II. Rights and Responsibilities
School staff and parents must work together in order to maximize a student’s success at school. The District commits to working with and supporting families and the District needs parents to work with and support the District.
Parental Responsibilities (Policy 5500.01):
- Get to know the people at their child’s school by going to teacher conferences and school-parent activities like PTA meetings and the School Advisory Council (SAC) meetings.
- The parent must complete the clinic card annually. Promptly notify your child’s school of any change in your telephone numbers, including home phone, cell phone, work phone, emergency contact number, or home address.
- Understand and support the rules of this Code of Student Conduct and talk to their child about them.
- Teach their child to dress neatly and appropriately for school since it is a place to work and learn.
- Make sure their child arrives at school on time every day. Parents should be aware that if they live within two (2) miles of their child’s school and the District has established safe walk pathways in that area, School District transportation would not be provided.
- Will not leave their child at school more than thirty (30) minutes before the start of the school day or pick their child up more than thirty (30) minutes after the school day unless the parent has made special arrangements with a teacher, administrator, or a before/after school care program. Supervision will not be provided beyond that time. This also includes school activities outside the regular school day such as clubs, dances, carnivals, practices, and games.
- Contact the school within forty-eight (48) hours after their child is absent to tell them the reason for that absence. Some schools require notes.
- Tell the school principal if there is a change in residence or custody of the student, even if the parent thinks the student is still in the school’s attendance zone. The parent must tell the principal within five (5) days of the change. If the school discovers that the parent moved and the parent has not told them, their child could be considered to be “found out of that school’s attendance zone”. This could mean an immediate change of school for their child and their child could be deemed ineligible for athletics and other activities.
- Work with school staff members to solve any discipline or problems. The parent should let the school know if something has happened at home that could affect how their child does in school.
- Present a photo ID and sign in at the office before entering on campus while school is in session.
- Identification must be shown to the office staff when someone takes an elementary or middle school student from school during the day. Identification may be required at high schools.
When parents are divorced or separated, both parents have full rights to participate in the child’s school activities and know what is happening at school unless there is a court order limiting that access. If such an order exists then the principal must have a certified copy.
Absent prior permission from the parent, no student shall be permitted to leave school prior to dismissal at the request of or in the company of anyone other than an authorized school employee; a law enforcement officer; child protective investigator, or other official acting in the exercise of his/her lawful authority; or the parents of the student. Prior parental permission must be evidenced on the Student Clinic Card and Release Form or on a separate written instrument signed by the parent.
In the event that the school receives conflicting direction from divorced or separated parents (including parents who were never married) concerning a student, the school may rely on the direction of the parent identified by the following criteria, which are listed in order of priority:
First, the parent who is designated in a parenting plan or other Florida court order as having either educational decision-making authority or sole parental responsibility over the student; or
Second, if both parents are designated as educational decision-makers with shared parental responsibility, the parent who resides at the address specified in the parenting plan or other Florida court order as the address to be used for school assignment purposes; or
Third, if no such parenting plan or order exists or no such address is specified, the parent who resides at the address used by the District for student assignment purposes, whether or not the student is attending their zoned school; or
Fourth, if the address on file with the District is not valid or otherwise relevant, the school may rely upon the direction of the parent who enrolled the student.
- Give the school written permission if they want a stepparent who is not the legal guardian of the child to have information about the child or sign forms related to the child. Permission must be submitted to the school every year.
- Be prepared to pay for any damage done to School Board property by their child. If payment is not made and the amount is substantial, the principal will send the matter to the Superintendent.
- Pay for lost or damaged books or other teaching materials. Failure to pay may mean that no other books or materials will be given to their child, their child will not be able to participate in extra-curricular activities, or their child will be required to pay the debt through community service at the school. The principal will make those decisions.
- Adhere to school developed, on-site traffic plans for vehicles when bringing students to school or picking them up after school, and encourage their children if they are walkers and bicyclists to follow safety rules and use pedestrian-safety features where available.
Student Rights (Policy 5500.02)
To District students, a student has a right to an education, regardless of his/her race, color, creed, religion, sex, marital status, heritage, age, disability, or sexual orientation. Some of a student’s basic rights include the right to:
- Freedom of expression
A student’s exercise of these rights must conform to the Code of Student Conduct. Things a student cannot do include:
- violate the rights of others;
- disrupt the classroom;
- disrupt the operation of the school;
- bring drugs, weapons, or contraband to school.
First Amendment Freedom of Expression
The United States Supreme Court ruled in 1969 that public school students do not leave their constitutional right to freedom of expression at the schoolhouse gate. A student has a right to freedom of expression; however, when a student exercises that right, the student must do so in a responsible manner that does not cause a disruption of the school or a school activity. A principal may impose reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on your exercise of First Amendment freedom of expression when there is evidence of imminent disruption of the school.
Searches and Seizures
A student’s locker, vehicle, purse, backpack, and other personal possessions can be searched if there is a reasonable suspicion that any of them contain drugs, weapons, contraband or other items not permitted on campus. Trained sniff-screening dogs are allowed in the schools to prevent drugs and weapons at school. The routine checks by the dogs are not considered a search by law. They are safety preventions to give students a safe and healthy school in which to learn.
Sororities, Fraternities & Secret Societies
These organizations are not allowed in schools. A student cannot participate or join in any type of initiation to such organizations.
Student Responsibilities (Policy 5500.03)
To be successful and to help maintain an orderly learning environment, the student should:
- attend school each day;
- arrive on time;
- be prepared with proper materials and supplies;
- keep a planner/agenda;
- complete all assignments including homework to the best of his/her ability and on time;
- dress appropriately;
- be tolerant of and respectful to self and others;
- see teachers about makeup work and complete it in a timely manner;
- contact the principal, assistant principal, guidance counselor, teacher, or peer tutor regarding conflicts or concerns;
- set goals for success;
- get enough sleep;
- set responsible working hours outside of school.
- upon request, will properly identify him/herself to staff.
A student must participate in school crisis plan activities, practices and emergency drills, such as lock-down and fire drills. (Failure to meet these requirements may lead to disciplinary action.)
If a school uses I.D. cards, students will follow school guidelines related to the card.
A student living alone or away from home is subject to the same policies as all other students.