In order to provide a safe, caring, and orderly environment, Hillsborough County Public Schools expects Civility from ALL who engage in school activities. Mutual respect, professionalism, and common courtesy are essential qualities that all need to demonstrate in promoting an educational environment free from disruptions, harassment, bullying, and aggressive actions.
Behaviors which interfere with or threaten to interfere with school activities, including but not limited to:
Using loud offensive language or profanity
Intimidating, harassing, bullying and inappropriate display of temper
Threatening verbal or physical harm
Threatening, abusive, or obscene telephone conversations, written communication, electronic mail or voice mail
Any student subjected to unacceptable behavior may bring his or her concerns to the attention of a school district employee who will follow established procedures for review and resolution of the reported incident.
Parents & Members of the Public Recourse
Any individual subjected to unacceptable behavior may bring his or her concerns to the attention of an immediate supervisor who will follow established procedures for review and resolution of the reported incident.
District Employee Recourse
Any employee subjected to unacceptable behavior may bring his or her concerns to the attention of the authorities/ immediate supervisor who will follow established procedures for review and resolution of the reported incident.
The Civility statement was developed after gathering input from ALL, which includes district employees, students, parents and members of the public. Compliance with this endeavor shall foster a safe, harassment free educational community and shall provide all students the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to realize their potential.
The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, “I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” shall be rendered by students standing with the right hand over the heart. The pledge of allegiance to the flag shall be recited at the beginning of the day in each public elementary, middle and high school in the state.
Students have the right to:
show love for their country and allegiance to its flag;
recite and display their feeling of patriotism;
participate in or refrain from activities involving loyalty oaths, saying a pledge, singing an anthem, saluting a flag, or taking part in a patriotic ceremony;
refrain from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance upon written request by their parent and to remain seated/stand quietly while the pledge is recited by others.
Students have the responsibility to:
not interrupt the educational rights of others;
not interfere with the rights of other students to express or refrain from expressing patriotism;
remove any headdress when the national anthem is played, except when such headdress is worn for religious purposes;
Student records maintained by Hillsborough County Public Schools are updated and revised in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 20 U.S.C.S.1232g and Florida Statutes 1002.22 and 1002.221. In accordance with Section 1002.22(2), Florida Statutes (FS), and 34 CFR 99.7, the district is to inform eligible students or parents or guardians of their rights pertaining to access to student records and confidentiality of student information as described below:
Student education records are records maintained by the school and in some cases other locations which directly relate to a student. Education records are maintained in accordance with policies of the School Board of Hillsborough County and contain identifying data (student and parent name, address, birth date, sex, race), academic record, standardized test results, attendance records, and health data. The record may also contain family background information, verified reports of serious or recurrent behavior patterns, record of extracurricular participation and participation in special programs, psychological reports and anecdotal records of professional staff. The principal may maintain a separate disciplinary file for students involved in misconduct including, but not limited to, description of misconduct, suspension notice(s), and record of disciplinary action(s) taken. These records are updated annually and information no longer pertinent is removed as per Florida Statute 257.36.
Parents and eligible students over the age of 18 may inspect and review that list upon oral or written request.
The Director of Student Placement, is the custodian of student records. Records for K-12th grade are kept at the last school attended. The records for students who graduated or withdrew from high school more than one year ago are permanently maintained at the Erwin Technical Center in the Student Records Department.
Parents, guardians, or eligible students have the right to:
inspect, review, and challenge the information contained in the records;
appeal any disagreement of records to the principal.
Students have the right to:
be protected by legal provisions prohibiting the release of personal information to other than legally-authorized persons without the consent of the parent, guardian, or student.
Parents, guardians, or eligible students have the responsibility to:
provide the school with any information that could be useful in making appropriate educational decisions;
authorize release of information to those individuals or agencies who are working for the benefit of the student;
follow School Board policies for release of student information through the school;
make an appointment with the school when they wish to review a record.
Access to Student Records
The following persons can access a student’s records: parent or legal guardian, eligible students over the age of 18, school officials, a party with the written permission of the parent or eligible student, certain state and local officials who are part of the juvenile justice system, federal grand jury or other law enforcement agency or any agency issuing a valid subpoena or court document directing information to a particular party. The term "parents" includes legal guardians or other persons standing in loco parentis (such as grandparent or stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for the welfare of the child).The term "eligible student" refers to students who are 18 years of age or older, or who are enrolled in a postsecondary institution, regardless of age.
In addition, a court may order nondisclosure of a subpoena or information provided in response to a subpoena. In cases of separation or divorce, both natural parents have access to their child’s educational records. If a court order restricts this access to records, the residential parent shall provide the school with a certified copy of the order, including any modifications, which will then be placed within the student’s cumulative file.
A release of information without parent or student (over the age of 18) consent can be made to school officials with a legitimate educational interest. A school official is considered to have a legitimate educational interest if the school official needs to review a student record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. A school official is a person employed by the district, such as an administrator, supervisor, teacher or support staff (including health and medical staff and law enforcement personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the district has contracted to perform a certain task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student on an official committee, such as disciplinary or grievance committee; or another school official performing his or her professional responsibility.
What Are The Rights of a Parent?
Parents or eligible students over the age of 18 have the right to:
request in writing to inspect and review all education records. The request will be granted within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 30 days. This inspection and review of records shall be held in the presence of an official of the school system.
a response to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of the records.
obtain copies of the education records of a student. The schedule of fees for copies is on file with each principal. No fee for copying may be charged to any parent if it would effectively prevent that parent from exercising his or her right to inspect and review the records.
request in writing an informal conference with the principal for the purpose of amending any record believed to contain information that is inaccurate, misleading or violating the privacy or the rights of the student.
The principal shall decide whether to amend the education records within a reasonable period of time. If the principal refuses to amend the records, he or she shall inform the parent or eligible student of that refusal, and advise the parent or eligible student of the right to file a grievance.
Parents or eligible students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning an alleged failure by the district to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Whatever rights are vested in the parent shall pass to the student whenever the student has attained 18 years of age or is attending an institution of post-secondary education. Parents may have access to their dependent children’s records regardless of age and may have the right of signing for the release of dependent children’s records.
What Information is Released without Parent Permission?
Copies of a student record may be sent to a school outside Hillsborough County Public Schools upon receipt of a written official school request. Parents or eligible students are to be notified of such transfers. Requests for records from all other sources require written permission of the parent or eligible student. Parents objecting to this use of directory information must sign and return the provided Parent Opt-out form.
Schools must furnish data to state agencies when an agreement between the agency and school system existed prior to November 19, 1974. This information may include “directory information” plus address, telephone number, date and place of birth, dates of attendance and former schools attended. School records may be disclosed to child welfare agencies.
The school system is authorized to release pertinent school data in interpretative form to the State Attorney’s Office, Office of Youth Services, and Circuit Court, Juvenile Division, without parent consent. It is not necessary for parents and students who are over the age of 18 to be notified if information from the student record is requested by subpoena from a federal grand jury. If a court or other agency with the power to issue a subpoena does so for law enforcement purposes and orders the school not to disclose the existence or the contents of the subpoena, the school is not required to notify the parent or student before compliance with the subpoena. In cases of child abuse, school officials are authorized and mandated by Florida Statute to report the suspected abuse to Department of Children and Families and provide them with the necessary information to pursue such complaints.
Student records may be released pursuant to a court order or subpoena. In the event that student records are the subject of a court order or subpoena, notice will be provided to the parent or student over 18 years of age. Notice will not be given if the court order or subpoena is issued in a case in which the parent is a party.
NOTICE: HCPS collects your Social Security number for the following purposes: identification and verification, employment qualification, tax reporting, benefits and retirement processing, unemployment compensation, and state reporting to the Department of Education. Social Security numbers are also used as a unique numeric identification within some of our systems and may be used for search purposes. (April 1, 2009)
Hillsborough County Public Schools seeks to provide a safe and equitable learning opportunity for each of its students, regardless of race, color, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or social and family background. Each school must be free from disruption that would interfere with the teacher’s right to teach and the students’ right to learn.
In accordance with Title VI, Title IX, Section 504/Title II and other civil rights regulations, the District is committed to providing an education and work environment free from all forms of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment. This commitment applies to all District operations, programs and activities.
Continuous Notification of Nondiscrimination
Pursuant to Title VI, Title IX, Section 504/Title II and other civil rights regulations, the School District of Hillsborough County does not discriminate nor tolerate harassment on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, genetic information or pregnancy in its educational programs, services or activities, or in its hiring or employment practices; and it will take immediate action to eliminate such harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. The district also provides equal access to its facilities to the Boy Scouts and other patriotic youth groups, as required by the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act.
The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Dr. Pansy Houghton, Executive Officer, Compliance, (813) 272-4000; firstname.lastname@example.org; 901 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33602.