Rights and Responsibilities

Rights and Responsibilities

Authority of School Personnel

The Code of Conduct for Students applies to all students enrolled in The School District of Lee County. Students enrolled in The School District of Lee County are subject to the law, rules, regulations, and policies of the State of Florida and The School Board of Lee County, Florida, anytime a student is: on School Board-owned property, attending school, presumed by law to be attending school, being transported to or from school or school-sponsored events at public or school expenses, and/or attending or participating in a school-sponsored activity

All students are subject to the immediate control and direction of teachers, staff members or bus drivers to whom such responsibility has been assigned by the principal or the principal’s designee (Section 1003.31, Florida Statutes).

The principal has the unequivocal authority to determine the appropriate charge(s) for the misconduct and the corresponding level of the offense based on the facts and circumstances of the incident(s), in accordance with the policies of The School Board of Lee County (Section 1006.09, Florida Statutes).

Teachers and other school staff members have authority for the control and discipline of students assigned to them on campus, as well as in other places where they may supervise students. Students are expected and required to follow the requests and directives of all teachers and school staff members, school volunteers and chaperones when on School Board-owned property or at other places where they are under the direct supervision of School Board personnel. Teachers shall make every reasonable effort to control classroom disruptions or misbehavior by students. However, if a disruption or misbehavior persists, or if the disruption is severe, the teacher shall direct the student to an appropriate administrator with a description of the incident on a referral form provided by the administration (Section 1003.32, Florida Statutes).

Students may be subject to discipline for violation of the code even if that conduct occurs on property not owned or controlled by the Board, similar to activities or incidents that occur on property owned or controlled by the Board, or conduct that, regardless of where it occurs, is directed at a Board official or employee or the property of such official or employee.

  • In relation to student safety, Florida statutes and State Board rules provide the following:
  • School personnel only need reasonable suspicion to search lockers or other storage areas. In addition, after coordination with the level administrator, any school principal may request that a law enforcement unit bring canines trained to detect the presence of illegal drugs or other contraband to their school campus. Any search performed by such canines will be designed to limit the disruption caused to instruction during the school day. Such canines may be used to search the individual student vehicle or locker if the principal has a reasonable suspicion that the search will result in the discovery of evidence of a violation of law or the Student Code of Conduct. Canines may also be used to conduct random searches of student vehicles or lockers (Section 1006.09, Florida Statutes).
  • Teachers are authorized to remove a student who is unruly, disruptive or abusive, as well as any student who repeatedly interferes with the teacher’s ability to communicate with the class. These disruptions impact the ability of the student’s classmates to learn. Students who do not respond to classroom behavioral interventions may be referred to school administration for interventions or corrective strategies (Section 1003.32, Florida Statutes).
  • A principal, teacher, bus driver or other staff member shall not be civilly or criminally liable for any action carried out in conformity with School Board rules regarding the control, discipline, suspension and expulsion of students, except in the case of excessive force or cruel and unusual punishment (Section 1006.11(2), Florida Statutes).
  • Teachers and other instructional personnel are given the right to use reasonable force to protect themselves or others from injury and to press charges against a student if a crime has been committed on school property, on school-sponsored transportation or during school-sponsored activities (Section 1003.32, Florida Statutes).
  • National origin minority or limited-English-proficient students shall not be subjected to any disciplinary action because of their use of a language other than English (State Board Rule 6A-6.0908).

Notification of Parental Rights

  • Federal and state law provides parents/guardians the following rights:
    • The right to inspect their children’s instructional materials, including teacher’s manuals, films, tapes or other supplementary material used in connection with any survey or evaluation as part of any applicable program (20 United States Code 1232h).
    • The right to give prior written consent anytime their non-emancipated minor child is asked to submit to a survey, analysis or evaluation that reveals information concerning the following areas:
      • Political affiliations
      • Mental and/or psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the students or their families
      • Sex behavior and attitudes
      • Illegal, antisocial, self-incriminating and/or demeaning behavior
      • Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships
      • Legally recognized privileged or family relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians and ministers
      • Income, other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program (20 United States Code 1232h)
      • Religious practices, affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent or guardian
    • On behalf of their children, to obtain an exemption from the teaching of disease, its symptoms, development and treatment (including the use of instructional aids and materials concerning such subjects and/or the viewing of pictures or motion pictures that teach about disease). An exemption may be claimed if the above matter conflicts with the religious beliefs of the students, and/or their parent/guardian, and/or conflicts with the teachings of the child’s religious institution. Schools shall provide written notice to parents in advance of said activities and shall advise parents of their rights to claim an exemption. Children for whom exemptions are requested shall be given an alternate assignment and shall not be penalized (Sections 1003.46 and 1003.42, Florida Statutes).
    • On behalf of their children, to obtain an exemption from reproductive health and/or HIV/AIDS instructional activities. Schools shall provide written notice to parents in advance of said activities and shall advise parents of their right to claim an exemption. Children for whom exemptions are requested shall be given an alternate assignment and shall not be penalized (Section 1003.42, Florida Statutes).

Upon request, your child’s school will provide an exemption
form to complete to exercise these rights in accordance with law.

Parental Rights in Education information and additional resources for parents can be accessed through the School District of Lee County Parent Portal.

Parents are asked to complete the following forms that are made available in the FOCUS Parent Portal at the beginning of each school year.

  • Code of Conduct Acknowledgement
  • Emergency Contact
  • Chromebook
  • Directory Release of Information
  • Medical

Access the Parent Bill of Rights

Student Rights

Students attending The School District of Lee County have the right to a free and appropriate education, including the right to equal educational opportunities in accordance with the District’s non-discrimination policy. It is the intent of this section to allow students maximum freedom under law, commensurate with the school’s responsibility for student health, safety and welfare.

  • Students have the right to learn
  • Students have the right to:
    • Attend school and benefit from quality educational opportunities
    • Have equal access to any extracurricular activity
    • Receive an appropriate education, including instruction using texts and materials at a level which allows an opportunity for success
    • Study all subjects under qualified instructors in an atmosphere free from bias and prejudice
    • Know in advance how grades in a class will be determined
    • Receive academic, career or personal counseling
    • Participate in all school-sponsored extracurricular activities, sports or field trips in accordance with the District’s non-discrimination policy
    • Participate in challenging, creative academic programs at all levels in elementary, middle and senior high schools
    • Receive an academic grade that reflects their achievement
    • Be notified when they are performing unsatisfactorily
  • Students have the right to knowledge and observation of the Code of Student Conduct
  • Students have the right to:
    • A clear explanation of the Code of Student Conduct and the consequences of their misconduct
    • Access to the Code of Conduct, to include a paper copy upon request
  • Students have the right to respect and to be respected
  • Students have the right to:
    • Be treated with courtesy and respect
    • An environment where public or private property rights are respected
    • An environment free from bullying or harassment
    • Use school properties, facilities and materials
    • Expect safe conditions at school, at bus stops, on the school bus and during school-sponsored activities
    • Hear, examine and express divergent points of view
    • Peacefully assemble on school grounds or in school buildings
    • Enjoy reasonable degrees of privacy regarding their personal possessions unless the principal or designee has reasonable suspicion that they are in possession of or concealing materials prohibited by law
    • Expect privacy and confidentiality of educational records in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
    • Organize and participate in associations and extracurricular activities within the school that are organized for any proper and lawful purposes. Group membership cannot be denied any student in accordance with the district’s non-discrimination policy
    • Express themselves by speaking, writing, wearing or displaying symbols of ethnic, cultural or political values
    • Form and express their own opinions on controversial issues without jeopardizing relations with their teachers or the school

These rights are not absolute and will be limited when necessary to prevent the disruption of the orderly operation of the school, and/or to prevent harm or damage to other persons and/property.

The School Board of Lee County has clearly defined standards of performance for ethical conduct to preserve the trust in elected officials and appointed officers, in accordance with Board Policy 0124.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FE5PA) affords parents and students who are 18 years of age or older (eligible students) certain rights with respect to your student’s education records.

Review the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Student Responsibilities

It is important that students learn that with every right comes responsibility and they should conduct themselves appropriately on and off campus. Students have the responsibility to make meaningful and positive contributions to the entire school community. Within every school, the principal and staff have the responsibility and authority for maintaining an orderly educational process. Within every school, all students are responsible for maintaining a level of behavior that is consistent with supporting the learning environment.

The School District of Lee County holds positive expectations for our students, staff and families.

To achieve positive expectations, students are responsible for achieving their academic and behavioral goals. When students plan their time, study on a regular basis, take notes in class, come to school with the necessary materials and are on time and ready to learn they have set the conditions for successful goal attainment. Students who honor their commitments to others and themselves fulfill their responsibility as a positive member of the school community. We strive to be ready, reliable, responsible, respectful role models.


  • Fully prepared and engaged to learn each day

  • Involved in school academics, after school activities and community service

  • Confident to overcome challenges and conflicts

  • Optimistic about school and future opportunities

  • Has a growth mindset

  • Embraces new learning opportunities - e.g. attends school and all classes regularly and participates in learning


  • Able to self-regulate emotions and interpersonal relationships

  • Self-motivated to tackle challenging curriculum and new opportunities

  • Organized to learn and complete schoolwork efficiently

  • Independent to learn and make good decisions

  • Skilled at stress management - e.g. doing the right thing even when no one is watching


  • Makes constructive choices

  • Acts in an ethical manner

  • Safe in all actions and situations

  • Helpful to others

  • Accountable for actions and results - e.g. performing a community service project


  • Caring of others by cooperating with others, honoring diversity, communicating with consideration of others

  • Able to work interdependently with others - e.g. treating people the same regardless of their race (including anti-Semitism), color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, gender expression, disability (physical or mental), pregnancy, marital status, age, religion, military status, socioeconomic status, linguistic preference, genetic information, ancestry, or any other reason protected under applicable federal state or local law

Role Model

  • Demonstrates empathy

  • Exhibits integrity

  • Values and collaborates with others

  • Provides leadership - e.g. putting forth one’s best effort to accomplish teamwork