Series: Series5000     Sub Series: 5000     Policy Number: 5300
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DISTRICT CODE OF CONDUCT


I.  Introduction

The Rhinebeck Central School District Board of Education (“Board”) is committed to providing a safe and orderly school environment where students may receive and district personnel may deliver quality educational services without disruption or interference.  Responsible behavior by students, teachers, other district personnel, parents and other visitors is essential to achieving this goal.

This commitment is consistent with the District’s mission, vision and core values. The mission is to provide an excellent learning environment and the dedicated development of every student’s generosity of spirit, passion for learning, and ultimate success.  The vision is educating students to become ethical decision-makers, self-directed learners, complex thinkers, collaborative workers, quality producers, and community contributors.  This aligns with the District’s core values of Safety and Health, Resources, Respect, Responsibility, Courage, Integrity, the Whole Child, Collaboration, Student Achievement, and Recognition as the hallmarks of a quality education.

The District has a long-standing set of expectations for conduct on school property and at school functions. These expectations are based on the principles of civility, mutual respect, citizenship, character, tolerance, honesty and integrity.

 

The board recognizes the need to clearly define these expectations for acceptable conduct on school property, to identify the possible consequences of unacceptable conduct, and to ensure that discipline when necessary is administered promptly and fairly. To this end, the Board adopts this code of conduct (“code”).

 

Unless otherwise indicated, this code applies to all students, school personnel, parents and other visitors when on school property or attending a school function.

While there are formal disciplinary procedures in place, it is critical that parents and educators realize the importance of communication and positive relationships in resolving discipline issues.  The formal discipline process is often unnecessary when parents, educators, and students have an opportunity to develop cooperative partnerships. Collaborative discussions of this type often lead to creative and student-specific solutions that support appropriate behavior and educational achievement.  If parents or school officials believe that a student’s placement is not appropriate, they should work together to recommend an appropriate change.  Collaborative and cooperative partnerships between parents, educators, and students are more likely to result in a change that will meet the needs of the student, ensure improved learning opportunities, and create a safe environment.

 

     The following key points from the publication Safeguarding Our Children: An Action Guide (Dwyer, K. and Osher, D, 2000) highlights certain principles that research or expert-based experience demonstrate to have a significant impact on the success of prevention and intervention plans for students with behavior problems.

 

Principles Underlying Behavior Intervention 

  • Share responsibility by establishing a partnership with the child, school, home, and community
  • Communicate with parents when early warning signs are observed. Parents should be involved as soon as possible
  • Maintain confidentiality and parents’ rights to privacy
  • Develop the capacity of staff, students, and families to intervene
  • Support students in being responsible for their actions
  • Make interventions available as early as possible
  • Use sustained, multiple, coordinated interventions. It is rare that children are disruptive only in school
  • Analyze the contexts in which behavior problems occur
  • Build upon and coordinate internal school resources


II. Definitions

 For purposes of this code, the following legal definitions apply:

 “Disruptive student” means an elementary or secondary student under the age of 21 who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom.

 “Parent” means parent, guardian or person in parental relation to a student.

 “School property” means in or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot or land contained within the real property boundary line of a public elementary or secondary school, or in or on a school bus, as defined in Vehicle and Traffic Law §142.

 “School function” means any school-sponsored trip, extra-curricular event, or activity.

 “Violent student” means a student under the age of 21 who:

  1. Commits an act of violence upon a school employee, or attempts to do so.
  2. Commits, while on school property or at a school function, an act of violence upon another student or any other person lawfully on school property or at the school function, or attempts to do so.
  3. Possesses, while on school property or at a school function, a weapon.
  4. Displays, while on school property or at a school function, what appears to be a weapon.
  5. Threatens, while on school property or at a school function, to use a weapon.
  6. Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys the personal property of any school employee or any person lawfully on school property or at a school function.
  7. Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys school district property.

 

 “Weapon” means a firearm as defined in 18 USC §921 for purposes of the Gun-Free Schools Act. It also means any other gun, BB gun, pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, machine gun, disguised gun, paintball gun, pocket knife, dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, gravity knife, brass knuckles, sling shot, metal knuckle knife, box cutter, cane sword, electronic dart gun, Kung Fu star, electronic stun gun, pepper spray or other noxious spray, explosive or incendiary bomb, or other device, instrument, material or substance that can cause physical injury or death when used to cause physical injury or death.

 

III.  Student Rights and Responsibilities

A.  Student Rights

The District is committed to safeguarding the rights given to all students under state and federal law. In addition, to promote a safe, healthy, orderly and civil school environment, all district students have the right to:

  1. Take part in all district activities on an equal basis regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation or disability.
  2. Present their version of the relevant events to school personnel authorized to impose a disciplinary penalty in connection with the imposition of the penalty.
  3. Access school rules and, when necessary, receive an explanation of those rules from school personnel.
  4. Due process, as defined by applicable law.

B.  Student Responsibilities

All district students have the responsibility to:

  1. Contribute to maintaining a safe and orderly school environment that is conducive to learning and to show respect to other persons and to property.
  2. Be familiar with and abide by all district policies, rules and regulations dealing with student conduct.
  3. Attend school every day unless they are legally excused and be in class, on time, and prepared to learn.
  4. Work to the best of their ability in all academic and extracurricular pursuits and strive toward their highest level of achievement possible.
  5. React to direction given by teachers, administrators and other school personnel in a respectful, positive manner.
  6. Work to develop the social behaviors necessary to interact with others in a positive manner.
  7. Ask questions when they do not understand.
  8. Seek help in solving problems that might lead to discipline.
  9. Dress appropriately for school and school functions.
  10. Accept responsibility for their actions.
  11. Conduct themselves as representatives of the district when participating in or attending school-sponsored extracurricular events and to hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct, demeanor, and sportsmanship.
  12. Students may find themselves in the unique situation of possessing information that could be potentially dangerous to themselves or others. They should report any and all situations or suspicions about harmful acts to other students, to their teachers, or to other school personnel.  All suspicions should be immediately reported.  The identities of students who report such situations or suspicions will be kept confidential by school authorities until legally required to do otherwise.

   

 

IV.  Essential Partners

A.  Parents

  1. Recognize that the education of their child(ren) is a joint responsibility of the parents and the school community.
  2. Send their children to school ready to participate and learn.
  3. Ensure their children attend school regularly and on time.
  4. Ensure that absences are excused and provide a written explanation for each absence to school authorities.
  5. Insist their children be dressed and groomed in a manner consistent with the student dress code.
  6. Help their children understand that in a democratic society appropriate rules are required to maintain a safe, orderly environment.
  7. Know school rules and help their children understand them.
  8. Convey to their children a supportive attitude toward education and the district.
  9. Build good relationships with school officials, teachers, other parents and their children’s friends.
  10. Help their children deal effectively with peer pressure.
  11. Inform school officials of changes in the home situation that may affect student conduct or performance.
  12. Provide a place for study and ensure homework assignments are completed.

B.  Teachers

  1. Lead by example in adhering to the code of conduct.
  2. Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.
  3. Be prepared to teach.
  4. Demonstrate interest in teaching and concern for student achievement.
  5. Know school policies and rules, and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner.
  6. Communicate to students and parents:
  7. Course objectives and requirements
  8. Marking/grading procedures
  9. Assignment deadlines
  10. Expectations for students
  11. Classroom discipline plan.
  12. Communicate regularly with students, parents and other teachers concerning growth and achievement.

C. Other School Staff 

  1. Lead by example in adhering to the code of conduct.
  2. Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.
  3. Know school policies and rules, and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner.
  4. Promote a safe and orderly school environment. 

D.    School Counselors

  1. Lead by example in adhering to the code of conduct.
  2. Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.
  3. Assist students in coping with peer pressure and emerging personal, social and emotional problems.
  4. Initiate teacher/student/counselor conferences and parent/teacher/student/ counselor conferences, as necessary, as a way to resolve problems.
  5. Regularly review with students their educational progress and career plans.
  6. Provide information to assist students with career planning.
  7. Encourage students to benefit from the curriculum and extracurricular programs.

E. Building Administrators (Principals and Assistant Principal)

  1. Lead by example in adhering to the code of conduct.
  2. Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.
  1. Promote a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment, supporting active teaching and learning.
  2. Ensure that students and staff have the opportunity to communicate regularly with the building administrator and approach the building administrator for redress of grievances.
  3. Evaluate on a regular basis all instructional programs.
  4. Support the development of and student participation in appropriate extracurricular activities.
  5. Be responsible for enforcing the code of conduct within the designated parameters and ensuring that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.

F.   Superintendent

  1. Lead by example in adhering to the code of conduct.
  2. Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.
  3. Promote a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment, supporting active teaching and learning.
  4. Review with district administrators the policies of the board of education and state and federal laws relating to school operations and management.
  5. Inform the board about educational trends relating to student discipline.
  6. Work to create instructional programs that minimize problems of misconduct and are sensitive to student and teacher needs.
  7. Work with district administrators in enforcing the code of conduct and ensuring that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.

 G. Board of Education 

  1. Lead by example in adhering to the code of conduct and in conducting board meetings in a professional, respectful, courteous manner.
  2. Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.
  3. Collaborate with student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel to develop a code of conduct that clearly defines expectations for the conduct of students, district personnel and visitors on school property and at school functions.
  4. Adopt and review at least annually the district’s code of conduct to evaluate the code’s effectiveness and the fairness and consistency of its implementation.

 

V.  Student Dress Code

 

Individual students and parents have the responsibility for student dress and general appearance.  Students are required to attend school in appropriate attire that also meets health and safety standards and does not interfere with the educational process.  Clothing that contains sexual innuendo, that glorifies or promotes drug, alcohol, or tobacco use, or violence, and/or is otherwise materially disruptive to the learning environment, as determined by the building principal or his/her designee, is prohibited.

 

Students are required to wear appropriate protective gear in certain classes (i.e. home and careers, technology, P.E.), as directed by the teacher. All undergarments must be covered, and apparel should be respectful of the student and of others in school, on school grounds, and at school activities, Furthermore, a student’s attire should not create, or be reasonably anticipated to create, a material disruption to the learning environment, as determined by the building principal or his/her designee.

 

Hats, clothing, attire and other articles which have an expression (phrase, word or words) or insignia (picture, symbol, patch, or pin) which is obscene, sexually suggestive, or libelous (that is, which contains objectionable language, including insults, whether directed to themselves or others), or which advocates racial, religious, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation prejudice is forbidden. Hats and coats may be worn in the hallways.  However, individual teachers may prohibit students from wearing hats or coats in the classroom.  Appropriate footwear must be worn.  Footwear that is a safety hazard, in terms of walking and/or participating in specific activities, will not be allowed.

 

If found wearing such attire, the student will be required to change clothes prior to returning to class. Any student who repeatedly fails to comply with the dress code shall be subject to further discipline.

 

VI.  Prohibited Student Conduct

 

The Board of Education expects all students to conduct themselves in an appropriate and civil manner, with proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students, district personnel and other members of the school community, and for the care of school facilities and equipment.

 

The best discipline is self-imposed, and students must learn to assume and accept responsibility for their own behavior, as well as the consequences of their misbehavior. District personnel who interact with students are expected to use disciplinary action only when necessary and to place emphasis on the students’ ability to grow in self-discipline.

 

The Board recognizes the need to make its expectations for student conduct while on school property or engaged in a school function specific and clear. The rules of conduct listed below are intended to do that and focus on safety and respect for the rights and property of others. Students who will not accept responsibility for their own behavior and who violate these school rules will be required to accept the penalties for their conduct.

Students may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from school, when they:

A.  Engage in conduct that is disorderly. Examples of disorderly conduct include:

  1. Running in hallways.
  2. Making unreasonable noise.
  3. Using language or gestures that are profane, lewd, vulgar or abusive.
  4. Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic, or reckless driving.
  5. Engaging in any willful act which disrupts the normal operation of the school community.
  6. Trespassing - Students are not permitted in any school building, other than the one they regularly attend, without permission from the administrator in charge of the building.
  7. Trespassing - Students are not permitted to be in any unauthorized area of any school building without permission from the administrator in charge of the building.
  8. Computer/electronic communications misuse, including any unauthorized use of computers, software, or internet/intranet account; accessing inappropriate web sites; or any other violation of the district’s acceptable use policy.

B.  Engage in conduct that is insubordinate. Examples of insubordinate conduct include:

  1. Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators or other school employees in charge of students or otherwise demonstrating disrespect.
  2. Lateness for, missing or leaving school without permission.
  3. Skipping detention.

C.  Engage in conduct that is disruptive. Examples of disruptive conduct include:

  1. Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators or other school personnel in charge of students.
  2. Interrupting or interfering with the orderly conduct of classes, school programs or school activities.

D.  Engage in conduct that is violent. Examples of violent conduct include:

  1. Committing or threatening an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, pushing, shoving, wrestling, punching, spitting and scratching) upon a teacher, administrator or other school employee or attempting to do so.
  2. Committing or threatening an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, spitting and scratching) upon another student or any other person lawfully on school property or attempting to do so.
  3. Possessing a weapon. Authorized law enforcement officials are the only persons permitted to have a weapon in their possession while on school property or at a school function.
  4. Displaying what appears to be a weapon.
  5. Threatening to use any weapon.
  6. Intentionally damaging or destroying the personal property of a student, teacher, administrator, other district employee or any person lawfully on school property, including graffiti or arson.
  7. Intentionally damaging or destroying school district property.

E.  Engage in any conduct that endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others. Examples of such conduct include:

  1. Lying to school personnel.
  2. Conspiring to violate the Code of Conduct.
  3. Stealing the property of other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or attending a school function.
  4. Defaming, which includes making false or unprivileged statements or representations about an individual or identifiable group of individuals that harm the reputation of the person or the identifiable group by demeaning them.
  5. Discriminating, which includes the use of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation (refer to BOE Policy 0120) or disability as a basis for treating another in a negative manner.
  6. Bullying, including cyberbullying (refer to section IX of this policy), and harassment, sexual (refer to BOE Policy 0120) or otherwise (refer to section IX of this policy), which involves a sufficiently severe action or a persistent, pervasive pattern of actions or statements directed at an identifiable individual or group which are intended to be, or which a reasonable person would perceive as, ridiculing or demeaning.
  7. Intimidation (refer to section IX of this policy), which includes engaging in actions or statements that put an individual in fear of bodily harm.
  8. Hazing (refer to section IX of this policy ), which includes any intentional or reckless act directed against another for the purpose of initiation into, affiliating with or maintaining membership in any school sponsored activity, organization, club or team.
  9. Selling, using, displaying or possessing obscene material, including but not limited to the sending or receiving of sexually explicit messages or photographs, primarily between mobile phones or other electronic devices.
  10. Using vulgar or abusive language or gestures, cursing or swearing.
  11. Smoking and/or possessing a cigarette, cigar, pipe or using chewing or smokeless tobacco, or possessing/using an e-cigarette/vaping.
  12. Possessing, consuming, selling, distributing or exchanging alcoholic beverages or illegal substances, being under the influence thereof, or possessing drug paraphernalia. “Illegal substances” include, but are not limited to, inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids and other performance enhancing substances, look-alike drugs, and any substances commonly referred to as “designer drug.”
  13. Inappropriately using, selling, or sharing prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
  14. Using and/or displaying all forms of radios, walkman-style tape, CD, or DVD players, audio and/or video recorders, laptop computers, external speakers, pagers, digital music players, cell phones/smartphones/smartwatches (including, but not limited to, talking, text messaging, message playing, ring-tone playing, game playing, music playing, audio recording, picture taking and video taking), electronic games, and similar items during school hours. These have been determined to be a potential disruption to the school learning process.  Using and/or displaying these items during school hours is generally prohibited in school, with the following exceptions: 
    1. Music players with a headset are permitted to be used by high school students only in a scheduled high school lounge, in the high school hallways, during a scheduled lunch period in the high school cafeteria, or by K-12 students on District transportation.
    2. Cell phones/smartphones/smartwatches are permitted to be used by high school students only in a scheduled high school lounge or during a scheduled lunch period in the high school cafeteria, by middle school and high school students in the classroom for academic purposes upon the teacher’s express prior permission, or by K-12 students on District transportation
    3. Listening to music with a headset in high school and middle school classrooms only with the prior approval of the teacher.
    4. Using personal laptop computers in high school and middle school classrooms only with the prior approval of the building principal or his/her designee.
    5. Electronic games and other digital devices with age-appropriate content are permitted to be used by K-12 students on District transportation. Digital content that includes sexual innuendo, that glorifies or promotes drug, alcohol, tobacco use, or violence, that is offensive to, or disrespectful of the privacy of, other students, and that is materially disruptive, is not permitted to be used thereupon. Use of digital media on District transportation must be personal and individual, and not be unwillingly shared with others on the bus.
    6. No recording, broadcasting, and/or playback equipment or materials, including but not limited to video recorders, cameras, cell phone/smartphone cameras, tape recorders, or videophones, are permitted to be used in school, on school grounds, and/or at school events without prior teacher or administrator approval. No recording, broadcasting, and/or playback equipment or materials, including but not limited to video recorders, cameras, cell phone cameras, tape recorders, or videophones, are permitted to be used in school, on school grounds, and/or at school events without prior teacher or administrator approval.  Such use includes, but is not limited to, the uploading, on-line posting, texting, and/or any other form of sharing of such content with one or more individuals, through any current or future method, medium or technology. In the event that such prohibited equipment is used or is used in a way that is prohibited, a teacher or any other member of the staff will see that the recording equipment, including content if applicable, is turned in to the main office and kept there until the end of the day.  Repeated incidents, or possession of recording equipment containing content, will require a parent conference in order to retrieve the confiscated items. The District reserves the right to confiscate and retain equipment that is reasonably suspected of having been used to record, to receive and/or to transmit visual or auditory content that might be a violation of law, for review and determination by law enforcement officials.
    7. Per State Education Department guidelines, students are prohibited from bringing cell phones/smartphones and certain other electronic devices into a classroom or other location where a State examination is being administered.  In addition, students are prohibited from bringing cell phones/smartphones and certain other electronic devices into a classroom or other location where a local final exam is being administered.  Test proctors, test monitors, and school officials shall retain the right to collect and hold any prohibited electronic devices prior to the start of the test administration.
  15. Using skateboards, roller skates, in-line skates, scooters or other similar items recreationally in school or on school grounds. In the interest of personal and traffic safety, using these items is prohibited in school and on school grounds at all times. In the event that such prohibited items are used, a teacher or any other member of the staff will see that the items are turned in to the main office and kept there until the end of the day.  Repeated incidents will require a parent conference in order to retrieve the confiscated items.
  16. Gambling.
  17. Demonstrating public displays of affection beyond handholding that are otherwise materially disruptive to the learning environment, as determined by the building principal or his/her designee.
  18. Indecent exposure, that is, exposure to sight of the private parts of the body in a lewd or indecent manner.
  19. Initiating a report warning of fire or other catastrophe without valid cause, misuse of 911, or discharging a fire extinguisher.

F.  Engage in misconduct while on a school bus. It is crucial for students to behave appropriately while riding on district buses to ensure their safety and that of other passengers and to avoid distracting the bus driver. Students are required to conduct themselves on the bus in a manner consistent with established standards for classroom behavior. Excessive noise, pushing, shoving and fighting will not be tolerated.

G.  Engage in any form of academic misconduct. Examples of academic misconduct include:

  1. Plagiarism.
  2. Cheating.
  3. Copying.
  4. Altering records.
  5. Computer or electronic communications misuse.
  6. Assisting another student in any of the above actions.

H.  Engage in conduct that is committed off school premises or at non-school sponsored activities to the extent that the Superintendent of  Schools and/or the Board of Education believes that the continued attendance in school of the student would constitute an endangerment to the health, safety, welfare or morals of the students and/or others in the schools.  

 

VII.  Reporting Violations

 

We live in a time when we must pay increased attention to the conversations that our children have with us and with their friends.  This includes all conversations and comments that mention or imply the threat of physical harm to an individual or a group. These remarks should be immediately reported to an appropriate adult, i.e. a parent and/or a teacher and, ultimately, to a school official.  It is important that students, parents, and staff understand that any threat of violence, even one seemingly made jokingly or in a casual manner, is a cause for concern and will be treated seriously by Rhinebeck school authorities.

 

In addition, all students are expected to promptly report other violations of the code of conduct to a teacher, guidance counselor, the assistant principal, the building principal or his or her designee. Any student observing a student possessing a weapon, alcohol or illegal substance on school property or at a school function shall report this information immediately to a teacher, the assistant principal, the building principal, the principal’s designee or the superintendent.

                                                                                                           

All district staff who are authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions are expected to do so in a prompt, fair and lawful manner. District staff who are not authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions are expected to promptly report violations of the code of conduct to their supervisor, who shall in turn impose an appropriate disciplinary sanction, if so authorized, or refer the matter to a staff member who is authorized to impose an appropriate sanction.

 

Any weapon, tobacco product, alcohol or illegal substance found shall be confiscated immediately, if possible, followed by notification to the parent of the student involved and the appropriate disciplinary sanction if warranted, which may include permanent suspension and referral for prosecution.

 

The building principal or his or her designee must notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency of those code violations that constitute a crime and substantially affect the order or security of a school as soon as practical, but in no event later than the close of business the day the principal or his or her designee learns of the violation. The notification may be made by telephone, followed by a letter to the contacted law enforcement agency. The notification must identify the student and explain the conduct that violated the code of conduct and constituted a crime.

 

Notification of these types of code violations will be communicated to the building staff on a need-to-know basis, in consideration of the confidentiality rights of the student who violated the code of conduct.

 

VIII.       Disciplinary Interventions, Consequences, Procedures, and Referrals

     

When addressing student behaviors that may impede learning, school personnel should consider a range of positive supports, strategies, and interventions before removals and suspensions.  Discipline policies, practices, and behavioral intervention plans should include a variety of interventions.  These may include addressing a student’s motivation, social skills, and problem-solving abilities, and using positive reinforcement and logical consequences.

 

Discipline is most effective when it deals directly with the problem at the time and place it occurs, and in a way that students view as fair and impartial. School personnel who interact with students are expected to use disciplinary action only when necessary and to place emphasis on the students’ ability to grow in self-discipline.

 

Disciplinary action, when necessary, will be firm, fair and consistent so as to be the most effective in changing student behavior. In determining the appropriate disciplinary action, school personnel authorized to impose disciplinary penalties will consider the following:

  1. The student’s age.
  2. The nature of the offense and the circumstances which led to the offense.
  3. The student’s prior disciplinary record.
  4. The effectiveness of other forms of discipline.
  5. Information from parents, teachers and/or others, as appropriate.
  6. Other extenuating circumstances.

 

As a general rule, discipline will be progressive. This means that a student’s first violation will usually merit a lighter penalty than subsequent violations.

 

If the conduct of a student is related to a disability or suspected disability under IDEA, Article 89, and the Part 200 Regulations, copies of which are available by contacting the Director of Special Education, the student shall be referred to the Committee on Special Education.  Discipline, if warranted, shall be administered consistent with the separate requirements of this code of conduct for disciplining students with a disability or presumed to have a disability. A student identified as having a disability shall not be disciplined for behavior related to his/her disability. The relationship between the disciplinary infraction and the disability shall require a determination by the Committee on Special Education.

A.    Interventions

Students who are found to have violated the district’s code of conduct may be subject to the following interventions, either alone or in combination.  These interventions are not necessarily listed in sequential order.  The school personnel identified after each intervention are authorized to provide or arrange for the provision of that intervention.  

  1. Positive alternatives, such as: - any member of the district staff
    1. student motivation
    2. social skills
    3. problem-solving skills
    4. positive reinforcements
    5. logical consequences
    6. anger management
    7. conflict resolution, and
    8. behavior management techniques
  2. Team therapeutic intervention – social worker, guidance counselor, school psychologist
  3. Utilization of appropriate temporary settings – any member of the district staff

 

B. Consequences

Students who are found to have violated the district’s code of conduct may be subject to the following consequences, either alone or in combination. The school personnel identified after each consequence are authorized to impose that consequence, consistent with the student’s right to due process. Administrators seeking to address a particular code infraction with a penalty that is outside the range of consequences designated for that infraction must first consult with the superintendent of schools to review the unique and/or extenuating circumstances that might justify such a deviation.

  1. Oral warning – any member of the district staff
  2. Referral to building administrator – bus drivers, hall and lunch monitors, coaches, guidance counselors, teachers
  3. Notification of parent – coaches, guidance counselors, teachers, assistant principal, principal, superintendent
  4. Detention – teachers, assistant principal, principal, superintendent
  5. Suspension from transportation – assistant principal, principal, superintendent
  6. Suspension from athletic participation – assistant principal, principal, superintendent
  7. Suspension from social or extracurricular activities – assistant principal, principal, superintendent
  8. Suspension of other privileges – assistant principal, principal, superintendent
  9. In-school suspension – principal, superintendent
  10. Removal from classroom by teacher – teacher
  11. Short-term (five days or less) suspension from school, which includes suspension from athletic participation and from social or extracurricular activities – principal, superintendent, board of education, consistent with Education Law §3214 and §2801
  12. Long-term (more than five days) suspension from school, which includes suspension from athletic participation and from social or extracurricular activities – superintendent, board of education
  13. Permanent suspension from school – superintendent, board of education.

C.   Infractions with Consequence References

  1. Disturbances that disrupt instruction. (1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 11)
  2. Repeated disruption and/or substantial interference with the teacher’s authority in class, giving rise to removal on four or more occasions per semester. (11, 12)
  3. Abusive language and/or indecent gestures directed at staff, students or visitors on school grounds or at school functions. (1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 11)
  4. Dress or grooming that is inappropriate as described in this code. (1, 2, 3, 4)
  5. Possession or dissemination of obscene materials. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11)
  6. Possession and/or use of tobacco in any form or of electronic cigarettes on campus or at school functions. (4, 8, 9, 11)
  7. Cheating in any academic, extra-curricular or co-curricular activity. (2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 11, 12)
  8. Abusive and/or indecent language and/or gestures directed at school employees or students on school grounds or at school functions which provoke a fight. (2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 11)
  9. Willful failure to obey the reasonable directives of school staff (insubordination), including directives not to engage in conduct otherwise referenced as an infraction in this code and for failing to notify a parent of assignment to detention. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12) 
  10. Fighting between students where no dangerous instruments are involved and no person is injured in the altercation. (4, 9, 11)
  11. Fighting between students where harm is caused to one or more of the combatants. (4, 9, 11, 12, 13)
  12. A fight involving the use or threatened use of a dangerous or deadly weapon or dangerous object. (11, 12, 13)
  13. Any violent act or threat of a violent act against a teacher or other staff member, as described in this code. (4, 11, 12, 13)
  14. Any violent act or threat of a violent act against another student or person in the schools or at a school function, as described in this code. (4, 11, 12, 13)
  15. Possession of dangerous or deadly weapons or dangerous objects on school property. (4, 11, 12, 13)
  16. Possession of illegal drugs, dangerous drugs, counterfeit drugs, alcohol, unauthorized prescription drugs, a substance that the individual believes or represents to be such drugs or alcohol, or drug paraphernalia, at school or at school functions. (11, 12, 13)
  17. Use of illegal drugs, dangerous drugs, counterfeit drugs, alcohol, unauthorized prescription drugs, a substance that the individual believes or represents to be such drugs or alcohol, or drug paraphernalia, at school or while attending school functions. (11, 12, 13)
  18. Sale, sharing, or other distribution of illegal drugs, dangerous drugs, counterfeit drugs, alcohol, unauthorized prescription drugs, or a substance that the individual believes or represents to be such drugs or alcohol, at school or while at school functions. (11, 12, 13)
  19. Use or misuse, sale, sharing or distribution of prescription or over-the-counter drugs without the supervision of the school nurse or the building administrator, at school or while at school functions. (1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 12, 13) 
  20. Possession of fireworks on school property or at school functions. (11, 12) 
  21. Use of fireworks while on school property or at school functions. (11, 12, 13) 
  22. Commission of conduct that constitutes a misdemeanor while on school property or at a school function. (11, 12)
  23. Commission of conduct that constitutes a felony while on school property or at a school function. (11, 12, 13)
  24. Commission of conduct that is committed off school premises or at a non-school sponsored activity if it is believed by school authorities that the continued attendance in school by the student committing the crime would constitute an endangerment to the health, physical and/or emotional safety, welfare or morals of the students or others in the schools. (11, 12, 13) 
  25. Gambling. (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11) 
  26. Hazing. (11, 12)
  27. Lewd behavior. (9, 11, 12)
  28. Extortion. (11, 12, 13)
  29. Plagiarism. (3, 4, 9, 11)
  30. Arson. (11, 12, 13)
  31. Intentional destruction of school property. (9, 11, 12, 13)
  32. Theft of school property. (11, 12, 13)
  33. Mental or physical condition that endangers the health, safety and/or welfare of the student or others. (9, 11, 12, 13)
  34. Using and/or displaying during school hours any and all forms of radios, walkman-style tape, CD, or DVD players, audio and/or video recorders, laptop computers, external speakers, pagers, digital music players, cell phones/smartphones/smartwatches (including, but not limited to, talking, text messaging, message playing, ring-tone playing, game playing, music playing, audio recording, picture taking and video taking), electronic games, and similar items; using a music player with a headset except by high school students only in a scheduled high school lounge, in the high school hallways, during a scheduled lunch period in the high school cafeteria, or by K-12 students on District transportation; using a cell phone except by high school students only in a scheduled high school lounge, during a scheduled lunch period in the high school cafeteria, or by K-12 students on District transportation; using a music player with a headset or a laptop computer, except in high school and middle school classrooms at the discretion of the individual classroom teacher; using electronic games, other than age-appropriate software by K-12 students on District transportation; using any recording, broadcasting, and/or playback equipment or materials, including but not limited to video recorders, cameras, cell phone cameras, tape recorders, or videophones, in school, on school grounds, and/or at school events without prior teacher or administrator approval, (confiscation, 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 11)
  35. Violation of computer use policy. (1, 2, 3, 4, 8 – computer privileges, 9, 11, 12)
  36. Class, study hall, homeroom, teacher detention, administrative detention cuts. (4, 9, 11)
  37. Eating or drinking outside of lunch periods without prior permission from a staff member or where otherwise prohibited. (1, 2, 3, 4)
  38. Driving recklessly, speeding, failing to follow staff directives on school grounds. (8 – driving privileges, 9, 11)
  39. Activation of a false alarm, bomb threat or other disaster alarm. (11, 12)
  40. Forgery or fraud. (3, 4, 8, 9, 11, 12)
  41. Bullying, including cyberbullying, and harassment. (sexual [refer to BOE Policy 0120], racial, etc.) (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
  42. Intimidation or coercion. (9, 11, 12)
  43. Leaving campus without prior authorization. (2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 11)
  44. Parking in unauthorized areas. (1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 11)
  45. Public displays of affection beyond hand holding. (1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 11)
  46. Tardiness to class/school. (1, 2, 3, 4, lunch detention)
  47. Unauthorized absence from school. (1, 2, 3, 4, 9)
  48. Theft of personal property. (4, 9, 11, 12)
  49. Being in any school building or on school grounds  outside of activity hours and/or while suspended from school. (1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11)
  50. Being in an unauthorized area of a school building or campus. (1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11)

The repetition of an infraction may lead to the imposition of the next measure of discipline.  Chronic repetition of infractions may lead to long-term suspension or permanent suspension.

D.  Procedures

The type of due process a student is entitled to receive before a penalty is imposed depends on the consequence being imposed. In all cases, regardless of the consequence imposed, the school personnel authorized to impose the consequence must inform the student of the alleged misconduct and must investigate, to the extent necessary, the facts surrounding the alleged misconduct. All students will have an opportunity to present their version of the facts to the school personnel imposing the disciplinary consequence in connection with the imposition of the penalty. Students who are to be given consequences other than an oral warning or written notification to their parents are entitled to additional rights before the penalty is imposed. These additional rights are explained below.

 

  1. Detention

Teachers, the assistant principal, principals and the superintendent may use detention as a consequence for student misconduct in situations where removal from the classroom or suspension would be inappropriate. Detention may be conducted during the school day, during the time normally reserved for lunch and/or recess.

At the middle school level, detention may also be conducted after school on designated days from 2:40 p.m. through 3:20 p.m.  At the high school level, detention may also be conducted after school on designated days, either from 2:40 p.m. through 3:20 p.m. (minor detention) or from 2:40 p.m. through 4:40 p.m. (major detention).  After-school detention will be imposed as a consequence only after the student’s parent has been notified to confirm that there is no parental objection to the penalty and the student has appropriate transportation home following detention.

 

  1. Suspension from transportation

If a student does not conduct himself/herself properly on a bus, the bus driver is

expected to bring such misconduct to the building principal’s attention. Students who become a serious disciplinary problem may have their riding privileges suspended by the building principal or the superintendent. In such cases, the student’s parent will become responsible for seeing that his or her child gets to and from school safely. Should the suspension from transportation amount to a suspension from attendance, the district will make appropriate arrangements to provide for the student’s education.

 A student subjected to a suspension from transportation is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal hearing with the building principal or the superintendent to review the conduct and the penalty involved.

 

  1. Suspension from athletic participation, extra curricular activities and other privileges

A student subjected to a suspension from athletic participation, extra-curricular activities or other privileges is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal hearing with the district official imposing the suspension to review the conduct and the penalty involved.

 

  1. In-school suspension

The board recognizes that the school must balance the need of students to attend school and the need for order in the classroom to establish an environment conducive to learning. As such, the board authorizes building principals and the superintendent to place students who would otherwise be suspended from school as the result of a code of conduct violation in “in-school suspension.” The in-school suspension teacher will be a certified teacher.

 

A student subjected to an in-school suspension is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the district official imposing the in-school suspension to discuss the conduct and the penalty involved.

 

  1. Teacher disciplinary removal of disruptive students

A student’s behavior can affect a teacher’s ability to teach and can make it difficult for other students in the classroom to learn. In most instances the classroom teacher can control a student’s behavior and maintain or restore control over the classroom by using good classroom management techniques. These techniques may include defusion, de-escalation, and redirection.

 

After the classroom teacher has exhausted these and other appropriate interventions, the teacher may need to direct a student to leave the classroom briefly to give the student an opportunity to regain his or her composure and self-control in an alternative setting. Such practices may include, but are not limited to: (1) short-term “time out” in an elementary classroom or in an administrator’s office; (2) sending a student into the hallway briefly; (3) sending a student to the principal’s office for the remainder of the class time only; or (4) sending a student to a guidance counselor or other district staff member for counseling.  These classroom management techniques do not constitute disciplinary removals for purposes of this code.

 

On occasion, a student’s behavior may become disruptive in class. For purposes of this code of conduct, a disruptive student is a student who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom. A substantial disruption of the educational process or substantial interference with a teacher’s authority occurs when a student demonstrates a persistent unwillingness to comply with the teacher’s instructions or repeatedly violates the teacher’s classroom behavior rules.

 

A classroom teacher may remove a disruptive student from class for up to two days. The removal from class applies to the class of the removing teacher only.

 

If the teacher finds that the student’s continued presence in the classroom does not pose a continuing danger to persons and property and does not present an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process, the teacher shall, prior to removing the student from the classroom, provide the student with an explanation of the basis for the removal and allow the student to informally present his/her version of the relevant events. In all other cases, the teacher shall provide the student with an explanation of the basis for the removal and an informal opportunity to be heard within twenty-four hours after the student’s removal.

 

If the student poses a danger or ongoing threat of disruption, the teacher may order the student to be removed immediately. The teacher must, however, explain to the student why he or she was removed from the classroom and give the student a chance to present his or her version of the relevant events within 24-hours.

 

The teacher must complete a district-established disciplinary referral form and meet with the principal or his or her designee as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the school day, to explain the circumstances of the removal and to present the referral form. If the principal or designee is not available by the end of the same school day, the teacher must leave the form with the secretary and meet with the principal or designee prior to the beginning of classes on the next school day.

 

Within 24-hours after the student’s removal, the principal or another district administrator designated by the principal must notify the student’s parents, by telephone and letter, that the student has been removed from class and the reasons for the removal. The notice must also inform the parent that he or she has the right, upon request, to meet informally with the principal or the principal’s designee to discuss the reasons for the removal.

 

If the parent, upon notification by the authorized administrator, requests an informal conference, the teacher who ordered the removal is required to be present at the informal conference.

 

If at the informal meeting the student denies the charges, the principal or the principal’s designee must explain why the student was removed and give the student and the student’s parents a chance to present the student’s version of the relevant events. The informal meeting must be held within 48 hours of the student’s removal. The timing of the informal meeting may be extended by mutual agreement of the parent and principal.

 

The principal may overturn the removal of the student from class if the principal finds any one of the following:

  1. The charges against the student are not supported by substantial evidence.
  2. The student’s removal is otherwise in violation of law, including the district’s code of conduct.
  3. The conduct warrants suspension from school pursuant to Education Law §3214 and a suspension will be imposed.

 

The principal may overturn a removal at any point between receiving the referral form issued by the teacher and the close of business on the day following the 48-hour period for the informal conference, if a conference is requested. No student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher will be permitted to return to the classroom until the principal makes a final determination, or the period of removal expires, whichever is less.

 

Any disruptive student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher shall be offered continued educational programming and activities until he or she is permitted to return to the classroom.  In the event of teacher removal of a disruptive student in accordance with the code of conduct, continued educational programming will be provided as soon as practicable.

 

Each teacher must keep a complete written log, including student name, class, explanation of infraction with details, date of infraction, and date(s) of removal from class, for all cases of removal of students from his or her class. The principal must keep a written log, to include the same information, of all removals of students from classes in that principal’s school.

 

Removal of a student with a disability, under certain circumstances, may constitute a change in the student’s placement. Accordingly, no teacher may remove a student with a disability from his or her class until he or she has verified with the principal that the removal will not constitute a change in placement.

 

 

  1. Suspension from school

 

Suspension from school is a severe penalty, which may be imposed only upon students who are insubordinate, seriously disorderly, violent or disruptive, or whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others.  A student suspended from a BOCES vocational program is automatically suspended from the home school, and a student suspended from the home school is automatically suspended from the BOCES vocational program. 

 

The Board retains its authority to suspend students, but places primary responsibility for the suspension of students with the superintendent and the building principals. Any staff member may recommend to the superintendent or the principal that a student be suspended. All staff members must immediately report and refer a violent student to the principal or the superintendent for a violation of the code of conduct. All recommendations and referrals shall be made in writing unless the conditions underlying the recommendation or referral warrant immediate attention. In such cases a written report is to be prepared as soon as possible by the staff member recommending the suspension.

 

The superintendent or principal, upon receiving a recommendation or referral for suspension or when processing a case for suspension, shall gather the facts relevant to the matter and record them for subsequent presentation, if necessary.

a. Short-term (5 days or less) suspension from school

When the superintendent or principal (referred to as the “suspending authority”) proposes to suspend a student charged with misconduct for five days or less pursuant to Education Law §3214(3), the suspending authority must immediately notify the student orally. If the student denies the misconduct, the suspending authority must provide an explanation of the basis for the proposed suspension. The suspending authority must also notify the student’s parents in writing that the student may be suspended from school. The written notice must be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or some other means that is reasonably calculated to assure receipt of the notice within 24 hours of the decision to propose suspension at the last known address for the parents. Where possible, notice should also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting the parents.

 

The notice shall provide a description of the charges against the student and the incident for which suspension is proposed and shall inform the parents of the right to request an immediate informal conference with the principal. Both the notice and informal conference shall be in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parents. At the conference, the parents shall be permitted to ask questions of complaining witnesses under such procedures as the principal may establish.

 

The notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place before the student is suspended unless the student’s presence in school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process. If the student’s presence does pose such a danger or threat of disruption, the notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place as soon after the suspension as is reasonably practicable.

 

After the confer­ence, the building principal shall promptly advise the parents in writing of his or her decision, at which point in time the suspension will be served, as designated by the building principal. The building principal shall advise the parents that if they are not satisfied with the decision and wish to pursue the matter, they must file a written appeal to the superintendent within five business days, unless they can show extraordinary circumstances precluding them from doing so. The superintendent shall issue a written decision regarding the appeal within 10 business days of receiving the appeal. If the parents are not satisfied with the superintendent’s decision, they must file a written appeal to the board of education with the district clerk within 10 business days of the date of the superintendents’ decision, unless they can show extraordinary circumstances precluding them from doing so. Only final decisions of the Board may be appealed to the Commissioner within 30 days of the decision.

 

b. Long-term (more than 5 days) suspension from school

When the superintendent or building principal determines that a suspension for more than five days may be warranted, he or she shall give reasonable notice to the student and the student’s parents of their right to a fair hearing. At the hearing the student shall be informed regarding the privilege against self-incrimination, and shall have the right to be represented by counsel, the right to question witnesses against him or her and the right to present witnesses and other evidence on his or her behalf.

                                                                                                                       

The superintendent shall personally hear and determine the proceed­ing or may, in his or her discretion, designate a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The hearing officer shall be authorized to admin­ister oaths and to issue subpoenas in conjunction with the proceeding before him or her. A record of the hearing shall be maintained, but no steno­graphic transcript shall be required. A tape recording shall be deemed a satisfactory record. The hearing officer shall make findings of fact and recommendations as to the appropriate measure of discipline to the superintendent. The report of the hearing officer shall be advisory only, and the superintendent may accept all or any part thereof.

 

An appeal of the decision of the superintendent may be made to the Board that will make its decision based solely upon the record before it. All appeals to the board must be in writing and submitted to the district clerk within 10 business days of the date of the superintendent’s decision, unless the parents can show that extraordinary circumstances precluded them from doing so. The Board may adopt in whole or in part the decision of the superintendent. Final decisions of the Board may be appealed to the Commissioner within 30 days of the decision.

 

c. Permanent suspension

Permanent suspension is reserved for extraordinary circumstances such as where a student’s conduct poses a life-threatening danger to the safety and well-being of other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or attending a school function.

E.  Minimum Periods of Suspension

  1. Students who bring a weapon to school

Any student found guilty of bringing a weapon onto school property will be subject to suspension from school for at least one calendar year. A student with a disability or suspected disability shall be reviewed in accordance with Section X of this document.

 

Before being suspended, the student will have an opportunity for a hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. The superintendent has the authority to modify the one-year suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the penalty, the superintendent may consider the following:

 

  1. The student’s age.
  2. The student’s grade in school.
  3. The student’s prior disciplinary record.
  4. The superintendent’s belief that other forms of discipline may be more effective.
  5. Input from parents, teachers and/or others.
  6. Other extenuating circumstances.

 

A student with a disability may be suspended only in accordance with the requirements of state and federal law.

 

  1. Students who commit violent acts other than bringing a weapon to school

Any student who is found to have committed a violent act, as outlined in Section II and Section VI, other than bringing a weapon onto school property, shall be subject to suspension from school for at least five days.  A student with a disability shall be reviewed in accordance with Section X of this document. 

 

If the proposed penalty is the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parents will be given the same notice and opportunity for an informal conference given to all students subject to a short-term suspension. If the proposed penalty exceeds the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parents will be given the same notice and opportunity for a superintendent’s hearing given to all students subject to a long-term suspension. The superintendent has the authority to modify the minimum five-day suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the penalty, the superintendent may consider the same factors considered in modifying a one-year suspension for possessing a weapon.

 

  1. Students who are repeatedly substantially disruptive of the educational process or repeatedly substantially interfere with the teacher’s authority over the classroom

Any student who repeatedly is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom will be suspended from school for at least two to five days. A student with a disability shall be reviewed in accordance with Section X of this document.  For purposes of this code of conduct, “repeatedly is substantially disruptive” means engaging in conduct that results in the student being removed from the classroom by teacher(s) pursuant to Education Law §3214(3-a) and this code on four or more occasions during a semester. If the proposed penalty is the minimum suspension of two to five days, the student and the student’s parent will be given the same notice and opportunity for an informal conference given to all students subject to a short-term suspension. If the proposed penalty exceeds a five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parent will be given the same notice and opportunity for a hearing given to all students subject to a long-term suspension. The superintendent has the authority to modify the minimum suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the penalty, the superintendent may consider the same factors considered in modifying a one-year suspension for possessing a weapon.

F.   Referrals

  1. Counseling

The Guidance Office shall handle all referrals of students to counseling.

  1. PINS Petitions

The district may file a PINS (person in need of supervision) petition in Family Court on any student under the age of 18 who demonstrates that he or she requires supervision and treatment by:

  1. Being habitually truant (at least 10 illegal absences in the current school year) and not attending school as required by part one of Article 65 of the Education Law.
  2. Engaging in an ongoing or continual course of conduct which makes the student incorrigible or ungovernable, or habitually disobedient and beyond the lawful control of the school.
  3. Knowingly and unlawfully possessesing drugs/alcohol in violation of Penal Law §221.05. A single violation of §221.05 will be a sufficient basis for filing a PINS petition.

 

       3.  Juvenile Delinquents and Juvenile Offenders

 The Superintendent is required to refer the following students to the County Attorney for a juvenile delinquency proceeding before the Family Court:

  1. Any student under the age of 16 who is found to have brought a weapon to school, or
  2. Any student 14 or 15 years old who qualifies for juvenile offender status under the Criminal Procedure Law §1.20 (42).

 

The Superintendent is required to refer students age 16 and older or any student 14 or 15 years old who qualifies for juvenile offender status to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

 

IX.  Dignity for All Students: Prohibiting Bullying, Discrimination, Hazing and Harassment

 

In accordance with New York State’s “Dignity for All Students Act” (“DASA”), the Board of Education is committed to fostering civility and providing all students and staff within the school district with an environment in which to learn and work that is safe, civil and respectful, and free from all forms of bullying, discrimination, hazing, and/or harassment.  Therefore, the Board condemns, and will not tolerate, any and all instances of bullying and harassing behavior, and all behavior that has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, dangerous or offensive learning or working environment.  It shall be a violation of this policy for any K-12 student, school district employee or third party (school visitor, volunteer, contractor, vendor, etc.) to bully, harass, discriminate, or intimidate through word or deed any other student, employee, or any other individual associated with the school.

 

Policy Definitions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the purposes of this policy and its implementation, bullying, discrimination, hazing, and/or harassment are considered as negative, hateful, and/or intimidating actions or behaviors that intend to and/or that do harm, that upset, or that compromise the physical, psychological, or emotional safety of a targeted person or persons.  Anyone can become the target of bullying, discrimination, hazing, and/or harassment. Bullying, discrimination hazing, and/or harassment may be based upon race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or disability, all either actual or perceived.  However, bullying, discrimination hazing, and/or harassment are certainly not limited to individuals in these or other protected classes, and could be based upon other characteristics as well, such as, but not limited to, social or socioeconomic status, height, or other characteristics that an individual or individuals may target a victim for  bullying, discrimination, hazing, and/or harassment.  Such actions or behaviors may take place on school property, at any school-sponsored function regardless of the location, and/or on a school bus. 

 

In addition, such actions or behaviors may otherwise take place off school grounds if they are designed to, or have the effect of, interfering with one’s ability to attend school, to work, and/or to be educated/employed in a safe, non-hostile environment. Bullying, discrimination hazing, and/or harassment that takes place at locations outside of school grounds which can be reasonably expected to materially and substantially interfere with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school or impinge on the rights of other students is prohibited, and may be subject to disciplinary consequences.

 

The District reserves the right to discipline students who engage in harassment of students off school property under circumstances where such off-campus conduct would be violative of the student code of conduct.

 

Any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participate in the investigation of allegations of harassment is prohibited. Follow-up inquiries and/or appropriate monitoring of the alleged harasser and victim shall be made to ensure that the prohibited behavior has not resumed and that those involved in the investigation of allegations of the prohibited behavior have not suffered retaliation.  Furthermore, any person having reasonable cause to suspect that a student or staff member has been subjected to bullying, discrimination, hazing or harassment by an employee or a student, as defined in this policy, and reports said prohibited behavior as required shall be free from retaliation of any kind.   

 

Forms of bullying may include, but are not limited to physical aggression (such as hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, taking personal belongings), social or relational aggression (such as intimidation), social exclusion, verbal aggression (such as taunting, malicious teasing, spreading rumors, name calling, making threats), non-verbal aggression, extortion, bias harassment, hate speech or actions, sexual harassment (refer to Policy #0110), electronic bullying or cyberbullying (harassment or bullying by any form of electronic communication, such as communications using instant messaging, e-mail, websites, blogs, chat rooms, gaming systems, social media web sites, text messaging, pagers, cell phones, and/or cell phone camera photographs, including incidents occurring off school property that create or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment.), and hazing (any conduct, methods of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, before, during or after school hours, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person, or which is reasonably likely to cause embarrassment, intimidation, physical, emotional or psychological harm, including loss of human  dignity, to another person.). All such conduct is disruptive of the educational process and is therefore prohibited.

 

It is the responsibility of all students and staff to create, support, and maintain a safe, civil and respectful school environment.  This includes school-sponsored functions, school buses, athletics, and other school activities, whether on or off of school premises. 

 

School training programs to raise awareness of and to discourage bullying, discrimination, hazing, and discrimination will be developed for use with students and staff and will be provided to students and to staff on an annual basis. In addition, staff members will be trained annually in awareness of and sensitivity to potential bullying, discrimination, hazing, and harassment to enable them to prevent and respond to any and all situations therof.

 

In order to maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students that will strengthen students’ confidence and promote learning, members of the staff are expected to confront issues of bullying, discrimination, hazing and/or harassment and/or any other situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school, property or at a school function. Staff members are expected to address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school or the classroom setting, and to report incidents of bullying, discrimination, and/or harassment that are witnessed or otherwise brought to the attention of the staff member in a timely fashion.

 

Staff members who observe behaviors that are, or might reasonably be understood to be, incidents of bullying, discrimination, hazing, or harassment are required to intervene and address such incidents, and to report such incidents that they observe or are reported to them to the building principal, or his/her designee, as soon as possible after it occurs, and on a consistent and timely basis.  The Building Principal, or his/her designee, will promptly investigate all complaints of bullying, discrimination, hazing, and/or harassment, either formal or informal, verbal or written, and pursue appropriate administrative action, consisting of measured, balanced, and age-appropriate responses, with remedies focused on intervention and education, with the focus of discipline on discerning and correcting the reasons why bullying, discrimination and/or harassment occurred, as indicated by the outcome of the investigation.

Remedial responses should be designed to correct the problem behavior, prevent another occurrence of the behavior, and protect the target of the act or acts.

Appropriate individual-focused remedial measures may include, but are not limited to: peer support groups, corrective instruction or other relevant learning or service experience; supportive intervention; behavioral assessment or evaluation; behavioral management plans with closely-monitored benchmarks; student counseling; and parent conferences. School-wide or environmental remediation strategies may include, but are not limited to: supervisory systems; school and/or community surveys to identify conditions contributing to relevant behavior; research-based, systemic prevention programs; modification of schedules; adjustment of hallway traffic patterns and flow; targeted use of monitors; staff professional development; parent conferences; involvement of parent-teacher organizations; and peer support groups.   

 

Victims of bullying, discrimination, hazing, and/or harassment, as well as individuals who have knowledge of, or who witness, a possible occurrence of bullying, discrimination and/or harassment, are strongly encouraged to report such an incident to a member of the staff as soon as possible if anticipated or after it occurs. The staff member to whom the report is made shall make a report to the Building Principal or designee and/or the official designated by the District to investigate allegations of bullying, discrimination, hazing, and/or harassment. The victim’s privacy and need for anonymity will be respected by the staff member(s) to whom the incident has been reported.  Anonymous reporting, while severely hampering school authorities from fully enforcing this policy and the Code of Conduct, will enable school authorities to monitor the situation in the future and intervene as necessary.  Retaliation against victims, witnesses, and others for reporting such an incident, as well as deliberately falsely reporting such an incident, is a violation of this policy as well.

 

The Board supports initiatives on the part of staff to model respectful behavior in the District’s schools and to acknowledge appropriate behavior by students and staff members. In addition, the Building Principal of each school will serve as the Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) of that school.  The school’s Dignity Act Coordinator will lead and coordinate the efforts of the school’s DASA Team, which will be comprised of the individual school’s administrators and pupil personnel staff, who will be thoroughly trained to handle human relations in the areas of bullying, discrimination, hazing, and/or harassment identified in this policy, in order to proactively address, and to respond to, any and all incidents thereof.   

 

The Superintendent of Schools is directed to develop and implement specific procedures for reporting, investigating, resolving, and documenting bullying and harassment complaints, as well as to implement training programs for staff and age-appropriate bullying and harassment prevention and education programming for students, and to communicate information about this policy to staff, students, parents and community members through various means, including the District web site.

 

 

X. Alternative Instruction

 

When a teacher removes a student of any age is removed from class or a student of compulsory attendance age is suspended from school pursuant to Education Law §3214, the district will take immediate steps to provide alternative means of instruction for the student.  In the event of teacher removal of a disruptive student in accordance with the Code of Conduct, continued educational programming will be provided as soon as practicable.

 

XI.  Discipline of Students with Disabilities

 

The Board recognizes that it may be necessary to suspend, remove or otherwise discipline students with disabilities to address disruptive or problem behavior. The Board also recognizes that students with disabilities enjoy certain procedural protections whenever school authorities intend to impose discipline upon them. The Board is committed to ensuring that the procedures followed for suspending,removing or otherwise disciplining  students with disabilities are consistent with the procedural safeguards required by applicable laws and regulations.

 

This Code of Conduct affords students with disabilities subject to disciplinary action no greater or lesser rights than those expressly afforded by applicable federal and state law and regulations.

 

If guilt is determined, before a penalty may be imposed, the following rules shall apply:

 

 

  1. If a nexus is found between the disability and the conduct underlying the charges, the §504 Committee must register a referral and bring about an evaluation of a student with a suspected disability or, if the student is already eligible under §504, it must consider possible program modification and disposition on a non-disciplinary basis.

 

  1. If no nexus is found, yet a disability is indicated or has been identified, discipline may be imposed upon remand to the §3214 Hearing Officer.

Students whose sole disabilities are founded under §504 and for whom no nexus is found shall be disciplined in the same manner as their non-disabled peers.

 

Any penalty imposed may not be based on past behavior for which a nexus determination was not made.

 

The District must continue to provide a free appropriate public education to students who have been suspended from school as required by the regulations

 

implementing §504 (34 CFR §104 et. Seq.) until the end of the school year in which the student reaches the age of 21.

           

 

If a nexus is found between the disability and the conduct, the §3214 proceeding must be discontinued (except for weapons, drugs and dangerous behavior) and the matter placed under the jurisdiction of the CSE for any further consideration.  The CSE must register a referral and bring about an evaluation in the case of a student who may be determined to be known as having a disability or, if the student is already classified under IDEA, it must consider possible program modification and disposition on a non-disciplinary basis.

 

  1. If no nexus is found, yet nonetheless a disability is indicated or has been identified, discipline may be imposed upon remand to the §3214 Hearing Officer. The relevant disciplinary procedures applicable to children without disabilities may be applied in the same manner in which they would be applied to children without disabilities, as long as the child continues to receive a free appropriate public education during any such term of suspension.                                                                     

 

  1. Where no nexus is found and no suspected disability is determined to exist, the matter shall be remanded to the §3214 hearing officer for a determination of penalty.

 

Any penalty imposed may not be based on past behavior for which a nexus determination was not made.

 

The District must continue to provide a free appropriate public education to students who have been suspended from school.

A.  Authorized Suspensions or Removals of Students with Disabilities

For purposes of this section of the code of conduct, the following definitions apply.

A “suspension” means a suspension pursuant to Education Law §3214.

For purposes of change in placement, a “removal” means a removal for disciplinary reasons from the student’s current educational placement other than a

suspension and change in placement to an interim alternative educational setting (IAES) ordered by an impartial hearing officer because the student poses a risk of harm to himself or herself or others.

 

      An “IAES” means a temporary educational placement for a period of up to 45 days, other than the student’s current placement at the time the behavior precipitating the IAES placement occurred, that enables the student to continue to progress in the general curriculum, although in another setting, to continue to receive those services and modifications, including those described on the student’s current individualized education program (IEP), that will enable the student to meet the goals set out in such IEP, and include services and modifications to address the behavior which precipitated the IAES placement that are designed to prevent the behavior from recurring.

 

School personnel may order the suspension or removal of a student with a disability from his or her current educational placement, as follows:                                                                                                      

  1. The Board, the district (BOCES) superintendent of schools or a building principal may order the placement of a student with a disability into an IAES, another setting or suspension for a period not to exceed five consecutive school days and not to exceed the amount of time a non-disabled student would be subject to suspension for the same behavior.
  2. The Superintendent may order the placement of a student with a disability into an IAES, another setting or suspension for up to 10 consecutive school days, inclusive of any period in which the student has been suspended or removed under subparagraph (a) above for the same behavior, if the superintendent determines that the student has engaged in behavior that warrants a suspension and the suspension or removal does not exceed the amount of time non-disabled students would be subject to suspension for the same behavior.
  3. The superintendent may order additional suspensions of not more than 10 consecutive school days in the same school year for separate incidents of misconduct, as long as those removals do not constitute a change of placement.
  4. The superintendent may order the placement of a student with a disability in an IAES to be determined by the committee on special education (CSE), for the same amount of time that a student without a disability would be subject to discipline, but not more than 45 days, if the student carries or possesses a weapon to school or to a school function, or the student knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school or a school function.

 

            Subject to specified conditions required by both federal and state law and regulations, an impartial hearing officer may order the placement of a student with a disability in an IAES setting for up to 45 days at a time, if maintaining the student in his or her current educational placement poses a risk of harm to the student or others.

B.  Change of Placement Rule

  1. A disciplinary change in placement means a suspension or removal from a student’s current educational placement that is either:

 

  1. for more than 10 consecutive school days; or
  2. for a period of 10 consecutive school days or less if the student is subjected to a series of suspensions or removals that constitute a pattern because they cumulate to more than 10 school days in a school year and because of such factors as the length of each suspension or removal, the total amount of time the student is removed and the proximity of the suspensions or removals to one another.

    2.  School personnel may not suspend or remove a student with disabilities if imposition of the suspension or removal would result in a disciplinary      change in placement based on a pattern of suspension or removal.

 

            However, the district may impose a suspension or removal, which would otherwise result in a disciplinary change in placement, based on a pattern of suspensions or removals if the CSE has determined that the behavior was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, or the student is placed in an IAES for                                                                                                            

behavior involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances.                                                                                    

C.  Special Rules Regarding the Suspension or Removal of Students with Disabilities

  1. The District’s Committee on Special Education shall:
    • Conduct functional behavioral assessments to determine why a student engages in a particular behavior, and develop or review behavioral intervention plans whenever the district is first suspending or removing a student with a disability for more than 10 school days in a school year or imposing a suspension or removal that constitutes a disciplinary change in placement, including a change in placement to an IAES for misconduct involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances.

      If subsequently, a student with a disability who has a behavioral intervention plan and who has been suspended or removed from his or her current educational placement for more than 10 school days in a school year is subjected to a suspension or removal that does not constitute a disciplinary change in placement, the members of the CSE shall review the behavioral intervention plan and its implementation to determine if modifications are necessary.

      If one or more members of the CSE believe that modifications are needed, the school district shall convene a meeting of the CSE to modify such plan and its implementation, to the extent the committee determines necessary.

     

    • Conduct a manifestation determination review of the relationship between the student’s disability and the behavior subject to disciplinary action whenever a decision is made to place a student in an IAES either for misconduct involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances or because maintaining the student in his current educational setting poses a risk of harm to the student or others; or a decision is made to impose a suspension that constitutes a disciplinary change in placement. 
  1. The parents of a student who is facing disciplinary action, but who has not been determined to be eligible for services under IDEA and Article 89 at the time of misconduct, shall have the right to invoke applicable procedural safeguards set forth in federal and state law and regulations if, in accordance with federal and state statutory and regulatory criteria, the school district is deemed to have had knowledge that their child was a student with a disability before the behavior precipitating disciplinary action occurred. If the district is deemed to have had such knowledge, the student will be considered a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes.
    1. The superintendent, building principal or other school official imposing a suspension or a teacher imposing a removal shall be responsible for determining whether the student is a student presumed to have a disability.
    2. A student will not be considered a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes if, upon receipt of information supporting a claim that the district had knowledge the student was a student with a disability, the district either:
      1. conducted an individual evaluation and determined that the student is not a student with a disability, or
      2. determined that an evaluation was not necessary and provided notice to the parents of such determination, in the manner required by applicable law and regulations.

                                                                                   

If there is no basis for knowledge that the student is a student with a disability prior to taking disciplinary measures against the student, the student may be subjected to the same disciplinary measures as any other non-disabled student who engaged in comparable behaviors.

 

However, if a request for an individual evaluation is made while such non-disabled student is subjected to a disciplinary removal, an expedited evaluation shall be conducted and completed in the manner prescribed by applicable federal and state law and regulations. Until the expedited evaluation is completed, the non-disabled student who is not a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes shall remain in the educational placement determined by the district, which can include suspension.

 

  1. The district shall provide parents with notice of disciplinary removal no later than the date on which a decision is made to change the placement of a student

with a disability to an IAES for either misconduct involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances or because maintaining the student in his/her current educational setting poses a risk of harm to the student or others; or a decision is made to impose a suspension or removal that constitutes a disciplinary change in placement.

 

The procedural safeguards notice prescribed by the Commissioner shall accompany the notice of disciplinary removal.

 

  1. The parents of a student with disabilities subject to a suspension of five consecutive school days or less shall be provided with the same opportunity for an informal conference available to parents of non-disabled students under the Education Law. 
  2. Superintendent hearings on disciplinary charges against students with disabilities subject to a suspension of more than five school days shall be bifurcated into a guilt phase and a penalty phase in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this code.
  3. The removal of a student with disabilities other than a suspension or placement in an IAES shall be conducted in accordance with the duprocess

procedures applicable to such removals of non-disabled students, except that school personnel may not impose such removal for more than 10 consecutive days or for a period that would result in a disciplinary change in placement, unless the CSE has determined that the behavior is not a manifestation of the student’s disability.

 

  1. During any period of suspension or removal, including placement in an IAES, students with disabilities shall be provided services as required by the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this code.

D.  Expedited Due Process Hearings

  1. An expedited due process hearing shall be conducted in the manner specified by the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this code, if:
    1. The district requests such a hearing to obtain an order of an impartial hearing officer placing a student with a disability in an IAES where school personnel maintain that it is dangerous for the student to be in his or her current educational placement, or during the pendency of due process hearings where school personnel maintain that it is dangerous for the student to be in his or her current educational placement during such proceedings.
    2. The parent requests such a hearing from a determination that the student’s behavior was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, or relating to any decision regarding placement, including but not limited to any decision to place the student in an IAES.
      1. During the pendency of an expedited due process hearing or appeal regarding the placement of a student in an IAES for behavior [involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances, or] on grounds of dangerousness or regarding a determination that the behavior is not a manifestation of the student’s disability for a student who has been placed in an IAES, the student shall remain in the IAES pending the decision of the impartial hearing officer or until expiration of the IAES placement, whichever occurs first, unless the parents and the district agree otherwise.
      2. If school personnel propose to change the student’s placement after expiration of an IAES placement, during the pendency of any proceeding to challenge the proposed change in placement, the student shall remain in the placement prior to removal to the IAES, except where the student is again placed in an IAES. 
  1. An expedited due process hearing shall be completed within 15 business days of receipt of the request for a hearing. Although the impartial hearing officer may grant specific extensions of such time period, he or she must mail a written decision to the district and the parents within five business days after the last hearing date, and in no event later than 45 calendar days after receipt of the request for a hearing, without exceptions or extensions.

E.  Referral to law enforcement and judicial authorities

In accordance with the provisions of IDEA and its implementing regulations: 

  1. The district may report a crime committed by a child with a disability to appropriate authorities, and such action will not constitute a change of the student’s placement.
  2. The superintendent shall ensure that copies of the special education and disciplinary records of a student with disabilities are transmitted for consideration to the appropriate authorities to whom a crime is reported, consistent with the consent requirements of FERPA.

 

XII.  Corporal Punishment

 

Corporal punishment is any act of physical force upon a student for the purpose of punishing that student. Corporal punishment of any student by any district employee is strictly forbidden. 

However, in situations where alternative procedures and methods that do not involve the use of physical force cannot reasonably be used, reasonable physical force may be used to:

  1. Protect oneself, another student, teacher or any person from physical injury.
  2. Protect the property of the school or others.
  3. Restrain or remove a student whose behavior interferes with the orderly exercise and performance of school district functions, powers and duties, if that student has refused upon verbal command to refrain from further disruptive acts.

 

The District will file all complaints about the use of corporal punishment with the Commissioner of Education in accordance with Commissioner’s regulations.  

 

 

XIII.  Student Searches and Interrogations

 

The Board of Education is committed to ensuring an atmosphere on school property and at school functions that is safe and orderly. To achieve this kind of environment, any school official authorized to impose a disciplinary penalty on a student may question a student about an alleged violation of law or the district code of conduct. Students are not entitled to any sort of “Miranda”-type warning before being questioned by school officials, nor are school officials required to contact a student’s parent before questioning the student. However, school officials will tell all students why they are being questioned.

 

In addition, the board authorizes the superintendent, building principals, the assistant principal, and the school nurse to conduct searches of students and their belongings if the authorized school official has reasonable suspicion to believe that the search will result in evidence that the student violated the law or the District Code of Conduct.

 

Before searching a student or the student’s belongings, the authorized school official should attempt to get the student to admit that he or she possesses physical evidence that they violated the law or the district code, or get the student to voluntarily consent to the search. Searches will be limited to the extent necessary to locate the evidence sought.

 

An authorized school official may conduct a search of a student’s belongings that is minimally intrusive, such as touching the outside of a book bag, without reasonable suspicion, so long as the school official has a legitimate reason for the very limited search.

 

An authorized school official may search a student or the student’s belongings based upon information received from a reliable informant. Individuals will be considered reliable informants if they have previously supplied information that was accurate and verified, or they make an admission against their own interest, or they provide the same information that is received independently from other sources, or they appear to be credible and the information they are communicating relates to an immediate threat to safety. District employees will be considered reliable informants unless they are known to have previously supplied information that they knew was not accurate.

 

Whenever practicable, searches will be conducted in the privacy of administrative offices or the nurse’s office and students will be present when their possessions are being searched.

A.  Student Lockers, Desks and Other School Storage Places

The rules in this code of conduct regarding searches of students and their belongings do not apply to student lockers, desks and other school storage places. Students have

no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to these places and school officials retain complete control over them. This means that student lockers, desks and other school storage places may be subject to search at any time by school personnel, without prior notice to students and without their consent.

B.  Strip Searches

A strip search is a search that requires a student to remove any or all of his or her

clothing, other than an outer coat or jacket. If an authorized school official believes it is necessary to conduct a strip search of a student, the school official may do so only if the search is authorized in advance by the superintendent or the school attorney. The only exception to this rule requiring advanced authorization is when the school official believes there is an emergency situation that could threaten the safety of the student or others.

 

Strip searches may only be conducted by an authorized school official of the same sex as the student being searched and in the presence of another district professional employee who is also of the same sex as the student.

 

In every case, the school official conducting a strip search must have probable cause – not simply reasonable cause – to believe the student is concealing evidence of a violation of law or the district code. In addition, before conducting a strip search, the school official must consider the nature of the alleged violation, the student’s age, the student’s record and the need for such a search.                                                                         

 

School officials will attempt to notify the student’s parent by telephone before conducting a strip search, or in writing after the fact if the parent could not be reached by telephone.  The student’s consent to the strip search shall be sought prior to conducting the search.

C.  Documentation of Searches

The authorized school official conducting the search shall be responsible for promptly recording the following information about each search:          

  1. Name, age and grade of student searched.
  2. Reasons for the search.
  3. Name of any informant(s).
  4. Purpose of search (that is, what item(s) were being sought).
  5. Type and scope of search.
  6. Person conducting search and his or her title and position.
  7. Witnesses, if any, to the search.
  8. Time and location of search.
  9. Results of search (that is, what items(s) were found).
  10. Disposition of items found.
  11. Time, manner and results of parental notification.

 

The building principal or the principal’s designee shall be responsible for the custody, control and disposition of any illegal or dangerous item taken from a student. The principal or his or her designee shall clearly label each item taken from the student and retain control of the item(s), until the items is turned over to the police. The principal or his or her designee shall be responsible for personally delivering dangerous or illegal items to police authorities.

D.  Police Involvement in Searches and Interrogations of Students

District officials are committed to cooperating with police officials and other law enforcement authorities to maintain a safe school environment. Police officials, however, have limited authority to interview or search students in schools or at school functions, or to use school facilities in connection with police work. Police officials may enter school property or a school function to question or search a student or to conduct a formal investigation involving students only if they have:

  1. A search or an arrest warrant; or
  2. Probable cause to believe a crime has been committed on school property or at a school function; or
  3. Been invited by school officials.

Before police officials are permitted to question or search any student, the building principal or his or her designee shall first try to notify the student’s parent to give the parent the opportunity to be present during the police questioning or search. If the student’s parent cannot be contacted prior to the police questioning or search, the questioning or search shall not be conducted. The principal or designee will also be present during any police questioning or search of a student on school property or at a school function.

 

  1. Child Protective Services Investigations

 

Consistent with the district’s commitment to keep students safe from harm and the obligation of school officials to report to child protective services when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a student has been abused or maltreated, the district will cooperate with local child protective services workers who wish to conduct interviews of students on school property relating to allegations of suspected child abuse, and/or neglect, or custody investigations.

 

All requests by child protective services to interview a student on school property shall be made directly to building principal or his or her designee. The principal or his or her designee shall set the time and place of the interview. The principal or designee shall decide if it is necessary and appropriate for a school official to be present during the interview, depending on the age of the student being interviewed and the nature of the allegations. If the nature of the allegations is such that it may be necessary for the student to remove any of his or her clothing in order for the child protective services worker to verify the allegations, the school nurse or other district medical personnel must be present during that portion of the interview.  No student may be required to remove his or her clothing in front of a child protective services worker or school district official of the opposite sex.

 

A child protective services worker may not remove a student from school property unless authorized by law.

 

XIV. Visitors to the Schools

 

The board encourages parents and other district citizens to visit the district’s schools and classrooms to observe the work of students, teachers and other staff. Since schools are a place of work and learning, however, certain limits must be set for such visits. The building principal or his or her designee is responsible for all persons in the building and on the grounds. For these reasons, the following rules apply to visitors to the schools:

 

  1. Anyone who is not a regular staff member or student of the school will be considered a visitor.
  2. All visitors to the school must report first to the designated reception area upon arrival at the school. There they will be required to sign the visitor’s register, will be issued a visitor’s identification badge, which must be worn at all times while in the school or on school grounds, and will be directed by a member of the staff to report to main office or other appropriate location. The visitor must return the identification badge to the staff member at the reception area and sign out before leaving the building.
  3. Visitors attending school functions that are open to the public, such as parent-teacher organization meetings or public gatherings, are not required to register.
  4. Parents or citizens who wish to observe a classroom while school is in session are required to arrange such visits in advance with the classroom teacher(s), so that class disruption is kept to a minimum.
  5. Teachers are expected not to take class time to discuss individual matters with visitors.
  6. Any unauthorized person on school property will be reported to the principal or his or her designee. Unauthorized persons will be asked to leave. The police may be called if the situation warrants.
  7. All visitors are expected to abide by the rules for public conduct on school property contained in this code of conduct.

 

XV.  Public Conduct on School Property

 

The District is committed to providing an orderly, respectful environment that is conducive to learning. To create and maintain this kind of an environment, it is necessary to regulate public conduct on school property and at school functions. For purposes of this section of the code, “public” shall mean all persons when on school property or attending a school function including students, teachers and District personnel.

 

The restrictions on public conduct on school property and at school functions contained in this code are not intended to limit freedom of speech or peaceful assembly. The district recognizes that free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the objectives of the district. The purpose of this code is to maintain public order and prevent abuse of the rights of others.

 

All persons on school property or attending a school function shall conduct themselves in a respectful and orderly manner. In addition, all persons on school property or attending a school function are expected to be properly attired for the purpose they are on school property.

A.  Prohibited Conduct

No person, either alone or with others, shall:

 

  1. Intentionally injure any person or threaten to do so.
  2. Intentionally damage or destroy school district property or the personal property of a teacher, administrator, other district employee or any person lawfully on school property, including graffiti or arson.
  3. Disrupt the orderly conduct of classes, school programs or other school activities.
  4. Distribute or wear materials, or use language or gestures, on school grounds or at school functions that are obscene, advocate illegal action, appear libelous, or are disruptive to the school program.
  5. Distribute or post any written material, pamphlets or posters without prior written approval of the superintendent or his/her designee.
  6. Intimidate, harass or discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
  7. Enter any portion of school grounds or the school premises without legitimate school business to conduct and/or without expressed advance administrative authorization, or remain in any building or facility after it is normally closed.
  8. Obstruct the free movement of any person in any place to which this code applies.
  9. Violate the traffic laws, parking regulations or other restrictions on vehicles.
  10. Allow pets to defecate on school grounds without cleaning up after them.
  11. Possess, consume, sell, share, distribute or exchange alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and/or other controlled substances (including prescription drugs), or be under the influence of either on school property or at a school function.
  12. Possess or use weapons in or on school property or at a school function, except in the case of law enforcement officers or except as specifically authorized by the school district.
  13. Use any recording, broadcasting, and/or playback equipment or materials, including but not limited to video recorders, cameras, cell phone cameras, tape recorders, or videophones, in school, on school grounds, and/or at school events without prior teacher or administrator approval, except at school functions that are open to the public, unless otherwise prohibited,
  14. Loiter on or about school property.
  15. Gamble on school property or at school functions.
  16. Refuse to comply with any reasonable order of identifiable school district officials performing their duties.
  17. Willfully incite others to commit any of the acts prohibited by this code.
  18. Violate any federal or state statute, local ordinance or board policy while on school property or while at a school function.

 

B. Dress Code

Faculty and staff handbooks will set forth a general dress code which does not

infringe upon individual rights.  The school district does not generally prescribe faculty/staff and visitor dress while they are on school grounds or at a school function if fashion or taste is the major criterion. However, the district will impose restrictions when a faculty/staff member’s or visitor’s dress is clearly dangerous, given the activity in which they are participating, or so inappropriate as to interfere with the orderly conduct of a school activity, the learning process, and/or the teaching process.  In particular, faculty/staff are asked to consider that their dress can be construed as a model for students and careful judgment needs to be exercised in the selection of appropriate clothing and attire while representing the school district.

Individual faculty/staff and visitors have the responsibility for their own dress and

general appearance.  Faculty/staff and visitors are required to attend classes and activities in appropriate dress that meets health and safety standards and does not interfere with school district activities and/or the education of district students.

 

When necessary, faculty/staff and visitors will be asked to wear appropriate protective gear in certain classes and/or activities (i.e. home economics, shop, P.E., etc.).  Clothing and attire which have an expression (phrase, word or words) or insignia (picture, symbol, patch, or pin) which is obscene, sexually suggestive, or libelous (that is, which contains objectionable language, including insults, whether directed to themselves or others), or which advocates racial, religious, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation prejudice is forbidden.

 

If found wearing such attire, faculty/staff and visitors may be asked to return home and change clothes prior to returning to the school.  For faculty/staff

involved in such an event, continued wearing of the inappropriate clothing and attire may lead to disciplinary action.

C.  Penalties

Persons who violate this code shall be subject to the following penalties:

  1. Visitors’ authorization, if any, to remain on school grounds or at the school function shall be withdrawn and they shall be directed to leave the premises. If they refuse to leave, they shall be subject to ejection.
  2. Students shall be subject to disciplinary action as the facts may warrant, in accordance with the due process requirements.
  3. Tenured faculty members shall be subject to disciplinary action as the facts may warrant in accordance with Education Law §3020-a or any other legal rights that they may have.
  4. Staff members in the classified service of the civil service entitled to the protection of Civil Service Law §75 shall be subject to immediate ejection and to disciplinary action as the facts may warrant in accordance with Civil Service Law §75 or any other legal rights that they may have.
  5. Staff members other than those described in subdivisions 3 and 4 shall be subject to warning, reprimand, suspension or dismissal as the facts may warrant in accordance with any legal rights they may have.

D.  Enforcement

The building administrator or his or her designee shall be responsible for enforcing the conduct required by this code.

 

 

When the building administrator or his or her designee sees an individual engaged in prohibited conduct, which in his or her judgment does not pose any immediate threat of injury to persons or property, the principal or his or her designee shall tell the individual that the conduct is prohibited and attempt to persuade the individual to stop. The principal or his or her designee shall also warn the individual of the consequences for failing to stop. If the person refuses to stop engaging in the prohibited conduct, or if the person’s conduct poses an immediate threat of injury to persons or property, the principal or his or her designee shall have the individual removed immediately from school property or the school function. If necessary, local law enforcement authorities will be contacted to assist in removing the person.

 

The district shall initiate disciplinary action against any student or staff member, as appropriate, with the “Penalties” section above. In addition, the district reserves its right to pursue a civil or criminal legal action against any person violating the code.

 

XVI.  Dissemination and Review

A.  Dissemination of Code of Conduct

The board will work to ensure that the community is aware of this code of conduct by:

  1. Providing copies of a summary of the code to all students at a general assembly held at the beginning of each school year.
  2. Making copies of the code available to all parents at the beginning of the school year.
  3. Mailing a summary of the code of conduct written in plain language to all parents of district students before the beginning of the school year and making this summary available later upon request.
  4. Providing all current teachers and other staff members with a copy of the code and a copy of any amendments to the code as soon as practicable after adoption.
  5. Providing all new employees with a copy of the current code of conduct when they are first hired.
  6. Making copies of the code available for review by students, parents and other community members.

 

The Board of Education will sponsor an in-service education program for all district staff members to ensure the effective implementation of the code of conduct. The superintendent may solicit the recommendations of the district staff, particularly teachers and administrators, regarding in service programs pertaining to the management and discipline of students.

 

The Board of Education will review this code of conduct every year and update it as necessary. In conducting the review, the Board will consider how effective the code’s provisions have been and whether the code has been applied fairly and consistently, in light of student discipline data to be reported annually to the Board, as well as feedback received from administrators, staff, students, parents, and community members.

 

The Board will appoint an advisory committee to assist in reviewing the code and the district’s response to code of conduct violations. The committee will be made up of representatives of student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel.

 

Before adopting any revisions to the code, the Board will hold at least one public hearing at which school personnel, parents, students and any other interested party may participate.

 

The code of conduct and any amendments to it will be filed with the Commissioner no later than 30 days after adoption.



District Reference:
,

General Reference:

Adoption Date:
2002-07-08

Last Revised:
2016-07-26