is crucial to learning;
  6. not to infringe in any way on any other person’s right to engage in appropriate educational pursuits;
  7. not to engage in any behavior or act which prevents, disturbs, or disrupts our teachers from pursuing their main task of instruction;
  8. not to be involved in any behavior which might (in any way) lead to disruption of the educational process;
  9. not to use vulgar or obscene words and gestures when involved in any school‑related activity while on or off school grounds (even when pursuing other constitutionally protected rights such as free speech, press and assembly);
  10. not to make slanderous or libelous statements about other persons;
  11. to control one’s anger and aggression and not to be disrespectful or insubordinate;
  12. to obey all valid school rules and regulations;
  13. to dress in a manner which will neither distract others from instruction or the educational process nor jeopardize the safety of the wearer or others; and
  14. not to engage in smoking while on school property or at school sponsored off-campus activities.

Cross-ref:

  • 5220, Student Publications
  • 20, Student Discipline
  • 3, Student Complaints and Grievances
  • 25, Student Dress Code

Adoption date:  June 14, 1993
Revised:  June 25, 2001