MISSING: STUDENT RIGHTS sign now

MISSING:STUDENT RIGHTS

Private schools are well known for their academic environment and their exclusivity. Few students, however, enrolling in a private school know exactly what they are getting into. They do not realize that their private school is not subject to most federal civil rights and state laws that protect individuals rights. Private schools have the freedom to make policies curbing whatever rights they can get away with. Entering the school is, under contract adhesion, like making a non-spoken agreement to follow all school rules and polices. A contract adhesion is a contract that heavily restricts one party while leaving the other free, implying inequality in bargaining power. The party having the bad end of that contract happens to be the students. This contract to the school can be expressed through the students enrollment or a signature agreeing to the conditions of the school handbook. It is a fact that students of private schools have far fewer rights than students of public because the U.S. Constitution does not apply to private schools since the government does not fund them. This is wrong. It is unreasonable to let a private school have the power to not treat their students fairly and take away many of their rights.

One reason that it is unreasonable is that a school should not be allowed to turn away one of their students without a fair hearing, something promised by the Constitution under due process. Due process protection means that the school cannot give a student a serious punishment without following fair procedures to make sure he is guilty. A fair procedure would have to include telling the student exactly what he did wrong, what the punishment would be, and let the student tell his side of the story at a proper hearing. Also, the school is not supposed to create a punishment that is more severe than the wrongdoing was. In addition, rights as an American promise that the school cannot punish you more severely than other students for the same offense. Why is it that these rules do not apply to private school? According to the Office of Civil Rights, it is because the private schools do not receive money from the government, and therefore most of the rights provided by the Constitution do not apply to them. It is an awful thing that due process is not upheld, because without it the students and their families are helplessly at the will of the school.

Another reason that private schools are allowed too much power is because when the student signs their private schools handbook agreement, the policies are so vague that they could basically apply to anything. The school is then able to reinterpret them at their whim. These vague policies are impossible for someone to argue against. Also, since it is a private school, it does not even have to include all of their policies in the handbook. Therefore, the students do not even know what is acceptable or unacceptable. There is nothing keeping them there, and if the school wishes to have them leave, they can use one of their hidden policies to serve as a reason. As discussed earlier, a private school does not even have to let the student know what the misconduct was, so why even have policies?

Finally, it is impossible for a student to feel safe at a school where they almost have no rights. As a student of a private school for many years, I had no idea of this violation. If I did, I doubt I would have been able to focus on my academic life. I would be worried all the time that at some point the administration would just not want me anymore, and I would not be able to do anything about it. The school is not required to look out for the students well-being. To an extent, it is not require to make accommodations for their students, so why would they? They are an organization, and common logic tells us that organizations do not have feelings. They have to have the best students that require the least amount of attention to stay in business.

Private schools should be a place of learning, but it is a place of discrimination of unfairness. A shocking quote from the Office of Civil Rights, since private and parochial schools aren't run by the government, the First Amendment doesn't apply to them provides a direct admittance that, as unfair as the schools rules might be, there is nothing anyone can do about it. In public schools, students have to be treated fairly. Private schools should have to do the same, for the good of their students.


MY NAME IS KATY, I MADE THIS PETITION AND WROTE THIS PAPER BECAUSE I WAS PART OF THE CLASS OF 2008 AT WORCESTER ACADEMY -PIVATE HIGH SCHOOL IN MA-. I FEEL THAT THEY DISCRIMINATED AGAINST ME BECAUSE THE ADMIN. ASKED ME TO LEAVE DUE TO MY STRUGGLES WITH SELF INJURY THAT WERE A RESULT OF MY ANXIETY DISORDERS AND DEPRESSION. MY SELF INJURY WAS NOT GETTING IN THE WAY OF MY SCHOOL LIFE: I WAS AN HONOR STUDENT, VARSITY TENNIS PLAYER, ACTER, SINGER, AND DANCER, AND I NEVER GOT INTO ANY TROUBLE. MOST IMPORTANTLY, I WAS ALREADY GETTING HELP. THEY DID NOT ALLOW ME TO DEFEND MYSELF AND REFUSED TO TALK TO ME. IF THEY CAN DO THIS TO ME, WHAT IS STOPPING THIS FROM HAPPENING OTHER STUDENTS? WILL THEY KICK A STUDENT OUT WHEN THE STUDENT FINDS OUT HE OR SHE HAS A LEARNING DISORDER? WHAT IS STOPPING THEM? WE CANNOT LET THEM DO THIS.

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Caroline HodgesBy:
Business and CompaniesIn:
Petition target:
Private Schools (Worcester Academy)

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