Sponsors: Jeff Beaver, John Earl, Kenneth Kang
Co-Sponsors: Martin Keck, Nick Feamster, Josh Dorward, Shane Braunstein
As Passed by the Council (15 For, 1 Against, 9 Abstentions), April
Declaration of Students' Rights
- [study] Each and every student has the inalienable right to
pursue any course of study which is in pursuant to the graduation
requirements of Menlo School.
- [publication] Any student may publish in any appropriate public
forum the findings of his/her studies, provided that the publisher
and/or editor consent to its publication.
- [intellectual property] All work done by a student remains
property of the student provided that the student has resolved
all copyright and intellectual property rights.
- [stability] The student has the right to a peaceful, stable
environment. With this in mind, no entity shall adopt measures
that unduly disturb the students' ability to study, learn, and
- [privacy] Every student has a right to privacy provided that
such privacy does not endanger others or infringe on the rights
- [movement] Every student has the right to freedom of movement
provided that such movement does not endanger the student or his/her
- [assembly] Any group of students may hold a peaceful assembly.
- [speech] Students have the right to freedom of expression
in any medium provided they abide by all applicable laws.
- [discrimination] No student shall be excluded from any activity
for his/her disabilities, gender, race, ethnic background, or
religion with the exception of those activities that would endanger
the physical safety of the participants. Furthermore, all students
shall have an equal opportunity to study, learn, participate,
and pursue his/her interests.
- [peer infringement] No one shall exercise these rights in
a manner that infringes on another's rights.
- [information] Every student has the right to any information,
administrative, or otherwise which affects the student either
directly or indirectly.
(a) This article in no way shall infringe on a student's right
- [information] The student has an inalienable right to materials
and reports of international, national, state, and local sources
which affect the student.
- [involvement] The student shall in particular be provided
the opportunity to be heard in any judicial or administrative
proceedings affecting the student, either directly or through
a representative or appropriate body; both are held accountable
to the student or students.
- [clubs] Students have the right to form combinations, unions,
clubs, and other similar organizations either as a division of
Menlo School or entirely separate.
(a) Independent student organizations must be declared completely
independent in a public forum. The independent organization must
assume all responsibility for its actions and programs and comply
with all applicable state, federal, and local laws and regulations.
Menlo School is in no way liable for such a student organization.
(b) Student organizations have the right to submit critiques of
teachers and administrators for review. In addition, they shall
have the power to petition to protect their rights.
Recourse & Legal
- [suspension] In the event of general disorder and intractable
disturbances, the Menlo School administration, with the express
written consent of the student council, may suspend these any
one or all of these rights for an explicit period of time. Local,
state, and federal governments that have been granted the power
to do so, may suspend or revoke these rights in accordance with
- [separate parts] If any one part of this document is found
to be unconstitutional or superseded by a law or act of the city,
county, state, or federal government, then that clause, and that
clause alone, shall be declared null and void. Such declaration
shall not affect the other clauses of this document which shall
remain in force.
- [arbitration] The student or students have the right to arbitration
or mediation by a third party who is mutually chosen by the Menlo
School administration and the student or students in question.
(a) Any such proceeding shall abide by all applicable procedural
rules of national law.
(b) This clause does not preclude any appeal to the appropriate
court of law.
About the Declaration of Students' Rights
The remainder of this page was written by Kenneth
Kang and does not necessarity reflect the opinions or views of
Menlo School, its administration, the Student Council, the drafting
group of the Declaration of Students' Rights, or any interpretation
of the document.
On February 12, 1997, Jeff Beaver, John Earl, and I began collaborations
on a document which would state the rights of a student. This
began with a word or two at Student Council and an ensuing discussion
and drafting via E-mail. Taking inspiration from documents such
as the UN Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention
on the Rights of the Child, Constitution, World Declaration on
the Survival, Protection and Development of Children, the drafting
process included Martin Keck, John Earl, Aaron Green, Jeff Beaver,
Mrs. Lapolla, Mark Dannenberg, Debbie Schapira, Nick Feamster,
Dan Fanton, and Josh Dorward. After three major drafts, the draft
presented to Council was ratified 15 for, 1 against, and 9 abstentions
with a deletion of one word.
Discussions focused on several topics:
- Clause 11: There was objections by the Curriculum Committee
representatives regarding the closed nature of their meetings
and similarly, those of the Judicial Committee.
- Legality and Potential as a Contract
- Ratification with regards to the parents, administration,
faculty, and students
- Independent Student Organization and the method they would
declare themselves as such (Clause 14a)
- The necessity of clause 15, suspension of rights.
The document, as written, requires quite a bit of interpretation,
implementation, and understanding. The drafting committee worked
hard to keep this document short and easy to read. Interpreting,
understanding, and implementing the Declaration of Students' Rights
is a monumental task facing the Menlo community. To this end,
the Council is pursuing guidance and support from the Menlo faculty.
Suggested methods of introducing this legislation have been a
presentation or signing at Assembly, Advocacy, or at Class Meetings.
The Council has not voted on an exact procedure at this time,
but it has been suggested that the faculty be informed first and
foremost. The Business Office, Menlo's Lawyer, the MSA, and the
Board of Trustees have also been suggested.