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Student Rights and Responsibilities

Educational Opportunity

  • A free public school education shall be available to every school-aged person, and each student who enrolls has a corresponding responsibility not to deny this right to any other student.
  • To find the school(s) assigned to your address go to and type your address in the Find My School, or contact the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center at (505) 855-9040.
  • A transfer can be requested from a student’s assigned school to another APS school following APS transfer guidelines. Transfers are approved according to State and Federal laws, based on site capacity, program availability, and using a random selection process. Transfers can be requested through the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center (855-9050 or 855-9040), or online at (type transfer in the search engine for links to transfer information and the request form). The first window of opportunity to apply for a student transfer for the upcoming school year will be from January 1st through January 31st of the current school year.
  • Albuquerque Public Schools affords all students equal educational opportunities, as well as, equal opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities.
  • Policy prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of ethnic identity, religion, race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical disability, marital status and pregnancy in any program or activity sponsored by the school district.
  • If you have concerns regarding your student’s school or feel your student’s rights have been violated, you may contact the APS Student, Parent, Employee Service Center at 505-855-9040 or 6400 Uptown Blvd, NE, Suite 100 West
  • A grievance Procedure is available under the provisions of this handbook in the section called “WHAT TO DO IF YOUR RIGHTS HAVE BEEN VIOLATED” (See Table of Contents)

Student Government

  • Each secondary school will establish an elected student government with membership open to all students.
  • The student government will establish reasonable standards for candidates for office as outlined by the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA).
  • All students shall be allowed to vote in elections designed to promote careful consideration of the candidates and issues.
  • Elementary school personnel are encouraged to introduce students to principles of student government through school and class activities.

The responsibilities of the student government shall be subject to the regulations of the School Board and shall include but not be limited to the following:

  • Involvement in the process of developing policies for revisions and additions to the curriculum, school rules and regulations.
  • Involvement in the formulation of guidelines for co-curricular activities.
  • Involvement in allocation of student funds, subject to established audit controls and the approval of the principal.
  • Representatives selected by the student government shall meet regularly with the principal or his/her designee to exchange views and to share in the formulation of school student policies, and to consider revision to the school’s curriculum.

Expression and Association

  • Students are protected in the exercise of the constitutional rights of free speech, press and assembly.
  • The exercise of such rights, however, must be conducted in a manner that does not disrupt the educational process.


  • Students shall be allowed to distribute political leaflets, newspapers and other literature on school premises, at specified times and places. Such publications shall be submitted to the principal or designee for prior review.
  • Student publications shall be submitted to the principal or designee for prior review.

Organizations and Clubs

  • Students may form clubs or organizations for any legal purpose.
  • These organizations must be open to all students on an equal basis and must operate within procedural guidelines established by the student government, and with the approval of the school principal.

Controversial Issues

  • Students shall have the right to encounter diverse points of view.
  • Students shall have opportunities to hear speakers and view presentations representing a wide range of views in classes, clubs and assemblies under guidelines established by the school district.

Educational Technology

APS may provide technology resources to students for educational purposes. Proper behavior, as it relates to the use of educational technology devices, shall be no different from proper behavior in all other aspects of APS activities. All users shall use the educational technology equipment in a responsible, ethical, and polite manner. Violations may result in corrective action and/or restitution.

Student Use of Personal Electronic Devices

  • Students who possess a personal electronic device are solely responsible for its care. The school/district is not responsible for damage, loss or theft.
  • Personal electronic devices include but are not limited to cell phones, smart watches, laptops, and tablets.
  • Student possession of personal electronic devices on school campuses, busses or school activities is permitted
  • Student electronic devices shall be kept powered off and out of sight during the school day, during any school sponsored activity and during practices held on APS property
  • Students may use devices before and after school as determined by the school administration. High School students may use devices during lunch as determined by the school administration
  • Students may have devices on in the following circumstances with the permission of school administration
    • Special medical circumstances for student or family member
    • Using the device for an educational or instructional purpose with the teacher’s permission
  • Students shall not use personal devices on school property during the school day to access and/or view internet websites that are otherwise blocked at school. Blocked sites may include, but are not limited to social networking sites.
  • Student use of personal electronic devices that disrupts the instructional day may result in disciplinary action and/or confiscation of the personal device. When a personal device is confiscated, it shall only be released and/or returned to the student’ s parent/legal guardian. It is the student’s parent/legal guardian’s responsibility to retrieve the device according to school procedures. Each school will have specific procedures for their school when a device is confiscated.
  • Students using personal devices at appropriate times should follow common courtesies such as not taking photographs of others or posting photographs of others on social media without their permission and putting phones away when speaking to others.

Field Trips/Activity Trips

  • Students have the right to attend field trips and activity trips
  • Field trips are school-sponsored trips which provide first-hand educational experiences to supplement curriculum and instructional goals away from campus
  • Activity trips are trips sponsored by school activity clubs or trips that are non-educational in nature and are used to reward academic, athletic, or behavioral accomplishments

School/Student Disciplinary Investigations. Questioning a Student

  • If APS personnel, school resource officers, or APS police authorities desire to question a student beyond a preliminary investigation on school premises regarding any alleged suspected criminal acts by the student, the school authorities shall attempt to contact the parent/legal guardian. If a parent/legal guardian cannot be contacted, the minor child shall be advised verbally and in writing that it is their right not to speak to any official without the presence of their parent(s), guardian or attorney.
  • Except for a case of emergency, danger to the student or others, or flight risk, if outside police authorities, not assigned to an APS school, desire to question a student on school premises, the principal must contact the APS police department to verify the need to question the student on campus.
  • A school administrator or designee must immediately make a good faith effort to notify the parent/legal guardian of a student if the student has been removed from campus by law enforcement authorities.

School Lockers and Restrooms

  • Lockers or other student storage facilities may be searched without student consent.
  • Facilities assigned to students will not be opened by school authorities except for general housekeeping purposes and in instances when, in the judgment of the school administrator, the health, safety or general welfare of the student or school requires such action.
  • Neither school nor the district can assume any responsibility for items stored in these facilities.
  • School authorities may enter student restroom facilities at any time to check the facility for health, safety and/or housekeeping.
  • Students have the right to use the restroom facilities at any time with the permission of their teacher. Teachers should not deny a student request unless there is a pattern of misuse of restroom requests at which time the teacher may make parent contact.

Search of Person or Vehicle

  • Vehicle Searches – Search of a student’s vehicle while parked on school property may be conducted only if a certified school employee, school security officer, campus security aide or school bus driver has reasonable suspicion that a crime or breach of the disciplinary code is being committed by the student.
  • Physical Searches – Search of a student’s person or property may be conducted only where there is reasonable suspicion that the student being searched has committed a crime or a breach of the disciplinary code.
    • Searches such as emptying of pockets, searches of student backpacks and purses, removal of hats, socks and shoes may be conducted by any certified school employee, school security officer, or campus security aide.
    • More intrusive searches such as pat downs and frisks may only be conducted by an authorized person (principal or designee) of the same gender as the student being searched and in the presence of another authorized person of the same gender
    • The most intrusive searches include removal of clothing, such as lowering clothing or inspecting inside clothing to determine if items are being concealed within undergarments or clothing. A school administrator or his/her designee shall determine if the search is necessary; these searches should only be conducted in situations that pose a danger to the student or the school population, including but not limited to situations where there is reasonable suspicion a student is in possession of drugs (over-the-counter, prescription, illicit, look-alikes) or weapons. Administrators who conduct a most intrusive search will report the incident to their appropriate Associate Superintendent. If the school administrator determines that it is necessary to conduct the most intrusive search, School Police shall be contacted and informed about all safety concerns associated with the search.
    • In cases of an intrusive search reasonable efforts must be made by the school administrator to contact the student’s parent/guardian to notify them about the situation, safety concern and that an intrusive search shall be conducted.
  • Field Trips – Approved chaperones of the same gender may assist in checking of luggage or personal items for activity/field trips.
  • Transgender students may request which gender they prefer to conduct an intrusive search or in checking luggage or personal items for activity/field trips. The school administrator must make every effort to comply with this request.