Student Bill of Rights

Right 2

Civic Participation

All students have the right to engage with their community and expect their schools to treat them with the rights of citizens.

View All Rights

Let's Discuss:

  • What is your definition of student-community engagement?
  • How does your school encourage student engagement with the community?
  • How might your school stifle this engagement?
  • Why is it important that students are engaged with their communities and broader society?
  • What rights do you believe a student should be guaranteed in schools?
  • as a student, do you ever feel that your rights are ever compromised in school?
  • What are the consequences of the elimination of student rights in schools?
  • How can you work with your school’s faculty and teachers to discuss student rights?
  • How might you be able to introduce measures that promote increased community engagement at your school?

Subtopic Ideas:

Student voting in local and national elections, civic education, community service, student participation in school boards, school maintenance

More about civic participation

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How teachers and schools can support civic engagement
Rob Reich explains the purpose of educating students in a democratic society and gives examples of how teachers can support civic engagement.
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Student Rights at School: Six Things You Need To Know
While the Constitution protects the rights of students at school, many school officials are unaware of students’ legal protections, or simply ignore them. When heading back to school this year, make sure to know your rights and ensure that your school treats every student fairly and equally.
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If You Build It
IF YOU BUILD IT follows designer-activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller to rural Bertie County, the poorest in North Carolina, where they work with local high school students to help transform both their community and their lives. Living on credit and grant money and fighting a change-resistant school board, Pilloton and Miller lead their students through a year-long, full-scale design and build project that does much more than just teach basic construction skills: it shows ten teenagers the power of design-thinking to re-invent not just their town but their own sense of what's possible.
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Do Public School Students Have Constitutional Rights?
Public education occupies a central place in our national identity. As the politician Adlai Stevenson once remarked, ‘The most American thing about America is the free common school system.’ Similar assessments have been made of our judiciary. In the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville offered a prominent formulation of this idea: ‘There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one.’ Over the following two centuries, the judiciary, with the Supreme Court at its apex, has assumed only a greater role in American society.
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10 Ways to Promote Student Engagement
Student engagement is another of those buzz phrases popular in higher education. As with many regularly used terms, everyone assumes we are talking about the same thing; but when asked for definitions, either we are hard pressed to come up one or what’s offered is a decidedly different collection of definitions. Here’s an article that includes clear definitions and, based on a creative synthesis of research, offers 10 ways to promote student engagement.”
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EdNext Podcast: Democracy Prep Schools Boost Civic Participation
Can K-12 schools today make a difference when it comes to their students’ civic attitudes and behavior? A new study finds that attending a public charter school operated by Democracy Prep Public Schools nearly doubles students’ rates of civic participation as young adults
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The Civic Purposes of Public Schools
With this renewed and deepened sense of patriotism— demonstrated by Americans of all colors and countries of origin—many are calling for public schools to make sure they capture this moment of opportunity to educate their diverse student body for American citizenship.