Civil Rights

Civil rights

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Schools are required to give students annual lessons about student rights and responsibilities at school.  Most schools will give you a copy of a student guide to explain your rights and responsibilities.  In addition, each school district’s board policy manual contains most school rules.  These manuals are often available on-line at your school district’s website or you may be able to get a copy from the school district office.

The school board policy manual must follow Alaska law, and will often contain citations to statutes and regulations.  Alaska statutes (AS) and regulations (in the Alaska Administrative Code or AAC) are available on the State of Alaska website (  They may also be found at the Alaska Legal Resource Center (

Yes, but the right to free speech is not absolute, and the limits are complicated.  Generally, you have the right to freedom of speech so long as you do not disrupt the school environment, act insubordinate, use obscene speech, or threaten violence. Special rules may apply if you are writing for a school publication, such as a yearbook or newspaper.

No.  You may be subject to severe punishment, including expulsion from school, for bringing a firearm or other deadly weapon to school.  You could also be charged with a criminal offense.

Maybe.  Even if you use a computer away from school, you could be in trouble if you threaten or embarrass other students or faculty by your postings.  The courts have not clearly answered the question of what online conduct can be punished, so don’t assume that you can’t be punished for what you do outside of school.