Student Discipline

Ad Hoc Community Committee on Student Rights and Responsibilities

The Ad Hoc Community Committee on Student Rights and Responsibilities presented its recommendations and suggested changes to the Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook to the School Board at its work session on March 20, 2013.  View agenda.

As a part of its work, the committee hosted five Community Dialogues on Student Discipline in February 2013 to obtain input and feedback on current FCPS disciplinary practices and its preliminary recommendations.   

At the October 11 meeting, the School Board voted to approve 40 appointees to the Ad Hoc Community Committee on Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R).  The committee will perform a comprehensive review of the Fairfax County Public Schools’ Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R), and those manuals of other school districts, to recommend changes to the School Board by March 2013 that would simplify the language and substantially reduce the size of SR&R and ensure consistency with our community’s values, School Board policies, and Virginia laws.

At its September 20 regular business meeting, the School Board confirmed the membership of the Ad Hoc Community Committee on Students Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R), which will perform a comprehensive review of the SR&R and make recommendations to the Board by March 2013.  The Board will make appointments to the committee on October 11.

At the regular business meeting on June 7, the School Board adopted Regulation 2601.26P, Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R). The Board established a special board committee to perform a comprehensive review of the SR&R and, therefore, postponed consideration on proposed amendments until the special committee reports back to the School Board in March 2013.     

In April 2011, the School Board directed Superintendent Jack Dale to recommend changes to the student disciplinary process and return to the School Board in Spring 2012 with an interim report on the impact of these changes.  The Superintendent presented his analysis and recommendations to the School Board at the April 16, 2012, work session.  The report covered:

  • Data Collection and Reporting
  • Time Line Between Discipline Incident and Decision
  • Prescription Medication Violation
  • School Reassignment
  • Other Hearings Office Change
  • Provide Instructional Support During Suspension
  • Parental Notification and Communication
  • Alternatives to Suspension


The full Discipline Analysis Report follows:

The School Board also reviewed the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook (Regulations 2601) in preparation for approval for the 2012-2013 school year.  The proposed changes follow:


Student Rights and Responsibilities

The safety of all students is a top priority of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). Student conduct rules are outlined in the FCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook (SR&R) which is reviewed annually by the Fairfax County School Board. Students may be disciplined by school officials, including suspension and expulsion, for conduct while on school property, for conduct while engaged in or attending a school activity, or for conduct that affects students while going to or returning home from school. Students may also be disciplined for acts committed away from school property and outside school hours if the conduct is detrimental to the interest of the school or adversely affects school discipline or if the conduct results in a criminal charge or conviction. Students may be excluded from school for expulsion from another school division or private school.

Policies having to do with dress code, cell phones, assault, bullying, harassment, disruption of school activities, threats, gang-related activities, use or possession of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, weapons, and school safety can also be found in the current version of the Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook.

Teachers will use age appropriate lessons at the beginning of the school year to help students understand the information in the SR&R handbook.  Students in middle school and high school will also be shown a video to help reinforce information in the handbook. 

Translated versions


  View the parent's video on the SR&R


View the student video on the SR&R.



Parents are asked to read the SR&R booklet and discuss expectations for respectful, positive behavior with their child.  Parents should sign the signature form in the SR&R to indicate they have received the booklet, and send the signed form back to school.  A Parent Companion Guide to the SR&R has been developed to help parents discuss the SR&R with their child.     


Disciplinary Actions

Every student is expected to follow the rules and regulations of the school system, county, state, and nation. Students are taught about their responsibilities as good citizens many times throughout their school careers. Additionally, each year, all parents and students are asked to read and sign the current version of Student Rights and Responsibilitiesacrobat icon.

More than 99% of student discipline is handled at the school level. Of those cases that are forwarded on for expulsion, a very small fraction are expelled without services.  Principals have a variety of programs available for their use, including in-school suspensions, Saturday School, and after-school detention which allow students to continue with their coursework while fulfilling the requirements assigned by the principal.

When a serious incident occurs, the school principal makes the expulsion recommendation to the Superintendent by forwarding a packet of information, including details of the investigated incident and the student's school record. Parent's Guide to Discipline Hearings is availableacrobat icon. A complete report from the Office of Hearings and Legal Issues is availableacrobat icon.

During the 2009-10 school year, there were 69,430 violations of the SR&R documented by school administrators. Of these, less than 1% (636 cases) were forwarded to the Hearings Office with a recommendation for expulsion.  The Hearings Office rendered a lesser consequence in 79% of these cases. The remaining 21% (134) of cases were forwarded on to the School Board for action.  The School Board expelled 130 of those students.  92% (119) of expelled students were permitted to continue receiving educational services through FCPS during the term of their expulsions. Only 8% (11) of expelled students were provided no services through FCPS during the term of their expulsions. 

2009-10 Student Discipline Incidents

Student Safety and Wellness

The Office of Student Safety and Wellness is dedicated to promoting prevention and early intervention for violence and drug use in our community through a variety of resources.  These resources include education programs for students, parents, and staff, school-community coalitions, law enforcement, and other community-based organizations. 

FCPS School Board Student Discipline Review

FCPS high schools and middle schools invited parents and community members to participate in Dialogues on Discipline.  The dialogues were held to gather feedback about Superintendent Jack Dale’s discipline recommendations and provide an overview of the discipline philosophy and practices.  An overview of the feedback was compiled into this presentation. View the presentationacrobat icon(5/13/11) Afterward, participants were asked to complete an evaluation of the dialogue process.  View the evaluationacrobat icon.

The School Board discussed recommended changes to the Student Responsibilities and Rights handbook at its May 16, 2011 work session. All work sessions are held in room 1600 at the Gatehouse Administration Center and are open to the public.

At its April 4 work session, the Fairfax County School Board reviewed the Superintendent’s recommendations for changes to the student discipline process. In addition, the School Board reviewed and discussed the FCPS 2009-10 Discipline Incidents chartacrobat icon, and a powerpoint presentationacrobat icon.

Superintendent Jack Dale presented his recommendations for proposed changes to the student discipline process at a news briefing on March 30, 2011.

The Fairfax County School Board agreed at its February 24, 2011, work session to review topics related to student discipline procedures.  This review could produce changes to the Student Responsibilities and Rights handbookacrobat icon.  The School Board began its review at its work session on March 14, 2011 by creating a list of topicsacrobat icon that members would like to explore further.
Interview: Jack Dale, Student DisciplineInterview: Jack Dale, Student Discipline
Interview: Jack Dale, Student Discipline (5:46) (4/11/11)

Interview: Jack Dale, Student DisciplineInterview: Jack Dale, Student Discipline
Interview: Jack Dale, Student Discipline (6:26) (3/7/11)


Virginia Department of Education School Climate Reports

Virginia Laws Surrounding Student Discipline


Nontraditional School programs

Nontraditional School Programs (NSP) provide challenging learning environments that seek to convert the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) into an effective learning curriculum. They offer students the necessary academic and social tools required to achieve mastery of learning in elementary, middle, and high school programs of study. To achieve their fullest potential, students must be taught to think critically and creatively and to embrace life-long habits of strong mental, emotional, and physical health.

Continuing Interest

Webpage Curator

Nancy Moy

Last Updated

March 22, 2013