Misconceptions about the rules of Wake County

A Leesville student holds up the 2018-2019 Student/Parent Handbook. It is important for students to read the handbook to know about official rules and standards for behavior in school. (Photo courtesy of McKenna Daley)

At Leesville, students have many misconceptions about WCPSS policy and rules regarding school. Some think loss of power results in early dismissal, and others think you can leave school if the teacher does not show. However, the WCPSS handbook does not mention these claims.

On Monday, November 26, the power at Leesville Road High School shut off for 20 minutes. As soon as the room went dark, some kids yelled in fear while others cheered about school letting out early. It seems like common knowledge among students that if the power goes out, school will dismiss early. However, that concept cannot be found in writing anywhere in Wake County policy. In fact, only a blanket statement can be found saying that unique situations like power loss will follow guidelines set by the “school’s crisis team”. For more information about the guidelines, peruse the Safety and Emergencies page on the WCPSS website.

Another common misconception about Wake County rules is that students can leave school if their teacher or substitute does not show. After investigating, it seems most LRHS students believe if a teacher does not come within the first 15 minutes, they are free to go. That is NOT true. At the college level, it seems to be an unwritten rule that students may leave if the professor does not show, but it differs in high school. No specific rule outlines a procedure for if a teacher does not come, but the handbook explicitly states that “we are prohibited from allowing students to leave campus prior to the end of the school day unless accompanied by their parents or the parents’ designee” (WCPSS Attendance Policy). For a complete outline of attendance policies, read the full handbook here.

Some students also falsely believe that teachers or admin may not use force to control behavior. When a fight occurs at Leesville, the students involved almost always shout at the adults who break it up to “get off them” or “don’t touch them”. However, if it involves safety at school, school officials may use force to control the situation. In fact, a written NC law “authorizes school personnel to use reasonable force to control behavior or remove a person from the scene when necessary to correct students, quell a disturbance threatening injury to others, obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects on the person or within the control of a student, act in self-defense or to protect other persons or property, or to maintain order on educational property” (WCPSS Student Handbook).

Misconceptions  float around Leesville regarding rules of Wake County. It is important for students to be informed about policy and know what behaviors are acceptable. For a complete WCPSS policy manual, click this link.

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