Student Rights

STUDENT RIGHTS

Horizon Science Academy Belmont does not discriminate against any member of its community on the basis of sex, race, national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or physical, mental, emotional, learning disabilities and all types of physical disabilities in educational programs and activities.

The right of students to freedom of expression shall not be abridged, provided that such right shall not cause any disruption or disorder within the school.

Freedom of expression shall include without limitation, the rights and responsibilities of students, collectively and individually, (a) to express their views through speech and symbols, (b) to write, publish, and disseminate their views, and to assemble peaceably on school property for the purpose of expressing their opinions. Any assembly planned by students during regularly scheduled school hours shall be held only at a time and place approved in advance by the Principal (or designee).No expression made by students in the exercise of such rights shall be deemed an expression of school policy, and no school officials shall be held responsible in any civil or criminal action for any expression made or published by the students.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Students’ right to free speech comes with the following restrictions:
• What a student says may not disrupt the work and discipline of the school in a material or substantial way.
• A student’s words may not incite others to disrupt the work or discipline of the school or disobey the laws.
• No student speech may be obscene.
• Students may not say (slander) or write things about (libel) another person that damage that person’s reputation.
• Students may not use fighting words, that is, words which, when spoken to a reasonable person is reasonably certain to produce a violent action. Included in this category would be racial, sexual, ethnic, or religious slurs.

FREEDOM OF PRESS

Students may express their opinions in publication and other written material as long as it follows standards of good taste. Unofficial or underground publications distributed at school will not be censored so long as they are signed by the author(s), and are not disruptive, defamatory, obscene, or containing “fighting words.”

School reserves the right to regulate the content of “school sponsored express activities.” A posted sign must be approved by the administration, signed by the person who puts it up and must be posted in the designated area in the school.

FREEDOM OF RELIGION

Students have the right to be absent from school for observance of the holy days of their religion. Parents/guardians must notify the school office in writing prior to absence.

SEARCH AND SEIZURE

Any searches of lockers will be conducted solely for the safety and well being of the school community. Mass searches of lockers are permitted when the Principal deems that a threat to the safety of the school exists. School maintains ownership of lockers and student use is subject to the right of the school administration to have access to the lockers any time without prior notice to students and without their consent for cleaning or for searching for illegal or dangerous materials.

RIGHT TO EQUAL EDUCATION

School students cannot be prevented or discouraged from participating in any school activity because of race, gender, sexual preference, religion, national origin, or handicap.