Student Rights and Responsibilities - Secondary Quick Guide

A brief overview of the Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) for middle school and high school students.

Schools are communities of people working and learning together. Every student and family, and every adult who works in the school is a valued and important member of this community. Respect for each other, kindness, integrity and personal responsibility for your behavior and your interactions with others are essential. As a central member of the school community, you have rights, privileges, and responsibilities. These are outlined in detail in Appendix D of the Family Guide to Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R), or at, and are highlighted in this guide for your quick reference. SR&R reference numbers included below refer to the pages in Appendix D.


  • The right to a school and classroom environment that affirms your identity and is responsive, caring, and inclusive.
  • The right to access restroom and locker room facilities and other non-stigmatizing accommodations that are consistent with your gender identity, faith, and for any other reasons.
  • The right to non-disclosure of gender identity and/or sexual orientation.
  • The right to be called by chosen names and pronouns.
  • The right to school generated and any lists that are shared like honor roll, graduation programs, yearbooks, school newspapers, that identify you by your chosen name and gender.
  • The right to receive support to ensure the safe and equitable access to all school and school division facilities and activities.
  • The right to have your personally identifiable information and citizenship or immigration status protected from unauthorized sharing.
  • The right to equitable access to the learning environment, educational materials, and extracurricular activities.


Some things at school are privileges, come with certain limitations, and may be suspended or discontinued if you do not use them properly.

  • FCPS Network, computers, and personally owned devices. When using the FCPS Network, you should not do anything that would disrupt the use of the network by others and should demonstrate respect and ethical conduct. You must also follow teacher directions about when and how to use devices. On buses, you may listen to music with headphones, play games, or text, but not talk on the phone.
  • Riding the school bus. Listen to the driver, stay in your seat, keep your hands to yourself and inside the bus, keep your voices low, and don’t block the aisles.
  • Parking on school grounds. Parking rules must be followed. Understand that your car can be searched if there is reason to believe you might have something that violates school rules or is illegal or dangerous.
  • Participating in sports and activities. The Virginia High School League has rules about participation in sports, including the length of time you must be registered at a school, and the behavior expected. In addition, FCPS requires that students be in good standing to participate in extracurricular activities. You may not participate when you are suspended and may lose the right to participate for a longer period if you violate rules about drugs or alcohol.


  • Come to school on time and attend all of your classes both in person and in the virtual environment, unless excused due to illness or other emergency.
  • Resolve problems with other students in a calm and peaceful manner.
  • Have parents bring all medications you need to take to the school health room.
  • Do not bring, use, share, or sell alcohol, drugs, or tobacco products, or imitations or synthetic versions of these substances at school or at a school bus stop, on a school bus, or at any school-sponsored trip or activity.
  • Do not bring any type of gun or ammunition, any explosive device or firecrackers, or any type of weapon to school.
  • Respect the rights and property of all students and staff members.
  • If you see any behavior that may be dangerous to someone, tell a teacher or other staff member right away.
  • Act with honesty and integrity. Take credit only for your own work.
  • Follow class rules and school rules, and directions given by adults throughout the day.
  • If an adult asks for your attention, stop, address/respond to the person, and listen.
  • When you make a mistake, work to make it right. Pay for or replace the property of others if you break it. Ask a person you may have hurt how you could repair the harm.

Bullying, Harassment, Hazing, and Mistreating Others

Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity. Intentional demeaning and intimidating treatment-whether verbal, physical, written, or electronic-can harm an individual and the community. If you are the target of these behaviors, report them. If you witness these behaviors, offer support to the target and reach out for help from a trusted adult. This behavior is unacceptable, whether based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, personal or physical attributes, sexual orientation, or gender identification or expression. Hazing, or inflicting injury on someone, or recklessly endangering them as part of an initiation or condition of joining a club or other organization can result in criminal charges.

Dress Code

Wear clothes that are appropriate for a K-12 learning environment.

Wear clothes that do not:

  • Include images or words that are vulgar, discriminatory, or obscene.
  • Include images or words that promote illegal or violent activity such as gang symbols, the unlawful use of weapons, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or drug paraphernalia or clothing that contains threats.
  • Expose private areas or an excessive amount of bare skin.

Your school may have additional rules regarding dress code. (Appendix D, page 6)

Safe and Drug Free Schools

A healthy learning environment is free of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, inhalants, and look-alike or synthetic drugs. Possession, use, or distribution of these substances is not permitted in school, on school buses, or at any school-sponsored activities.

Students who become angry or frustrated are encouraged to resolve conflicts peacefully. Teachers, counselors, and other school personnel can help you find civil, non-violent ways to handle disputes. Schools can also utilize restorative justice to resolve disciplinary incidents when harm has been caused.

Weapons and items that could be used as weapons, including razor blades, knives, switchblades, machetes, guns, any form of explosives, nunchacka, etc., are never permitted in the school environment. Possession of these items on school grounds will result in significant consequences. If you find you have inadvertently brought one of these items to school, immediately bring it to the office.

Search and Seizure

Desks, lockers, and storage spaces can be searched and contents, including student belongings, can be examined as part of a general inspection on a periodic or random basis. Student backpacks, coats, electronics, and cars parked on school grounds may also be searched if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the item contains contraband such as drugs, weapons, stolen property, or evidence of a violation of rules or unlawful activity.

Disciplinary Consequences

Keep in mind that a school principal may impose a short-term suspension, recommend a long-term suspension and/or make a referral to the Division Superintendent for situations involving prohibited conduct as outlined in R2601.

School-Based Consequences1

  • Behaviors that negatively impact the educational setting or interfere with school operations
  • Cursing including gestures
  • Fireworks: use or possession
  • Forgery, cheating, plagiarism, dishonesty
  • Gambling
  • Laser devices
  • Misuse of portable communication device
  • Attendance violation
  • Use or possession of nonprescription drugs
  • Unauthorized presence on school property
  • Tobacco violations
  • Use, possession, or being under the influence of alcohol, inhalants, or nonalcoholic beer
  • Being under the influence of marijuana or other controlled substance
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

May Result in Referral to Division Superintendent

  • Harassment based on race, disability, etc. (See Appendix D, page 11 for complete list.)
  • Vandalism of school property; bomb threats
  • Hazing
  • Distribution of nonprescription drugs for the purpose of abuse
  • Possession or use of marijuana, imitation marijuana, synthetic marijuana, or a controlled substance or an imitation controlled substance
  • Endangering well-being of others, bullying
  • Threat or assault of another student
  • Possession or display of obscene material; indecent exposure
  • Mob assault
  • Threatening a staff member or assaulting a staff member without causing injury
  • Gang-related activities
  • Improper touching
  • Unauthorized or illegal use or disruption of information technology
  • Harassment based on race, disability, etc. (See Appendix D, page 11 for complete list.)
  • Vandalism of school property; bomb threats
  • Hazing
  • Distribution of nonprescription drugs for the purpose of abuse

Required Referral to the Division Superintendent

  • Physical assault on staff member or members causing injury
  • Possession or use of schedule I & II drugs (with the exception of marijuana as detailed above)
  • Distribution of marijuana, imitation marijuana, synthetic marijuana, or a controlled substance or an imitation controlled substance
  • Possession of a statutory weapon, knife with a blade three inches or longer, switchblade, or machete, or using any object as a weapon
  • Using an object not generally considered to be a weapon to threaten, intimidate, or attempt to injure school personnel or students
  • Sexual assault and/or sexual harassment, malicious wounding, robbery

1 While a school-based consequence would be typical for these violations, the principal may make a referral to the Division Superintendent if the violation substantially disrupted instruction, endangered others, or followed prior violations.

This Quick Guide is intended as a general overview. In this context, all student behavior is governed exclusively by the SR&R and can be reviewed at In the event of any conflict between the Quick Guide and the SR&R, the SR&R shall control.  

2022-23 SR&R Secondary Quick Guide [Print Version]

A brief overview of the Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) for middle school and high school students.