Public education gives you and your family certain rights that school districts must follow. However, some parents may become confused about what rights their child has as a public school student in Florida. Here is what you can expect when your children attend a public school district.
Public school rights can differ from private school policies
Education law allows private schools to set their own policies regarding what is taught in their classrooms along with other policies. For example, private schools may teach creationism while public schools cannot. While private and parochial schools have more delineated policies, public schools must follow state and local guidelines. If you have questions about a school policy, start by researching Florida laws or those in the community where you live.
What are your child’s inalienable rights?
Every child in the United States has the right to a free education whether they were born here or in another country. This right also extends to free participation in school activities if your family cannot pay. Other inalienable rights include:
• Protection from discrimination
• Education in English as a second language
• Safety in school
• Freedom of speech and religion
• Ability to examine your child’s school records
• Option to opt-out of sex education and standardized testing
• Equality in sports participation
Rights violations can take many forms
Situations such as not paying attention to bullying or inadequate special education plans are examples of school issues that can violate your child’s rights. Even if you are able to resolve a problem on the administrative level, a violation on the civil level may still exist.
Education law is complex as it affects people on many different levels. Make sure you gather as many facts as possible about a possible violation before pursuing any legal action.