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Student Rights....
Student Records

Personal & Sexual Harrassment Policy

Affirmative Action

Religious-Related Activities

Drug-Free Environment

Safe, Weapons-Free Environment

Gang Related Activities

Student Rights

a) Confidentiality of Student Records

The privacy rights of parents and students is mandated by federal legislation known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Amendment), state regulations (Chapter 14-Special Education Services and Programs, Chapter 12-Student Rights and Responsibilities), and district policy. The different categories of information maintained by the school district are as follows: educational and health records, personally identifiable information, and directory information.

With the exception of receiving school districts' educational and health records, and personally identifiable information, additional information cannot be disclosed or released without parent consent or, if a student is eighteen or older, without his/her consent. Information known as directory information can be released without consent. Directory information means information that would be considered non-harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. This information includes the following: student's name, address, date and place of birth, courses taken, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.

Written request by a parent/guardian (or by a student age eighteen or older) is required for the disclosure of educational and health records and personally identifiable information. The consent must specify the records that may be disclosed and purpose of the disclosure, as well as identify the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be made. A written record of the disclosure must be maintained by the school district. Informational access and school records are available to parents, their representative, and to students eighteen years of age or older.

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b) Personal & Sexual Harrassment Policy

TLC Charter Schools, Inc. Board of Directors believes that all employees, students, directors and volunteers have a right to freedom from harassment because of gender, race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, creed, etc. Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated, and complaints will be resolved in a serious, objective and confidential manner.

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c) Affirmative Action

TLC Charter School's ("TLC" or the "Center") special character is reflected in the diversity of the Tucson community. Men and women, boys and girls of different races, religions, nationalities, and backgrounds are necessary to achieve the Center's ultimate purpose: the improvement of the human condition through the pursuit of learning. Diversity is prized at TLC because it helps to create the educational environment that best prepares students to contribute to an increasingly diverse and rapidly shrinking world. We have a clear commitment to affirmative action. We must continue, therefore, to seek talented faculty, students, and staff who will help constitute a community at TLC that is diverse in race, ethnicity, interests, and perspectives.

TLC is committed to ensuring that all educational programs and personnel actions including application, hiring, promotion, compensation, benefits, transfer, layoffs, training, tuition assistance, and social and recreational programs are administered without regard to race, color, gender (except where gender is a bona fide occupational qualification), religion, national or ethnic origin, age (except where age is a bona fide occupational qualification), disability, or status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam Era. The Center's policy is applicable to faculty and other employees, applicants for faculty positions and other employment, and applicants to educational programs and activities. This policy is fundamental to the effective functioning of the Center as an institution of teaching, scholarship, and public service.

TLC Charter Schools of Tucson does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, or disability in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities. This includes Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Questions and concerns regarding these policies should be directed to the TLC Charter Schools, Governing Board of Directors, PO Box 5310, Tucson, AZ 85703 (520) 628-1404.

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d) Religious-Related Activities & Practices

The Board of Directors of TLC Charter Schools, Inc. establishes the following guidelines to preserve the rights of all students within the framework of United States and Arizona State constitutions:

A. Teaching about religion: Public schools may teach about religion, including the Bible or other scripture: the history of religion, comparative religion, the Bible (or other scripture) as literature, and the role of religion in the history of the United States and other countries all are permissible public school subjects. Similarly, it is permissible to consider religious influences on art, music, literature, and social studies. Although public schools may teach about religious holidays, including their religious aspects, and may celebrate the secular aspects of holidays, schools may not observe holidays as religious events or promote such observance by students. Criteria used to guide academic inquiry in the study of religion shall seek the same neutrality, objectivity and educational effectiveness expected in other areas of the curriculum. In addition, materials and activities should be sensitive to America's pluralistic society and should educate rather than indoctrinate. Instructional activities should meet the three-part test established and used by the U.S. Supreme Court to determine constitutionality: (1) the activity must have a secular purpose; (2) the activity's principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; and (3) the activity must not impose excessive involvement on the part of the school in order to maintain a neutral position towards the advancement of religion. This constitutional restriction shall not preclude a student from expressing his/her views relative to belief or non-belief about a religious-related issue in composition, reports, music, art, debate and classroom discussion, when consistent with the assignment.
All religious-related instructional materials and/or activities must relate to secular student learning goals or standards.

B. Teaching values: Though schools must be neutral with respect to religion, they may play an active role with respect to teaching civic values and virtue, and the moral code that holds us together as a community. The fact that some of these values are held also by religions does not make it unlawful to teach them in school.

C. A student may decline to participate in a school activity that is contrary to his/her religious convictions. Staff is encouraged to contact parents to confirm a student's exempting him/herself for future situations.

D. If non-curriculum-related student groups are permitted to meet on school premises immediately before or after school hours, students shall be permitted to meet to discuss religious, political, philosophical or other issues provided such group meetings are student-initiated and student-managed.

E. Religious groups may rent school facilities under the policy providing for facilities rental. Activities of such groups shall be clearly separated from school-sponsored activities so that the school district does not support or appear to support the establishment of religion.

F. A student may distribute religious literature under the same conditions that other literature maybe distributed on the campus provided that such distribution does not intrude on the operation of the school.

G. Material and/or announcements promoting religion may not be distributed by non-students or on behalf of groups or individuals who are not students.

H. Religious services, programs or assemblies shall not be conducted in school facilities during school hours or in connection with any school sponsored or school related activity. Speakers and/or programs that convey a religious or devotional message are prohibited. This restriction does not preclude the presentation of choral or musical assemblies which may use religious music or literature as a part of the program or assembly.

I. Musical, artistic and dramatic presentations which have a religious theme may be included in course work and programs on the basis of their particular artistic and educational value or traditional secular usage. They shall be presented in a neutral, non-devotional manner, be related to the objective of the instructional program, and be accompanied by comparable artistic works of a nonreligious nature.
Since a variety of activities is included as part of a holiday theme, care must be exercised to focus on the historical and secular aspects of the holiday rather than its devotional meanings. Music program shall not use the religious aspect of a holiday as the underlying message or theme. Pageants, plays and other dramatic activities shall not be used to convey religious messages. Religious symbols such as nativity scenes, if used, shall be displayed in conjunction with a variety of secular holiday symbols so that the total presentation emphasizes the cultural rather than religious significance of the holiday.

J. A student, upon the request of a parent, may be excused to participate in religious instruction for a portion of a school day provided the activity is not conducted on school property. (Credit shall not be granted for such instruction.)

K. Upon receipt of a parent(s) request, a student shall be excused from attending school in observance of a religious holiday.

L. Students may wear religious attire or symbols provided they are not materially and substantially disruptive to the educational process, or conflict with school dress code policy.

M. As a matter of individual liberty, a student may of his/her own volition engage in private, non-disruptive prayer at any time not in conflict with learning activities. School staff shall neither encourage, nor discourage a student from engaging in non-disruptive oral or silent prayer or any other form of devotional activity.

N. Commencement exercises shall be free from sectarian influence, including invocations and benedictions.

O. Students, parents and staff who are aggrieved by practices or activities conducted in the school or district may register their concern with the building principal or Director.

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e) Drug-Free Environment

It is the intent of the Board of Education to provide a drug free educational environment at TLC Charter Schools. Students are expected and required to be in an appropriate physical condition and mental condition for attending school. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance on the school premises or while participating in a school sanctioned activity anywhere is absolutely forbidden. Drugs include any narcotic or dangerous drug, vapor-releasing toxic substance, marijuana, or any other substance enumerated in A. R. S. 32-1901 (39). A student shall not possess, sell, offer to sell or use drug paraphernalia as defined by A. R. S. 12-3415. Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action, which may include long-term suspension or expulsion, and may have legal consequences.

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f) Safe, Weapons-Free Environment
Weapons Free Educational Environment (NEW "School Threats" Law):

It is the intent of the Board of Education to provide a safe and orderly educational environment at TLC Charter Schools. Possession and/or use of weapons on or within 300 feet of campus is a violation of school policy and State law. Students that violate this policy will be disciplined and police will be notified. "Weapons" include bombs, guns, razors, box-cutters, knives and any sharpened instrument used for the purpose of inflicting injury (see ARS 13-3102, ARS 13-3111). Under Arizona Revised Statute 13-2911, there are very specific penalties for any person who commits "interference or disruption" to an educational institution.

You will notice that we have defined specific words or phrases. We did this to help you understand how these words are defined because the law is applied under these specific definitions. To locate the full text of this law, see ARS 13-2911.

A person commits interference with or disruption of an educational institution by doing any of the following:

1. Threatening to cause physical injury to any employee of or any person attending an educational institution.

2. Threatening to cause damage to any educational institution, property of any educational institution, or property of any person attending an educational institution.

3. Knowingly goes onto or remains on the property of an educational institution for the purpose of interfering with or disrupting the lawful use of the property, or in any manner that interferes with the lawful use of the property by others.

4. Knowingly refuses to obey a lawful order to leave the property by a school official, officer or employee of an educational institutional.

A person found to be in violation of this law as described in paragraphs 1 or 2 above may be charged with a Class 6 Felony. It does not matter if the above actions were not directed to any specific individual, educational institution or property of an educational institutional. A person found to be in violation of this law as described in paragraphs 3 or 4 as described above may be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor. ARS 15-841

Expulsion
In addition to the existing reasons for expulsion, a school district or charter school is now required to expel from school for at least one year, a pupil who is determined to have violated any section of this statute. A school district or charter school may modify the expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis if the pupil participates in a mediation, community service, restitution or other programs in which the pupil takes responsibility for the results of the threat. A parent or guardian may also be required to participate in mediation, community service, restitution or other programs in which the parent or guardian takes responsibility with the pupil for the threat. A school district may also reassign a pupil to an alternative education program.

13-2911. Interference with or disruption of an educational institution;

13-3102. Misconduct involving weapons;

13-3111. Minors prohibited from carrying or possessing firearms;

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g) Gang Related Activities
TLC Charter School students will:

By definition, a gang is a group of three or more people who meet for antisocial or illegal activity. This would include recognized gangs and/or groups who gather to mimic gang activity.

It is the schools' position that gangs that initiate, advocate, or promote activities that threaten the safety or well being of persons or property on school grounds or disrupt the school environment are harmful to the educational process. Further, it is the schools' position that the use of hand signals, graffiti, or the presence of any apparel, jewelry, accessory, or manner of dress or grooming that, by virtue of its color, arrangement, trademark, symbol, or any other attribute indicates or implies membership or affiliation with such a group is prohibited because of the disruption to educational activities. For these reasons, the following activities are prohibited and shall subject any student engaging in the activity to disciplinary action:

(1) Any activity involving an initiation, hazing, intimidation, assault, or other activity related to group affiliation that is likely to cause or does cause bodily danger, physical harm, or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm to student or others.
(2) Any student wearing, carrying, or displaying gang paraphernalia and/or exhibiting behavior or gestures that symbolize gang membership, or causing and/or participating in activities that intimidate or adversely affect the educational activities of another student or the orderly operation of the schools.

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