In addition to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, states can provide additional free speech protection to their own citizens by enacting state laws or regulations. The Washington Administrative Code’s section on Student Rights is such a provision and may provide students attending Washington public high schools with added protection against administrative censorship.
In addition to other rights established by law, each student served by or in behalf of a common school district shall possess the following substantive rights, and no school district shall limit these rights except for good and sufficient cause:
(1) No student shall be unlawfully denied an equal educational opportunity or be unlawfully discriminated against because of national origin, race, religion, economic status, sex, pregnancy, marital status, previous arrest, previous incarceration, or a physical, mental or sensory handicap.
(2) All students possess the constitutional right to freedom of speech and press, the constitutional right to peaceably assemble and to petition the government and its representatives for a redress of grievances, the constitutional right to the free exercise of religion and to have their schools free from sectarian control or influence, subject to reasonable limitations upon the time, place, and manner of exercising such right.
(3) All students possess the constitutional right to be secure in their persons, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.
(4) All students shall have the right to be free from unlawful interference in their pursuit of an education while in the custody of a common school district.
(5) No student shall be deprived of the right to an equal educational opportunity in whole or in part by a school district without due process of law.
The foregoing enumeration of rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights set forth in the constitution and the laws of the state of Washington or the rights retained by the people.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.04.132. 85-04-009 (Order 3-85), § 180-40-215, filed 1/25/85; Order 6-77, § 180-40-215, filed 6/2/77, effective 8/1/77.]