School Laws

Disrupting Class
Pagers and Cell Phones
Do I have to go to school?
Yes. All students from the ages of five to 17 are required by South Carolina law to attend school. Also, pregnant students, married students and students who are unwed parents must attend school until they reach their 17 birthday. Every student is expected to be at school everyday, unless he or she is sick or otherwise excused.
S.C. Code Section 59-65-10
What does truancy mean?
Truancy is the purposeful failure to attend school even though you are obligated to be there. You parents are also responsible to make sure you attend school. If you skip school too many times, school officials will call your parents. If you continue to skip, they will notify juvenile court.  
What happens if I am suspended?
Suspension is used to discipline students who commit any crime, gross immorality, gross misbehavior, persistent disobedience or for violation of written rules and regulations. A school administrator has the power to temporarily remove a student from school or a class for up to 10 consecutive days. If you are suspended, your principal will write a letter to your parents telling them why you were suspended. Also, your parents and principal will set up a conference to discuss the suspension.
S.C. Code Sections 59-63-220 and 59-63-230  
What happens if I am expelled?
You can be expelled for committing major offenses as determined by your school board. The principal can enact expulsion proceedings by recommending expulsion to the school board. If a student is expelled from school by the school board, they are usually expelled for the remainder of the school year. If expulsion is a result of bringing a firearm to school, then the expulsion is for at least one calendar year from the date of expulsion.
An expelled student can usually appeal his or her expulsion. Every expelled student has a right to petition for readmission to school for the succeeding school year. You should read your school board's code of discipline for specific information about getting expelled.
S.C. Code Sections 59-63-210, 59-63-235 and 59-63-240  
Can I get in trouble for disrupting school?
Yes. Other students have the right to be free from interference in their education. It is against the law for any person to willfully interfere or disturb students or teachers of any school. Disturbing school includes being uncooperative with a teacher or principal, fighting or using foul or offensive language toward a teacher or principal.
Penalty: Fine between $100 and $1000 or up to 90 days
S.C. Section 16-17-420  
Can I bring my pager or cell phone to school?
No. It is illegal for a student to carry a cellular phone or pager on school grounds or during school events. There is an exception for students needing to carry a cell phone or pager for a legitimate medical reason. There is another exception for students over 18 years old if the student is an active member of a volunteer firefighting organization or a volunteer emergency medical service organization.
Penalty :   Each district's board has authority to discipline violators.
S.C. Code Section 59-63-280  
Can my locker or car be searched at school?
Yes. Though South Carolina law does not require searching school premises or individuals for drugs or weapons, school administrators and law enforcement officials may conduct reasonable searches on school property of lockers, desks, cars and personal belongings such as purses, bookbags, wallets and satchels with or without probable cause. They do not need a search warrant to conduct searches at school. If illegal drugs or weapons are found, this evidence could be used in court against the individual in possession.
S.C. Code Section 59-63-1120; New Jersey v. T.L.O. , 469 U.S. 328 (1985).