All students are expected to promptly report violations of the code of conduct to a teacher, guidance counselor, the building principal or his or her designee. Any student observing a student possessing a weapon, alcohol or illegal substance on school property or at a school function shall report this information immediately to a teacher, the building principal, the principal’s designee or the superintendent.
All District staff who is authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions is expected to do so in a prompt, fair and lawful manner. District staff who are not authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions are expected to promptly report violations of the code of conduct to their supervisor, who shall in turn impose an appropriate disciplinary sanction, if so authorized, or refer the matter to a staff member who is authorized to impose an appropriate sanction.
Disciplinary Penalties, Procedures and Referrals
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 student 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.
Students who are found to have violated the District’s code of conduct may be subject to the following penalties, either alone or in combination. The school personnel identified as each penalty are authorized to impose that penalty, consistent with the student’s right to due process.
- Oral warning – any member of the district staff
- Written warning – bus drivers, hall and lunch monitors, coaches, guidance counselors, teachers, deans, principals, superintendent
- Written notification to parent – bus driver, hall and lunch monitors, coaches, guidance counselors, teachers, principal, superintendent
- Working off damage to property
- Loss of academic credit-teacher, principal
- Detention-teachers, principal, superintendent
- Suspension from transportation- director of transportation, principal, superintendent
- Suspension from athletic participation – coaches, supervisor of health, physical education and athletics, principal, superintendent
- Suspension from social or extracurricular activities – activity director, deans, principal, superintendent
- Suspension of other privileges -deans, principal, superintendent
- In-school suspension-deans, principal, superintendent.
- Removal from classroom -teachers, principal
- Short -term (five days or less) suspension from school principal, superintendent, board of education
- Long-term (more than five days) suspension from school – superintendent, board of education
- Permanent suspension from school – superintendent, board of education.
Teachers, deans, principals and the superintendent may assign students to use alter school detention as a penalty for student misconduct in situations where removal from the classroom or suspension would be inappropriate. Alter school detention will be imposed only alter parental notification by the assignors of detention and confirmation that there is no parental objection to the penalty and the student has appropriate transportation home following detention.
Suspension from transportation
If a student does not conduct himself/herself properly on a bus, the bus driver is expected to bring such misconduct to the building principal’s attention. Students who become a serious disciplinary problem may have their riding privileges suspended by the building principal or the superintendent or their designees. In such cases, the student’s parent will become responsible for seeing that his or her child gets to and from school safely. Should the suspension from transportation amount to a suspension from attendance, the district will make appropriate arrangements to provide for the student’s education.
Suspension from athletic participation, extra curricular activities and other privileges
A student subjected to a suspension from athletic participation, extra-curricular activities or other privileges is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the district official imposing the suspension to discuss the conduct and the penalty involved.
Building principals and the superintendent to place students who would otherwise be suspended from school as the result of a code of conduct violation in “in-school suspension.” A student subjected to an in-school suspension is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the district official imposing the in-school suspension to discuss the conduct and the penalty involved.
Teacher disciplinary removal of disruptive students
A classroom teacher may remove a disruptive student from class for up to two days. The removal from class applies to the class of the removing teacher only.
If the 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 or 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 order the student to be removed immediately. The teacher must, however, explain to the student why he or she was removed from the classroom and give the student a chance to present his or her version of the relevant events within 24-hours.
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 class and why. The notice must also inform the parent that he or she has the right, upon request, to meet informally with the principal or the principal’s designee to discuss the reasons for the removal.
If 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 one of the following:
- The charges against the student are not supported by substantial 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
§3214 and a suspension will be imposed.
The principal or his or 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. I\Jo 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.
Removal of a student with a disability, under certain circumstances, may constitute a change in the student’s placement. Accordingly, no teacher may remove a student with a disability from his or her class until he or she has verified with the principal or the chairperson of the Committee on Special Education that the removal will not violate the student’s rights under state or federal law or regulation.
Suspension from school
Suspension from school is a severe penalty, which may be imposed only upon students who are insubordinate, disorderly, violent or disruptive, or whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others.
Suspension from school may be short-term (5 days or less), long-term (more than 5 days) or permanent. Parents and students shall receive written notice of a suspension and shall be offered the opportunity for an informal conference. At the informal conference, parents shall be permitted to ask questions of complaining witnesses under the principal’s supervision. If a District administrator determines that a suspension for more than five days is warranted, the student and the student’s parents shall receive written charges and a notice of hearing before the Superintendent or a hearing officer appointed by the District. At the hearing the student shall have the right to be represented by counsel, the right to question witnesses and the right to present witnesses and other evidence on his or her behalf. A superintendent’s determination after a hearing may be appealed to the Board of Education. Students who bring a weapon to school may be suspended for up to one calendar year. Students who commit violent acts other than bringing a weapon to school are subject to a suspension from school for a least five days. Students who are repeatedly and substantially disruptive of the educational process are subject to a suspension from school for at least five days, after they have been removed from the classroom by a teacher on four or more occasions.
When a student of any age is removed from class by a teacher or a student of compulsory attendance age is suspended from school pursuant to Education Law §3214, the district will take immediate steps to provide alternative means of instruction for the student.
The Guidance Office, the Child Study Team, the Committee on Special Education, and the administration shall handle referrals of students to counseling.
The District may file a person in need of supervision petition in Family Court on any student under the age of 18 who demonstrates that he or she requires supervision and treatment by:
- Being habitually truant and not attending school as required by part one of Article 65 of the Education Law.
- Engaging in an ongoing or continual course of conduct which makes the student ungovernable, or habitually disobedient and beyond the lawful control of the school.
- Knowingly and unlawfully possesses marijuana in violation of Penal Law
§221.05. A single violation of§ 221.05 will be a sufficient basis for filing a petition.
Juvenile Delinquents and Juvenile Offenders
The superintendent is required to refer the following students to the County Attorney for a juvenile delinquency proceeding before the Family Court:
- Any student under the age of 16 who is found to have brought a weapon to school, or
- Any student 14 or 15 years old who qualifies for juvenile offender status under the Criminal Procedure Law § 1.20 (42).
The superintendent is required to refer students age 16 and older or any student 14 or 15 years old who qualifies for juvenile offender status to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.
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.
Corporal punishment is any act of physical force upon a student for the purpose of punishing that student. Corporal punishment of any student by any district employee is strictly forbidden. However, in situations where alternative procedures and methods that do not involve the use of physical force cannot reasonably be used, reasonable physical force may be used by District employees.