Uinta County School District Number One recognizes the following: that the primary reason that the schools of the district have been established is to give the boys and girls of school age the best possible opportunity for learning commensurate with district resources; that the students have full rights of citizenship as delineated in the Constitution of the United States of America, as amended, and the Constitution of the State of Wyoming, as amended; that these rights may not be abridged, obstructed or altered except in accordance with due process of law; and that education is one of the rights and necessities of citizenship so long as laws of the country, state and school district are obeyed.
One primary responsibility of Uinta County School District Number One and its professional staff shall be the development in students of an understanding and appreciation for a democratic form of government, for the rights and responsibilities of the individual and the legal processes whereby laws, rules and regulations may be changed.
The schools of the district constitute a community and the rules and regulations of the district and the individual schools are, together with federal and state law, the laws of that community. All those who enjoy the rights of citizenship in that community must be willing to accept responsibility of that citizenship. The most basic responsibility of those who enjoy the rights of citizenship is to respect and obey the laws of the school community.
The courts have long indicated by their decisions that young people in the United States have a right to receive a free public education and that the deprivation of that right may occur only for just cause and in accordance with due process of law. As stated by the United States Supreme Court in West V9rginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 637 (1942).
"The Fourteenth Amendment…protects the citizen against the state itself and all of its creatures—Boards of Education not excepted. These have, of course, important, delicate and highly discretionary functions, but none that they may not perform within the limits of the Bill of Rights. That they are educating the young for citizenship is reason for scrupulous protection of constitutional freedoms of the individual if we are not to strangle the free mind at its source and teach youth to discount important principles of our government as mere platitudes."
The courts have recently made it very clear that students have the rights given to all citizens by the United States Constitution and its amendments and by the Constitution of the State of Wyoming and its amendments. While the courts have held that the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States prohibit any governmental agency from unduly infringing upon the rights of speech and expression, the United States Supreme Court has also said that these rights are not absolute and may be regulated when school authorities demonstrate that a failure to regulate student conduct would result in a material and substantial disruption and interference in the operation of the school and its processes and the discipline of the student bodies.
Administrators and teachers also have rights and duties. They are required by law and Board policy to maintain a suitable environment for learning and administrators have the special responsibility for maintaining and facilitating the educational process under state law. The principal of each school, or his designee, is authorized to discipline, suspend or recommend for expulsion for just cause and the teacher has the right and authority to temporarily remove students from a class or discipline students for cause.
Rules, regulations and due process procedures are designed to protect all members of the educational community and protect them in the exercise of their rights and duties. Nothing in Board statements of student rights and responsibilities shall be held to limit, abridge or deny the due process rights of students or of certificated or support staff members of their use of the district grievance procedure.
Freedom of Speech and Assembly
1. Students are entitled to express themselves orally and silently and to state their personal opinions in such manner so long as the expressions do not materially and substantially interfere with and disrupt the operation of the school, the freedom of others to express themselves, are not personally vindictive and do not constitute either slander or libel. The use of obscenities or personal attacks is prohibited.
2. All student meetings in school buildings or on school grounds may function only as part of the educational process as defined by the school principal.
3. Students have the freedom to assemble peacefully. There is an appropriate time and place for expression of opinions and beliefs. Demonstrations which materially and substantially interfere with the operation of the school or classroom and the rights of others are strictly prohibited.
Right to Know School Policy and Rules
Students have a right to know all Board policies and school rules under which they may be disciplined, denied privileges, suspended from school or expelled.
Therefore, each school principal shall develop regulations governing student conduct in line with Board policies. These rules shall be assembled in written form and distributed to each student in the school. Any section of such document, or portion thereof, found by adjudication to be contrary to law shall be stricken without effect to the remainder.
It shall be the responsibility of students to be informed of the content of rules so disseminated. A student’s ignorance of a rule therefore shall not be accepted as a valid reason for noncompliance.
Current practice codified 1978
Policy Cross References:
» JG - STUDENT DISCIPLINE