Know Your Rights

In California, there are several educational codes that help protect student rights that are often overlooked due to a lack of knowledge of the general public. Many students aren’t aware that there are laws and California education codes created to protect them. By educating themselves on their rights, students have more power to make the choices that are best for them. Some of these prominent laws and education codes include:

 

  • Law SB543: Students aged twelve to seventeen are able to consent to their own mental health treatment or counseling when they feel that it is necessary. Because of this law, students do not have to risk their safety in order to get help. In other words, no parental consent is needed.
  • AB1266: Transgender students can choose which locker room they want to use, and people who don’t fit into the gender binary or don’t feel comfortable can use a separate place to change.
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): Transgender students have the right to be referred to by the name and gender they identify with on all non-legal documents in the school system, and they can do this without parental consent.
  • Equal Access Act: Students have the rights to have whatever club they want on campus and all clubs have the same privileges.
  • California Education Code 48907: Students’ speech is protected with the exception of being obscene, using bullying words, or doing something that substantially disrupts the school day. This law applies to verbal and written speech.
  • California Education Code 48900:  A pupil shall not be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion, unless the superintendent of the school district or the principal of the school in which the pupil is enrolled determines that the pupil has willfully used force or violence upon the person of another, except in self-defense. There are many other causes for expulsion or suspension, however, this code states that self-defense is acceptable.

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