Rights FHS student have while on campus

Graphics by Ella Leroux

Graphics by Ella Leroux

Students on the FHS campus are minimally aware of their rights on campus. The laws in place to help protect students when incidents happen on campus are long and complicated, making few students want to read them. 

Students are not aware of their student rights. 

“I have never heard that term used before,” FHS student Disha Esak said. 

Many students did not realize that they had access to learn about these things freely. Much of this information is available to students on the school/district website or in the state law book of California. 

With the current rise in Title IX incidents, it is important to understand one’s privacy and access to reporting such incidents. Title IX consists of any discrimination based on gender, including sexual harassment, according to U.S. law. A report can be filled after any period of time after the incident; however, after six months, reporting the incident changes from simply filling out a report, to then needing to go to the district to find out in which way they will want the reporting to be done. When investigations are conducted, they will be done with as much privacy as possible given the situation. An appeal may be written within 30 days of the district’s final decision. Any complaints regarding discrimination may take up to 180 days with the Office of Civil Rights after a report is made. Under Title IX, every student, regardless of gender or gender identity, has access to a gender equity coordinator through the district. This also  includes the right to speak out when one may be feeling discriminated against. 

Many are worried about the lack of privacy they are given while on technology at school. The new Securly app that has been downloaded to all school computers as well as being required to access school wifi has been a topic of interest on campus. 

“The Wi-Fi is slow. … I have a Mac and I test through it if they can access them. That’s kinda weird,” FHS student Rhedyn Arnett said. 

According to California law, when students are on district wifi or devices, the schools are able to see anything that is done. 

“So someone wouldn’t be able to see what I’m searching up; they would see that I’m on the app,” FHS dean Connor Smith said. 

The policy on cell phones is different: teachers are permitted to take away students’ phones if they have them  in class orin their pockets. If a staff member takes a student’s cellphone, they are not allowed to go through the phone for any reason unless they have a search warrant issued by an attorney or if it is an emergency. 

Another issue that is commonly brought up among students is access to the bathroom. Many teachers around the FHS campus have rules limiting the amount of times students can use the bathroom every semester, as well as having incentives for not using bathroom passes. This issue is most prevalent in the foreign language department. Some of the teachers will give points of extra credit to students who don’t use their bathroom passes throughout the semester or grading period. Relating to bathrooms, the FHS campus has an issue. Many students have discussed their inability to find open bathrooms on campus and having to walk across campus to find an open bathroom. 

“Only the C building bathrooms will be closed. And one of the library bathrooms for boys will be closed. All the other girls’ bathrooms will be reopened as of tomorrow,” FHS dean Connor Smith said.

 According to California Law, when students are in class, a majority of the bathrooms must be open, and when students are out of class during school hours, all of the bathrooms on campus must be open. However, facilities are allowed to close bathrooms if necessary for student safety or if something is broken, but must reopen the bathroom once the issue is fixed.