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DEFINITION

A "paging device" or “electronic device” is a telecommunications device that emits an audible signal, vibrates, displays a message, or otherwise summons or delivers a communication to the possessor.

PAGING DEVICES AND CELLULAR TELEPHONES

The Superintendent shall adopt procedures specifying the circumstances under which students may be prohibited or permitted to possess paging devices and cellular telephones while on school property or while attending school-sponsored or school-related activities on or off school property.  Factors the Superintendent shall consider in permitting students to possess paging devices on campus include:

  1. student age;
  2. parent preference for students under 18 years of age;
  3. purpose for which the electronic device would be used; and
  4. student’s ability to use an electronic device responsibly and without disruption to other school activities.

INSTRUCTIONAL USE

A student shall obtain prior approval before using personal telecommunications or other personal electronic devices for on-campus instructional purposes.  The student shall also acknowledge receipt and understanding of applicable regulations and shall sign the appropriate user agreements.  [See CQ]

Unless a student has obtained prior approval to use a personal telecommunications or other personal electronic device for on-campus instructional purposes, the student shall ensure the device is turned off and kept out of sight; that is, in the student’s backpack or purse, during TSBVI instructional time.

ON DISTRICT TRANSPORTATION

The driver of a TSBVI-owned vehicle, including a school bus, shall be authorized to determine the appropriate use of telecommunications and other electronic devices by students, provided the rules have been clearly communicated to students.

AT SCHOOL-SPONSORED OR SCHOOL-RELATED ACTIVITIES

The appropriate activity sponsor or instructor shall be authorized to determine whether telecommunications and other electronic devices may be used by students attending school-sponsored or school-related activities on or off school property, provided the rules have been clearly communicated to students.

DURING TESTING

Unless specifically approved by an appropriate administrator or instructor, a student shall be prohibited from possession of a personal telecommunications or other electronic device during testing.  This prohibition shall be strictly enforced.

PARENT/GUARDIAN RESPONSIBILITY

TSBVI shall not be responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged personal telecommunications or electronic devices brought onto School property or buses.

A parent or guardian who allows his or her child to bring a personal telecommunications or electronic device to TSBVI property or a bus shall be responsible for all information sufficient to identify the device, including the serial number of the device.

DISPOSAL

When a student violates the prohibition against possessing electronic devices while on school property or while attending school-sponsored or school-related activities on or off school property, the Superintendent may authorize:

  1. Disposal of a confiscated electronic device in any reasonable manner, provided the student's parent and the company whose name and address appear on the device are given 30 days' notice of the intent to dispose of the device. Such notice may be made by telephone, or in writing, and must include the serial number of the device.
  2. Charging the owner of the device or the student's parent an administrative fee of not more than $15 before it releases the device.

Education Code 37.082

Note:  For searches of personal telecommunications devices or other personal electronic devices, see FNF

Adopted:         1/28/00

Amended:       9/27/19

Reviewed:      

ALCOHOL

The Board shall prohibit the use or possession of alcoholic beverages at school-related or school-sanctioned activities on or off school property.

Education Code 38.007(a)

ALCOHOL-FREE ZONES

The Board shall attempt to provide a safe alcohol-free environment to students coming to or going from school.

Cooperative Efforts

The Board may cooperate with local law enforcement officials and the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission in attempting to provide this environment and in enforcing the alcohol-free zone provisions in the Alcohol and Beverage Code.

Education Code 38.007(b)

CRIMINAL OFFENSE

A person commits an offense (a Class C misdemeanor) if the person possesses an intoxicating beverage for consumption, sale, or distribution while:

  1. On the grounds or in a building of a public school; or
  1. Entering or inside any enclosure, field, or stadium where an athletic event sponsored or participated in by a public school is being held.

Education Code 37.122

DRUG-FREE ZONES

The punishment is enhanced if a person commits a criminal offense knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance listed in the Health and Safety Code, chapter 481:

  1. In, on, or within 1,000 feet of any real property that is owned, rented, or leased to TSBVI or a school district; or
  1. On a school bus.

Health and Safety Code 481.134

ABUSABLE GLUES, PAINTS, OR VOLATILE CHEMICALS

In addition to the above prohibitions, a student, or person commits a class B misdemeanor if he/she inhales, ingests, applies, uses, or possess an abusable glue, aerosol paint, or substance containing a volatile chemical with intent to inhale, ingest, apply, or use these in a manner:

  1. Contrary to directions for use, cautions, or warnings appearing on a label of a container of the glue, paint, or chemical; and
  2. Designed to affect the central nervous system; create or induce a condition of intoxication, hallucination, or elation, or change, distort, or disturb the person's eyesight, thinking process, balance, or coordination.

Health and Safety Code 485.031

Delivery To A Minor

No person who is 18 or older shall intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly deliver abusable glue or aerosol paint or abusable volatile chemical to a person who is younger than 18 years old.  No person who is 18 or older shall sell or deliver a substance containing a volatile chemical as described in Health and Safety Code 484.005(a)(2) to a person younger than 18.

Education Code 37.006; Health and Safety Code 484.005, 485.032

Paraphernalia

A person commits a class B misdemeanor if he/she intentionally or knowingly uses or possesses with intent to use inhalant paraphernalia to inhale, ingest, or otherwise introduce into the body an abusable glue, aerosol paint, or other substance that contains a volatile chemical.

Education Code 37.006; Health and Safety Code 484.004, 485.033 [See FOC and FOD]

STEROID LAW NOTICE

Each school in which there is a grade level of seven or higher shall post in large print and braille in a conspicuous location in the school gymnasium and each other place in a building where physical education classes are conducted the following notice:

Anabolic steroids are for medical use only. State law prohibits possession, dispensing, delivery, or administering an anabolic steroid in any manner not allowed by state law. State law provides that body building, muscle enhancement, or the increase of muscle bulk or strength through the use of an anabolic

steroid or human growth hormone by a person who is in good health is not a valid medical purpose. Only a medical doctor may prescribe an anabolic steroid or human growth hormone for a person. A violation of state law concerning anabolic steroids or human growth hormones is a criminal offense punishable by confinement in jail or imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Education Code 38.008

Adopted:          4/7/78

Amended:        1/11/80, 1/14/83, 9/21/84, 11/18/94, 3/22/96, 3/31/98, 3/21/03, 5/25/05, 1/26/07, 1/26/18, 8/9/19

Reviewed:

NOTICE REGARDING STEROIDS

Education Code 38.008

Anabolic steroids are for medical use only. State law prohibits the possession, dispensing, delivery, or administering of an anabolic steroid in any manner not allowed by state law. State law provides that body building, muscle enhancement, or the increase of muscle bulk or strength through the use of an anabolic steroid or human growth hormone by a person who is in good health is not a valid medical purpose. Only a medical doctor may prescribe an anabolic steroid or human growth hormone for a person. A violation of state law concerning anabolic steroids or human growth hormones is a criminal offense punishable by confinement in jail or imprisonment in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Note: To be in compliance with Education Code 38.008, the notice regarding legal restrictions on steroids must be posted in a conspicuous location in the School gymnasium, and

in each other place in a building where physical education classes are

conducted for students in a grade level of seven or higher.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Adopted: 1/26/90
Amended: 11/14/97, 1/26/07
Reviewed: 5/25/05

A student shall not be in possession of any prohibited weapon at school or any school-related activity; nor shall a student knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly go on the physical premises of a school, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school is being conducted, or passenger transportation vehicle of a school with any prohibited weapon, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the School.

Penal Code 46.03(a); Education Code 37.007(a)(1) (See also FOD)

A student shall not interfere with normal activities, occupancy, or use of any building or portion of the campus or of any bus engaged in the transportation of students to and from school-sponsored activities by exhibiting, using, or threatening to exhibit or use a firearm.

Education Code 37.125

PROHIBITED WEAPONS

Prohibited weapons are defined as follows:

  1. A firearm (any device designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance or any device readily convertible to that use).
    Penal Code 46.03(a), 46.01(3)
  2. An illegal knife (knife with a blade over 5 1/2 inches, hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown, dagger, bowie knife, sword, spear) or by local policy.
    Penal Code 46.01(6), 46.03(a); Education Code 37.007(a)(B) (See FNCG)
  3. An explosive weapon (any explosive or incendiary bomb, grenade, rocket, or mine that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, or for the principal purpose of causing such a loud report as to cause undue public alarm or terror, and includes a device designed, made, or adapted for delivery or shooting an explosive weapon).
    Penal Code 46.01(2)
  4. A machine gun (any firearm that is capable of shooting more than two shots automatically, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger).
    Penal Code 46.01(9)
  5. A short-barrel firearm (rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches or a shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18 inches, or any weapon made from a rifle or shotgun that, as altered, has an overall length of less than 26 inches).
    Penal Code 46.01(10)
  6. A switchblade knife (a knife with a blade that folds, closes, or retracts into the handle or sheath and that opens automatically by pressing a button or by the force of gravity or centrifugal force).
    Penal Code 46.01(11)
  7. Knuckles (any instrument consisting of finger rings or guards made of a hard substance that is designed, made or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with a fist enclosed in the knuckles).
    Penal Code 46.01(8)
  8. Armor-piercing ammunition (handgun ammunition that is designed primarily for the purpose of penetrating metal or body armor and to be used primarily in pistols and revolvers).
    Penal Code 46.01(12)
  9. A chemical dispensing device (device other than a small chemical dispenser sold commercially for personal protection, that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of causing an adverse psychological or physiological effect on a human being).
    Penal Code 46.01(14)
  10. A zip gun (a device or combination of devices that was not originally a firearm and is adapted to expel a projectile through a smooth-bore or rifled-bore barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance)
    Penal Code 46.01(16)
  11. A club (an instrument specially designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with the instrument, including a blackjack, nightstick, mace and tomahawk).
    Penal Code 46.01(1), 46.03(a) Penal Code 46.05(a)

Adopted: 4/7/78

Amended: 9/10/82, 11/11/83, 3/27/92, 9/24/93, 3/22/96, 11/15/96, 3/21/03

Reviewed:

ASSAULT PROHIBITED

Students are prohibited from assaulting anyone on school property or at any school-related event.

Education Code 37.006; Penal Code 22.01

DEFINITIONS

Simple Assault

Simple assault is defined as:

  1. Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another.
    Education Code 37.006(a)(1); Penal Code 22.01(a)(1)
  2. Intentionally or knowingly threatening another with imminent bodily injury.
    Penal Code 22.01(a)(2)
  3. Intentionally or knowingly cause physical contact with another when the student knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
    Penal Code 22.01(a)(3)

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is defined as causing serious bodily injury to another or using or exhibiting a deadly weapon during commission of the assault.

Education Code 37.007(a)(2)(A); Penal Code 22.02(a)

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is defined as intentionally or knowingly causing physical sexual contact or sexual penetration of another person without that person's consent. Sexual assault is without consent of the other person if the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by use of physical force or violence, or threat of force or violence, and the other person believes the actor has the present ability to execute the threat; or the other person cannot consent.

Education Code 37.007(a)(2)(A); Penal Code 22.011

Aggravated Sexual Assault

Aggravated sexual assault is defined as sexual assault in which the actor:

  1. Causes serious bodily injury or attempts to cause the death of the victim or another person in the course of the same criminal episode; or
  2. By acts or words, places the victim in fear that death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping will be imminently inflicted on any person; or
  3. By acts or words occurring in the presence of the victim, threatens to cause death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping; or
  4. Uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the course of the same criminal episode; or
  5. Acts in concert with another, who commits a sexual assault directed toward the same victim and occurs during the same criminal episode; or
  6. Assaults a victim who is younger than 14 years of age or is an elderly or a disabled individual.

Education Code 37.007(a)(2)(A); Penal Code 22.021

Adopted: 5/8/81

Amended: 5/30/86, 11/17/95, 3/21/03, 5/25/05

Reviewed:

DISRUPTION OF LAWFUL ASSEMBLY

A person commits a Class B misdemeanor if the person, alone or in concert with others, intentionally engages in disruptive activity on the campus or property of TSBVI, including the buildings, sidewalks or parking lots.

Definition

“Disruptive activity” means:

  1. Obstructing or restraining the passage of persons in an exit, entrance, or hallway of any building without the authorization of the administration of the school.Seizing control of any building or portion of a building to interfere with any administrative, educational, research, or other authorized activity.
  2. Seizing control of any building or portion of a building to interfere with any administrative, educational, research, or other authorized activity.Disrupting by force or violence or the threat of force or violence a lawful assembly in progress.
  3. Preventing or attempting to prevent by force or violence or the threat of violence any lawful assembly authorized by the school administration so that a person attempting to participate in the assembly is unable to participate due to the use of force or violence or due to a reasonable fear that force or violence is likely to occur.
  4. Disrupting by force or violence or the threat of force or violence a lawful assembly in progress.
  5. Obstructing or restraining the passage of any person at an exit or entrance to the campus or property or preventing or at-tempting to prevent by force or violence or by threats thereof the ingress or egress of any person to or from the property or campus without the authorization of the administration of the school.

Free Speech

This provision shall not be construed to infringe upon any right of free speech or expression guaranteed by the constitutions of the United States or the State of Texas.  Education Code 37.123

DISRUPTION OF CLASSES

A person other than a primary or secondary grade student enrolled in TSBVI commits a Class C misdemeanor if the person, on school property or on public property within 500 feet of school property, alone or in concert with others, intentionally disrupts the conduct of classes or other school activities.  Children younger than 12 years of age are excluded from this statute. 

Definitions

"Disrupting the conduct of classes or other school activities" includes:

  1. Emitting noise of an intensity that prevents or hinders classroom instruction.
  2. Enticing or attempting to entice a student away from a class or other school activity that the student is required to attend.
  3. Preventing or attempting to prevent a student from attending a class or other school activity that the student is required to attend.
  4. Entering a classroom without the consent of either the principal or teacher and, either through acts of misconduct or use of loud or profane language, disrupting class activities.

“School property” includes a public school campus or school grounds upon which a public school is located, and any grounds or buildings used by a school for assemblies or other school-sponsored activities.  “Public property” includes any street, highway, alley, public park, or sidewalk.

Education Code 37.124

Adopted: 7/13/79
Amended: 1/11/80, 7/12/85, 5/30/86, 9/29/95, 3/21/03, 1/26/18
Reviewed:

Married students shall have the same rights and responsibilities regarding education in the School as unmarried students have. This includes the right to participate in any extra-curricular activities on the same basis, and subject to the same requirements, as an unmarried student.

Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD v. Knight, 418 S.W. 2d 335 (Tex. Civ. App. 1967); Bell v. Lone Oak ISD, 507 S.W.2d 636 (1974)

The School shall not apply any rule concerning a student's actual or potential marital status that treats students differently on the basis of sex.

 20 U.S.C. 1681; 34 CFR 106.40 

Except as expressly provided by law, a student who has been married in accordance with Texas law has the capacity and power of an adult, regardless of age.

 Family Code 1.104

Adopted: 4/7/78

Amended: 1/11/80, 11/17/95, 1/26/07

Reviewed: 5/25/04

TITLE IX

The School shall not discriminate against any student or exclude any student from its education or activity, including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of the student's pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom, unless the student requests voluntarily to participate in a separate portion of the School's program or activity.

The School may require such a student to obtain the certification of a physician that the student is physically and emotionally able to continue participation in the normal education program or activity so long as such certification is required of all students for other physical or emotional conditions requiring the attention of a physician.

20 USC 1681; 34 CFR 106.40(b)

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

At any time the School does not maintain a leave policy for its students, or if a student does not otherwise qualify for leave under such a policy, the School shall treat pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, and recovery therefrom as a justification for a leave of absence for as long as the student's physician deems medically necessary.

At the end of the leave, the School shall reinstate the student to the status she held when the leave began.

20 U.S.C. 1681; 34 CFR 106.40(b)

Adopted: 11/17/95

Amended: 5/25/04, 1/26/07

Reviewed:

INVESTIGATIONS

By School Officials

Administrators, teachers, and other appropriately trained personnel may question a student regarding the student’s own conduct or the conduct of other students.  In the context of school discipline, students have no claim to the right not to incriminate themselves.

By Police or Other Authorities

For provisions pertaining to student questioning by law enforcement officials or other lawful authorities, see Policy GRA.

SEARCHES OF STUDENTS

Students shall be free from unreasonable search and seizure by school officials. School officials may search a student's outer clothing, pockets, or property by establishing reasonable cause or securing the student's voluntary consent. Coercion, either express, or implied, such as threatening to contact parents or police, invalidates apparent consent. U.S. Const., Amend. 4; New Jersey v. T.L.O., 105 S.Ct. 733 (1985); Jones v. Latexo ISD, 499 F.Supp. 223 (1980)

A search is reasonable if it meets both of the following criteria:

  1. The action is justified at the inception, i.e., the school official has reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will uncover evidence of a rule violation or a criminal violation.\
  2. The scope of the search is reasonably related to the circumstances that justified the search in the first place; i.e., the measures adopted are reasonably related to the objectives of the search and are not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the infraction.

New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985)

Searches of Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices

A TSBVI employee, volunteer or student is prohibited from obtaining, altering, or preventing authorized access to an “electronic communication” while it is in “electronic storage by”:

  1. Intentionally accessing without authorization (i.e. “hacking”) a facility through which an electronic communication service is provided; or
  2. Intentionally exceeding an authorization to access that facility.

Exceptions

This section does not apply to access/search authorized:

  1. By the person or (cell phone service provider providing an electronic communication service);
  2. By a user of that service; or
  3. By sections 18 U.S.C. 2703 (required disclosure of customer communications or records), 2704 (backup preservation), or 2518.

18 U.S.C. 2701(a), (c)

Electronic Communication

“Electronic communication” means any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo-electronic or photo-optical system that affects interstate or foreign commerce. 18 U.S.C. 2510(12)

Electronic Storage

“Electronic storage” means:

  1. Any temporary, intermediate storage of a wire or electronic communication incidental to the electronic transmission thereof; and
  2. Any storage of such communication by an electronic communication service for purposes of backup protection of such communication.

18 U.S.C. 2510(17)

Messages that have been sent to a person, but not yet opened, are in temporary, intermediate storage and are considered to be in electronic storage. See Steve Jackson Games, Inc. v. United States Secret Service, 36 F.3d 457 (5th Cir. 1994). Electronic communications that are opened and stored separately from the provider are considered to be in post-transmission storage, not electronic storage. See Fraser v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 352 F.3d 107 (3d Cir. 2004).

By Law Enforcement

In general, a peace officer may not search a person's cellular telephone or other wireless communications device, pursuant to a lawful arrest of the person, without first obtaining a warrant under Code of Criminal Procedure 18.0215.

A peace officer may search a cellular telephone or other wireless communications device without a warrant if:

  1. The owner or possessor of the telephone or device consents to the search;
  2. The telephone or device is reported stolen by the owner or possessor; or
  3. The officer reasonably believes that:
    1. The telephone or device is in the possession of a fugitive from justice for whom an arrest warrant has been issued for committing a felony offense; or
    2. There exists an immediate life-threatening situation, as defined by Code of Criminal Procedure 18A.201.

Code of Crim. Proc. 18.0215

Random Drug Testing

Whether a particular search is reasonable is judged by balancing the intrusion on the individual’s Fourth Amendment interests against the government’s legitimate interests, like public safety.  Thus, the reasonableness of a random student drug-testing policy is determined by balancing the following factors:

  1. The nature of the privacy interest compromised by the drug-testing policy.
  2. The character of the intrusion imposed by the drug-testing policy.
  3. The nature and immediacy of the governmental interests involved and the efficacy of the drug-testing policy for satisfying them.

Vernonia Sch. Dist. 47J v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646, 115 S.Ct. 2386 (1995) (upholding a policy requiring urinalysis drug testing as a condition of participating in athletics); Bd. of Educ. of Indep. Sch. Dist. No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls, 122 S.Ct. 2559 (2002) (upholding a policy requiring urinalysis drug testing as a condition of participating in competitive extracurricular activities)

STEROID TESTING

The UIL shall adopt rules for the annual administration of a steroid testing program under which high school students participating in an athletic competition sponsored or sanctioned by the league are tested at multiple times throughout the year for the presence of steroids.

Results of such steroid tests are confidential and, unless required by court order, may be disclosed only to the student and the student’s parent and the activity directors, principal, and assistant principals of the school attended by the student.

Education Code 33.091(d)–(e)

SEARCHES OF PLACES

Students have full responsibility for the security of their lockers, backpacks and purses.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that lockers are locked and that the keys and combinations are not given to others. Students shall not place, keep, or maintain any article or material that is forbidden by law or School policy in lockers backpacks, purses or residences.

School officials may search lockers, backpacks, purses and residences on campus or vehicles parked on school property, if there is reasonable cause to believe that they contain articles or materials prohibited by law or School policy. Students shall be responsible for any prohibited items found in their lockers, backpacks, purses and residences on campus or in vehicles parked on School property.

USE OF TRAINED DOGS

TSBVI may use specially trained non-aggressive dogs to sniff out and alert officials to the current presence of concealed prohibited items, illicit substances defined in Policy FNCF, and alcohol.  This program is implemented in response to drug and alcohol related problems in the School, with the objective of maintaining a safe school environment conducive to education.

Such visits to schools and residences, if made, must be approved in advance by the Superintendent and shall be unannounced.  The dogs shall be used to sniff vacant classrooms, vacant dormitory rooms, vacant common areas, the areas around student lockers, and the areas around vehicles parked on school property.  The dogs shall not be used with students.  If a dog alerts to a locker or an item in a classroom, it may be searched by school officials. 

Trained dogs' sniffing of lockers does not constitute a search under the Fourth Amendment.  The alert of a trained dog to a locker provides reasonable cause for a search of the locker only if the dog is reasonably reliable in indicating that contraband is currently present.  The School need not show that the dog is infallible or even that it is reliable enough to show probably cause.  

Trained dogs’ sniffing students does constitute a search and requires individualized reasonable suspicion before initiating that search.

Horton v. Goose Creek ISD, 690 F.2d. 470 (5th Cir. 1982)

NOTICE

Prior to the implementation of the use of trained dogs and at the beginning of each school year, TSBVI shall inform students and parents of the School’s policy on searches, as outlined above, and shall specifically notify students that:

  1. Lockers may be sniffed by trained dogs at any time.
  2. Classrooms, residences and other common areas may be sniffed by trained dogs at any time when students are not present.
  3. If contraband of any kind is found, the possessing student shall be subject to appropriate legal and disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

PARENT NOTIFICATION

The student’s parent or guardian shall be notified if any prohibited articles or materials are found in a student’s locker, property or on the student’s person, as a result of a search conducted in accordance with this policy.

Adopted:         4/7/78

Amended:       1/16/81, 1/14/83, 9/27/90, 11/17/95, 11/15/96, 3/26/04, 11/15/19

Reviewed:

PHILOSOPHY

Parents are partners with educators, administrators, and the School's Board of Trustees in their child's education.  Parents shall be encouraged to actively participate in creating and implementing educational programs for their children.

Unless otherwise provided by law, the Board, a School administrator, or an educator may not limit parental rights.

           

LEGAL REFERENCES

United States Constitution

The School shall take no action abridging the freedom of speech or the right of the people to petition the Board for redress of grievances.  U.S. Const. Amend. I, XIV [See FNA]

The Board may confine its meetings to specified subject matter and may hold nonpublic sessions to transact business.  But when the Board sits in public meetings to conduct public business and hear the views of citizens, it may not discriminate between speakers on the basis of the content of their speech or the message it conveys.  Rosenberger v. Rector & Visitors of Univ. of Virginia, 515 U.S. 819, 828 (1995); City of Madison v. Wis. Emp. Rel. Comm’n, 429 U.S. 167, 174 (1976); Pickering v. Bd. of Educ., 391 U.S. 563, 568 (1968)

Texas Constitution

Citizens shall have the right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances or other purposes, by petition, address, or remonstrance.  Tex. Const. Art. I, Sec. 27

There is no requirement that the Board negotiate or even respond to complaints.  However, the Board must stop, look, and listen and must consider the petition, address, or remonstrance.  Prof’l Ass’n of College Educators v. El Paso County Cmty. [College] Dist., 678 S.W.2d 94 (Tex. App.—El Paso 1984, writ ref’d n.r.e.)

Federal Laws

Section 504

A district that receives federal financial assistance, directly or indirectly, and that employs 15 or more persons shall adopt grievance procedures that incorporate appropriate due process standards and that provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  34 CFR 104.7(b)

Americans with Disabilities Act

A district that employs 50 or more persons shall adopt and publish grievance procedures providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action that would be prohibited by the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 28, Part 35 (Americans with Disabilities Act regulations).  28 CFR 35.107

Title IX

Because TSBVI receives federal financial assistance, directly or indirectly, it shall adopt and publish grievance procedures providing for prompt and equitable resolution of student complaints alleging any action prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  34 C.F.R. 106.8(b) [See FB]

PARENT DEFINED

For purposes of Education Code Chapter 26 (Parental Rights), "parent" includes a person standing in parental relation, but does not include a person as to whom the parent-child relationship has been terminated or a person not entitled to possession of or access to a child under a court order.  Except as provided by federal law, all rights of a parent under Education Code Title 2 and all educational rights under Family Code 151.001(a)(10) shall be exercised by a student who is 18 years of age or older or whose disabilities of minority have been removed for general purposes under Family Code Chapter 31 unless the student has been determined to be incompetent or the student's rights have been otherwise restricted by a court order.  Education Code 26.002

PARENTAL RIGHTS LISTED IN EDUCATION CODE CHAPTER 26

  1. Rights concerning academic programs. Education Code 26.003  [See EHA, EIF, FDB, and FMH]
  2. Access to student records. Education Code 26.004  [See FL]
  3. Access to state assessments. Education Code 26.005  [See EKB]
  4. Access to teaching materials. Education Code 26.006  [See EF and EKB]
  5. Access to Board meetings, other than a closed meeting under the Open Meetings Act. Education Code 26.007 [See BE and BEC]
  6. Right to full information concerning a student. Education Code 26.008 [See DF, FFE, and FM]
  7. Right to information concerning special education and education of students with learning disabilities. Education Code 26.0081 [See FB]
  8. Requests for public information. Education Code 26.0085 [See GBA]
  9. Consent required for certain activities. Education Code 26.009 [See EHA, FFE, FL, FM, and FO]
  10. Refusal of psychiatric or psychological treatment of child as basis for report of neglect. Education Code 26.0091 [See FFG]
  11. Exemption from instruction. Education Code 26.010 [See EMB]

Education Code 26.001(a)(c)

COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

The Board establishes the following procedures to consider complaints that a parent's right has been denied and as a grievance procedure under which the Board shall address each complaint that the Board receives concerning a violation of Education Code Chapter 26 (Parental Rights).  Education Code, 26.001(d), 26.011

The purpose of these procedures is to secure at the lowest possible administrative level, prompt and equitable resolution of student or parent complaints.  Except as provided below, all student or parent complaints shall be presented in accordance with this policy.

The Board is not required by the provision above or Education Code 11.1511(b)(13) (requiring adoption of a process to hear complaints) to address a complaint concerning a student’s participation in an extracurricular activity that does not involve a violation of a right guaranteed by Education Code Chapter 26.  This provision does not affect a claim brought by a parent under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Section 1400 et seq.) or a successor federal statute addressing special education services for a child with a disability.  [See Policy FOF]

Education Code 26.011

CERTAIN COMPLAINTS

Complaints regarding certain topics are addressed by specific policies that modify this complaint process or require an alternative process:

  1. Discrimination on the basis of gender: [See FB]
  2. Sexual abuse or sexual harassment of a student: [See FH]
  3. Loss of credit on the basis of attendance: [See FEC]
  4. Teacher removal of a student for disciplinary reasons: [See FOA]
  5. Removal of a student to a disciplinary alternative education program: FOA, FOB, FOC, [See resident local school district policies.]
  6. Expulsion of a student: FOD
  7. Identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a student with a disability within the scope of Section 504: FB
  8. Identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a student with a disability within the scope of IDEA: EHBA and the parent's rights handbook provided to parents of all students enrolled in the School's regular school year program
  9. Instructional materials: EFA
  10. On-campus distribution of non-school materials to students: FMA

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Unless otherwise provided by a policy referenced above, students or parents shall be entitled to informal conferences with administrators to resolve their complaints.  If such attempts are unsuccessful, the students or parents may take their complaint to the Board.  If a complaint involves a problem with a teacher, the student or parent in most circumstances shall be expected to discuss the matter with the teacher before requesting a conference with the Principal or Program Director at Level One.

The student may be represented by an adult at any level of the complaint.

Days

The definition of "day" means calendar day unless otherwise defined in law or Board policy.

In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by this policy, the day of the aggrieved act, event, or default after which the designated period of time begins to run is not to be included.  The last day of the period is included, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.    The day on which a complaint is filed is not counted in calculating the designated period of time.  If a complaint is received by mail, the date of the filing is the date of the postmark. 

Any extension to the stated timelines in this policy shall be considered by the Superintendent on a case by case basis.

LEVEL ONE

A student or parent who has a complaint shall request a conference with the Principal or Program Director within ten days of the time the student or parent knew, or should have known, of the event or series of events causing the complaint. The Principal or Program Director shall schedule and hold a conference with the student or parent within ten days of the request.  If the complaint is one of sexual harassment or Section 504 discrimination, the Principal or Program Director shall include the School's Title IX or 504 Coordinator respectively, in the conference.  The Principal or Program Director shall provide the student or parent a written response within ten days from the date of the conference.

LEVEL TWO

If the outcome of the conference with the Principal or Program Director is not to the student's or parent's satisfaction, the student or parent may request, within ten days, a conference with the Superintendent or designee, who shall schedule and hold a conference within ten days from receiving the request.  Prior to or at the time of the conference, the student or parent shall submit a written complaint that includes a statement of the complaint, any evidence in its support, the solution sought, the student's or parent's signature, and the date of the conference with the Principal or Program Director.  The Superintendent shall provide a written response to the student or parent within ten days from the date of the conference.

LEVEL THREE

If the outcome of the conference with the Superintendent or designee is not to the student's or parent's satisfaction, the student or parent may submit to the Superintendent within 30 days a written request to place the matter on the agenda of the next regular Board meeting.

The Superintendent shall inform the student or parent of the date, time, and place of the meeting.  The presiding officer shall establish a reasonable time limit for complaint presentations.

The Board shall hear the complaint and take whatever action it deems appropriate.  The lack of official action by the Board shall uphold the administrative decision at Level Two.  The Board President shall provide a written response stating the decision of the Board within ten days from the date of the hearing before the Board.

Closed Meeting

The Board may conduct a closed meeting on a parent or student complaint to the extent required or provided by law.  Gov't Code Ch. 551, Subch. D [see BEC]

If the complaint involves concerns or charges regarding an employee, it shall be heard by the Board in closed meeting unless the employee to whom the complaint pertains requests that it be public.

APPEAL TO THE COMMISSIONER AND RECORD OF PRODEEDING

A decision of the Board may be appealed to the Commissioner of Education if the student is aggrieved by an action or decision of the Board that violates the school laws of the State.  An appeal of a Board’s decision shall be based on a review of the record developed at the Board level. "Record" includes, at a minimum, an audible electronic recording or written transcript of all oral testimony or argument.  Education Code 7.057(c), (f); 19 TAC 157.1073(d)

It is the School’s responsibility to make and preserve the records of the proceedings before the Board.  If the School fails to create and preserve the record without good cause, all substantial evidence issues that require missing portions of the record for resolution shall be deemed against the School.  The record shall include:

  1. A tape recording or a transcript of the hearing at the local level. If a tape recording is used:
    1. The tape recording must be complete, audible, and clear; and
    2. Each speaker must be clearly identified.
  2. All evidence admitted;
  3. All offers of proof
  4. All written pleadings, motions, and intermediate rulings;
  5. A description of matters officially noticed;
  6. If applicable, the decision of the hearing examiner;
  7. A tape recording or transcript of the oral argument before the Board; and
  8. The decision of the Board.

19 TAC 157.1073(d)

Disruption

It is a criminal offense for a person, with intent to prevent or disrupt a lawful meeting, to substantially obstruct or interfere with the ordinary conduct of a meeting by physical action or verbal utterance and thereby curtail the exercise of others’ First Amendment rights.  Penal Code 42.05; Morehead v. State, 807 S.W. 2d 577 (Tex. Crim. App. 1991)

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

A parent is entitled to:

  1. Request from the Superintendent, with the expectation that the request will not be unreasonably denied:
    1. *The addition of a specific academic class in the course of study of the parent's child in keeping with the required curriculum if sufficient interest is shown in the addition of the class to make it economically practical to offer the class. [See EHA]
    2. *That the parent's child be permitted to attend a class for credit above the child's grade level, whether in the child's school or another school, unless the Board or its designated representative expects that the child cannot perform satisfactorily in the class. The decision of the Board concerning such a request is final and may not be appealed. [See EHA]
    3. Have a child who graduates early participate in graduation ceremonies at the time the child graduates. [See EIF]

*The decision of the Board concerning these requests is final and may not be appealed.

Education Code 26.003(a)(3)(A), (B), (b)

STUDENT RECORDS AND INFORMATION

A parent is entitled to full information regarding the school activities of a parent's child except as provided by state child abuse laws.  A parent is entitled to access to all written records of the School concerning the parent's child, including:

  1. Attendance records;
  2. Test scores;
  3. Grades;
  4. Disciplinary records;
  5. Counseling records;
  6. Psychological records;
  7. Applications for admission;
  8. Health and immunization information;
  9. Teacher and counselor evaluations; and
  10. Reports of behavioral patterns.

 

Education Code 26.004, 26.008(a) [See FL, FM]

CHALLENGE TO EDUCATION RECORDS

The School shall give a parent or eligible student, on request, an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the student’s education records on the grounds that the information contained in the records is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy rights of the student.  34 C.F.R. 99.21 [See FL]

OBJECTION TO CLASS ASSIGNMENT

The parent or person standing in parental relation to any student may object to the student’s class assignment.  Upon receiving a written petition to request or object to a student’s assignment, the parent should confer with the student’s teacher.  If the outcome is not satisfactory, the parent shall present a written complaint according to the procedure described above in this policy and to the ARD Committee.  If the complaint reaches the Board for resolution, the Board shall follow the procedures set forth at Education Code 25.034.  Education Code 25.033(2), .034  [See FDB]

COMPLAINTS AGAINST PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES

A person may not file suit against a professional employee of the School unless the person has exhausted the School’s remedies for resolving the complaint.  Education Code 22.0514

“Professional employee’ includes:

  1. A superintendent, principal, teacher, including a substitute teacher, supervisor, social worker, therapist, school counselor, nurse, and teacher’s aide employed by TSBVI;
  2. A teacher employed by a company that contracts with TSBVI to provide the teacher’s services to the School;
  3. A student in an education preparation program participating in a field experience or internship;
  4. A DPS-certified school bus driver;
  5. A member of the Board; and
  6. Any other person whose employment by the School requires certification or license and the exercise of discretion.

Education Code 22.051(a)

DENIAL OF CLASS CREDIT OR FINAL GRADE

If a student is denied credit or a final grade for a class by an attendance committee, the student may appeal the decision to the Board.  Education Code 25.092(d)  [See FEC]

FINALITY OF GRADES

An examination or course grade issued by a classroom teacher is final and may not be changed unless the grade is arbitrary, erroneous, or not consistent with the School’s grading policy applicable to the grade, as determined by the Board.

The Board’s determination is not subject to appeal.  This provision does not prohibit an appeal related to a student’s eligibility to participate in extracurricular activities under Education Code 33.081.  [See FM]  Education Code 28.0214

PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUESTS

When the School receives a request from a parent for public information relating to the parent’s child, the School shall comply with Government Code Chapter 552 (Public Information Act).  The School shall also comply with the deadlines and provisions set forth at Education Code 26.0085.  Gov’t Code Ch. 552; Education Code 26.0085

If the parent's request is for the educational records of their child, the procedure and applicable laws can be found in TSBVI Board Policy FL.

Fees

TEA or the School may charge a reasonable fee in accordance with the public information laws, for copies of materials described above provided to a parent.  Education Code 26.012 [See GBA]

ASSESSMENTS

A parent is entitled to access to a copy of each state assessment instrument administered to the parent's child, but a parent is not entitled to access to copies of questions that are being field-tested by TEA and were not used to compute a student's score.  Education Code 26.005 [See EKB]

PARENT-TEACHER ORGANIZATION

If a group of teachers and parents organize a bona fide Parent-Teacher Organization, the Board shall cooperate in the establishment of ongoing operations of at least one parent-teacher organization at the School to promote parental involvement in school activities.  Education Code 26.001(e) [See GE]

BOARD MEETINGS

A parent is entitled to complete access to any meeting of the Board, other than a closed meeting held in compliance with the Open Meetings Act.  The Board must hold each public meeting in compliance with the Open Meetings Act. [See BE]  Education Code 26.007

LIMITATIONS ON SCHOOL EMPLOYEES

An attempt by any School employee to encourage or coerce a child to withhold information from the child's parent is grounds for discharge or suspension without pay.  Education Code 26.008(b) [See DF]

Parental Consent

A School employee must obtain the written consent of a child's parent before the employee may:

  1. Conduct a psychological examination, test, or treatment, unless the examination, test, or treatment is required by state child abuse laws. [See FFE]
  2. Make or authorize the making of a videotape of a child or record or authorize the recording of a child's voice. [See EHA, FM]

Consent Not Required

A School employee is not required to obtain the consent of a child's parent before the employee makes a videotape or authorizes the recording of a child's voice if the videotape or voice recording is to be used only for:

  1. Purposes of safety, including the maintenance of order and discipline in common areas of the school or on school buses. [See FO]
  2. A purpose related to a co-curricular or extracurricular activity. [See FM]
  3. A purpose related to a regular classroom instruction. [See EHA]
  4. Media coverage of the school.

Education Code 26.009

Exemption from Instruction

A parent is entitled to remove the parent's child temporarily from a class or other school activity that conflicts with the parent's religious or moral beliefs if the parent presents or delivers to the teacher of the parent's child a written statement authorizing the removal of the child from the class or other school activity.  A parent is not entitled to remove the parent's child from a class or other school activity to avoid a test or to prevent the child from taking a subject for an entire semester, nor is the child exempt from satisfying grade level or graduation requirements in a manner acceptable to TSBVI and TEA.

Education Code 26.010 [See EMB]

Adopted:         10/13/78

Amended:       1/14/88, 6/1/89, 9/27/91, 9/25/92, 1/29/93, 11/18/94, 11/14/97, 5/28/03, 10/3/14, 11/21/14, 8/9/19

Reviewed: