Student Rights and Responsibilities Glossary

Glossary of terms included in the Student Rights and Responsibilities


Discrimination in favor of an able-bodied person.


To choose not to do or have something, especially something you like or enjoy, because it is bad for your health or morally wrong.

Administrative Review
A FCPS informal, voluntary process to resolve special education and Section 504 disputes, convened at the request of the parent or the school principal.

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.

An act, criminal or tortious, that threatens physical harm to a person, whether or not actual harm is done.

Bona Fide
Genuine. Real. In good faith.

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.

Change of Placement
“Change of placement” means when the local educational agency places the child in a setting that is distinguishable from the educational environment to which the child was previously assigned.

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.

Any threats by one student toward another through electronic means, typically through e-mail or on websites (e.g., blogs, social networking sites). Electronic communication that supports deliberate, hostile, hurtful messages, intended to harm others is a form of bullying. Cyberbullying includes such things as sending mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images; posting sensitive, private information about another person without consent; pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad; and defamatory online personal polling websites.

Means a school day unless the context requires otherwise.

When someone, intentionally or not, refers to a person who is transgender or gender-expansive by a name other than their own chosen name.

Denying a person the benefit of any education program activity on the basis of race, sex, color, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, genetic information, pregnancy status, childbirth or related medical condition, marital status, veteran status, and disability violation of applicable law.

Discriminatory Harassment
Discriminatory harassment is unwanted conduct toward an individual base on their actual or perceived age, race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, or any other legally protected class. The conduct must be sufficiently severe such that it creates a hostile educational environment, meaning it denies or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from education programs and activities. Discriminatory harassment may be expressed in various ways, including through physical actions or through verbal, nonverbal, electronic, or written communications. Discriminatory harassment may include conduct such as epithets, various slurs such as racial, deadnaming, and misgendering, negative stereotyping, jokes, written, printed, or graphic material that contains offensive, demeaning, or degrading images or comments.

Disruption of the educational process means the interruption of classwork, the creation of disorder, or the invasion of the rights of a student group or group of students.

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 designee (that is, regional assistant superintendent, hearing officer, assistant superintendent, or any other administrative staff member authorized to act in that capacity).

Drug Paraphernalia
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 a controlled substance. (Code of Virginia, Section 18.2- 265.1)

Requiring immediate attention or action

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.

Faith-based Discrimination
Treating individuals differently because of their religious beliefs and practices, and/or their request for accommodations of their religious beliefs and practices. It also includes treating individuals differently because of their lack of religious beliefs or practices.

The rate at which something occurs or is repeated over a particular period of time or in a given sample.

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.

Hate Speech
Any form of expression intended to humiliate or incite hatred against a group or class of persons based upon their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, color, national origin, citizenship/immigration status, weight, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, or disability.

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.

Letter of Agreement
A written agreement which may be offered by the Division Superintendent’s hearing officer to a student whom the hearing officer is recommending for expulsion. If the agreement is signed by the student’s parent and accepted by a School Board committee, the student is assigned to an alternative education program during the term of the expulsion, and the student’s case is concluded without a further hearing.

Showing or intended to incite in an offensive way.

Any false and harmful written or printed statement designed to expose a person to public ridicule or hatred and would injure a person’s reputation in any way; anything that gives an unflattering or damaging picture of someone.

Writing or publishing libel.

Long-Term Suspension
Disciplinary action that denies school attendance 11-45 school days, unless misconduct involves: (i) possession or use of a statutory weapon or illegal drugs; (ii) serious bodily injury, or (iii) aggravating circumstances. Where a determination of (i), (ii), or (iii) is made, the long-term suspension may extend beyond 45 school days, but shall not exceed 364 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.

Characterized by malice; intending or intended to do harm.

To think deeply and continuously; reflect.

The act of labelling others with a gender that does not match their gender identity-deliberately or accidentally.

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

Words or pictures that are offensive, rude, shocking.

The act of disclosing an LGBTQIA+ person’s sexual orientation or gender identity without the person’s consent.

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.

To steal and pass off the ideas or words of another as one’s own; use without crediting the source.

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 the designated teacher or other school staff member in charge.

Keeping information about a person that can be used to identify the person because it is unique (e.g., full name, address, etc.) out of the public domain.

The use of swear words.

The disciplinary decision that requires a student to attend another school or an alternative education program, or both.

The act or an instance of reading or repeating aloud.

Records review
A meeting conducted by the regional assistant superintendent at the request of the principal to which the parent and student are invited to participate, for the purpose of reviewing the student’s disciplinary record and interventions to date in order to further address the student’s conduct issues.

The act of selecting or adapting (as by obscuring or removing sensitive information) for publication or release

Referral to the Division Superintendent
Referral to the Division Superintendent means a decision which is made by the principal in order for there to be consideration of student disciplinary action greater than a short-term suspension. Where the principal makes such a referral, the Division Superintendent will conduct a hearing to determine based on the facts whether additional disciplinary consequences (to include one or more of the following: a long-term suspension, a reassignment, or a recommendation to the School Board for expulsion) are appropriate in accordance with this SR&R. In conducting this hearing, the Division Superintendent also will determine whether the short-term suspension imposed by the principal is warranted. When making a referral to the Division Superintendent, the principal may choose to recommend a specific disciplinary action, provided, however, that whether or not the principal recommends a specific disciplinary action, the Division Superintendent has authority to take one or more of the following actions in accordance with the SR&R: determine that no disciplinary action is warranted, confirm a short- term suspension, impose a long-term suspension, effect a reassignment, and forward a recommendation to the School Board for expulsion

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 school principal may be referred 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.

Sexual Assault

  • a. Any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent;
  • b. Rape; carnal knowledge of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
  • c. Sodomy; oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
  • d. Sexual Assault; With An Object; use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
  • e. Fondling; the intentional touch of private body parts (groin, breast, buttocks) under the clothing of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against the person’s will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age, or due to temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
  • f. Incest; non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law;
  • g. Statutory rape; non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

Sexual Misconduct
Misconduct that includes unwelcome sexual advances, regardless of sexual orientation; requests for sexual favors; and other inappropriate verbal, electronic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature but that is not within the scope of “sexual harassment” as defined by Regulation 2118.1

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).

The utterance of false charges or misrepresentation in the presence of another person which defame and damage another’s reputation.

To utter slander against.

Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to

  • A. fear for their safety or the safety of others; or
  • B. suffer substantial emotional distress.

Fixed by law.

The act of being stigmatized.

Student Activities
These include extracurricular activities, co-curricular requirements, and athletics. Students participating in athletics, performing arts, clubs, competitions, practices, and any other activity that provides opportunities for participation outside of normal school hours, in addition to any student who is a spectator or audience members at a school sponsored activity are included in this definition.

Substantial Disruption
Includes an incident that generates a considerable negative impact on normal school operations, or results in a significant impact to students, the parent, and/or staff, such as using prohibited substances in a large group setting at school; requiring a response that disrupts school operations such as the need for emergency medical services; or creating a situation where the parent is compelled to keep their children out of school, or where groups of students are unable to focus on learning due to a specific incident.

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.

Title IX Definitions
Sexual Harassment: conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

  1. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a student equal access to an FCPS education program or activity: or
  2. Dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking (see below)

    Dating violence
    Violence committed by a student—
    • A. who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
    • B.where is the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
      1. The length of the relationship.
      2. The type of relationship.
      3. The frequency of interaction between the students involved in the relationship. Domestic violence: Includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

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.

Lack of culture, refinement, taste. Coarse or crude.

​​​​​​​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.