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Students’ Rights

Every student in our program is treated with respect according to these basic guidelines…

  • Right to Nourishment: Students will be provided healthy food and proper nutrition, including three balanced meals and evening snacks.  While extra treats may be reserved for students exhibiting good behavior, basic food and water shall not be withheld for punishment for bad behavior or any other reason.
  • Right to Communicate: Students have the right to communicate with other students (on campus) or staff, except when verbal interruptions or outbursts are inappropriate (for instance, while in a classroom, library, study time, special training, or in group events). Staff members may monitor such contacts to ensure they are not bullying, threatening, intimidating, abusive, predatory, or generally disrespectful. Each student shall be taught how to appropriately communicate with, listen to, and respect others and respect the moment they are in when verbal outbursts may be inappropriate.
  • Right to Respect of Body & Person: Students and staff will interact verbally in ways that are always respectful and non-threatening. Staff members may not use threats of physical punishment, isolation, verbal intimidation, ridicule, shaming, shunning, or other forms of verbal humiliation to discipline or correct students.
  • Right to Have One’s Possessions: Students have the right to personal possessions that are in keeping with their developmental level and living situation, according to the general safety rules and allowed controls as established by the institution. No individual student should be singled out to have their possessions removed.
  • Right to Privacy: Students have the same rights to privacy typically given to people in our society, including adequate living space, clothing, and storage areas. Each student’s right to physical privacy is protected. At the same time, given the nature of the program, staff may monitor their activities, movements, items stored, and interactions. This is to ensure the safety of all students and protect the overall facility. The team may also investigate the student’s living and storage areas to ensure nothing is being stored that may affect the safety of all students.
  • Right to Freedom of Movement: Students have the right to various experiences according to their age and maturity level. Healthy physical activities and movement are always to be encouraged. Seclusion, placing a student in a locked room alone (isolation), or using restraints is never allowed, unless for a short, monitored, cool-down period if the student is posing an immediate threat to other students or staff. 
  • Right Not to be Given Meaningless Work: Students may be given basic chores and light household duties meant to be meaningful experiences every individual needs to learn.  However, work for the sake of generating revenue for the institution, or meaningless work meant solely to be a punishment for bad behavior, must be avoided.  In some instances, students may be offered optional work experience as part of a vocational training program.
  • Right to See Student Updates and Disagree with Their Contents:  Students have the right to know anything negative that has been written about them in their treatment file and respond to such comments in their own words. Written documentation should be consistent with daily treatment strategies and target areas. Students should know their treatment goals and progress on these goals and should be involved in ongoing treatment planning and reporting.
  • Right to Basic Clothing Necessities: Students should be given appropriate dress and leisure clothing in keeping with their age and level within the program. Staff members and parents should ensure that each student’s basic clothing needs, including adequate cold-weather protection, are always met. 
  • Right to the Natural Elements: Students have the right to daily exposure to natural elements such as fresh air, light, and outdoor exercise (as appropriate). Healthy outdoor activities should be a routine part of every student’s experience.  
  • Right to One’s Bed: Students have the right to a personal bed in a room that may be shared with other students and monitored by staff (for everyone’s safety). 
  • Right to Family Visits: Students may visit with family or guardians at home or our facility. To ensure the continuity of our program, such visits should be requested in advance and planned. A staff member may monitor some or all such visits in our facility to ensure the interaction from all individuals is in keeping with the treatment plan for the student.  Students may be searched upon return from such visits to ensure that nothing inappropriate, illegal, or unsafe was given to them during a visit.
  • Right to Lodge a Complaint or Appeal: Student and parent(s) or legal guardians have the right to express a grievance or complaint. Grievances should first be conveyed to the school’s administration. If the person making the complaint is not satisfied with the response, appeals can be made to the Divisional Leader, and then to the CEO of the Teen Challenge Southeast Regional Office.

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