At the beginning of every school year, students go through the same routine of becoming acquainted with their peers, teachers and setting.
Although the procedures during the first weeks of school seem tedious, they are very important for setting the groundwork for a successful school year.
A big part of this is the yearly presentation about the Students Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R).
Despite what seems like an endless presentation given during every students W4, the SR&R handbook contains many important rules and regulations that affect everyone county wide.
Some students may brush off the information that the presentation contains, but this year, new rules have been added to the SR&R guidelines.
Amidst the growing dangers of nicotine vaping products, stricter guidelines have been added addressing the issue.
In addition to these new guidelines, other new revisions include the addition of an FCPS vision for discipline, guidance for administrators on consistency and tiered responses to behaviors, changes to first time drug possession and use, increased use of parent notification, change in practice for students with disabilities, and clarifying language around reporting bullying and Title IX violations.
School Board Chair Karen Corbett Sanders stated that the new revisions to the SR&R handbook hope to “reduce the amount of time that our students spend away from school while ensuring a safe learning environment for all.”
Part of ensuring a safe, friendly school environment is the attitude students, teachers and administrators alike take to certain situations.
In particular, the issue of missing school is heavily mentioned in the SR&R guidelines.
The presentation stresses the importance of what is an acceptable reason for an absence and what is not. This is especially important for students who have responsibilities such as work or home care.
In addition to the issue of missing school, guidelines regarding drug use are also mentioned. A change to the first time drug use policy as been issued, stating that punishment will not be as harsh and will involve more parental involvement.
The change shocked students. “If anything, I thought rules and regulations about drug use would tighten up in light of recent events,” senior Sam Rodriguez said.
Like mentioned before, the issue of nicotine and thc oil use was heavily covered. The guidelines made it clear that engaging in such activities was not only against county policy, but against the law.
As always, the guidelines still include the standard rules that have been in place since day one.
One old rule that was added to recently is the rules involving a search of students backpack or locker. FCPS has made it clear now that parental notification of general searches or individual searches of belongings will occur.
All in all, the new revisions to the SR&R handbook seem to hope to influence school life in a positive way.
“These changes reflect the district’s commitment to providing fair and equitable treatment to all students,” Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand said.
“Working in collaboration with our families, we want our disciplinary practices to focus on prevention of problem behaviors while ensuring that every FCPS school promotes a responsive, caring, and inclusive culture.”