Admin

Safe, Positive, and Receptive Learning Environment

Student Rights

  • To attend school in a positive learning environment
  • To have school personnel who are receptive to student needs and concerns
  • To have knowledge of the Code

Student Responsibilities

  • To maintain a decorum that enhances a positive learning environment
  • To express needs and concerns in an appropriate manner
  • To follow the guidelines set forth in the Code

Attendance

Student Rights

  • To be informed of Board policies and school rules about absenteeism and tardiness
  • To appeal a decision about an absence
  • To request make-up work after an absence/suspension and to complete it in a reasonable amount of time

Student Responsibilities

  • To attend classes daily and be on time
  • To explain or document the reason for an absence
  • To make-up class work in a reasonable amount of time after an excused absence/suspension

Counseling

Student Rights
  • To be informed about school guidance services
  • To have access to individual and group counseling
  • To request counseling

Student Responsibilities

  • To use guidance services for educational and personal improvement
  • To schedule guidance appointments ahead of time, except in emergencies
  • To work cooperatively with all school personnel

 

Curriculum

Student Rights
  • To receive a teacher's grading standard at the beginning of the grading period
  • To receive course descriptions
  • To learn from competent teachers in an atmosphere free from bias and prejudice
  • To take part in basic skills programs in elementary, middle, and high schools

Student Responsibilities

  • To request academic and extracurricular programs that are in line with ability
  • To ask for help from school personnel in choosing courses
  • To cooperate with teachers and contribute to an atmosphere free from bias and prejudice
  • To make every effort to master the basic skills

Grades

Student Rights
  • To receive a teacher’s grading standards at the beginning of the grading period
  • To be notified of failure/potential failure when work is unsatisfactory
Student Responsibilities
  • To learn about grading standards
  • To meet academic standards in line with ability and to make every effort to improve unsatisfactory work

Free Speech/Expression

Student Rights
  • To express views through speaking and writing, but without being obscene, disruptive, abusive, or derogatory
  • To participate in patriotic observances, however, students have a right to not participate in recitation of Pledge of Allegiance
  • To have one’s religious beliefs respected
  • To assemble peaceably on school grounds while following federal, state, and local regulations
  • To help develop and distribute publications as part of the educational process
Student Responsibilities
  • To respect the right of others to express their views and refrain from using speech or expression that could substantially disrupt the learning environment or harm the health, safety, or welfare of others
  • To behave respectfully during patriotic observances
  • To respect the religious beliefs of others and to refrain from activities that hold religious beliefs up to ridicule
  • To plan, get approval for and conduct activities that are in line with the school’s goals
  • To follow the rules of responsible journalism under the guidance of an advisor, including seeking complete information about topics and refraining from publishing false or obscene material
  • To refrain from sexually harassing students, staff, and community members on OCPS property

Privacy and Property Rights

Student Rights
  • To have privacy of personal possessions unless school personnel have reason to believe a student is in possession of materials prohibited by law or Board policy; any individual on Board property is subject to search
  • To have personal property respected
Student Responsibilities
  • To keep materials prohibited by law or Board policy away from school or school activities
  • To respect others’ personal property

Safe Harbor Provision

A student may approach a school official or contracted personnel and turn in an object which is not allowed by the Code. Unless an investigation by school officials regarding the possession of an object that is not allowed by the Code has already started, a student who approaches a school official and turns in the object, may not receive discipline. An investigation starts when a school official or contracted personnel becomes aware of the object that is not allowed by the Code. The school will make arrangements with the student’s parent/guardian to pick up the object from the school, if applicable.

If a student discovers illegal objects such as drugs, weapons, or other contraband on school property, including on a school bus, the student may approach a school official or contracted personnel and report the discovery. A student may not be in violation of the Code by making such a report. School officials shall adhere to policies and procedures concerning further investigation of the report.

Law enforcement may be contacted for specific offenses, which may include, but are not limited to, firearms, drugs, and explosive devices. Objects not allowed by the Code that are discovered during a random search are not protected by the Safe Harbor provisions.

Participation in Extracurricular/Co-curricular Activities

In order to participate in extracurricular/co-curricular activities or athletic programs, students must adhere to Board policies, school-based criteria, and applicable law. A student may not be eligible to participate in extracurricular/co-curricular activities for certain disciplinary offenses. It is important for students to understand that the behavioral expectations placed upon students by the school can extend beyond the classroom and school campus. Pursuant to Florida law, the Board has the authority to withhold participation privileges from students. In addition, schools reserve the right to remove any student for any offense of the Code which substantially disrupts the school or community.

A student may not participate in any extracurricular/co-curricular activity if the student participated in that same sport at another school during the same school year unless the student has been relocated due to foster care placement, experienced death of a parent/guardian, or been impacted by military orders or court-ordered changes in custody. A student’s eligibility to participate in extracurricular/co-curricular activities may not be affected by recruiting allegations until a final determination has been reached.

The Juvenile Justice System has committed to working in conjunction with school officials toward maintaining standards of behavior for all students including those who participate in extracurricular/co-curricular activities. With this in mind, any student who has been formally charged with a felony or similar offense by a prosecuting attorney shall be excluded from participation in extracurricular/co-curricular activities for a minimum of one calendar year. If the student is not found guilty or if the charges are dismissed, the student may return upon presenting documentation of the court’s decision. Additionally, a student is ineligible to participate in extracurricular/co-curricular activities if a court order prohibits the student’s enrollment in a traditional school setting.

Any student who has committed a Level III hazing offense shall be excluded from participation in extracurricular/co-curricular activities for a minimum of one calendar year. Any student who has committed a Level IV hazing offense shall be excluded from participation in extracurricular/co-curricular activities for the remainder of their enrollment at OCPS.

Nothing in this section of the Code shall preclude the exercising of any existing authority of the Superintendent/designee or the Juvenile Justice System.

Additional information pertaining to extracurricular/co-curricular activities can be found in Section VI of this Code and in the Board Policy JJ entitled “Extracurricular Activities.”

Code of Civility

The education of a child happens only through a partnership among the child, school faculty and staff, parent(s) or guardian(s), the community and district office employees. Partnership is an active state that includes sharing responsibilities, having meaningful communication and welcomed participation.

When people who are working together agree, the partnership runs smoothly. Two people will not always agree and that can make partnership difficult. The partnership is most powerful, as children are educated to reach their potential, when we agree on how to disagree. We must be civil in our discourse.

Civility is often described by its absence. We hear of harmful actions such as road rage, physical confrontation, ethnic stereotypes and slurs. But civility is not just an absence of harm. It is the affirmation of what is best about each of us individually and collectively. It is more than saying “please” and “thank you.” It is reflecting our respect for others in our behavior, regardless of whether we know or like them. It is not simply being politically correct and should not to be used to stifle criticism or comment. It is being truthful and kind and for us to take responsibility for our own actions rather than blaming others.

As we communicate with each other, we need to remember that we are working together to benefit the children of this community. Therefore, the Board requires that, as we communicate; students, OCPS faculty and staff, parents, guardians and all other members of the community shall:

1. Always treat each other with courtesy and respect

This means:

  • We listen carefully and respectfully as others express opinions that may be different from ours.
  • We share our opinions and concerns without loud or offensive language, gestures or profanity.
2. Treat each other with kindness

This means:

  • We treat each other, as we would like to be treated.
  • We do not threaten or cause physical or bodily harm to another.
  • We do not threaten or cause damage to the property of another.
  • We do not bully, belittle or tease one another and we do not allow others to do so in our presence.
  • We do not demean and are not abusive or obscene in any of our communications.
3. Take responsibility for our own actions

This means:

  • We share information honestly.
  • We refrain from displays of temper.
  • We do not disrupt or attempt to interfere with the operation of a classroom or any other work or public area of a school or school facility.
4. Cooperate with each other

This means:

  • We obey school rules for access and visitation.
  • We respect the legitimate obligations and time constraints we each face.
  • We notify each other when we have information that might help reach our common goal. This will include information about safety issues, academic progress, changes that might impact a student’s work or events in the community that might impact the school.
  • We respond when asked for assistance.
  • We understand that we do not always get our way.

Authority and Enforcement of the Code of Civility

Authority and enforcement of a code for civil conduct ultimately depends on the individual and collective will of those involved – students, OCPS faculty and staff, parents, guardians and all other members of the community. However, individuals need to know how to respond to uncivil behavior and how such behavior will be responded to. Therefore:

  1. A student who believes that he or she has not been treated in a manner reflective of the Code of Civility should report such behavior to the appropriate school administrator.

  2. A parent, guardian or community member who believes that he or she has not been treated in a manner reflective of the Code of Civility should report such behavior to the staff member’s immediate supervisor.

  3. An employee who believes that he or she has not been treated in a manner reflective of the Code of Civility should use the following guidelines: 
  • If personal harm is threatened, the employee may contact law enforcement.
  • Anyone on school district property without authorization may be directed to leave the premises by an administrator or school resource officer. Anyone who threatens or attempts to disrupt school or school district operations, physically harm someone, intentionally cause damage, uses loud or offensive language, gestures, profanity or shows a display of temper must be directed to leave the premises by an administrator or school resource officer. If such person does not immediately and willingly leave and if the school resource officer is not available, law enforcement shall be called.
  • If a telephone call recorded by an answering machine, e-mail, voicemail message or any type of written communication is demeaning, abusive, threatening or obscene the employee is not obligated to respond.
    • If personal harm is threatened, the employee may contact law enforcement.
    • The employee shall save the message and contact his or her immediate supervisor, the school resource officer and/or OCPS District Police.
  • If any member of the public uses obscenities or speaks in a demeaning, loud or insulting manner, the employee to whom the remarks are directed shall take the following actions:
    • Calmly and politely, ask the speaker to communicate civilly.
    • If the verbal abuse continues, give appropriate notice to the speaker and terminate the meeting, conference or telephone conversation.
    • If the meeting or conference is on school district premises, request that an administrator or authorized person direct the speaker to promptly to leave the premises.
    • If the speaker does not immediately leave the premises, an administrator or other authorized person shall notify law enforcement to take any action deemed necessary.