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506 Student Discipline

 

I. PURPOSE

The school district will take appropriate disciplinary action when students fail to adhere to the Code of Student Conduct established by this policy.

 

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

The School Board recognizes that individual responsibility and mutual respect are essential components of the educational process.  The School Board further recognizes that nurturing the maturity of each student is of primary importance and is closely linked with the balance that must be maintained between authority and self-discipline as the individual progresses from a child’s dependence on authority to the more mature behavior of self-control.

All students are entitled to learn and develop in a setting which promotes respect of self, others and property.  Positive discipline results from an environment which provides options and stresses student self-direction, decision-making and responsibility.  Schools can function effectively only with internal discipline based on mutual understanding of rights and responsibilities.

Students must conduct themselves in an appropriate manner that maintains a climate in which learning can take place.  Overall decorum affects student attitudes and influences student behavior.  Proper student conduct is necessary to facilitate the education process and to create an atmosphere conducive to high student achievement.

Although this policy emphasizes the development of self-discipline, it is recognized that there are instances when it will be necessary to administer disciplinary measures.  It is the position of the school district that a fair and equitable district-wide student discipline policy will contribute to the quality of the student’s educational experience.  This discipline policy is adopted in accordance with and subject to the Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, Minn. Stat. §§ 121A.40-121A.56.

In view of the foregoing and in accordance with Minn. Stat. § 121A.55, the School Board, with the participation of school district administrators, teachers, employees, students, parents, community members, and such other individuals and organizations as appropriate, has developed this policy which governs student conduct and applies to all students of the school district.

 

III. AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY

A. The School Board.  The School Board holds all school personnel responsible for the maintenance of order within the school district and supports all personnel acting within the framework of this discipline policy.

B. Superintendent/designee.  The Superintendent/designee shall establish guidelines and directives to carry out this policy, hold all school personnel, students and parents responsible for conforming to this policy, and support all school personnel performing their duties within the framework of this policy.  The Superintendent/designee shall also establish guidelines and directives for using the services of appropriate agencies for assisting students and parents.  Any guidelines or directives established to implement this policy shall be submitted to the School Board for approval and shall be attached as an addendum to this policy.

C. Principal.  The principal is given the responsibility and authority to formulate school rules and regulations necessary to enforce this policy, subject to final School Board approval.  The principal shall give direction and support to all school personnel performing their duties within the framework of this policy. The principal shall communicate with parents of students conducting themselves in a manner contrary to the policy.  The principal shall also involve other professional employees in the disposition of behavior referrals and shall make use of those agencies appropriate for assisting students and parents.  A principal, in exercising his or her lawful authority, may use reasonable force when it is necessary under the circumstances to correct or restrain a student or prevent bodily harm or death to another.

D. Teachers.  All teachers shall be responsible for providing a well-planned teaching/learning environment and shall have primary responsibility for student conduct, with appropriate assistance from the administration.  All teachers shall enforce the Code of Student Conduct.  In exercising the teacher’s lawful authority, a teacher may use reasonable force when it is necessary under the circumstances to correct or restrain a student or prevent bodily harm or death to another.

E. Other School District Personnel.  All school district personnel shall be responsible for contributing to the atmosphere of mutual respect within the school.  Their responsibilities relating to student behavior shall be as authorized and directed by the Superintendent/designee.  A school employee, school bus driver, or other agent of a school district, in exercising his or her lawful authority, may use reasonable force when it is necessary under the circumstances to restrain a student or prevent bodily harm or death to another.

F. Parents or Legal Guardians.  Parents and guardians shall be held responsible for the behavior of their children as determined by law and community practice.  They are expected to cooperate with school authorities and to participate regarding the behavior of their children.

G. Students.  All students shall be held individually responsible for their behavior and for knowing and obeying the Code of Student Conduct and this policy.

H.  Community Members.  Members of the community are expected to contribute to the establishment of an atmosphere in which rights and duties are effectively acknowledged and fulfilled.

 

IV. STUDENT RIGHTS

All students have the right to an education and the right to learn in a safe and welcoming environment.

 

V. STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES

All students have the responsibility:

A. For their behavior and for knowing and obeying all school rules, regulations, policies and procedures; and to conduct themselves in accord with them.

B. To attend school daily, except when excused, and to be on time to all classes and other school functions;

C. To pursue and attempt to complete the courses of study prescribed by the state and local school authorities;

D. To make necessary arrangements for making up work when absent from school;

E. To assist the school staff in maintaining a safe school for all students;

F. To be aware of all school rules, regulations, policies and procedures, including those in thsi policy, and to conduct themselves in accord with them;

G. To assume that until a rule or policy is waived, altered or repealed, it is in full force and effect;

H. To be aware of and comply with federal, state and local laws;

I. To volunteer information in disciplinary cases should they have any knowledge relating to such cases and to cooperate with school staff as appropriate;

J. To respect and maintain the school’s property and the property of others;

K. To dress and groom in a manner which meets standards of safety and health and common standards of decency and which is consistent with applicable school district policy;

L. To avoid inaccuracies in student newspapers or publications and refrain from indecent or obscene language;

M. To conduct themselves in an appropriate physical or verbal manner; and

N. To recognize and respect the rights of others.

 

VI.       CODE OF STUDENT CONDUCT

A. The following are examples of unacceptable behavior subject to disciplinary action by the school district. These examples are not intended to be an exclusive list.  Any student who engages in any of these activities shall be disciplined in accordance with this policy.  This policy applies to all school buildings, school grounds, and school property; school-sponsored activities or trips; school bus stops; school buses, school vehicles, school contracted vehicles, or any other vehicles approved for school district purposes; the area of entrance or departure from school premises or events; and all school-related functions.  This policy also applies to any student whose conduct at any time or in any place interferes with or obstructs the mission or operations of the school district or the safety or welfare of the student, other students, or employees.

1. Violations against property including, but not limited to, damage to or destruction of school property or the property of others, failure to compensate for damage or destruction of such property, arson, breaking and entering, theft, robbery, possession of stolen property, extortion, trespassing, unauthorized usage, or vandalism;

2. The use of profanity or obscene language, or the possession of obscene materials;

3. Gambling, including, but not limited to, cards, dice, or playing a game of chance for stakes;

4. Violation of the school district’s Hazing Prohibition Policy;

5. Attendance problems including, but not limited to, truancy, absenteeism, tardiness, skipping classes, or leaving school grounds without permission;

6. Violation of the school district’s Student Attendance Policy;

7. Opposition to authority using physical force or violence;

8. Using, possessing, or distributing tobacco or tobacco related devisces, electroic cigarettes, or tobacco paraphernalia in violation of the school district's Tobacco-Free Environment; Possession and Use of Tobacco, Tobacco-Related Devices, and Electronic Delivery Devices Policy;

9. Using, possessing, distributing, intending to distribute, making a request to another person for (solicitation) or being under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances or look-alike substances;

10. Using, possessing, distributing, intending to distribute, making a request to another person for (solicitation) or being under the influence of narcotics, drugs, or other controlled substances (except as prescribed by a physician), or look-alike substances, (these prohibitions include medical marijuana or medical cannabis, even when prescribed by a physician, and one student sharing prescription medication with another student); 

11. Using, possessing, or distributing items or articles that are illegal or harmful to persons or property including, but not limited to, drug paraphernalia;

12. Using, possessing, or distributing weapons, or look-alike weapons or other dangerous objects.

13. Violation of the school district’s Weapons Policy;

14. Violation of the school district’s Violence Prevention Policy;

15. Possession of ammunition including, but not limited to, bullets or other projectiles designed to be used in or as a weapon;

16. Possession, use, or distribution of explosives or any ingredients, compounds or mixtures, the primary or common purpose or intended use of which is to function as an explosive;

17. Possession, use, or distribution of fireworks or any substance or combination of substances or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation;

18. Using an ignition device, including butane or a disposable lighter or matches, except where the device is used in a manner supervised and authorized by the school;

19. Violation of any local, state or federal law as appropriate;

20. Acts disruptive of the educational process, including, but not limited to, disobedience, disruptive or disrespectful behavior, defiance of authority, cheating, insolence, insubordination, failure to identify oneself, improper activation of fire alarms, bomb threats or social media threats;

21. Violation of the school district’s Technology Acceptable Use and Safety Policy;                                                                            

22. Possession of nuisance devices (without permission) or inappropriate use of objects which may cause distractions and may facilitate cheating including, but not limited to, any electronic devices;

23. Violation of school bus or transportation rules or the school district’s Student Transportation Safety Policy;

24. Violation of parking or school traffic rules and regulations, including, but not limited to, driving on school property in such a manner as to endanger persons or property;

25. Violation of directives or guidelines relating to lockers or improperly gaining access to a school locker;

26. Violation of the school district’s Search of Student Lockers, Desks, Personal Possessions, and Student’s Person Policy;

27. Violation of the school district’s Student Use and Parking of Motor Vehicles; Patrols, Inspection and Searches Policy;

28. Possession or distribution of slanderous, libelous or pornographic materials, including material contained on electronic devices;

29. Violation of the school district’s Bullying Prohibition Policy;

30. Student attire or personal grooming which creates a danger to health or safety or creates a disruption to the educational process, including clothing which bears a message which is lewd, vulgar, or obscene, apparel promoting products or activities that are illegal for use by minors, or clothing containing objectionable emblems, signs, words, objects, or pictures communicating a message that is racist, sexist, or otherwise derogatory to a protected minority group or which connotes gang membership;

31. Criminal activity;

32. Falsification of any records, documents, notes or signatures;

33. Tampering with, changing, or altering records or documents of the school district by any method including, but not limited to, computer access or other electronic means;

34. Scholastic dishonesty which includes, but is not limited to, cheating on a school assignment or test, plagiarism, or collusion; including the use of picture phones or other technology to accomplish this end;

35. Impertinent or disrespectful words, symbols, acronyms, or language, wheather oral or written; toward teachers or other school district personnel;

36. Violation of the school district’s Harassment and Violence Policy;

37. Actions, including fighting or any other assaultive behavior, which causes or could cause injury to the student or other persons or which otherwise endangers the health, safety, or welfare of teachers, students, other school district personnel, or other persons;

38. Committing an act which inflicts great bodily harm upon another person, even though accidental or a result of poor judgment;

39. Violations against persons, including, but not limited to, assault or threatened assault, fighting, harassment, interference or obstruction, attack with a weapon, or look-alike weapon, sexual assault, illegal or inappropriate sexual conduct, or indecent exposure;

40. Verbal assaults, or verbally abusive behavior, including, but not limited to, use of language that is discriminatory, abusive, obscene, threatening, intimidating or that degrades other people;

41. Physical or verbal threats including, but not limited to, the staging or reporting of dangerous or hazardous situations that do not exist;

42. Inappropriate, abusive, threatening, or demeaning actions based on race, color, creed, religion, sex/gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, disability, national origin or sexual orientation;

43. Violation of the school district’s Distribution of Nonschool-Sponsored Materials on School Premises by Students and Employees Policy;

44. Violation of the school district’s one-to-one device rules and regulations;

45. Violation of school rules, regulations, policies, or procedures including but not limited to, those policies specifically enumerated in this policy.

45. Other acts, as determined by the school district, which are disruptive of the educational process or dangerous or detrimental to the student or other students, school district personnel or surrounding persons, or which violate the rights of others or which damage or endanger the property of the school, or which otherwise interferes with or obstruct the mission or operations of the school district or the safety or welfare of students or employees.

 

VII.     DISCIPLINARY ACTION OPTIONS

It is the general policy of the school district to utilize progressive discipline to the extent reasonable and appropriate based upon the specific facts and circumstances of student misconduct.  The specific form of discipline chosen in a particular case is solely within the discretion of the school district.  At a minimum, violation of school district rules, regulations, policies or procedures will result in discussion of the violation and a verbal warning.  The school district shall, however, impose more severe disciplinary sanctions for any violation, including exclusion or expulsion, if warranted by the student’s misconduct, as determined by the school district.  Disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:

A. Student conference with teacher, principal, counselor or other school district personnel, and verbal warning;

B. Confiscation by school district personnel and/or by law enforcement of any item, article, object, or thing, prohibited by, or used in the violation of, any school district policy, rule, regulation, procedure, or state or federal law.

C. Parent contact;

D. Parent conference;

E. Removal from class;

F. In-school suspension;

G. Suspension from extracurricular activities;

H. Detention or restriction of privileges;

I. Loss of school privileges;

J. In-school monitoring or revised class schedule;

K. Referral to in-school support services;

L. Referral to community resources or outside agency services;

M. Financial restitution;

N. Referral to police, other law enforcement agencies, or other appropriate authorities;

O. A request for a petition to be filed in district court for juvenile delinquency adjudication;

P. Out-of-school suspension under the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act;

Q. Preparation of an admission or readmission plan;

R. Saturday school;

S. Expulsion under the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act;

T. Exclusion under the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act; and/or

U. Other disciplinary action as deemed appropriate by the school district.

 

VIII.    REMOVAL OF STUDENTS FROM CLASS

A. The teacher of record shall have the general control and government of the classroom.  Teachers have the responsibility of attempting to modify disruptive student behavior by such means as conferring with the student, using positive reinforcement, assigning detention or other consequences, or contacting the student’s parents.  When such measures fail, or when the teacher determines it is otherwise appropriate based upon the student’s conduct, the teacher shall have the authority to remove the student from class pursuant to the procedures established by this discipline policy.  “Removal from class” and “removal” mean any actions taken by a teacher, principal, or other school district employee to prohibit a student from attending a class or activity period for a period of time not to exceed five (5) days, pursuant to this discipline policy.

Grounds for removal from class shall include any of the following:

1. Conduct that significantly disrupts the rights of others to an education, including conduct that interferes with a teacher’s ability to teach or communicate effectively with students in a class or with the ability of other students to learn;

2. Conduct that endangers surrounding persons, including school district employees, the student or other students, or the property of the school;

3. Violation of any school rules, regulations, policies or procedures, including the Code of Student Conduct in this policy; or

4. Other conduct, which at the discretion of the teacher or administration requires removal of the student from class.

Such removal shall be for at least one (1) activity period or class period of instruction for a given course of study and shall not exceed five (5) such periods.

A student must be removed from class immediately if the student engages in assault or violent behavior.  “Assault” is an act done with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death; or the intentional infliction of, or attempt to inflict, bodily harm upon another.  The removal from class shall be for a period of time deemed appropriate by the principal, in consultation with the teacher. 

B. If a student is removed from class more than five (5) times in a school year, the school district shall notify the parent or guardian of the student’s fifth removal from class and make reasonable attempts to convene a meeting with the student’s parent or guardian to discuss the problem that is causing the student to be removed from class.

 

IX. DISMISSAL

A. “Dismissal” means the denial of the current educational program to any student, including exclusion, expulsion and suspension.  Dismissal does not include removal from class.

The school district shall not deny due process or equal protection of the law to any student involved in a dismissal proceeding which may result in suspension, exclusion or expulsion.

The school district shall not dismiss any student without attempting to provide alternative educational services before dismissal proceedings, except where it appears that the student will create an immediate and substantial danger to self or to surrounding persons or property.

B. Violations leading to suspension, based upon severity, may also be grounds for actions leading to expulsion, and/or exclusion.  A student may be dismissed on any of the following grounds:

1. Violation of any reasonable School Board regulation, including those found in this policy;

2. Conduct that significantly disrupts the rights of others to an education, or the ability of school personnel to perform their duties, or school sponsored extracurricular activities; or

3. Conduct that endangers the student or other students, or surrounding persons, including school district employees, or property of the school.

 

X. ADMISSION OR READMISSION PLAN

A school administrator shall prepare and enforce an admission or readmission plan for any student who is excluded or expelled from school.  The plan may include measures to improve the student’s behavior, including completing a character education program consistent with Minn. Stat. § 120B.232, Subd. 1, and require parental involvement in the admission or readmission process, and may indicate the consequences to the student of not improving the student’s behavior.  The readmission plan must not obligate parents to provide a sympathomimetic medication for their child as a condition of readmission.

 

XI. NOTIFICATION OF POLICY VIOLATIONS

Notification of any violation of this policy and resulting disciplinary action shall be as provided herein, or as otherwise provided by the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act or other applicable law.  The teacher, principal or other school district official may provide additional notification as deemed appropriate.

In addition, the school district must report, through the MDE electronic reporting system, each physical assault of a school district employee by a student within thirty (30) days of the assault.  This report must include a statement of the alternative educational services or other sanction, intervention, or resolution given to the student in response to the assault and the reason for, the effective date, and the duration of the exclusion or expulsion or other sanction, intervention, or resolution.  The report must also include the student’s age, grade, gender, race, and special education status.

 

XII. STUDENT DISCIPLINE RECORDS

The policy of the school district is that complete and accurate student discipline records be maintained.  The collection, dissemination, and maintenance of student discipline records shall be consistent with applicable school district policies and federal and state law, including the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minn. Stat. Ch. 13.

 

XIII. DISABLED STUDENTS

Students who are currently identified as eligible under the IDEA or Section 504 will be subject to the provisions of this policy, unless the student’s IEP or 504 plan specifies a necessary modification.

Before initiating an expulsion or exclusion of a student with a disability, relevant members of the child’s IEP team and the child’s parent shall, consistent with federal law, conduct a manifestation determination and determine whether the child’s behavior was (i) caused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to the child’s disability and (ii) whether the child’s conduct was a direct result of a failure to implement the child’s IEP. If the student’s educational program is appropriate and the behavior is not a manifestation of the student’s disability, the school district will proceed with discipline – up to and including expulsion – as if the student did not have a disability, unless the student’s educational program provides otherwise. If the team determines that the behavior subject to discipline is a manifestation of the student’s disability, the team shall conduct a functional behavioral assessment and implement a behavioral intervention plan for such student provided that the school district had not conducted such assessment prior to the manifestation determination before the behavior that resulted in a change of placement. Where a behavioral intervention plan previously has been developed, the team will review the behavioral intervention plan and modify it as necessary to address the behavior.

When a student who has an IEP is excluded or expelled for misbehavior that is not a manifestation of the student’s disability, the school district shall continue to provide special education and related services during the period of expulsion or exclusion.

 

XIV. OPEN ENROLLED STUDENTS

The school district may terminate the enrollment of a nonresident student enrolled under an Enrollment Option Program (Minn. Stat. § 124D.03) or Enrollment in Nonresident District (Minn. Stat. § 124D.08) at the end of a school year if the student meets the definition of a habitual truant, the student has been provided appropriate services for truancy (Minn. Stat. Ch. 260A), and the student’s case has been referred to juvenile court.  The school district may also terminate the enrollment of a nonresident student over the age of seventeen (17) enrolled under an Enrollment Options Program if the student is absent without lawful excuse for one or more periods on fifteen (15) school days and has not lawfully withdrawn from school.

 

XV. DISTRIBUTION OF POLICY

The school district will notify students and parents of the existence and contents of this policy in such manner as it deems appropriate.  Copies of this discipline policy shall be made available to all students and parents at the commencement of each school year and to all new students and parents upon enrollment.  This policy shall also be available upon request in each principal’s office.

 

XVI. REVIEW OF POLICY

The principal and representatives of parents, students and staff in each school shall confer at least annually to review this discipline policy, determine if the policy is working as intended, and to assess whether the discipline policy has been enforced.  Any recommended changes shall be submitted to the Superintendent/designee for consideration by the School Board, which shall conduct an annual review of this policy.

 

 

Legal References:     

Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act)

Minn. Stat. § 120B.02 (Educational Expectations for Minnesota Students)

Minn. Stat. § 120B.232 (Character Development Education)

Minn. Stat. § 121A.26 (School Preassessment Teams)

Minn. Stat. § 121A.27 (School and Community Advisory Team)

Minn. Stat. § 121A.29 (Reporting; Chemical Abuse)

Minn. Stat. §§ 121A.40-121A.56 (Pupil Fair Dismissal Act)

Minn. Stat. § 121A.575 (Alternatives to Pupil Suspension)

Minn. Stat. § 121A.582 (Reasonable Force)

Minn. Stat. §§ 121A.60-121A.61 (Removal From Class)

Minn. Stat. §§ 122A.42 (General Control of Schools)

Minn. Stat. § 123A.05 (Area Learning Center Organization)

Minn. Stat. § 124D.03 (Enrollment Options Program)

Minn. Stat. § 124D.08 (Enrollment in Nonresident District)

Minn. Stat. Ch.125A (Students With Disabilities)

Minn. Stat. Ch. 260A (Truancy)

Minn. Stat. Ch. 260C (Juvenile Court Act)

Minn. Stat. § 609.605, subd.4, State Trespassing Regulation

20 U.S.C. §§ 1400-1487 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004)

29 U.S.C. § 794 et seq. (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, § 504)

 

Cross References:     

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 413 (Harassment and Violence)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 501 (School Weapons)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 502 (Search of Student Lockers, Desks, Personal Possessions, and Student’s Person)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 503 (Student Attendance)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 505 (Distribution of Nonschool-Sponsored

Materials on School Premises by Students and Employees)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 514 (Bullying Prohibition Policy)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 524 (Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 525 (Violence Prevention)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 526 (Hazing Prohibition)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 527 (Student Use and Parking of Motor Vehicles; Patrols, Inspections, and Searches)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 610 (Field Trips)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 709 (Student Transportation Safety Policy)

 

POLICY ADOPTED:  February 17, 2009

POLICY REVIEWED: September 10, 2020

POLICY REVISED: December 4, 2014, August 20, 2015, September 15, 2016, August 17, 2017, August 26, 2021, February 17, 2022

 

 

 

Policy

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