Group of college students sitting on a lawn

All About Student Rights

Here are rights that every student should understand before exercising his right to life and liberty on campus.

Although attending school is not similar to jail, in which a bail bonds specialist is needed to secure a client’s freedom, there are certain rights granted to students.

The Right of Free Speech

A student has full liberty to express his opinions verbally or in writing. He must, however, be cognizant of the manner in which he expresses his thoughts. Using vulgarity and disrupting the general atmosphere of the institution is a sure way to suffer disciplinary action that is not limited to suspension or expulsion.

The Right of Dress Code

A school may or may not have the power to enforce a dress code policy. Many states allow for rules and regulations regarding apparel, but some regions prohibit educational institutions from placing such restrictions on students. No school, regardless of its geographic location, may create a dress code that perpetuates racial bias.

The Right to Refrain from Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance
Although many deem reciting the pledge of allegiance as a citizen’s duty, students are by no means required to give fidelity to their country verbally. Also, scholars may remain seated and refrain from placing their right hand over their hearts during the pledge’s recitation.

The Right to Freedom of Religion
Public schools are meant to be unbiased spaces where children can learn. Such is the reason why the Establishment Clause in the first amendment of the Constitution prohibits any government entity, which includes public schools, from promoting religion. Rituals such as prayer before sports activities and special ceremonies violate this clause and the right of students to learn and thrive in a non-religious environment at school.

Teaching curriculum based on a particular belief, and not science, is also considered a violation of student rights. A public school may, however, shed light on the influence of religion in history and literature as such teaching does not promote the idea of faith.

The Right to Be Pregnant and Attend Classes
Schools are prohibited from discriminating against female students who are pregnant. Although institutions may offer special classes to accommodate pregnant students, the academy cannot force such scholar to trade in her normal course load for a schedule that may be less stressful.

Right of Search and Seizure
An educational institution has the right to search a student’s possessions while said scholar is on campus grounds. The school is also at liberty to search through lockers and confiscate prohibited items such as weapons and drugs.

Metal detectors are typically allowed in schools across the nation. The devices allow for search and seizure every morning if the administration deems such measures necessary for the safety of its scholars. Metal detectors may not be used selectively on particular groups. Overlooking one ethnic group while closely monitoring another with the indicators is considered discriminatory actions and in violation of student rights.

Right of Tracking Devices
An educational system can legally enforce a tracking system to ensure equality. Such system, however, must be extended to all students and not just one specific group. Using a tracking system for female scholars while ignoring the educational progress or failure of its male population. Students may only be separated by learning abilities.

Rights of Foreign Students
International scholars who have not yet mastered the English language are still entitled to a good education. A public school cannot discriminate based on an individual’s ability, or inability, to fluently speak the central language of the country.

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