Why Do Schools Have Rules?

Schools establish rules for promoting good student behavior, disciplining bad behavior and ensuring a safe environment. Like other institutions in societies, schools adopt a legal framework to establish policies fostering communication and cooperation among students and staff. School rules outline rights and responsibilities for teachers and students, including attendance expectations and processes governing absences.

Some schools establish lengthy and explicit codes of conduct outlining permissible and impermissible behavior for all aspects of daily school life. School rules are designed to promote peace and productivity and cover important issues such as student safety and security. Some schools require students to carry ID cards. Bearing responsibility for the cards fosters a sense of responsibility for students and keeps them safe during school days. Schools make evacuation and emergency plans for weather events and fire drills. Other rules establish productive learning environments. These rules, such as dress codes, prohibit distracting attire that jeopardizes other students’ learning experiences. Rules also discipline disruptive and delinquent behavior, including suspending students from school. Enforcing behavioral actions may involve parents and faculty. To ensure students and parents know their rights and responsibilities, schools make rules visible. They codify rules in mission statements or a bill of rights. In addition to punishing bad behavior, many schools encourage students to report violations and issues to make positive changes.