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a handbook on student rights and responsibilities

with an emphasis on California law


Handbook Introduction


            Every right implies a corresponding responsibility. You must be willing to assure all people, parents, students and educators, the same ideas of dignity and respect which you see as essential for yourself. Once the gift is realized, it must be shared.


          The Handbook is to inform, guide and move people to intelligently claim the gifts which are rightfully theirs. Those most abused by governments and other power structures are not ethnic, religious, social or political groups. Rather, they are the neglected children, the world's greatest minority. Our educational system, if left unchecked, can both intentionally and unintentionally exploit the children who have been entrusted to their care.


          Too often school-aged children suffer a sub-culture of incompetence. Too often, a vandalism of the mind is struck in place of originality, enthusiasm, self-discovery, initiative, growth or control. Too seldom are the beauty of genuine education revealed and the joy of learning allowed to be felt, nourished and shared.


          Being young is one of several magnificent episodes in life. Sharing in another's youth, as a parent or an educator, and accepting that awesome responsibility is another grand aspect of living.


          This Handbook is to facilitate that mutual gauntlet of youthful growth and adult guidance. It is meant to illustrate and document the inalienable rights of education which relate intrinsically to students because they are human beings under the Constitution and cannot be denied the justice, the respect and the opportunity to experience unqualified excellence in an uncompromising school system.


          Having information is not a panacea for educational injustices. It is a genesis which can conceive a rewarding, vital and challenging encounter among students, parents and educators.


          Once introduced to your educational rights as student, as this Handbook will do, refine this beginning with your own research and discretion. Fortify your ideals and strategies with people of similar philosophies. They are all around you, other students, your parents, teachers, counselors, administrators and other community people. They simply need to be awakened to what is and what should be. If enlisted thoughtfully and with a candid sensitivity, you will rally a strength which is legion and which cannot be ignored.


          To court success you must be knowledgeable, organized, respectful of people and their ideas, open to honest negotiations and exceedingly patient. To have voluntarily initiated the quest, to endure and to continue to lend quality to your life as a student, parent or educator is to have known yourself. 


Boyer P. August

July 4, 1975



“Our answer is the world’s hope; it is to rely on youth ­– not a time of life, but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.”   Robert Kennedy



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