We created a survey in order to gain a comprehensive view of students’ opinions on what their rights should be and currently are. The survey was shared with M-A students via Facebook and email and received 167 responses. Mostly sophomores and seniors took part in the survey, though there was participation from all grades. Interestingly, the results demonstrated that many students do not know their basic rights at school.

Specifically, 63.6 percent of students believe that student-run school forums are censored by school authorities. However, student-run public forums, such as M-A’s machronicle2.wpengine.com, cannot be censored by school officials as they are protected by California Education Code 48907.

Furthermore, many answered ‘True’ to ‘Your photo is not allowed to be taken without permission if you are a minor.’ In fact, unless a student’s guardian has signed a photo release form waiving this right, students are allowed to be photographed.

Other misconceptions were present with respect to drugs and strip searching. Students may not possess ibuprofen at school, contrary to popular belief. In addition, school authorities can strip search students if they have reasonable suspicion.

When asked if their rights have ever been violated on campus, 28.5 percent of students replied “maybe,” demonstrating the lack of awareness present among students.

Here are some of the student responses in graph form:













 

 

Replies to True or False section:

 

Here are the answers to the True or False section:

Your rights at school are the same as anywhere else.

FALSE.

School authorities can strip search you with reasonable suspicion.

TRUE.

School authorities can drug test athletes.

TRUE.

School authorities can search lockers any time they wish to.

TRUE.

You lose some of your rights when you step on campus.

TRUE.

You can wear an anti-war shirt to school.

TRUE.

Your photo is not allowed to be taken without permission if you are a minor.

FALSE.

Your personal information (phone number, address) is not private unless you have notified the school authorities.

TRUE.

Your internet use and online history is private when at school.

FALSE.

Schools can monitor your social media, even when you are not at school.

TRUE.

Public school officials can censor student school forums.

FALSE.

Students may possess ibuprofen (Advil) at school.

FALSE.

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