Student-led Assemblies/Demonstrations 5-40

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Policy 5-40

STUDENTS

Student-led Assemblies/Demonstrations

  1. Generally

    Along with guaranteeing citizens the right to freedom of speech, the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States also guarantees the right to assemble peacefully, subject only to restrictions where the exercise of this right would substantially interfere with the rights and freedoms of other citizens. Time should be made available for orderly and peaceful student assemblies. The terms "orderly and peaceful" refer exclusively to mean that topics of a controversial nature should not be dealt with and argued during such assemblies.

  2. Definition
    1. Sometime both within and without regular school hours shall be made available for student assemblies to deal with relevant ideas and topics.
    2. In the secondary schools attendance at school-sponsored assemblies during school hours may be optional. The principal will decide if attendance is required. The decision will be based on criteria that the student body will benefit from the presentation or the necessity of imparting information to all students.
  3. Spontaneous Assemblies
    1. A spontaneous assembly of students on school property will be acceptable unless said assembly disrupts the education of others and the safety and physical wellbeing of students, staff, and/or unless said assembly prevents the school board from carrying out its statutory obligations. In accordance with School Board policy any student assembly must have a staff member in attendance for general supervision.
    2. A student attending a peaceful, spontaneous assembly - at a time when he/she has an obligation to be in class will suffer the school punishment or discipline that would come from missing a class. That discipline will be determined by the appropriate administrator.
    3. If the assembly is disruptive and/or laws are being broken, the administrator shall appropriate action. Then, if it is necessary, he/she shall notify the proper authorities.
    4. Each building principal shall have written plan and dispersal statement for dealing with non-peaceful assemblies of students.

Adopted by School Board: June 16, 1981
Amended by School Board: August 21, 1990
Amended by School Board: July 16, 1991
Amended by School Board: June 15, 1993 (Effective August 14, 1993)
Amended by School Board: February 12, 2019