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Policy 9020 Implementation Procedures - Students’ Rights and Responsibilities

Implementation Procedures

I. General Guidelines

  1. Attendance

    Policy 9010 - Attendance establishes standards and procedures for the reporting and confirming of absences and indicates the actions that will be necessary to prevent and address school truancy.

  2. Safe and Supportive Environment

    The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) works to ensure that each school will provide a safe and supportive environment that fosters hope, engagement, and well-being for all.

  3. Non-Discriminatory Practices

    The United States Constitution, Federal laws and regulations, and State laws and regulations provide individuals with certain basic rights and freedoms and prohibit discriminatory practices by public school systems. Students in the HCPSS have the right to be free from discrimination, bullying, harassment, intimidation, sexual harassment, and hate/bias, based on race, color, national origin, religious beliefs, political opinion, disability, age, gender, appearance, marital status, sexual orientation, or family status.

    1. Discrimination on the Basis of Race, Color or National Origin

      Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against students on the basis of race, color, or national origin.

    2. Discrimination on the Basis of Sex

      1. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and guarantees equal opportunities for females and males in course enrollment, guidance, physical education and athletics, vocational programs, student rules and policies, and treatment of pregnant students.

      2. Title IX also provides legal protection to students against sexual harassment. Students have a right to participate in all school and classroom activities in an atmosphere free from sexual harassment.

    3. Discrimination on the Basis of Disability

      IDEA 2004, The Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit discrimination based on disability and guarantee that all students with disabilities have a right to education in general education classroom settings whenever possible pursuant to procedures set out in those laws. All classes and activities are available to all students who are otherwise eligible to participate.

  4. Student Expression

    Although students may exercise their First Amendment rights in the school setting, they are subject to restrictions based on the unique circumstances of the school environment.

  5. Student Activities and Use of School Facilities

    Participation in student organizations is governed by procedures agreed upon by the school administration and students; such procedures may not exclude participation based on sex, race, disability, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation, or program of study. Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the use of school facilities for legitimate and legal educational purposes, in accordance with the guidelines established for the use of such facilities.

    1. Student Governance

      Students are encouraged to form and participate in organizations within and among schools, pursuant to local school system policy, through which they may use the democratic process and communicate their interests, ideas, opinions, and suggestions to the school administration.

    2. Student Organizations and Clubs

      1. School-Sponsored

        Student organizations may conduct activities on school property upon the authorization of school officials and subject to the supervision of the school administration and faculty.

      2. Non School-Sponsored

        School officials will provide a fair opportunity for students to conduct meetings on school property during non-instructional time.

  6. Student Records

    1. All HCPSS personnel will maintain confidentiality of student records.

    2. Students and their parents have the right to full access to individual student records and any information which is determined to be inaccurate or misleading removed from those records upon request.

    3. When requested, parents will be provided access to their child’s education records within forty-five (45) calendar days of the request.

  7. Grievances and Appeals

    The school system provides school-level informal and formal mechanisms and processes to address school-related concerns.

    1. The Parent Concern Form outlines a standard process through which student and parent concerns may be addressed.

    2. Procedures for the appeal of suspensions and expulsions are defined in the Implementation Procedures of Policy 9200 - Student Discipline.

    3. The Office of the Ombudsman is an advocate for meaningful and fair administration of existing problem resolution mechanisms and assists individuals in accessing appropriate processes. (Policy 2030 - Ombudsman )

  8. Disciplinary Action

    Local boards of education are required to adopt a set of regulations designed to maintain an environment of order and discipline necessary for effective learning; these regulations should provide for counseling and standards for appropriate disciplinary measures and may permit suspension or expulsion. (COMAR 13A.08.01.11)

    1. Suspension and Expulsion

      1. A student may be suspended or expelled for behavior that is disruptive and detrimental to the operation of the school. However, detailed procedures are to be followed in the event of a suspension or expulsion to ensure that the student’s due process rights are protected. (Policy 9200 - Student Discipline)

      2. A suspension is viewed in Maryland as a "lawful absence" for which students have the right to make up school work missed during the absence and receive credit. (Policy 9010 - Attendance )

    2. The use of corporal punishment is prohibited in the disciplining of any student. (Maryland Annotated Code, Education Article, §7-306; Policy 9200 - Student Discipline)

    3. Students are entitled to due process rights in all disciplinary matters as well as in the process for determining educational placement.

  9. Search and Seizure

    An authorized searcher may make a reasonable search of a student or the student’s belongings if the searcher satisfies a standard of reasonable belief that the student is in possession of an item, the possession of which is a criminal offense or a violation of any state law or a rule or regulation of the school or school system. (Policy 9060 - Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Compliance: Section 504)

  10. Arrests and Questioning of Students

    Specific legal guidelines govern the conditions under which students may be questioned and/or arrested on school property, and the rights to which they are entitled during those processes.

II. History

ADOPTED: May 11, 1995


MODIFIED: January 10, 2008

REVISED: June 8, 2006, December 13, 2007, February 20, 2014

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2014