Student Rights and Responsibilities Glossary

Glossary of terms included in the Student Rights and Responsibilities

Aggravating Circumstances

Special circumstances that allow FCPS to suspend for longer periods of time than are provided in guidelines. These include serious harm, credible threat of serious harm or the safety of students or staff, or persistent serious behavior that continues even after targeted interventions.

Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Intervention Seminar

An intervention seminar that provides up-to-date facts about the potential impact of drug and alcohol use, as well as open discussions about the choices that lead to drug use, the impact these choices can have on the student, friends, and other members of the family, and strategies for responding to peer pressure.


Any aggressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate, or humiliate the victim; involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the aggressor or aggressors and victim; and is repeated over time or causes severe emotional trauma. “Bullying” includes cyberbullying. “Bullying” does not include ordinary teasing, horseplay, argument, or peer conflict.

Controlled Substances

Drugs or substances found in the Drug Control Act (Section 54.1-3400 of the Code of Virginia), including all prescription drugs, regardless of whether the drug is considered to be a controlled substance under federal law. For student disciplinary purposes, controlled substances include, but are not limited to, cocaine, hallucinogens such as MDMA (ecstasy), and the actual and any generic formulations of: Adderall, Codeine, Oxycontin, Percocet, Ritalin, Valium, Vicodin, Zoloft, and any other prescription drugs for pain, depression, hyperactivity, or attention deficit disorders.


Means a school day unless the context requires otherwise.

Discriminatory Harassment

Verbal, electronic, or physical action that denigrate or show hostility toward an individual because of his or her age, race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, or any other legally protected class. Harassment may create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning environment, and/or interfere with an individual’s academic performance. Sexual harassment is prohibited by Regulation 2118.

Distributing or Distribution

Includes, without limitation, giving, sharing or selling, or intending or attempting to do so, as well as facilitating any of the above.
Division Superintendent The Division Superintendent or his or her designee (that is, regional assistant superintendent, hearing officer, assistant superintendent, or any other administrative staff member authorized to act in that capacity).


Any disciplinary action imposed by the School Board or a committee thereof, as provided in school policy, whereby a student is not permitted to attend school within the school division and is ineligible for readmission for 365 calendar days after the date of the expulsion.

Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)

Conducted by a team in order to develop a hypothesis about the function of the problem behavior when a student behaves in a way that significantly interferes with the student’s learning and/or the learning of others. This leads to the development of a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP).


A group of two or more persons, whether formal or informal, and however identified, which individually or collectively engage in activities that are illegal, destructive, disruptive, or intimidating. Such does include, but is not limited to, a criminal street gang. The group may, but need not necessarily, have an identifiable name, sign, symbol, or colors.


Recklessly or intentionally endangering the health or safety of a student or inflicting bodily injury on a student in connection with, or for the purpose of, initiation, admission into, or affiliation with or as a condition for continued membership in a club, organization, association, fraternity, sorority, or student body regardless of whether the student so endangered or injured participated voluntarily in the relevant activity. The Code of Virginia prohibits hazing and imposes criminal penalties. (Code of Virginia Section 18.2-56)

Hearings Office

The Hearings Office conducts discipline hearings and determines outcomes on behalf of the Division Superintendent; makes discipline recommendations to the School Board and represents the Division Superintendent at School Board hearings; maintains records and statistics related to expulsion, exclusion, and reassignment recommendations and outcomes; decides suspension appeals; provides resource assistance and training to school-based and central office administrators; and conducts employee grievance hearings on behalf of the Division Superintendent.

Imitation Controlled Substance

A drug or substance in which the substance or container bears the name, markings, or likeness to, or is represented to be, a controlled substance including a prescription drug.

Imitation Marijuana

A substance that bears a likeness to or is represented to be marijuana.

Individualized Education Program (IEP)

A written plan for every student receiving special education services that contains information such as the student’s special learning needs and the specific special education services required by the student.


Any substance that gives off vapors or fumes and that is inhaled for a high.

Long-Term Suspension

Disciplinary action that denies school attendance for more than 10 days but less than 365 calendar days.

Manifestation Determination Review (MDR)

A process for determining whether a behavior was caused by, had a substantial relationship to a student’s disability, or was the direct result of the failure to implement the IEP.


Any part of the cannabis plant, whether growing or not, its seeds, resin or residue, or any extract and any of its various form, other than THC-A or cannabidiol oil, provided that a written certification for use was issued by a licensed practitioner in accordance with the Code of Virginia.

Marijuana, Synthetic

A substance which is a controlled substance. On occasion, this substance is referred to as “Spice, K-2, or JWH-018.” For the purposes of the SR&R, the term synthetic marijuana also includes any substances that bears a likeness to, or is represented to be, synthetic cannabinoids or synthetic marijuana.


Any drug that can be obtained legally over the counter without a doctor’s prescription.


All equipment, products, and materials of any kind that are either designed for use or that are intended by the person charged for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, strength testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body marijuana or a controlled substance.


Any parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person having control or charge of a child.


The actual or constructive possession of a specific object or substance. Such possession may be sole, joint, or collective.

Prescription Drug

Any medication that requires a doctor’s prescription.


The school principal, any assistant principal, or, in his or her absence, the designated teacher or other school staff member in charge.


A collection of schools within FCPS, located within a specific geographic area, with an assigned assistant superintendent and executive principal. Concerns that have not been resolved with the to the regional office.

Restorative Justice Conference

A conference which brings together the people most affected by wrongdoing to discuss the incident, understand who has been harmed, and to decide how the harm should be repaired. The harmed persons and school community are given a voice in the discipline process and resolution of the incident. The offending student is responsible for repairing the harm to the extent possible.

School Board

The Fairfax County School Board or a designated committee thereof.

School Day

Any day school is in session.

School Property

Any property owned, leased, or used by the School Board, including any vehicle operated by, or on behalf of, the School Board, such as school buses, cars, and vans.

School Resource Officer (SRO)

A certified law enforcement officer hired by the Fairfax County Police Department or other local police department to provide law-enforcement and security services to FCPS schools.

Short-Term Suspension

Disciplinary action that denies school attendance for a period not to exceed ten days (Up to 3 school days for grades K-3 unless specified misconduct has occurred. Up to 5 school days for grades 4-12, unless accompanied by a referral to the Division Superintendent).


An expression of intent to harm someone that may be spoken, written, or gestured. An expression of intent to harm someone is considered a threat regardless of whether it is communicated to an actual or prospective victim and regardless of whether the actual or prospective victim is aware of the threat existing in any fashion, whether orally, visually, in writing, or electronically.

Threat Assessment

A structured process to evaluate the seriousness of a student’s threat, support any victims or potential victims, and take preventive or corrective measures to maintain safety.


The act of inhaling and exhaling an aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device such as e-hookahs, mods, Juul pens, or vape pens.


Any item so defined in the text in the current version of regulation 2601. For the purpose of the Gun-Free Schools Act, nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit possession of a weapon under circumstances that are expressly permitted by the Code of Virginia.

The Student Rights and Responsibilities document explains expectations for student behavior and adult responses to enhance school safety and to create a fair, equitable and supportive school environment.