main content starts hereDistrictwide Code of Conduct

Definitions

For purposes of this code, the following definitions apply:

BULLYING

Bullying or Harassment means a single incident (or a series of incidents) including but not limited to conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse (whether verbal or nonverbal) based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion,  religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (identity or expression) or sex and is so persistent or pervasive that it creates a hostile environment. A hostile environment is created when the harassment, bullying or discriminatory behavior either has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits or mental, emotional or physical well-being; or reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his/her physical safety or physical injury or emotional harm to the student.

CYBERBULLYING

“Cyberbullying” means harassment or bullying as defined under “HARASSMENT,” as included in this section, where such harassment or bullying occurs through any form of  electronic communication.

DISABILITY

“Disability” means

(a) a physical, mental or medical impairment resulting from anatomical, physiological, genetic or neurological conditions which prevents the exercise of a normal bodily function or is demonstrable by medically accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques; or

(b)a record of such an impairment; or

(c) a condition regarded by others as such an impairment

(1) In all provisions of this article dealing with employment, the term must be limited to disabilities which, upon the provision of reasonable accommodations, do not prevent the complainant from performing in a reasonable manner the activities involved in the job or occupation sought or held.

DISRUPTIVE STUDENT

A “disruptive student” is defined in Education Law as an elementary or secondary student under twenty-one years of age who is disruptive to the educational process or interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom.

ELECTRONIC DEVICE

“Electronics” and/or “Electronic Device” means any device that a student, staff member, or individual on school property is in possession of which electronically communicates, sends, receives, stores, records, reproduces or displays voice and/or text communication or data. These include, but are not limited to, cell phones, smart phones, beep- ers, pagers, video recorders, video game players, laser pointers, iPods, MP3 players, music and media players, cameras, tablets, laptops, personal computers, and personal digital  assistants.

EMPLOYEE

“Employee” means any person receiving compensation from the school district or employee of a contracted service provider or worker placed within the school under a public assistance employment program, pursuant to title 9-B of Article 5 of the Social Services Law, and consistent with the provisions of such title for the provision of services to the district, its students or employees, directly or through contract, whereby such services performed by such person involve direct student contact.

GENDER

“Gender” means actual or perceived sex and shall include a person’s gender identity  or expression.

HARASSMENT

Harassment and Bullying shall mean the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by verbal threats, intimidation or abuse, including cyberbullying, that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional and/or physical wellbeing including conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause emotional harm; or reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury to a student or to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety. This definition includes acts of harassment or bullying that occur on school property (as defined above); at a school function (as defined above); or off school property where such acts create or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach the school property. Acts of harassment and bullying include but are not limited to non-verbal and verbal threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex (Education Law Section 11[7]).

Emotional Harm that takes place in the context of “harassment or bullying” means harm to a student’s emotional well-being through the creation of a hostile school environment that is so severe and pervasive as to unreasonably and substantially interfere with a student’s education.

Material incident of Harassment, Bullying and/or Discrimination means a single verified incident or a series of verified incidents where a student is subjected to harassment, bullying and/or discrimination by a student and/or employee on school property or at a school function. In addition, such term shall include a verified incident or series of related incidents of harassment or bullying that occur off school property, meets the definition of “harassment and bullying” as defined above, and is the subject of a written or oral complaint to the superintendent, principal or their designee, or other school employee.

Such conduct shall include, but is not limited to threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex; provided that nothing in this definition shall be construed to prohibit a denial of admission into, or exclusion from, a course of instruction based on a person’s gender that would be permissible under Education Law sec. 3201-a or 2854(2)(a) and Title  IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. section 1681, et seq.), or to prohibit, as discrimination based on disability, actions that would be permissible under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

PARENT

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

SCHOOL BUS

“School bus” means every motor vehicle owned by a public or govern- mental agency or private school and operated for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity, or to/from school activities; or, privately owned and operated for compensation for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity to or from school or school activities.

SCHOOL PROPERTY

“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

“School function” means any school-sponsored extracurricular event or activity.

VIOLENT STUDENT

A “violent student” is defined in Education Law as an elementary or secondary student under twenty-one years of age who:

  • Commits an act of violence upon a teacher, administrator or other school
  • Commits, while on school district property, an act of violence upon another student or any other person lawfully upon said property
  • Possesses, while on school district property, a gun, bullet, knife, explosive or incendiary bomb, or other dangerous instrument capable of causing physical injury or
  • Displays, while on school district property, what appears to be a gun, bullet, knife, explosive or incendiary bomb or other dangerous instrument capable of causing physical injury or death
  • Threatens, while on school district property or at a school function, to use any instrument in any manner that appears capable to cause physical injury or death
  • Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys the personal property of a teacher, administrator, other school district employee or any person lawfully upon school district property.
  • Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys school district property

WEAPON

“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, dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, pocket knife, gravity knife, brass knuckles, sling shot, metal knuckle knife, box cutter, cane sword, electronic dart gun, 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.

Student Basic Rights and Responsibilities

STUDENT RIGHTS TO PARTICIPATE

  • Each student has the right to an education regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or sex; and also has the responsibility not to interfere with or threaten the education of others.
  • Each student has the right to an education in an environment free of discrimination, bullying and/or harassment.
  • Mohonasen students are expected to abide by the policies and regulations of the school district.
  • Mohonasen students have the right to access rules, receive an explanation of those rules, and seek changes in district policies, and regulations in an orderly fashion by submitting their concerns in writing to the building principal.
  • Mohonasen students have the right to present their version of relevant events to school personnel before imposition of penalty.

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES

All district students have the responsibility to:

  • Contribute to maintaining a safe and orderly school environment that is conducive to learning and to show respect to property and other persons regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or sex.
  • Refrain from interfering with or threatening the education or rights of others.
  • Attend school every day unless they are legally excused and be in class, on time, and prepared to learn.
  • Work to the best of their ability in all academic and co-curricular pursuits and strive toward their highest level of achievement possible.
  • React to direction given by teachers, administrators and other school personnel in a respectful, positive manner.
  • Work to develop mechanisms to control their anger and inappropriate behavior.
  • Ask questions when they do not understand.
  • Seek help in solving problems that might lead to discipline.
  • Dress appropriately for school and school functions.
  • Accept responsibility for their actions.
  • Conduct themselves as representatives of the district when participating in or attending school-sponsored extracurricular events.
  • Demonstrate proper conduct, demeanor and sportsmanship at all times.

STUDENT INQUIRY AND EXPRESSION

  • Students are entitled to express their personal opinions verbally or in writing. The expression of such opinions, however, shall not interfere with the freedom of others to express themselves or the right of all students to an educational environment that is free of discrimination, bullying and harassment. The author must sign written expressions of opinions. Libel, slander, the use of obscenity, and personal attacks are prohibited.
  • Any student whose written or electronically formatted material which is deemed to be substantially disruptive to the educational process may be subject to discipline by the administration.
  • Mohonasen students may not distribute any printed and/or written materials on school property or in the immediate vicinity without the prior permission of the school principal. To obtain such permission, the person wishing to distribute the material shall provide a copy to the building principal with a written request that the principal give permission for its distribution. This written request shall contain a brief statement of when, where, and how the material is to be distributed.
    The principal shall not withhold permission unless the materials are libelous, obscene, contain personal attacks, interfere with every student’s right to an education free of discrimination, bullying or harassment, or the proposed manner of distribution would disrupt the education process.
  • Student publications should observe the normal rules of responsible journalism, and must comply with Paragraph 1 above. Within these limits, students are free to report the news and to editorialize. Student publications (print or electronic) should reflect the policy and judgement of the student editors. The district has no responsibility to assist in the production of student publications. Students may be held responsible for libelous, obscene or offensive materials contained in student publications. Student publications may be distributed only after permission is granted pursuant to Paragraph 2 above.

CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND CLUBS

  • The Mohonasen Central School District requires student organizations to register with the school in order to obtain available school
    funds and the use of school facilities.
  • Student organizations cannot restrict membership on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex.
  • No student group may meet without the direct supervision of a district employee or board approved designee.
  • Student organizations have the responsibility to make clear to the public that their programs do not necessarily reflect the view of the institution as a whole. Use of the school name when participating in a public demonstration is improper unless permission has been granted by the principal or his/her designated official.
  • Student organizations have the responsibility to recognize that persons who disagree with their purpose and programs have the right to choose for themselves whether to listen to the groups’ point of view, and must not be coerced or harassed into doing so.
  • Students interested in establishing a co-curricular activity are to present their recommendation in writing to the building principal. The request should specify the purpose of the activity. In addition, the student must also submit
    the signatures of at least ten interested students. The building principal will review this request and make the recommendation to the Superintendent of Schools.
    If the Superintendent of Schools recognizes the co-curricular activity, it will appoint an advisor to the activity. The District reserves the right to limit advisorships for co- curricular activities due to financial consideration.
  • Students may not be denied participation in any activity for any reason other than those established by State, County, or school eligibility requirements and those requirements legitimately related to the purpose of the activity.
  • Students may not be denied participation in any activity because of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

The Board of Education Policy 7631 affirms its commitment to non-discrimination and recognizes its responsibility to provide all district students an environment that is free of sexual harassment and intimidation. Sexual harassment is a violation of law and stands in direct opposition to district policy. Therefore, the Board of Education prohibits all forms of sexual harassment by students and  employees.

Regulations have been developed for resolving sexual harassment complaints by students.

RACIAL HARASSMENT

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to provide all district students with an environment free of racial harassment and intimidation. Racial harassment is a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and stands in direct opposition to district philosophy and policy. Therefore, the Board of Education prohibits all forms of racial harassment by employees and students. Board of Education Policy 7632 indicates procedure for resolving racial harassment complaints by students.

DIGNITY FOR ALL STUDENTS ACT

The Board of Education Policy 7550 recognizes that learning environments that are safe and supportive can in- crease student attendance and improve academic achievement. A student’s ability to learn and achieve high academic standards, and a school’s ability to educate students, is compromised by incidents of discrimination, bullying (to include cyberbullying) or harassment, including but not limited to bullying, taunting and intimidation. Therefore, in accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act, the district will strive to create an environment free of discrimination, bullying and harassment.

The district condemns and prohibits all forms of discrimination, bullying and harassment of students based on actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex by school employees or students on school property or at school events.

Acts of discrimination, bullying or harassment that take place on school property or at school events will be subject to discipline.

In accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act, the district has appointed Dignity Act Coordinators who are trained to address issues in areas protected by the law and are accessible to the school community. Mohonasen’s Dignity Act Coordinators are the principals of each school.

Standards for Student Conduct

ATTENDANCE

In order to ensure the greatest opportunity for academic success, it is expected that students will attend school daily during the required hours.

That said, the adopted Board of Education Attendance Policy requires that students who are absent from school must submit a written excuse, signed by a parent/legal guardian, within three days of their return or their school attendance record will permanently reflect an unexcused absence after this time (no backdating of excuses will be allowed after three days). The excuse should indicate both the reason and the date(s) of the absence.

In grades 6-12, students may no longer be awarded course credit in any class that is required for graduation if they miss more than 15% of class time due to unexcused absences.

Taking into account the block schedule at the high school, that means the maximum number of unexcused absences are as follows:

  • 27 for full-credit courses that meet every day;
  • 13 for full-credit courses that meet every other day;
  • 6 for half-credit courses that meet every other day; and
  • 20 for full-credit courses with a lab that meet every other day.

For summer school, the same policy will apply and a calculation of the absences will be prorated accordingly.

Daily absences, tardiness, and early departures will be considered excused or unexcused according to the following standards:

  • Excused: Absences due to personal illness, family illness or death, medi- cal/dental appointments, impassable roads due to inclement weather, religious observance, quarantine, required court appearances, pre- approved college visits, pre-approved cooperative work programs, military obligations or other special circumstances approved by the principal.
  • Unexcused: Any absence that does not fit the above categories, e.g., family vacation, hunting, babysitting, haircut, obtaining a learner’s permit, taking a road test, oversleeping, etc.

CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR

In order to ensure the greatest opportunity for academic success, it is expected that students will:

  • Follow prescribed classroom rules.
  • Be on time and prepared for class.
  • Observe the rights of others to learn without disruption in an environment free of discrimination and harassment.
  • React to directions given by teachers, administrators and other school personnel in a respectful, positive manner.

ACADEMIC  EXPECTATIONS

  • In order to achieve academic expectations, students will:
  • Come to school prepared to participate in classroom activities.
  • Be actively engaged in class instruction, give every assignment their best effort, and ask questions when they don’t understand.
  • Demonstrate qualities of initiative, perseverance, honesty, and integrity.

GENERAL BEHAVIOR

In order to promote an environment conducive to learning, students will:

  • Dress in a way that does not cause disruption or distraction in school or at school functions.
  • Demonstrate  respect for themselves, others, and property.
  • Behave in a way that does not discriminate, bully or harass students or school employees based on their actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.
  • Comply with all codes of conduct, rules, regulations and policies pertaining to student conduct as established by the Mohonasen Board of Education.
  • Accept responsibility for their actions.
  • Communicate in a manner which is not demeaning, harassing, profane, obscene  or discriminatory.
  • Work to develop mechanisms to control anger and seek help in solving problems that may lead to disciplinary referrals.

STUDENT DRESS CODE

All students are expected to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to dress appropriately for school and school functions. Students and their parents/guardians have the primary responsibility for acceptable student dress and appearance. Teachers and all other district personnel should exemplify and reinforce acceptable dress and help to develop an understanding of appropriate appearance in the school setting.

Interpretation of the dress code will be at the discretion of the building administration. Specifics on the interpretation of the dress code are provided by individual buildings.

In all cases, a student’s dress, grooming and appearance, including hair style, jewelry, makeup and nails, shall:

  1. Be safe, appropriate and not disrupt or interfere with the educational Including but not limited to banning of spikes (i.e. dog collars), large pins, large chains, etc.
  2. Recognize that brief, revealing or see-through garments are not appropriate.
  3. Include safe footwear at all times. Footwear that is a safety hazard will not be allowed. Including but not limited to “heelies,” roller skates, etc.
  4. Not include the wearing of over- ear headphones, earbuds or hats/ headgear in the school except for a medical or religious
  5. Not include items that are vulgar, obscene, libelous or denigrate others on account of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.
  6. Not promote and/or endorse the use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs and/or encourage other illegal or violent activities or suggestive material.
  7. Not denote or represent gang affiliation.

The district does not discriminate based on natural hair or hairstyles, and respects protective hairstyles, which include, but are not limited to, braids, locs and twists.

Building administrators shall be responsible for informing all teachers, students and their parents of the student dress code at the beginning of the school year and any revisions to the dress code made during the school year.

If a student is deemed to be wearing clothing/footwear that is not in compliance with established expectations, or is a disruption, the parents/guardians will be contacted. The student will be asked to modify their appearance and/ or the parent/guardian will be asked to bring new clothing/footwear to school. Students who do not comply will be subject to the disciplinary procedures outlined in this Code of Conduct.

STUDENT ELECTRONICS POLICY

The use of electronic devices is regulated by the administration in each building.

  1. The use of cell phones is not allowed in any building during regular school hours with the exception of the high school, as follows: cell phones must be turned off and not visible to teachers or school leaders during instructional time unless authorized by an administrator.
  2. Recording devices of any kind (smart devices, cameras, sound recorders, video recorders, etc.) are strictly prohibited without prior permission of a school official.
  3. Portable speakers, earbuds and headphones.

For information on other electronic devices please refer to specific building policies.

School officials reserve the right to take any electronic devices that are being used in a manner contrary to building or district policy. Arrangements will be made to return electronic devices in accordance with building/ district policy.

Students who do not abide by the electronics policy and choose to carry electronic devices (including, but not limited to, cell phones, cameras, handheld speakers, etc.) do so at their own risk. The school cannot be held responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged electronic property. The only way to ensure the safety of electronic devices is to leave them at home.

STUDENT PARKING PRIVILEGES

High School students with a valid driver’s license may be eligible to drive to school and park on school grounds in the parking area designated for students.

Student parking spaces are limited at the high school. Students may park only in the student parking lot. Stu- dents are not allowed to return to their car during the school day without prior permission.

Sitting, eating, vaping or smoking in the vehicle — even during lunch periods — is strictly prohibited on school property.

Any infraction or misuse of driving privileges may result in the revocation of a student’s parking permit. Students should be aware that student parking is a privilege, not a right. Unauthorized parking may result in towing at the driver’s/owner’s expense. A student’s chronic attendance problems and/ or disciplinary issues will also result in suspension or revocation of parking privileges. Refer to the high school parking policy, available in the main office, for specific details.

SCHOOL-SPONSORED/ SANCTIONED EVENTS

Administration reserves the right to deny attendance at any school function based upon reasonable behavioral/ safety or academic concerns. In order to maintain a safe/healthy environment, the district reserves the right to administer an alcohol screening device to any student at the district’s discretion.

Examples of school-sponsored/ sanctioned events may include, but are not limited to, dances, field trips, Kids Night Out, Teen Town and extracurricular activities.

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Participation in extracurricular activities is considered a privilege. Students who participate in extracurricular activities are required to adhere to all standards of behavior as outlined in the Code of Conduct. Failure to do so may result in their removal and/or exclusion from extracurricular activities.

Examples of extracurricular activities include, but are not limited to Mohon Masque, Colorguard, Winter- guard, Marching Band, Odyssey of the Mind, etc.

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.

Students are expected to assume and accept responsibility for their own behavior, as well as the consequences of their misbehavior. There may be occasions when district personnel use disciplinary action when necessary. District personnel are expected to use proactive strategies that promote good behavior among students and an environment free of discrimination and harassment.

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 to focus on safety and respect for the rights and property of others. Students who violate these school rules will be required to accept the consequences for their conduct and may be subject to disciplinary action. Examples of these violations include:

A.  Engaging in conduct that is disorderly. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. Running in hallways.
  2. Making unreasonable noise.
  3. Using language or gestures that threaten, intimidate, cause, or would reasonably be expected to cause, a student to fear for their physical safety.
  4. Conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.
  5. Using language or gestures that are profane, lewd, vulgar, or abusive.
  6. Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
  7. Reckless driving on school property or at a school event.
  8. Engaging in any willful act which disrupts the normal operation of the school community.
  9. Trespassing. Students are not permitted in any school office, school building or facility other than the one(s) they regularly attend or are scheduled for, without permission from the building administrator.
  10. Entering or using a district building/facility before and/or after regular hours or using any district facility for anything other than it’s intended purpose.

B. Engaging in conduct that is insubordinate. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  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. Truancy, excessive tardiness, refusal to attend class, wandering hallways or leaving school without permission.
  3. Refusal to attend detention.

C. Engaging in conduct that is disruptive. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. Failing to comply with directions of teachers, school administrators, or other  school personnel.
  2. Public display of affection.
  3. Student written or electronically for- matted materials, including cyber- bullying, deemed substantially disruptive to the educational process, including that which is threatening, intimidating or in any way bullies another  individual.
  4. Handouts, fliers, pamphlets or any other forms of written information fundraising or “soliciting” of any kind without prior administrative approval.

D. Engaging in conduct that is violent or threatening. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. Committing or threatening an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching 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, kick- ing, punching and scratching) upon another student or any other person lawfully on school property or at- tempting 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.
  7. Intentionally damaging or destroying school district property.
  8. Engaging in harassing or bullying conduct, verbal threats, intimidation, or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical well-being.

E. Engaging in any conduct that endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. Lying to school personnel.
  2. Stealing the property of other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property.
  3. Defamation, which includes making false or unprivileged statements or representations (may include but not limited to defamatory statements, allegations or representation made via computers, video, Internet, etc.) about an individual or identifiable group of individuals that harm the reputation of the person or the identifiable group by demeaning them.
  4. Discrimination, which includes the use of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex as a basis for treating another in a negative manner.
  5. Engage in harassing or bullying conduct through verbal or non-verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional and/or physical well-being including conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse that reason- ably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause emotional harm; or reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury to a student or to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety. Such conduct includes acts of harassment or bullying that occur on school property; at a school function; or off school property where the acts create or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach school property.
  6. Bullying, as defined in the Code of Conduct, and which may include but is not limited to conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse (whether verbal or nonverbal) based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (identity or expression) or sex and is so persistent or pervasive that it creates a hostile environment. A hostile environment is created when the harassment, bullying or discriminatory behavior either has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits or mental, emotional or physical well-being; or reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his/her physical safety or physical injury or emotional harm to the student.
  7. Hazing, 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.
  8. Physically detain or restrain any other person.
  9. Selling, using or possessing obscene material.
  10. Using vulgar or abusive language cursing or swearing.
  11. Smoking, vaping and/or possessing drug or smoking paraphernalia, including but not limited to cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes or using chewing or smokeless tobacco.
  12. Possessing, consuming, selling, distributing, or exchanging alcoholic beverages or illegal substances, or being under the influence of either. “Illegal substances” include, but are not limited to: inhalants, edibles, marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-alike drugs, and any substances commonly referred to as “designer drugs.”
  13. Inappropriately possessing, using or sharing prescription and over the counter drugs.
  14. Gambling.
  15. Indecent exposure, that is, exposure to sight of the private parts of the body (breasts, genitals, buttocks).
  16. Inappropriate displays of affection including any sexual contact, even if consensual and without regard to clothing.
  17. Initiating a warning of fire, bomb threat or other threat or catastrophe without valid cause, misuse of 911, or discharging a fire extinguisher unnecessarily.
  18. Fireworks possession or use on school grounds.
  19. Photography and audio/video taping of any individual without their knowledge and consent. Sharing of photography and audio/video taping without consent is prohibited as well.
  20. Violation of the school electronics use agreement and/or misuse of district technology.
  21. Planning or carrying out a prank that has the potential to cause physical harm or property damage.

F. Engaging in any form of academic misconduct. Examples include but aren’t limited to:

  1. Plagiarism
  2. Cheating
  3. Copying
  4. Altering, damaging, taking or destroying records.
  5. Assisting another student in any of the above actions.

G.  Engaging in misconduct while on a school bus, including but not limited to: harassment, bullying and/or discriminatory behavior. 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.

Student Discipline

Students are expected to assume and accept responsibility for their own behavior, as well as the consequences of their misbehavior. There may be occasions when district personnel use disciplinary action when necessary. District personnel are expected to use proactive strategies that promote good behavior among students and an environment free of discrimination and harassment.

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:

  • The student’s age.
  • The nature of the offense and the circumstances which led to the offense.
  • The student’s prior disciplinary record.
  • The effectiveness of other forms of discipline.
  • Information from parents, teachers and/or others, as appropriate.
  • 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, the students shall be referred to the Committee on Special Education and 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.

In the event of disciplinary actions in response to acts of harassment, bullying and or discrimination against students by employees or students, a progressive model of student discipline shall be imposed which includes measured, balanced and age-appropriate remedies and procedures that make appropriate use of prevention, education, intervention and discipline and shall consider, among other things, the nature and severity of the offending student’s behavior, the developmental age of the student, the previous disciplinary record of the student and other extenuating circumstances as well as the impact the student’s behaviors had on the individual(s) who was physically injured or emotionally harmed as a result of such acts. Responses shall be reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, prevent recurrence and eliminate the hostile environment.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LEVEL

The Code of Conduct is in effect while on school property, for all school functions and school sponsored activities (including off-campus activities), and during transport on school vehicles. The frequency of the occurrence shall determine the appropriate disciplinary consequence including reclassification to a higher-level infraction.

LEVEL I

Any misbehavior that represents a minor infraction of the established expectations is considered a Level I misbehavior.

Examples of Level I Infractions:

  • Inappropriate cafeteria or recess behavior.
  • Unprepared for physical  education.
  • Failure  to complete homework/classwork.
  • Abuse of hall or bathroom privileges.
  • Failure of student leaders (safety patrol, student council representatives) to exemplify positive school behavior.
  • Bringing and using electronic devices (including but not limited to phones, smart devices, etc.) in school.
  • Inappropriate  assembly behavior.
  • Inappropriate bus behavior (See transportation expectations).
  • Swearing (inappropriate language).
  • Disruption of instruction.
  • Buying/selling items.

Level I Disciplinary  Procedures:

  • Staff member immediately intervenes and applies the most appropriate option.
  • Since the frequency of occurrence determines subsequent response to the same infraction, a record of infractions and the disciplinary responses to each will be kept for each student.
  • In case of repetitive behavior, the teacher will communicate with the principal  and/or supervisor.
  • The supervisor maintains a record of the offense and disciplinary action.

Examples of Level I Disciplinary Consequences. The following consequences are randomly listed and are not intended to be progressive:

  • Verbal  reprimand
  • Note to parents
  • Call to parent
  • Talk  to principal/designee
  • Detention
  • Loss of privileges
  • Suspension or termination of student  leadership position
  • Electronic device taken until parent retrieves it
  • Removal from assembly
  • Referral to counseling

LEVEL II

Any misbehavior which tends to disrupt the safety of students and/ or the learning climate of the school is considered a Level II misbehavior.

Infractions at this level include Level I infractions committed by a student who continues or repeats the behavior after being disciplined at Level I.

Examples of Level II Infractions:

  • Recurring Level I misbehavior
  • Inappropriate bus behavior (See transportation expectations)
  • Insubordination/disrespectful behavior toward a staff member (first infraction)
  • Inappropriate attire
  • Inappropriate articles in school
  • Absenteeism/truancy
  • Harassment/intimidation
  • Bullying
  • Physically aggressive behavior

Level II Disciplinary  Procedures:

  • The staff member reports the incident to the principal/supervisor for appropriate disciplinary action.
  • Parent is notified.
  • The supervisor maintains a record of the offense and the disciplinary action.

Examples of Level II Disciplinary Consequences:

  • Warning issued
  • Letter home to parent/guardian
  • Loss of privileges
  • Recess detention/removal
  • Lunch suspension
  • Verbal  reprimand
  • Letter home
  • Detention
  • Removal from class
  • Parent conference
  • Referral to Student Success Team
  • Referral to counseling
  • Record is kept of infraction and disciplinary action

LEVEL III

Any misbehavior whose frequency or seriousness tends to disrupt the learning climate of the school or any misbehavior whose consequence may pose a serious and/or continued threat to the health and safety of others in school is considered Level III. Infractions at this level include Level II infractions committed by a student who continues or repeats the infraction after being disciplined at Level II.

Examples of Level III Infractions:

  • Recurring Level II infractions
  • School or personal  property damage/ vandalism
  • Insubordination/disrespectful behavior toward a staff member
  • Fighting/threatened use of  force
  • Inappropriate bus behavior (See transportation expectations).
  • Theft
  • Racial slurs
  • Harassment/intimidation
  • Bullying
  • Propagation of threats/rumors of violent acts

Examples of  Level III Disciplinary  Procedures:

  • Staff member reports the incident/ infraction to the principal/supervisor for appropriate disciplinary action.
  • The principal/supervisor meets with the student to determine the appropriate disciplinary action and informs the staff member of the action taken.
  • Parent/guardian  is notified.
  • Record is kept of the offense and disciplinary action.

Examples of Level III Disciplinary Consequences:

  • Contact parent/guardian
  • Payment for damages done
  • Referral to counseling
  • Referral to principal/supervisor
  • Detention
  • Suspension (in or out of school)
  • Continuation of more stringent Level II options
  • Bus suspension
  • Referral to Student Success Team
  • Loss of privileges

LEVEL IV

Any misbehavior considered a criminal act is a Level IV infraction. Law enforcement officials will be notified and criminal charges may be filed.

Examples of Level IV Infractions:

  • School vandalism exceeding $100
  • Possession, selling or use of illegal substances, alcohol or cigarettes
  • Possession, use or threatened use of weapons/dangerous instrument(s)
  • Assault or battery requiring a police report
  • Arson
  • Harassment/intimidation
  • Bullying
  • Bomb threat
  • False fire alarm
  • False 911 call

Level IV Disciplinary Procedures:

  • Staff member reports the incident/ infraction to the principal/ supervisor.
  • If activity is criminal, police will be contacted.
  • Referral to Student Success Team.
  • Record is kept of the offense and disciplinary action.

Examples of Level IV Disciplinary Consequences:

  • Police report filed
  • Notify parents
  • Suspension
  • Referral to Social Services/Student Success Team
  • Referral to counseling
  • Detention
  • Police, family or criminal court referral
  • Superintendent’s hearing

DRAPER MIDDLE SCHOOL AND MOHONASEN HIGH SCHOOL

The Code of Conduct is in effect while on school property, for all school functions and school sponsored activities (including off-campus activities), and during transport on school vehicles. The frequency of the occurrence shall determine the appropriate disciplinary consequence including reclassification to a higher-level infraction.

LEVEL I

Any misbehavior that represents an infraction of the established procedures, which regulate the operation of the school and its educational process, are considered a Level I infraction.

Some Examples of Level I Infractions:

  • Inappropriate  Language
  • Unauthorized use of electronic devices during school hours
  • Minor class disruptions
  • Inappropriate  behavior
  • Tardiness
  • Left class without permission
  • Class cut
  • Violation of Dress Code

LEVEL II

Any misbehavior that tends to disrupt the educational process is considered a Level II infraction. Infractions at this level include Level I infractions committed by a student who continues or repeats the infraction after being disciplined at Level I for that infraction.

Some Examples of Level II Infractions:

  • Chronic (2 or more) Level I infractions
  • Cutting detention
  • Public Display of Affection (PDA)
  • Possession of smoking materials
  • Class cuts
  • Physical altercation
  • Inappropriate  use of computer/technology
  • Unauthorized use of electronic devices
  • Violation of parking/driving privileges
  • Left school without permission
  • Insubordination
  • Cheating

Level I & Level II Disciplinary Procedures:

  • Staff member immediately intervenes and applies the most appropriate action to address the situation.
  • In cases of repetitive misbehavior, the staff shall communicate to an administrator.
  • The staff member completes a Discipline Referral Form.
  • Administrator will meet and discuss the referral with the student and assign a disciplinary consequence.
  • Informs staff of action taken.
  • Since the frequency of occurrence determines subsequent consequences a record of the offense and disciplinary consequence is maintained.

Level I & II Disciplinary Consequences (include, but not limited to):

  • Counsel  with student
  • Document behavior
  • Seat change
  • Parental contact
  • Behavior contract
  • Supervised detention
  • Restriction/loss  of privileges
  • Written apology
  • Temporary removal from class
  • Peer mediation
  • Suspension  from bus
  • Parent conference
  • In-school suspension
  • Filing of PINS (Person in Need of Supervision)
  • Temporary  external suspension
  • Loss of privileges
  • Referral to counseling
  • Grade reduction (plagiarism/cheating)

LEVEL III

Any misbehavior whose frequency and/or seriousness disrupts the educational process or poses a threat to the health and safety of self and others in school.

Some Examples of Level III Infractions:

  • Chronic (2 or more) Level II infractions
  • Insubordination/defiance toward staff
  • Possession of fireworks
  • Extortion
  • Fighting/assault
  • Hazing
  • Harassment or intimidation
  • Bullying
  • Theft/possession of stolen property
  • Smoking or possession of smoking materials
  • Trespassing
  • Truancy
  • Vandalism
  • Prohibited use of computer
  • Misuse of photographic or video devices
  • Unsafe driving

Level III Disciplinary Procedures:

  • Staff member immediately communicates infraction and reports student to an administrator and completes a “Discipline Referral Form.”
  • Administrator will meet and discuss the referral with the student and as- sign a disciplinary consequence.
  • Informs staff of action taken.
  • Since the frequency of occurrence determines subsequent consequences, a record of the offense and disciplinary consequence is maintained
  • Parent/guardian is notified in a timely manner
  • Principal and superintendent are notified
  • Referral to Pupil Study Team
  • Referral to local law enforcement agency for criminal activity

Level III Disciplinary Consequences (include, but not limited to):

  • Parent conference
  • Restriction/loss  of privileges
  • Peer mediation
  • In-school suspension
  • External suspension
  • Suspension  from bus
  • Filing of PINS (Person in Need of Supervision)
  • Referral to superintendent’s office for hearing
  • Restitution
  • Referral for out of school services (psychological and/or substance abuse services)
  • Loss of privileges
  • Referral to counseling

LEVEL IV

Any misbehavior which poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of self or others in school, and may require police intervention.

Examples of Level IV Infractions:

  • Chronic (2 or more) Level III infractions
  • Inciting and/or participation in a riot
  • Arson
  • Bomb threat or false alarm
  • Hazing
  • Harassment/intimidation
  • Bullying
  • Possession of weapon or explosives
  • Severe vandalism
  • Drug/alcohol possession
  • Drug/alcohol sale
  • Drug/alcohol use
  • Aggravated assault and battery/ fighting
  • Possession of firearm or facsimile
  • Breaking & entering
  • Possession and/or use of prohibited object
  • Threat
  • Lewd or indecent exposure

Level IV Disciplinary Procedures:

  • Administrator will report to the scene and notify appropriate law enforcement agency or medical agency.
  • Parent/guardian is notified in a timely manner.
  • Principal and superintendent notified.

Level IV Consequences (include, but are not limited to):

  • External suspension
  • Mandatory  parent/guardian conference
  • Police report may be filed
  • Filing of PINS petition (Person in Need of Supervision)
  • Referral to superintendent’s office for hearing
  • Restitution
  • Referral for out of school services/ counseling (psychological and/or substance abuse services)

REMOVAL OF A DISRUPTIVE STUDENT FROM THE CLASSROOM

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 practices that involve the teacher directing a student to briefly leave the classroom to give the student an opportunity to regain his/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 to the principal’s office only for the remainder of the class time; (3) sending a student to a guidance counselor or other district staff member for counseling. Time-honored classroom management techniques such as these do not constitute disciplinary removals for purposes of this code.

On occasion, a student’s behavior may become disruptive. For purposes of this Code of Conduct, a disruptive student is a student who is substantially disruptive to 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.

If the disruptive student does not pose a danger or ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process, the teacher must provide the student with an explanation for why he or she is being removed and an opportunity to explain his/her version of the relevant events before the student is removed. Only after the informal discussion may a teacher remove a student from class.

If the student poses a danger or ongoing threat of disruption, the teacher may request the student to be removed immediately. The teacher must, how- ever, 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 removal form and meet with the principal or his/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 removal 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, in writing, that the student has been removed from the class and why. The notice must also inform the parent that he/she has the right, upon request, to meet informally with the principal or principal’s designee to discuss the reasons for the removal.
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 student’s removal 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 parents.
The principal will require the teacher who ordered the removal to attend 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 or the principal’s designee may overturn the removal of the student from class if the principal finds any of the following:

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

The principal or his/her designee 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.

Each teacher must keep a complete log (on a district provided form) for all cases of removal of students from his/ her class. The principal must keep a log of all removals of students from class.

Removal of a student with an identified 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/her class until he/she has verified with the principal that the removal will not violate the student’s rights under state or federal law or regulation.

GUIDELINES FOR STUDENT SUSPENSIONS

  • Keep careful records of all violations of school regulations. This should include names, dates, circumstances, investigation and disposition.
  • Utilize support personnel to find ways of helping the student and/ or parents/person(s) in parental relation to solve the problem (teachers, guidance, psychologists, social worker, attendance officer, etc.).
  • Utilize all school and community agencies which might prove helpful.
  • Record all attempts to deal with problems, including conferences with parents/guardians in parental relation, teacher observations, record of referrals to other personnel and agencies and their reports.
  • When the principal has exhausted all available alternatives and re- sources and feels that the student’s continued presence in school would constitute a threat or danger to himself/herself or other students or that the student is “violent and/ or disruptive” as defined in accordance with law and Commissioner’s Regulations, the matter should also be referred to the Superintendent of Schools.

Staff members are required to immediately report and refer violent students to the principal or Superintendent for a violation of the District’s Code of Conduct and a minimum suspension period pursuant to Education Law Section 2801. However, the suspending authority may reduce such period on a case by case basis to be consistent with any other state and federal law.

As further enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulations, “repeatedly is substantially disruptive to the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom” shall mean engaging in conduct which results in the removal of the student from the classroom by the teacher(s) pursuant to Education Law and the provisions set forth in the district’s “Code of Conduct” on four (4) or more occasions during a semester, or three (3) or more occasions during a trimester, as applicable.

Pursuant to the district’s “Code of Conduct,” a minimum suspension period shall be established for students who repeatedly are substantially disruptive to the educational process or substantially interfere with the teacher’s authority over the classroom. However, the suspending authority may reduce such period on a case by case basis to be consistent with any other state and federal law.

When a student has been suspended and/or compulsory attendance age, immediate steps shall be taken to provide adequate instruction which is of a reasonable nature to that provided in the student’s regularly scheduled classes.

SUSPENSION: FIVE SCHOOL DAYS OR LESS

1.  When a student may be suspended from school for a period of five (5) school days or less, the suspending authority shall provide the student with notice of the charged misconduct. If the student denies the misconduct, the suspending authority shall provide an explanation of the basis for the suspension. Administration shall also immediately notify the parents/guardians in parental relation in writing that the student may be suspended from school.

2.  Written notice shall be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or equivalent means reason- ably calculated to assure receipt of such notice within 24 hours of the decision to propose suspension at the last known address or addresses of the parents n/guardians in parental relation. Where possible, notification shall also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting parents/guardians in parental relation.

3.  Such notice shall provide a description of the incident(s) for which suspension is proposed and shall inform the student and the parent/guardian

in parental relation of their right to request an immediate informal conference with the principal in accordance with the provisions of Education Law Section 3214(3)(b). Both the notice and the informal conference shall be in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parent/ guardian in parental relation.

4.  The notice and opportunity for informal conference shall take place prior to suspension of the student unless the student’s presence in the school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process, in which case the notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place as soon after the suspension as is reasonably practical. When a student has been suspended and is of compulsory attendance age, immediate steps shall be taken to provide alternative instruction which is of reasonable nature to that provided in the student’s regularly scheduled classes. Although the alternative instruction need not match in every respect the instructional program previously offered to the student, it must be adequate enough so that the student may complete his/her course work.

5.  Regardless of the length of a student’s suspension, if a parent/ guardian in parental relation wishes to appeal the suspension of such student by the principal and/or superintendent, such appeal must be made to the Board of Education, prior to commencing an appeal to the Commissioner of Education.

SUSPENSION: MORE THAN FIVE SCHOOL DAYS

A student may not be suspended for a period in excess of five (5) school days unless he/she and the parent/ guardian in parental relation to him/ her shall have had an opportunity for a Superintendent’s Hearing at which the student shall have the right to be represented by an attorney, the right to present witnesses and other evidence on his/her own behalf and the right to cross-examine witnesses against him/her. The notice of hearing should advise the student of the grounds for the charges in specific enough terms to enable him/her to anticipate reason- ably the subject content of the proposed hearing and to prepare a defense.

The student may bring a parent/ person in parental relation with him/ her to the hearing, and both the student and the person invoking the hearing procedure may be represented by counsel. A sign language interpreter should be available, if needed.

At the hearing, persons having direct knowledge of the facts should be called to testify. Hearsay evidence may be admitted but alone is not sufficient, notwithstanding the administrative nature of the proceeding. There must be some direct evidence of guilt of the charges. The burden of proving guilt rests upon the person making the charge, and the student is entitled to a presumption of innocence of wrongdoing unless the contrary is proved. The student may testify in his/her own behalf and is free to cross-examine witnesses against him/her.

Both the Superintendent of Schools and the Board of Education are authorized to appoint a hearing officer to conduct student disciplinary hearings. The hearing officer shall make findings of fact and recommendations as to the appropriate measure of discipline. The report of the hearing officer is advisory only, and the Superintendent of Schools or Board may accept or reject all or any part of such report.

Where the basis for a suspension is, in whole or in part, the possession on school grounds or school property by the student of any firearm, rifle, shotgun, dagger, including a pocket knife, dirk, razor, stiletto or any of the weapons, instruments or appliances specified in Penal Law Section 265.01, the hearing officer or Superintendent shall not be barred from considering the admissibility of such weapon, instrument or appliance as evidence, notwithstanding a determination by a court in a criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding that the recovery of such weapon, instrument or appliance was the result of an unlawful search or seizure.

A record of the hearing shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required and a tape recording shall be deemed a satisfactory record. When a student has been suspended and is of compulsory attendance age, immediate steps shall be taken to provide alternative instruction which is of a reasonable nature to that provided in the student’s regularly scheduled classes. Although the alternative instruction need not match in every respect the instructional program previously offered to the student, it must be adequate enough so that the student may complete his/her course work.

In the case of a potential long-term suspension and/or disciplinary change in educational placement of a student classified as having a disability or a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes as defined pursuant to law and regulation, a referral to the district Committee on Special Education will be made to determine if the behavior giving rise to the suspension is directly related to the disability. Suspension and/or disciplinary change in educational placement of students with disabilities and students presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes shall be in accordance with federal and state law and due process requirements.

SCHOOL SAFETY AND EDUCATIONAL CLIMATE (SSEC)

Per Commissioner’s Regulation Section 100.2 Subdivision (gg)(3), schools have been required since July 2002 to submit annual reports on violent and disruptive incidents to the State Education Department. This information is released on a yearly basis.

REPORTING VIOLATIONS

All students are expected to promptly report violations of the Code of Conduct to a teacher, guidance counselor, the building principal or his/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 building principal, the principal’s designee or the superintendent. Any student observing a student being harassed, bullied and/or discriminated against by another student or a staff member shall report this information either orally or in writing immediately to a teacher, the Principal, the Principal’s designee, the Superintendent or the Dignity Act Coordinator.

Staff who receive oral or written reports of harassment, bullying and/ or discrimination or witness such acts shall report the incident orally within one (1) school day to the Principal, the Principal’s designee, the Superintendent or the Dignity Act Coordinator.

Following the oral report, a written report of acts of harassment, discrimination and/or bullying shall be filed within two (2) school days following receipt. The District’s Building Principal, Superintendent or their designee shall lead or supervise the thorough investigation of all reports of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, and ensure that such investigation is completed promptly after receipt of any written report made.

When an investigation verifies a material incident of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, the Superintendent, Principal or their designee shall take prompt action, consistent with the District’s code of conduct, including but not limited to the provisions of Section 100.2(l)(2)(ii)(h), reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, eliminate any hostile environment, create a more positive school culture and climate, prevent recurrence of the behavior and ensure the safety of the student or students against whom such behavior was directed.

Any retaliation against an individual who, in good faith, reports or assists in the investigation of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination is prohibited.

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 con- duct 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, alcohol, tobacco, vape device 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, which may include permanent suspension and referral for prosecution.

The Principal or his/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/her designee learns of the violation. The notification must identify the student and explain the conduct that violated the code of conduct and constituted a crime.

The Principal, Superintendent or their designee shall notify promptly the appropriate local law enforcement agency when it is believed that any harassment, bullying or discrimination may constitute criminal conduct.

Retaliation Prohibited

Any act of retaliation against any person who reports or has filed a complaint of harassing or discriminatory behavior, is strictly prohibited and illegal, and therefore subject to disciplinary action. Likewise, retaliation against any person who has testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing of a harassment or discrimination complaint is prohibited. For purposes of this policy, retaliation includes but is not limited to: verbal or physical threats, intimidation, ridicule, bribes, destruction of property, spreading rumors, stalking, harassing phone calls, and any other form of harassment. Any person who retaliates is subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or termination, as applicable.

Where incidents involve violations of civil rights, the victim and the alleged perpetrator have the right to be represented by a person of their choice, at their own expense, during investigations and hearings. In addition, victims have the right to register complaints with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Employee victims also have the right to register complaints with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New York State Division of Human Rights. Nothing in these regulations shall be construed to limit the right of the complainant to file a lawsuit in either state or federal court.

PHYSICAL CONTACT/ RESTRAINT

Corporal punishment as a means of discipline shall not be used against a student by a teacher, administrator, officer, employee or agent of the school district, per Board of Education Policy 7410R.

However, if alternative procedures and methods which would not involve physical force do not work, then the use of reasonable physical force is not prohibited for the following reasons: self protection; protection of others; protection of property; or, restraining/ removing a disruptive  student.

Whenever a school employee uses physical force against a student, the school employee shall, within the same school day, make a report to the Superintendent describing in detail the circumstances and the nature of the action taken.

STUDENT INTERROGATIONS

The Board of Education is committed to ensuring an atmosphere on school property and at school functions that is safe, orderly and free from discrimination or harassment. 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. School officials will tell all students why they are being questioned.

STUDENT SEARCHES

The Board authorizes the superintendent, building principals, the school nurse and district security officials to conduct searches of students, if reasonable suspicion that a search will result in evidence that student violated the law or the District Code of Conduct, and the Board authorizes the superintendent, building principals, the school nurse and district security officials to use reasonable means in conducting searches of students, which includes the use of a hand-held metal detector wand.

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 to 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 officials, without prior notice to students and without their consent.

An authorized school official may search a student or the student’s belongings based upon information and belief that the individual has violated the law or district Code of Conduct.

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

District officials are committed to cooperating with police officials and other authorities to maintain a safe school environment. School officials will follow all State and Federal laws with regard to police involvement in questioning and/or searching students on school property.

CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES INVESTIGATIONS

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

Child protective services will follow all NYS Social Services Laws and Guidelines regarding their ability to investigate allegations of abuse, neglect, and/or custody issues.

A child protective services worker may not remove a student from school property without a court order, unless the worker reasonably believes that the student would be subject to danger of abuse if he or she was not removed from school before a court order can reasonably be obtained. If the worker believes the student would be subject to danger of abuse, the worker may remove the student without a court order and without parent’s consent.

STUDENT HARASSMENT AND BULLYING PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION

No student shall be subjected to harassment, bullying and/or discrimination by employees or students on school property or at a school function; nor shall any student be subjected to discrimination and or harassment based upon a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex.

Harassment, Bullying and/or Discrimination is a violation of our District core values and will not be tolerated. The actions of any one person or group of individuals which threaten the health and safety of students and/ or staff must be addressed promptly.

Early intervention, reinforcement of a consistent message and follow through from students, parents, staff and administration can ensure that everyone’s right to learn and work in a safe environment is respected.

The District shall have a Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) appointed in each school by the Board of Education who shall be thoroughly trained to handle human relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnicity, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender including identity and expression and sex. The Board shall appoint a DAC to each building within the District who is either employed by the District or a BOCES and is licensed and/or certified as a classroom teacher, school counselor, psychologist, nurse, social worker, administrator/supervisor or Superintendent of Schools. The District will share the name(s) and contact information of the DAC with all school personnel, students, and parents/ persons in parental relation by listing the information in the Code of Conduct and updates on the District’s website; including such information in the plain language summary of the Code of Conduct provided to all persons in parental relationship and parents at the beginning of each school year and by providing this information to parents/persons in parental relation in at least one district or school mailing (which may include through electronic communication) and/or by sending information home with each student. If the information related to the DAC changes, the District shall provide updated notice as soon as practicable thereafter. In addition, the District will post information about the DAC and reporting options in highly visible areas throughout school buildings and will also make such information available at the District and school- level  administrative offices.

If a DAC vacates their position, another eligible employee shall immediately be designated for an interim appointment, pending the approval from the Board within thirty (30) days of the date the position was vacated. In the event that a DAC is unable to perform their duties for an extended period of time, another eligible employee shall immediately be designated for an interim appointment, pending the return of the previous DAC to their position.

The Board recognizes that timely reporting is essential to addressing and responding to incidents of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination. To facilitate timely reporting, parents and students are encouraged to make oral or written reports of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination to the Districts’ designee (which shall include the DAC in each building and/or the building  administrator).

Upon receipt of a report or complaint of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination by staff who are not the District designee, the staff member shall report, within one school day, any such complaints received to the building designee and shall file a written report, within two school days, following an oral report to the building designee.

Upon receipt of a report of an incident of harassment, bullying and/ or discrimination, the principal, Superintendent or their designee shall lead or supervise the thorough investigation of all reports and ensure that such investigation is completed promptly after receipt of any written report. If the principal, Superintendent or their designee believes that the alleged conduct may constitute criminal conduct, they shall promptly notify the appropriate law enforcement agency.

In the event that an investigation reveals any verified incidents of harassment, bullying or discrimination, the District shall take prompt actions reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying or discrimination, eliminate any hostile environment, create a more positive school culture and climate, prevent recurrence of the behavior, and ensure the safety of the student or students against whom such harassment, bullying or discrimination was directed. The District expressly prohibits retaliation against any individual who, in good faith, reports, or assists in the investigation of, harassment, bullying or discrimination. In responding to verified incidents of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, the District shall apply school-wide strategies to prevent harassment, bullying and discrimination.

The school setting provides an opportunity to teach children, and emphasize among staff, that cooperation with and respect for others is a key District value. A program geared to prevention is designed to not only decrease incidents of bullying, but to help students build more supportive relationships with one another by integrating the bullying prevention program into classroom instruction. Staff members will be sensitized, through District-wide professional development, to the warning signs of bullying, as well as to their responsibility to become actively involved in the prevention of bullying before overt acts occur.

The components of such an effort involve the following:

  • Learning about and identifying the early warning signs and precursor behaviors that may lead to bullying.
  • Gathering information about bullying at school directly from students.
  • Establishing clear school-wide and classroom rules about bullying.
  • Training adults in the school to respond sensitively and consistently to bullying.
  • Providing adequate adult supervision, particularly in less structured areas such as in the hallways, cafeteria and playground.
  • Raising parental awareness and involvement in addressing problems.

In order to implement this program the Superintendent will charge the District Code of Conduct committee with the responsibility of providing oversight to a District-wide effort for bullying prevention. Training and awareness for all District employees will be provided in conjunction with existing professional development training to raise staff awareness and sensitivity of bullying, discrimination and/or harassment directed at students committed by students or school employees on school property, at a school function or occurring off school property when the actions create or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment or where it is foreseeable that the conduct might reach school property. This training shall include ways and strategies to promote a supportive school environment which is free from harassment, bullying and/or discrimination. The training shall raise awareness and sensitivity; address social patterns and their effect on students; inform employees on the identification and mitigation of acts of harassment, bullying and/ or discrimination; provide strategies for effectively addressing problems of exclusion, bias and aggression; include safe and supportive school climate concepts in curriculum and classroom management strategies and shall ensure effective implementation of school policy on conduct and discipline. Training of staff shall also raise employee awareness to the effects of harassment, bullying and cyberbullying and discrimination on students and others.

Instruction to students in grades K-12 shall include a component on civility, citizenship and character education. This instruction shall provide guidance and information to students on the principles of honesty, tolerance, personal responsibility, respect for others, observance of laws and rules, courtesy, dignity and other traits which shall enhance the quality of the student’s experiences and will contribute to the community. Concepts of dignity, tolerance and respect for others includes awareness and sensitivity to harassment, bullying and/or discrimination as well as the importance of civility in relation to actual or perceived race, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion or religious practice, disability, sex, sexual orientation and gender (including identity and expression). Instruction to students shall also include instruction on the safe and responsible use of the Internet and  electronic communications. All such student instruction shall include an emphasis on discouraging acts of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination.

The principal shall provide at least an annual report of data and trends related to harassment, bullying and/or discrimination to the Superintendent. All students, school District employees, vendors, and visitors (including parents) to District buildings, buses, athletic fields or locations off-school premises involving school-related activities (i.e., field trips) are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with this Code of Conduct. The Board condemns and strictly prohibits all forms of discrimination,  harassment and/or bullying of any student, by employees or students that creates a hostile school environment by conduct or by threats, intimidation or abuse, including cyber- bullying, of such a severe nature that either 1) has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional and/or physical well-being, including conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would be expected to cause emotional harm; or 2) Reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury to a student or to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety. Such prohibited conduct shall include, but is not limited acts based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practices, disability, sexual orientation, gender as defined in Education Law §11(6), or sex; provided that nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit a denial of admission into, or exclusion from, a course of instruction based on a person’s gender that would be permissible under Education Law sections 3201-a or 2854(2) (a) and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. section 1681, et seq.), or to prohibit, as discrimination based on disability, actions that would be permissible under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Retaliation by any school employee or student is prohibited against any individual who, in good faith, reports or assists in the investigation of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination complaints.

Prevention

Prevention is the cornerstone of the District’s effort to address bullying, discrimination, and harassment. The components of such an effort involve the following:

  • Creating a dynamic learning environment for all students.
  • Learning about and identifying the early warning signs and precursor behaviors that may lead to bullying.
  • Gathering information about bullying at school directly from students (through surveys and other mechanisms); analyzing and using the data gathered to assist in decision- making about programming and resource  allocation.
  • Establishing clear school wide and classroom rules about bullying consistent with the District’s code of conduct.
  • Providing staff training to promote a positive school environment free from discrimination and harassment.
  •  Providing training to raise awareness and sensitivity to potential acts of discrimination and /or harassment and understanding of the Code of Conduct.
  • Providing staff training to enable employees to prevent and respond to incidents.
  • Providing staff training to make school employees aware of the effects of harassment, bullying, cyberbullying and/or discrimination. Such training shall raise awareness among adults, through training, of the school experiences of marginalized student populations, social stigma in the school environment, gender norms in the school environment, and strategies for disrupting bullying, intimidation, harassment or other forms of violence.
  • Providing training to assist staff in addressing the social patterns of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, to identify and mitigate acts of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination and to use strategies to effectively address problems of exclusion, bias and aggression in the school setting.
  • Ensuring the effective implementation of school policy on conduct and discipline, including but not limited to guidelines on promoting a safe and supportive school climate while discouraging  harassment, bullying and/or discrimination against students by students and/or school employees.
  • Providing adequate supervision, particularly in less structured areas such as in the hallways, cafeteria, school bus and playground.
  • Raising parental awareness and involvement in the prevention program and in addressing problems.

Using educational opportunities or curriculum, including, if applicable, the Individual Educational Program (IEP), to address the underlying causes and impact of bullying.

Reporting

Students of the School District who have been bullied, parents whose children have been bullied or other students who observe bullying behavior are encouraged to make a verbal and/ or written report to the district’s designee for each building, as identified in the District publications and posted throughout buildings and in the district offices. Intervention by adults and bystanders is an important step to prevent escalation and to resolve issues in the earliest stages. At all times, complaints will be documented, tracked and handled in accordance with the regulations and procedures accompanying the District’s Code of Conduct. In order for the Board to effectively enforce this policy and to take prompt corrective measures, it is essential that all targets and persons with knowledge of bullying report such behavior immediately to the principal, the principal’s designee or the Dignity Act Coordinator will arrange for a prompt investigation following receipt of the report so that it may be effectively investigated and resolved. The District will also make a bullying complaint form available on its website to facilitate reporting. The District will collect relevant data from written and verbal complaints to allow reporting to the Board and to the Commissioner of Education on an annual basis.

The District will promptly and equitably investigate all complaints, formal or informal, verbal or written. To the extent possible, all complaints will be treated in a confidential manner, although limited disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough  investigation.

In order to assist investigators, individuals should document the bullying as soon as it occurs and with as much detail as possible including: the nature of the incident(s); dates, times, places it has occurred; name of perpetrator(s); witnesses to the incident(s); and the target’s response to the incident.

If, after appropriate investigation, the District finds that a student, an employee or a third party has violated this policy, prompt corrective and possibly disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with the Code of Conduct; the applicable collective bargaining agreement, District policy and/or state law. If the reported behavior constitutes a civil rights violation, the complaint procedure associated with that policy will be followed, as applicable. If either of the parties disagrees with the findings of the initial investigation, an appeal may be made to the Superintendent in accordance with the process described below.

Confidentiality

It is District policy to respect the privacy of all parties and witnesses to bullying. To the extent possible, the District will not release the details of a complaint or the identity of the complainant or the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed to any third parties who do not need to know such information. However, because an individual’s desire for confidentiality must be balanced with the District’s legal obligation to provide due process to the accused, to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation, and/or to take necessary action to resolve the complaint, the District retains the right to disclose the identity of parties and witnesses to complaints in appropriate circumstances to individuals with a need to know.

The staff member responsible for investigating complaints will discuss confidentiality standards and concerns with all complainants.

If a complainant requests that his/her name not be revealed to the individual(s) against whom a complaint is filed, the staff member responsible for conducting the investigation shall inform the complainant that:

  1. The request may limit the District’s ability to respond to his/her complaint;
  2. District policy and federal law prohibit retaliation Against complainants  and witnesses;
  3. The District will attempt to prevent any retaliation; and
  4. The District will take strong responsive action if retaliation occurs.

If the complainant still requests confidentiality after being given the notice above, the investigator will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request as long as doing so does not preclude the District from responding effectively to the bullying and preventing the bullying of other students.

Investigation and Resolution Procedure

A.  Initial (Building-level) Procedure

Whenever a complaint of bullying is received by a staff member, whether verbal or written, it should be reported immediately to the principal or their designee within one (1) school day of receiving or witnessing the incident; within two (2) school days of verbally reporting the incident, the staff member must file a written report with the principal or their designee.

Except in the case of severe or criminal conduct, the principal, the principal’s designee or the Bullying Prevention Coordinator (DAC) shall make all reasonable efforts to resolve complaints at the school level. The goal of the investigative process is to address incidents of harassment, bullying and/ or discrimination promptly and to end the bullying, prevent future incidents, ensure the safety of the target and obtain a prompt and equitable resolution to a complaint.

As soon as possible, but no later than three school days following receipt of a complaint, the principal, the principal’s designee or the Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) will begin an investigation of the complaint by:

  • Reviewing any written documentation provided by the target(s).
  • Conducting separate interviews of the target victim(s), alleged perpetrator(s), and witnesses, if any, and documenting the conversations.
  • Providing  the alleged perpetrator(s) a chance to respond and notify him/ her that if objectionable behavior has occurred, it must cease immediately. The individual will be made aware of remediation opportunities as well as potential disciplinary consequences.
  • Determining whether the complainant needs any accommodations to ensure his/her safety, and following up periodically until the complaint has been resolved. Accommodations are implemented by the administrator in each building based on the individual situations.

The District recognizes that there is a need to balance accommodations which enhance student safety against the potential to further stigmatize the targeted student. Therefore, each case will be handled individually, and the student, parent/guardian, and school administration will collaborate to establish safety provisions that best meet the needs of the targeted student. Follow-up discussion and/or meetings will be scheduled, as needed, to ensure that safety concerns have been adequately addressed and to determine when and if accommodations need to be changed or discontinued.

Where appropriate, informal methods may be used to resolve the complaint, including but not limited to:

  1. Discussion with the accused, in- forming him or her of the District’s policies and indicating that the behavior must stop;
  2. Suggesting counseling, skill building activities and/or sensitivity training;
  3. Conducting additional training or education for the department or school in which the behavior occurred, calling attention to the consequences of engaging in such behavior;
  4. Requesting a letter of apology to the target;
  5. Writing letters of caution or reprimand; and/or
  6. Separating the parties,
  7. Establishing a “stay away” agreement

Appropriate disciplinary action shall be recommended and imposed in accordance with District policy, the applicable collective  bargaining agreement or state law. School District should make every effort to attempt to first resolve the misconduct through non-punitive and remedial measures. Disciplinary measures to address incidents of harassment, discrimination and/or bullying shall incorporate a progressive model of student discipline that includes measured, balanced and age-appropriate remedies and procedures that make appropriate use of prevention, education, intervention and discipline and considers among other things, the nature and severity of the student’s offending behavior(s), the developmental stage of the student, the previous disciplinary record of the student and other extenuating circumstances, as well as the impact the student’s behaviors had on the individual(s) who was physically injured and/or emotionally harmed. Responses shall be reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, prevent recurrence, and eliminate the hostile environment. This progressive model of student discipline shall be consistent with other provisions of the Code of Conduct.

The investigator shall report back to both the target and the accused, within one week, notifying them in writing, and also in person, as appropriate, regarding the outcome of the investigation and the action taken to resolve the complaint. The actions taken will be in conformance with the Remediation/Discipline/ Penalties section of this regulation.

The target shall report immediately if the objectionable behavior occurs again or if the alleged perpetrator retaliates against him/her. Retaliation against a student or staff member who, in good faith, makes a report or participates

in the investigation of a complaint of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination is strictly prohibited.

Any party who is not satisfied with the outcome of the initial investigation may request a District-level investigation by submitting a written complaint to the Superintendent within 30 days.

A.  District-level Procedure
The Superintendent or his/her designee shall promptly arrange for the investigation and resolution of all bullying, harassment and/or discrimination appeals complaints that are referred to him/her. In the event that a complaint involves the Superintendent, the complaint shall be filed with or referred to the Board President, who shall refer the complaint to the Board counsel or his/her designee for investigation.

The Superintendent shall also promptly address any appeals of the outcome of an initial investigation. The District level investigation should begin as soon as possible (three working days) following receipt of the appeal by the Superintendent or Board President.

In conducting the formal District level investigation, the district will endeavor to engage individuals who have received formal training regarding such investigations or that have previous experience investigating such complaints.

If a District level investigation results in a determination that bullying did occur, prompt corrective action will be taken to end the misbehavior in accordance with the Remediation/ Discipline/Penalties section of this regulation.

No later than 30 days following receipt of the complaint, the Superintendent (or in cases involving the Superintendent, the Board-appointed investigator) will notify the target and alleged perpetrator, in writing, of the outcome of the investigation. If additional time is needed to complete the investigation or take appropriate action, the Superintendent or Board-appointed investigator will provide all parties with a written status report within 30 days following receipt of the complaint.

Any party who is not satisfied with the outcome of the District-level investigation may appeal to the Board of Education by submitting a written request to the Board President within 30 days.

A. Board-level Procedure

When a request for review by the Board has been made, the Superintendent shall submit all written statements and other materials concerning the case to the President of the Board. The Board shall notify all parties concerned of the time and place when a hearing will be held. Such hearing will be held within 15 school days of the receipt of the request of the complainant.

The Board shall render a decision in writing within 15 days after the hearing has been concluded.

The District shall retain documentation associated with complaints and investigations in accordance with Schedule ED-1.

Remediation/Discipline/Penalties

Any individual who violates this policy by engaging in harassment, bullying and/or will be subject to appropriate action, which may include disciplinary action. Remedial responses to bullying include measures designed to correct the problem behavior, prevent another occurrence of the behavior, and protect the target of the act. Appropriate remedial measures may include, but are not limited to:

  • Restitution and restoration;
  • Peer support group;
  • Corrective instruction or other relevant learning or service experience;
  • Changes in class schedule
  • Supportive  intervention;
  • Behavioral assessment or evaluation;
  • Behavioral management plan, with benchmarks that are closely monitored;
  • Student  counseling;
  • Parent conferences; or
  • Student treatment or therapy.

Environmental remediation may include, but is not limited to:

  • School and community surveys or other strategies for determining the conditions contributing to the relevant  behavior;
  • Modification  of schedules;
  • Adjustment in hallway traffic and other student routes of travel;
  • Targeted use of monitors;
  • Parent education seminars/work- shops;
  • Peer support groups.

Disciplinary measures available to school authorities include, but are not limited to the following:

Students: Discipline may range from a reprimand up to and including suspension from school, to be imposed consistent with the Code of Conduct and applicable law.

Employees: Discipline may range from a warning up to and including termination, to be imposed consistent with all applicable contractual and statutory rights.

Volunteers: Penalties may range from a warning up to and including loss of  volunteer assignment.

Vendors: Penalties may range from a warning up to and including loss of District business.

Other individuals: Penalties may range from a warning up to and including denial of future access to school property.

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.

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.
  • 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/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 Superintendent of Schools or a 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.  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.
    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.

(1)      “Weapon” means the same as “dangerous weapon” under 18 U.S.C. § 930(g)(w) which includes “a weapon, device, instrument, material or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of causing death or serious bodily injury, except… [for] a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2 1/2 inches in length.”

(2)      “Controlled substance” means a drug or other substance identified in certain provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act specified in both federal and state law and regulations applicable to this policy.

(3)      “Illegal drugs” means a controlled substance except for those legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health-care professional or that is legally possessed or used under any other authority under the Controlled Substances Act or any other federal law.

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:

  • For more than 10 consecutive school days; or
  • 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 sus- pend 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:

a. 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.

b. 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.

2.  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.

a. The Superintendent, Principal or other school official imposing a suspension or removal shall be responsible for determining whether the student is a student presumed to have a disability.

b. 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:

  • Conducted an individual evaluation and determined that the student is not a student with a disability, or
  • 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.

3.  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.

4.  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.

5.  Superintendent hearings on disciplinary charges against students with disabilities subject to a suspension of more than five school days shall be divided into a guilt phase and a penalty phase in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this code.

6.  The removal of a student with disabilities other than a suspension or placement in an IAES shall be conducted in accordance with the due process 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.

7. 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:

a.  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.

b. 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.

2. 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.

Other Codes & Miscellaneous

TECHNOLOGY ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY

All parents/guardians and students are required to review and sign the Technology Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). By signing the agreement, parents/guardians and students agree to the content therein. First, the agreement gives parent/guardian permission and, secondly, is a contract by the student to comply with the regulations set forth by the district. Failure to comply with those regulations may result in disciplinary action. The AUP is for education use and our regulations are not necessarily all-inclusive due to this rapidly changing field. Please refer to a copy of the computer use and internet agreement for details contained therein which can be obtained at any main office.

ATHLETIC CODE OF CONDUCT AND TRAINING RULES

Participation in interscholastic athletics at Mohonasen is a privilege. This participation should elicit great pride among all school community members. Part of the responsibility that goes with the participation in school sports is the need to maintain satisfactory standards of behavior. Each student- athlete receives an “Athletic Handbook and Code of Conduct” and “Training Rules” booklet, which clearly defines the standards for student-athlete behavior. It is the responsibility of each student-athlete and his/her parent(s) to be familiar with the contents of this booklet. The signatures of both the athlete and a parent/guardian indicate that each agrees to respect and abide by these standards.

TRANSPORTATION CODE

The safety of all students and our staff is our primary concern. All school buses are “school property” and are subject to all rules set forth in the Mohonasen “Code of Conduct.” Each student has an individual responsibility to help ensure the safety of all students on the bus by following the rules.

Coming to school, going home and riding buses for co-curricular events, interscholastic contests or field trips, a student is expected to listen to and obey all instructions from transportation personnel.

GUIDELINES FOR ADMINISTERING MEDICATION IN SCHOOL

Students, with the exception of diabetics, may not have any medication (prescription or over the counter) on their possession during the school day (i.e., not in pockets, lunch boxes, back- packs, lockers, etc.). The only medication exceptions are an asthma inhaler or Epi-Pen, which may be carried by the student if they have a physician order and parent consent, along with the approval of the school nurse.

The following guidelines must be met before administering any medication during school hours:

  • All medication, over the counter and prescription, must be brought to school by a parent or responsible adult in the original labeled container (prescription medication must be in a pharmacy labeled container). Stock Acetaminophen and Ibuprophen are available in the nurse’s office and can be given by the school nurse with a physician order unless the parent chooses to provide the student’s own Acetaminophen/Ibuprophen. All other over the counter medication must be provided by the parent.
  • A written physician order including name, dose, duration, and reason for prescribing the medication and possible  adverse reactions.
  • A written note from parent/guardian giving the school nurse permission to administer the medication as prescribed by the physician.
  • Any  discontinued or unused medication must be disposed of at the end of the school year if not picked up by the parent within a reasonable length of time.
  • All medication orders must be renewed by the physician each school year.

VISITORS TO THE SCHOOL

Visitors shall be required to present identification upon arrival and state their business prior to admittance to school buildings. When individual Board members visit the school, they must abide by the regulations and procedures developed by the administration regarding school visits. The district reserves the right to refuse entry to any district building.

Close communication and supportive relationships between parents/ guardians and schools are essential to increasing student achievement and enhancing school climate. The district supports these efforts through effective and appropriate visitations to schools and to classrooms by parents/guardians, community members, and other appropriate individuals, subject to the following guidelines:

  • Parents/guardians may request a visit to their child’s classroom(s) through the building principal, at which time the purpose of the visit will be established. The date and time of the visit will be mutually agreed upon directly between the parent/guardian and the teacher. The building principal will be notified, in advance, of the arrangements which have been agreed upon for the visit.
  • Teachers may request that a parent/guardian visit the classroom by directly contacting the parent/ guardian and establishing a mutually agreed upon time and date. The building principal will be notified of the visit, in advance.

Visitations by individuals other than parents/guardians shall be arranged directly between the building principal and the individual making the request. The purpose of the visit will be made clear at that time in order to facilitate appropriate arrangements.

Visitation will occur in a way that avoids or minimizes disruption to the normal learning process and the ordinary classroom routine. The building principal may be present when appropriate. Visitors agree to maintain confidentiality regarding information which they acquire during the course of the visit as explained to the visitor by the building principal.

→   Individuals visiting the schools are to go directly to the security desk of the building they are visiting, present identification, advise the

principal or his/her designee of their presence and purpose for being in the building, receive permission to be on school grounds, and sign the visitor’s book. Visitors are to notify the office staff of their departure and sign out upon leaving the building.

→ All visitors will be asked to provide positive picture identification such as a valid drivers license, passport, etc., and will be required to wear a school issued ID while in the building.

→   Before a child may be taken from the building by a non-school person, the visit must be recognized by

the building principal or his/her designee as one having the legal right to take the child. The visitor will wait in the office for the child to come from the classroom at which time he/she will be signed out in the appropriate book. No visitor is to go to the classroom unaccompanied by an appropriate school official for the purpose of getting a child.

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 at- tired for the purpose they are on school property

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 on school grounds or at school functions that are obscene, advocate illegal action, appear libelous, obstruct the rights of others, or are disruptive to the school program.
  5. Enter any portion of the school premises without authorization or remain in any building or facility after it is normally closed.
  6. Obstruct the free movement of any person in any place to which this code applies.
  7. Violate the traffic laws, parking regulations or other restrictions on vehicles.
  8. Possess, consume, sell, distribute or exchange alcoholic beverages, con- trolled substances, or be under the influence of either on school property or at a school function
  9. Possess or use weapons in or on school property or at a school function, except in the case of law enforcement officers while on active duty or except as specifically authorized by the school district.
  10. Loiter on or about school property.
  11. Gamble on school property or at school  functions.
  12. Refuse to comply with any reasonable order of identifiable school district officials performing their duties.
  13. Willfully incite others to commit any of the acts prohibited by this code.
  14. Violate any federal or state statute, local ordinance or Board policy while on school property or while at a school function.
  15. Intimidate, harass, bully, or discriminate against any person on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, creed, national origin, religion or religious practices, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation or disability on school grounds or at a school function.
  16. Soliciting of any kind without prior permission of the superintendent.

Penalties

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

  • Visitors: Their authorization, if any, to remain on school grounds or at the school function shall be with- drawn and they shall be directed to leave the premises. If they refuse to leave, they shall be subject to ejection.
  • Students: They shall be subject to disciplinary action as the facts may warrant, in accordance with the due process requirements.
  • Tenured faculty members:  They 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.
  • Staff members in the classified service of the civil service entitled to the protection of Civil Service Law § 75: They shall be subject to disciplinary action as the facts may warrant in accordance with Civil Service Law § 75 or any other legal rights that they may have.
  • Staff members other than those described in the above paragraphs: They shall be subject to warning, reprimand, suspension or dismissal as the facts may warrant in accordance with any legal rights they may have.

Enforcement

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

When the Principal or his/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/her designee shall tell the individual that the conduct is prohibited and attempt to persuade the individual to stop. The Principal or his/her designee shall also warn the individual of the consequences for fail-

ing 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 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.

CODE OF CONDUCT  REVIEW

Dissemination of Code of Conduct

The Board will work to ensure that the community is aware of this Code of Conduct by:

  • Providing copies of a summary of the code to all students in an age- appropriate plain-language version at a general school assembly held at the beginning of each school year.
  • Making copies of the code available to all parents at the beginning of the school year.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Providing all new employees with a copy of the current code of conduct when they are first hired.
  • Making copies of the code available for review by students, parents and other  community members.

The Board will sponsor an in-service education program for all district staff members to ensure the effective implementation of school policy on school conduct and discipline, including but not limited to, guidelines for promoting a safe and supportive school climate while discouraging, among other things, discrimination or harassment against students by students and/ or school employees, and including safe and supportive school climate concepts in the curriculum and classroom. Such training shall be designed to raise staff awareness and sensitivity to potential discrimination or harassment and provide strategies and responses to assist staff in responding to reports and incidents of discrimination and harassment and to help discourage their reoccurrence. 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.

Review of Code of Conduct

The Board 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.

The Board may 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 of Education no later than 30 days after adoption.

If you have any questions about the material contained in this document, please contact the building principal or the Superintendent of Schools. A complete copy of the Mohonasen Code of Conduct is available to read in the main office of each school in the district.