STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES CODE
(Formally adopted by the School Board of ISD No. 91 on January 16, 1996)
This code is an overview of the Barnum Public School, ISD No. 91, policies, regulations, and procedures on student rights and responsibilities. Sections of this Code are occasionally updated in response to changes in the law, the current school situation or other circumstances that might arise. Therefore, there may have been some changes in the Code since it was published and approved by the School Board in January 1996. If you have questions about the Code or would like more information about a specific issue, contact your school principal or the School District Superintendent.
The Board of Education recognizes that the students in Barnum Public Schools are entitled to the civil liberties guaranteed to all citizens of the Nation and the State of Minnesota. The primary goal in the Barnum Public Schools is to prepare students to successfully complete the transition from school into the general society in which they will live and work. Part of this preparation is structuring school learning experiences that will help students accept the responsibility that is equal to the rights and privileges they have and those they will assume.
The School District commits itself to provide safe school environments in which our students may learn; grow to their potential; experience cooperative, productive and peaceful learning settings; and practice responsible behavior. This commitment involves setting and maintaining high standards for student behavior so that the rights of all students and adults in the school community are respected and protected.
Students have the right to freely express ideas verbally, in writing or in artistic form within the accepted school program. Responsible criticism and reasonable dissent are basic to the educational process and fundamental to self-directed learning. However, false or misleading statements/activities that disrupt learning or teaching; threats (physical or verbal); the use of obscenities, profanity or ridicule, dealing with drugs, alcohol or violence; and advocating violation of the law or known school rules and regulations are unacceptable means of expression that will not be tolerated.
PROHIBITION OF HARASSMENT AND VIOLENCE
The Barnum Public Schools maintain an education and employment environment that is free from sexual, gender, racial or religious harassment or violence. Harassment and violence, as defined in this policy, is prohibited by National and State law as well as by School District policy. This policy is violated if any student, employee, agent, volunteer or any other persons subject to the supervision and control of the School District engages in unlawful behavior through either conduct or communication of a sexual nature or regarding gender, race or religion. It is also a violation of School District policy to inflict, threaten to inflict or attempt to inflict sexual, gender, racial or religious violence upon any student, employee, visitor, volunteer or another person.
The School District is obligated by law to investigate all complaints, formal or informal, verbal or written, of sexual, gender, racial or religious harassment, violence, hazing and to discipline and take appropriate action against anyone found to have violated this policy. The School District has written procedures for reporting and investigating all harassment and violence complaints. This Student Rights and Responsibilities Code provides for appropriate disciplinary action based on the results of these investigations.
This policy statement does not deny the right of any individual to pursue other avenues of recourse, which may include filing charges with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, initiating civil action or seeking redress under State criminal statutes and/or federal law.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:
- submission to that conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of obtaining an education or retaining employment.
- submission to or rejection of that conduct or communication is used as a factor in decisions that affect education or employment.
- that conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s education or employment, or creating a demeaning or hostile educational or employment environment.
Sexual violence is a physical act of aggression or threat of aggression that involves the touching of another individual’s intimate parts or forcing a person to touch any person’s intimate parts. Under certain circumstances, sexual harassment or sexual violence may constitute sexual abuse under Minnesota Statute 609.341. subd. 10 through 609.345; Minnesota Statute 609.321-609.324; or Minnesota Statute 626.556 Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors. Nothing in this policy shall prohibit the School District from taking immediate action to protect victims of alleged sexual abuse.
Gender, racial and religious harassment consists of physical, written or verbal conduct or communication that is demeaning or hostile to an individual’s gender, race or religion when the conduct or communication:
- has the purpose or effect of creating a demeaning or hostile employment or educational environment.
- has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance.
- otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment or educational opportunities.
Gender, racial or religious violence is a physical act of aggression or assault upon another because of, or in a manner reasonably related to, gender, race or religion.
District No. 91 complies with State and federal laws prohibiting discrimination, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991.
No person protected by these laws shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, marital status, age, disability or status with regard to public assistance, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under, any educational program or activity operated by the School District.
The superintendent develops and implements programs and processes.
Students are responsible for reporting to their principal any evidence of discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age or disability in the School District.
The Title IX Grievance Process: Any School District student who believes he/she is the victim of discrimination on the basis of sex in violation of Title IX may file a formal grievance in writing with the School District’s compliance officer. The grievance must be filed within seven calendar days of the alleged discriminatory act or conduct or the grievance will be waived.
Student Interviews with Social Service and Law Enforcement Officials
When a local social service agency or a law enforcement agency determines that an interview should take place on school property, written notification must be received by school officials before the interview.
Such notification shall include the name of the child to be interviewed, the purpose of the interview and a reference to the statutory authority to conduct an interview on school property. If the interview is to be conducted by the local services agency, the notification shall be signed by the appropriate Carlton County Social Services Director or his/her designee.
The time, place and manner of the interview on school premises shall be within the discretion of the school administrator, but any such conditions must be reasonable and the interview must be conducted not more than 24 hours after receipt of the notification unless another time is agreed to between School District officials and the local social service or law enforcement agency. Every effort shall be made to reduce the disruption of the child’s educational program, other students, and school staff when an interview is conducted on school premises.
Interviews with students during school hours must follow these guidelines:
- The investigating officers must remain in the administration office.
- The educational program of the student must not be disrupted by calling him/her out of class or making him/her miss class unless such an interruption is unavoidable.
- The interview must be conducted in a private room or area where confidentiality can be maintained.
- The local social service agency or law enforcement agency shall determine the people who may attend the interview.
- School District personnel will take no action in the investigative process.
School District officials may not disclose to the child’s parent, legal custodian or guardian the contents of the interview notification or any other related information regarding the interview until notified in writing by the local social service agency or law enforcement agency that the investigation or assessment has been completed.
Student responsibilities include: consistent and conscientious effort toward development of individual potential in academic work, school-sponsored activities and enrichment opportunities; respect for the rights of other students, school staff and school visitors; adherence to, and cooperation in, upholding local, State and federal laws and School District policies, procedures and regulations. Most of all, students in the Barnum Public Schools share with the administration and school staff the responsibility for maintaining a safe and productive learning and teaching environment.