What rights should be protected for students and teachers?

Just like anything, there are laws and rules made to protect teachers and students. These rules and regulations must be followed and respected. For the staff, “number of rights pertaining to their employment, including recognition of certain freedoms, prohibition against certain forms of discrimination, and significant protections against dismissal from their position. These rights are derived from state and federal constitutional provisions, state and federal statutes, and state and federal regulations” (Teacher and School Staff Rights, 2011). Also, public school teachers have the right to receive notice of termination along with the right to hearing, freedom of expression protected by the First Amendment, academic freedom, protection against unreasonable searches and seizures by school officials of personal property. Freedom of speech and expression are the most basic yet most important rights the state gives its people.

Students have rights as well, but the type of rights they hold may vary depending on the type of school they attend, public or private. A public school is part of the government, while a private school are separate and do not fall under the same rights. Everyone has the right to the First Amendment, teachers, staff, administrators, and students, but only if they attend a public school. The First Amendment for example, does not provide any sort of safekeeping for students attending private schools. Even while students hold the freedom of speech, some regulations have been added. “school officials may prohibit speech that substantially disrupts the school environment or that invades the rights of others. Many courts have held that school officials can restrict student speech that is lewd” this is all to ensure that students feel safe in school as well as the staff (What rights to freedom of expression do students have?, 2017). While in private schools, the administrators are the ones who set the rules and regulations for they staff, teachers, and students.

Students do have the right of information and privacy. When data is gathered from a specific student, the results are confidential and are only shared with the necessary people. “The most prominent of the federal protections for student privacy is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the “Buckley Amendment,” FERPA protects the confidentiality of student records to some extent, while also giving students the right to review their own records” (Center,2017). Any data, scores, tests, assessments, any information received from the student is confidential. Confidentiality is important for students, even when it comes to something as small and simple as a class quiz. I personally did not like it when the teacher would have students pass back our quizzes or tests, because the person passing them out had already seen my grade. Now I see a lot of teachers passing back papers faced down and pinched from an end to prevent anyone else seeing the grade, even if it is a 100. This is especially important when it comes to things that are more serious.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, an estimate of 200,000 students received corporal punishment in just 2006, with 39,000 being students with disabilities (Author, 2015). Every student deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, and there are other methods of ‘educating’ our students aside from this cruel punishment. Data collection could be used with students who do not follow the rules, once that is done the educators and administrators should work together to find a way to help every student. Corporal punishment is easier to perform but it does not hold any long term benefits. Corporal punishment was a very common method of discipline and was still used not long ago. Some states still allow corporal punishment to this day such as, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee and many more.

One of the rights students hold that I believe is one of the most important, is one of the new education laws, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This act was signed by Former President Obama on December of 2015, which was the nations commitment to proving equal opportunities to all students regardless of their situations. ESSA replaced the No Child Left Behind of 2002. ESSA is to protect the students with disadvantages and students with “high-needs”, all students in America are to be taught with high academic standards to prepare them for success, support evidence-based and place-based interventions and anything build to assess students for support” (Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), 2017).

It is important to understand that everyone has rights, they may vary in different states, schools and job position but some of them are made to protect its people. As the world is progressing and people continue to evolve, the rights and laws people hold, continue to change over time, sometimes for the better!




Author, G. (2015, June 09). 11 Rights All Students (Should) Have. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://www.gettingsmart.com/2015/05/11-rights-all-students-should-have/

Center, E. P. (n.d.). EPIC – EPIC Student Privacy Project. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from https://epic.org/privacy/student/

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). (n.d.). Retrieved February 24, 2017, from https://www.ed.gov/essa?src=rn

Teacher and School Staff Rights. (n.d.). Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://www.educationrights.com/teacherrights.php

What rights to freedom of expression do students have? (2017). Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://www.newseuminstitute.org/about/faq/what-rights-to-freedom-of-expression-do-students-have/


5 thoughts on “What rights should be protected for students and teachers?

  1. learnwithboss says:

    I didn’t realize the difference between public and private school rights for students, that isn’t something one considers when choosing a school for their child. I’ve had people ask why I would be a teacher with such a litigious society. I do think as future educators we need to be mindful of what and how we act in class, the main thing is to treat all students as fairly as possible. I used to work in a state with a teachers union and I did feel like the union had my back. They also had great benefits, but there must be a reason some states don’t support unions or never did. I can see both sides of the union issue, problems, and benefits.

    The other interesting part of this unit was the rights of the student. I think in this day and age, children should have the same rights as the adults that work in the school. As adults, we need to watch our language, our dress, not bring illegal substances to campus. We would never think to receive corporal punishment or be strip searched. Our students are to interact in the education process, this isn’t a time when they should only be seen and not heard. Some states and districts need to update their ideas to current times.


  2. drhodes2blog says:

    Hi Leisdi,
    You have made some excellent points and brought up some interesting topics in your discussion. I like that you talked about the rights of teachers and talking about what they deserve and what they should earn and what they should be limited in. such as physical punishment towards students. Now teachers should be able to “punish” students but in appropriate ways such as if they are talking to much or disrupting the class or not paying attention to the instruction in the class then a teacher should be able to “punish” by moving the student away from their friends and have them sit in a different area/desk. A teacher’s power should be limited though, and not allow to physically punish any student. Teachers are also not able to take away a student’s right to the fourth amendment. A student should be able to express themselves and their opinion just so long as it doesn’t offend others or disrupt the curriculum being taught. Students have the same right as any American person in being able to express themselves whether it be through their words or physical appearance. You did a great job on this post and making an excellent point on both teacher and students rights.


  3. erincrisfulli says:

    Great talking points Leisdi! I 100% agree with confidentiality among our students in our class. So often teachers “embarrass” the students (I hope unintentionally) but it still happens more than it should. Students should feel comfortable and safe at school so having certain laws, like having reasonable cause to search a student, comes into play. If we did not look into threats or tips that are given then our students may become fearful during school hours. Even though I feel like corporal punishment is extensive and unnecessary, states are allowed to make their own guidelines for this.


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