Code of Conduct

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Definitions
III. Student Rights and Responsibilities
IV. Essential Partners
V. Student Dress Code
VI. Personal Electronic Devices
VII. Prohibited Student Conduct
VIII. Reporting Violations
IX. Disciplinary Penalties, Procedures and Referrals
X. Alternative Instruction
XI. Discipline of Students with Disabilities
XII. Corporal Punishment
XIII. Student Searches and Interrogations
XIV. Visitors to the Schools
XV. Public Conduct on School Property
XVI. Dissemination and Review

I. Introduction

The Board of Education (“Board”) will strive to provide a safe and orderly school environment where students may receive, and district personnel may deliver quality educational services without disruption or interference. Responsible behavior by students, teachers, other district personnel, parents and other visitors is essential to achieving this goal. The district has a long-standing set of expectations for conduct on school property and at school functions. These expectations are based on the principles of civility, mutual respect, citizenship, character, tolerance, honesty and integrity.

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

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

Dignity for All Students Act

In accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act, School District policy and practice must ensure that no student is subject to discrimination or harassment, based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity or sex by school employees or students on school property, on a school bus, or at a school function.

Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) – Kimberly Matthews

Back to top

II. Definitions

For purposes of this code, the following definitions apply:

Cyberbullying means harassment/bullying, as defined above, through any form of electronic communication.

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, provided, however, that 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 (Education Law Section 11[4] and Executive Law Section 292[21]).

Discrimination means discrimination against any student by a student or students and/or employee or employees on school property or at a school function including, but not limited to, discrimination based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.

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

Emotional Harm means harm through creation of a hostile school environment that is so severe or pervasive as to unreasonably and substantially interfere with a student’s education.

Employee means any person receiving compensation from a school district or employee of a contracted service provider or worker placed within the school under a public assistance employment program, pursuant to title nine B of article five of the Social Services Law, and consistent with the provisions of such title for the provision of services to such district, its students or employees, directly or through contract, whereby such services performed by such person involve direct student contact (Education Law Section s11[4] and 1125[3]).

Gender means actual or perceived sex and includes a person’s gender identity or expression (Education Law Section 11[6]).

Harassment/bullying means the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by threats, intimidation or abuse, including cyberbullying as defined in Education Law §11(8), that

  1. 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
  2. reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to for his or her physical safety; or
  3. reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury of emotional harm to a student; or
  4. occurs off school property and creates or would foreseeably create a risk substantial disruption within the school environment, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach school property.

For purposes of this definition, the term “threats, intimidation or abuse” shall include verbal and non-verbal actions. (Education Law §11[7])

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

Sexual Orientation means actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality (Education Law Section 11[5]).

School Bus means every motor vehicle owned and operated for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity, to or from school or 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 (Education Law Section 11[1] and Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 142).

School Function means a school sponsored extracurricular event or activity (Education Law Section 11[2]).

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.

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

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

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

Acts of harassment and bullying that are prohibited include those acts based on a person’s actual or perceived membership in the following groups including, but not limited to:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Weight
  • National origin
  • Ethnic group
  • Religion
  • Religious practice
  • Disability
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender (which includes a person’s actual or perceived sex, as well as gender identity and expression).

Back to top

III. Student Rights and Responsibilities

With every right comes a responsibility.

  1. It is the student’s right: To attend school in the district in which one’s parent or legal guardian resides.
    • It is the student’s responsibility:  To attend school daily, regularly and on time, perform assignments, and strive to do the highest quality work possible and be granted the opportunity to receive a good education.
  2. It is the student’s right: To expect that school will be a safe, orderly and purposeful place for all students to gain an education and to be treated fairly.
    • It is the student’s responsibility: To be aware of all rules and expectations regulating student’s behavior and conduct oneself in accordance with these guidelines.
  3. It is the student’s right: To be respected as an individual.
    • It is the student’s responsibility: To respect on another, and to treat others in the manner that one would want to be treated.
  4. It is the student’s right: To express one’s opinions verbally or in writing.
    • It is the student’s responsibility: To express opinions and ideas in a respectful manner so as not to offend, slander, or restrict, the rights and privileges of others.
  5. It is the student’s right: To dress in such a way as to express one’s personality.
    • It is the student’s responsibility: To dress appropriately in accordance with the dress code, so as not to endanger physical health, safety, limit participation in school activities or be unduly distracting.
  6. It is the student’s right: To be afforded equal and appropriate educational opportunities.
    • It is the student’s responsibility: To be aware of available educational programs in order to use and develop one’s capabilities to their maximum.
  7. It is the student’s right: To take part in all school activities on an equal basis regardless of race, color creed, religion, religious practice, sex, sexual orientation, gender, national origin, ethnic group, political affiliation, age, marital status, or disability.
    • It is the student’s responsibility: To work to the best of one’s ability in all academic and extracurricular activities, as well as being fair and supportive of other.
  8. It is the student’s right: To have access to relevant and objective information concerning drug and alcohol abuse, as well as access to individuals or agencies capable of providing direct assistance to students with serious personal problems.
    • It is the student’s responsibility: To be aware of the information and services available and to seek assistance in dealing with personal problems when appropriate.
  9. It is the student’s right: To be protected from intimidation, harassment, or discrimination based on actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, or religious practice, sex, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability, by employees or students on school property or at a school-sponsored event, function or activity.
    • It is the student’s responsibility: To respect one another and treat others fairly in accordance with the District Code of Conduct and the provisions of the Dignity Act. To conduct themselves in a manner that fosters an environment that is free from intimidation, harassment, or discrimination. To report and encourage others, to report any incidents of intimidation, harassment or discrimination.

Back to top

IV. Essential Partners

A. Parents

Expectations for Parents:

  1. Recognize that the education of their child(ren) is a joint responsibility of the parents and the school community.
  2. Send their children to school ready to participate and learn.
  3. Ensure their children attend school regularly and on time.
  4. Ensure absences are excused.
  5. Insist their children be dressed and groomed in a manner consistent with the student dress code.
  6. Help their children understand that in a democratic society appropriate rules are required to maintain a safe, orderly environment.
  7. Know school rules and help their children understand them.
  8. Convey to their children a supportive attitude toward education and the district.
  9. Build good relationships with teachers, other parents and their children’s friends.
  10. Help their children deal effectively with peer pressure.
  11. Inform school officials of changes in the home situation that may affect student conduct or performance.
  12. Provide a place for study and ensure homework assignments are completed.
  13. Teach their children respect and dignity for themselves, and other students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, or sex, which will strengthen the child’s confidence and promote learning in accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act.

B. Teachers

Expectations for Teachers:

  1. Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, or sex, with an understanding of appropriate appearance, language, and behavior in a school setting, which will strengthen students’ self-image and promote confidence to learn.
  2. Be prepared to teach.
  3. Demonstrate interest in teaching and concern for student achievement.
  4. Know school policies and rules and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner.
  5. Communicate to students and parents:
    1. Course objectives and requirements
    2. Marking/grading procedures
    3. Assignment deadlines
    4. Expectations for students
    5. Classroom discipline plan.
  6. Communicate regularly with students, parents and other teachers concerning growth and achievement.
  7. Confront issues of discrimination and harassment in any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any students, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.
  8. Address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school or classroom setting.
  9. Report incidents of discrimination and harassment that are witnessed or otherwise brought to a teacher’s attention to the building administrator and/or Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) in a timely manner.

C. School Counselors

Expectations for School Counselors:

  1. Assist students in coping with peer pressure and emerging personal, social and emotional problems.
  2. Initiate teacher/student/counselor conferences and parent/teacher/student/counselor conferences, as necessary, to resolve problems.
  3. Regularly review with students their educational progress and career plans.
  4. Provide information to assist students with career planning.
  5. Encourage students to benefit from the curriculum and extracurricular programs.
  6. Maintain and encourage a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, or sex, with an understanding of appropriate appearance, language, and behavior in a school setting, which will strengthen students’ self-image and promote confidence to learn
  7. Report incidents of discrimination and harassment that are witnessed or otherwise brought to the counselor’s attention to the building administrator and/or Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) in a timely manner.

D. Other School Staff

Expectations for Other School Staff:

  1. Follow the Code of Conduct; know, abide by and enforce school rules in a fair and consistent manner.
  2. Set a good example for students and other staff by demonstrating dependability, integrity and other standards of ethical conduct.
  3. Assist in promoting a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment.
  4. Maintain confidentiality about all personal information and educational records concerning students and their families.
  5. Maintain and encourage a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, or sex, with an understanding of appropriate appearance, language, and behavior in a school setting, which will strengthen students’ self-image and promote confidence to learn.
  6. Report incidents of discrimination and harassment that are witnessed or otherwise brought to a staff member’s attention to the building administrator and/or Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) in a timely manner.

E. Principal

Expectations for the Principal:

  1. Promote a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment, supporting active teaching and learning.
  2. Ensure that students and staff can communicate regularly with the Principal and approach the Principal for redress of grievances.
  3. Evaluate on a regular basis all instructional programs.
  4. Support the development of and student participation in appropriate extracurricular activities.
  5. Be responsible for enforcing the code of conduct and ensuring that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.
  6. Maintain and encourage a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, or sex, with an understanding of appropriate appearance, language, and behavior in a school setting, which will strengthen students’ self-image and promote confidence to learn.
  7. Follow up on any incidents of discrimination and harassment that are witnessed or otherwise brought to the Principal attention in a timely manner in collaboration with the Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC).

F. Superintendent

Expectations for the Superintendent:

  1. Promote a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment, free from intimidation, discrimination and harassment, supporting active teaching and learning.
  2. Review with district administrators the policies of the Board of Education and state and federal laws relating to school operations and management.
  3. Inform the Board about educational trends relating to student discipline.
  4. Work to create instructional programs that minimize problems of misconduct and are sensitive to student and teacher needs.
  5. Work with district administrators in enforcing the code of conduct and ensuring that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.

G. Board of Education

  1. Collaborate with student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel to develop a code of conduct that clearly defines expectations for the conduct of students, district personnel and visitors on school property and at school functions.
  2. Adopt and review at least annually the district’s code of conduct to evaluate the code’s effectiveness and the fairness and consistency of its implementation.
  3. Appoint a Dignity Act Coordinator in each school building. The Dignity Act Coordinator will be thoroughly trained to handle human relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, and sex. The Dignity Act Coordinator will be accessible to students and other staff members for consultation and advice as needed on the Dignity Act.
  4. Lead by example by conducting Board meetings in a professional, respectful, courteous manner.

Back to top

V. 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 have the primary responsibility for acceptable student dress and appearance. Teachers and all other district personnel should reinforce acceptable student dress and help students develop an understanding of appropriate appearance in the school setting.

A student’s dress, grooming and appearance, including hair style/color, jewelry, make-up and nails, shall:

  1. Be safe, appropriate and not disrupt or interfere with the educational process.
  2. Recognize that extremely brief garments such as tube tops, net tops, halter-tops, spaghetti straps, plunging necklines (exposing cleavage, front, back and/or rear), shorts, dresses and skirts (length must be 2” inches beyond fingertips) and see-through garments are not appropriate.
  3. Ensure that underwear is completely covered with outer clothing
  4. Always include footwear. Footwear that is a safety hazard will not be allowed.
  5. Not include the wearing of head coverings in the building except for a medical or religious purpose.
  6. Not include items that are vulgar, obscene, and libelous or denigrate others on account of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
  7. Not promote and/or endorse the use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs and/or encourage other illegal or violent activities, or display images of an indecent nature.
  8. Not promote, define, designate, or endorse gang related or gang like attire (colors, bandanas, sweat jackets).
  9. Not include wallets with chains or decorative heavy chains.

The Principal or his or her designee shall be responsible for informing all 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.

Students who violate the student dress code shall be required to modify their appearance by covering or removing the offending item and, if necessary or practical, replacing it with an acceptable item. Any student who refuses to do so shall be subject to discipline, up to and including in-school supervision for the day. Any student who repeatedly fails to comply with the dress code shall be subject to further discipline, up to and including out of school suspension.

Back to top

VI. Personal Electronic Devices

Personal electronic devices such as cell phones, iPods, MP3 players and similar devices are a part of modern society and the school recognizes that many students will possess them. However, their application and relevance to learning are limited. Teachers and students have a right to teach and learn in an environment free from interruption from such devices.

Cell phones, iPods, MP3 players and similar devices in school present several challenges. Our policy tries to allow for sensible student use of such devices while addressing these challenges and maintaining an environment that is ideal for teaching and learning.

Students are not permitted to use any form of information technology, including their own personal electronic devices, to intimidate, harass or threaten others. This type of harassment is generally referred to as cyber bullying. If a student violates this prohibition, then he/she is subject to discipline under this provision and/or any other provision in the District Code of Conduct that may be applicable to the circumstances involved.

  1. Cell Phones, iPods/MP3 Players and similar devices:
    1. use is permitted during MS/HS lunch in the lunchroom.
    2. may be permitted by the teacher during class. Students may not have these devices out without the classroom teacher’s permission..
    3. are not allowed at any time in private areas on school grounds such as bathrooms and locker rooms.
    4. recording functions on personal electronic devices used to take photos, video, or audio recordings are not to be used during the school day without permission of a teacher.
  2. Cell Phones, iPods, MP3 Players and similar devices on School Buses
    1. Use is permitted provided students use earpieces or headphones for music and they do not distract the driver or disturb other student
  3. Violations of the Personal Electronic Devices Policy
    1. 1st Offense – device is confiscated and given to the Principal. The device will be returned to the student after a warning by the Principal. Offense is recorded in the student’s discipline file.
    2. 2nd Offense – device is confiscated and given to the Principal. The device will be returned at the end of the day. Offense is recorded in the student’s discipline file.
    3. 3rd Offense – device is confiscated and given to the Principal. The device will be returned to the parent or guardian.
    4. Use of recording function on a personal electronic device – the device is confiscated and given to the Principal. Pictures or recordings may be reviewed by the Principal. The device will be returned to the parent or guardian.
    5. The Principal may rescind permission for a student to possess these devices in school if a student violates this policy.

Back to top

VII. Prohibited Student Conduct

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

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

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

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

  1. Engage in Conduct that is Disorderly.
    Examples of disorderly conduct include, but are not limited to:

    1. Running in hallways.
    2. Making unreasonable noise.
    3. Using language or a gesture that is profane, lewd, vulgar, abusive, sexually suggestive or indecent.
    4. Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
    5. Engaging in any willful act, which disrupts the normal operation of the school community
    6. Trespassing. Students are not permitted in any school building without permission from the administrator or person in charge of the building.
    7. Computer/electronic communications misuse, including any unauthorized use of computers, software, or internet/intranet account; accessing inappropriate websites; evading the District’s content filter; using an outside wireless network or any other violation of the district’s acceptable use policy.
    8. Unauthorized use of personal electronic devices such as cell phones, iPods, MP3 players and similar devices.
  2. Engage in Conduct that is Insubordinate.
    Examples of insubordinate conduct include, but are not limited to:

    1. Failing to comply, or arguing with, the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators or other school employees in charge of students or otherwise demonstrating disrespect.
    2. Lateness for, missing or leaving school without permission.
    3. Skipping detention
  3. Engage in Conduct that is Disruptive.
    Examples of disruptive conduct include, but are not limited to:

    1. Failing to comply, or arguing with, the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators or other school personnel or otherwise demonstrating disrespect.
    2. Endangering the health and safety of other students or staff or interfering with classes or District activities by means of inappropriate appearance or behavior as per District Code of Conduct.
  4. Engage in Conduct that is Violent.
    Examples of violent conduct include, but are not limited to:

    1. Committing 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 an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, and scratching) upon another student or any other person lawfully on school property or attempting to do so.
    3. Possessing a weapon. Authorized law enforcement officials are the only persons permitted to have a weapon in their possession while on school property or at a school function.
    4. Displaying what appears to be a weapon.
    5. Threatening to use any weapon.
    6. Intentionally damaging or destroying the personal property of a student, teacher, administrator, other district employee or any person lawfully on school property, including graffiti or arson.
    7. Intentionally damaging or destroying school district property.
    8. Engaging in harassing 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.
  5. Engage in Any Conduct That Endangers the Safety, Morals, Health or Welfare of Others.
    Examples of such conduct include, but are not limited to:

    1. Lying to school personnel.
    2. Stealing the property of the school district, other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or attending a school function.
    3. Defamation, which includes making false or unprivileged statements or representations about an individual or identifiable group of individuals that harm the reputation of the person or the identifiable group by demeaning them. This can include posting or publishing written material, video, audio recordings or pictures. This can include posting or publishing video, audio recordings or pictures (written material, cell phones, Internet, YouTube, etc.).
    4. Discrimination, which includes the use of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability as a basis for treating another in a negative manner. (See Board of Education Anti- Harassment and Sexual Harassment Policies)
    5. Harassment, or hate speech, which includes a sufficiently severe action or a persistent, pervasive pattern of actions or communication (verbal. written, electronic or graphic) directed at an identifiable individual or group which are intended to be or which a reasonable person would perceive as ridiculing or demeaning. (See Anti- Harassment Policy)
    6. Bullying and Intimidation, which includes engaging in actions or statements that put an individual in fear of bodily harm and/or emotional discomfort. (See Anti- Harassment Policy)
    7. “Internet bullying” (also referred to as “cyber bullying”) including the use of instant messaging, email, websites, chat rooms, text messaging, or by any other electronic means, when such use interferes with the operation of the school; or infringes upon the general health, safety and welfare of students or employees.
    8. Sexual harassment, which includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, taking, sending or receiving sexually explicit videos, pictures or auditory recordings and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature.
    9. 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. (See Hazing Policy)
    10. Selling, using or possessing obscene material.
    11. Using vulgar or abusive language, cursing or swearing.
    12. Smoking or possessing a cigarette, cigar, and pipe or using chewing, smokeless tobacco. Possession of lighters or matches.
    13. 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, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-alike drugs, and any substances commonly referred to as “designer drugs.”
    14. Inappropriately using or sharing prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
    15. Gambling and gaming
    16. Indecent exposure, that is, exposure to sight of the private parts of the body in a lewd or indecent manner.
    17. Initiating a report warning of fire or other catastrophe without valid cause, misuse of 911, or discharging a fire extinguisher.
    18. Any violation of law
  6. Engage in Misconduct while on a School Bus.
    It is crucial for students to behave appropriately while riding on district buses to ensure their safety and that of other passengers and to avoid distracting the bus driver. Students are required to conduct themselves on the bus in a manner consistent with established standards for classroom behavior. Excessive noise, pushing, shoving and fighting, harassment, and discrimination will not be tolerated.
  7. Engage in Any Misconduct While on School Grounds or Playgrounds.
  8. Engage in Any Form of Academic Misconduct.
    Examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to:

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

Back to top

VIII. Reporting Violations

All students are expected to promptly report violations of the code of conduct to a teacher, guidance counselor, the 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 Principal designee or the Superintendent.

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

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

The District administration or the 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.

Back to top

IX. Disciplinary Penalties, Procedures and Referrals

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

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

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

As a 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.

The Administrators reserve the right to amend the suggested consequence, when in their best judgment, a different penalty is warranted. This policy is intended to afford students with disabilities subject to disciplinary action no greater or lesser than those expressly afforded by applicable Federal and State law and regulations.

A. Penalties

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 after each penalty are authorized to impose that penalty, consistent with the student’s right to due process.

  1. Oral warning – any member of the district staff
  2. Written warning – Principal, Superintendent
  3. Written notification to parent – Principal, Superintendent
  4. Lunch Detention – Teacher, Principal, Superintendent
  5. After-School Detention – Principal, Superintendent
  6. Suspension from transportation – Director of Transportation, Principal, Superintendent
  7. Suspension from athletic participation – Coaches, Athletic Director, Principal, Superintendent
  8. Suspension from social or extracurricular activities – Activity Director, Principal, Superintendent
  9. Suspension of other privileges – Principal, Superintendent
  10. In-School Supervision – Principal, Superintendent
  11. Removal from classroom by teacher – Teachers, Principal
  12. Short-term (five days or less) suspension from school – Principal, Superintendent, Board of Education.
  13. Long-term (more than five days) suspension from school – Superintendent, Board of Education
  14. Permanent suspension from school – Superintendent, Board of Education.

B. Procedures

The amount of due process a student is entitled to receive before a penalty is imposed depends on the penalty being imposed. In all cases, regardless of the penalty imposed, the school personnel authorized to impose the penalty must inform the student of the alleged misconduct and must investigate, to the extent necessary, the facts surrounding the alleged misconduct. All students will have an opportunity to present their version of the facts to the school personnel imposing the disciplinary penalty in connection with the imposition of the penalty.

Students who are to be given penalties other than an oral warning, written warning or written notification to their parents are entitled to additional rights before the penalty is imposed. These additional rights are explained below.

  1. Lunch Detention – Classroom teachers, the Principal or Superintendent may assign lunch detention for student misconduct.
  2. After-School Detention – The Principal and the Superintendent may use after school detention as a penalty for student misconduct in situations where removal or suspension would be inappropriate. After-school detention will be imposed after the student’s parents have been notified and transportation has been arranged.
  3. 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 Principal attention via a referral to the Director of Transportation. Students who become a serious disciplinary problem may have their riding privileges suspended by the 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. A student subjected to a suspension from transportation is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the Principal or the Principal’s designee to discuss the conduct and the penalty involved.
  4. Suspension from athletic participation, extra-curricular activities and other privileges – Those students in In-School Supervision and suspended from school will also be suspended from athletic participation, extra-curricular activities, and other privileges on the day(s) the penalty is imposed. 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
  5. In-School Supervision – The Board recognizes the school must balance the need of students to attend school and the need for order in the classroom to establish an environment conducive to learning. As such, the Board authorizes Principal 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 supervision.” 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 supervision to discuss the conduct and the penalty involved.
  6. Teacher disciplinary removal of disruptive students – A student’s behavior can affect a teacher’s ability to teach and can make it difficult for other students in the classroom to learn. In most instances the classroom teacher can control a student’s behavior and maintain or restore control over the classroom by using good classroom management techniques. These techniques may include practices that involve the teacher directing a student to briefly leave the classroom to give the student an opportunity to regain his or her composure and self-control in an alternative setting. Such practices may include, but are not limited to: (1) short-term “time out” in an elementary classroom or in an administrator’s office; (2) sending a student to the Principal’s office for the remainder of the class time only; or (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 of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom. A substantial disruption of the educational process or substantial interference with a teacher’s authority occurs when a student demonstrates a persistent unwillingness to comply with the teacher’s instructions or repeatedly violates the teacher’s classroom behavior rules. A 6-12 grade 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. A PreK-5 classroom teacher may remove a disruptive student from class for up to one day. The removal from class applies only to the classroom of the removing teacher.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. These explanations must be documented.

    The teacher must complete a district-established disciplinary removal form and meet with the Principal or his or her designee as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the school day, to explain the circumstances of the removal and to present the 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 the next class from which the child is to be removed.

    Within 24-hours after the student’s removal, the Principal or another district administrator designated by the Principal must notify the student’s parent 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.

    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 parent. 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 may require the teacher who ordered the removal to attend the informal conference, during the teacher’s workday.

    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. 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. The teacher of the removed student will provide the removed student with lesson plans and materials to attempt to assure the continued appropriate education of the removed student.Each teacher must keep a complete log (on a district provided form) for all cases of removal of students from his or her class. The Principal must keep a log of all removals of students from class.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.
  7. 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. The Board retains its authority to suspend students, but places primary responsibility for the suspension of students with the Superintendent and the  Principal. Any staff member may recommend to the Superintendent or the Principal that a student be suspended. All staff members must immediately report and refer a violent student to the Principal or the Superintendent for a violation of the code of conduct. All recommendations and referrals shall be made in writing (using the appropriate form) unless the conditions underlying the recommendation or referral warrant immediate attention. In such cases a written report is to be prepared as soon as possible by the staff member recommending the suspension. The Superintendent or Principal upon receiving a recommendation or referral for suspension or when processing a case for suspension, shall gather the facts relevant to the matter and record them for subsequent presentation, if necessary.
    1. Short-term (5 days or less) suspension from school
      When the Superintendent or Principal (referred to as the “suspending authority”) proposes to suspend a student charged with misconduct for five days or less pursuant to Education Law §3214(3), the suspending authority must immediately notify the student orally. If the student denies the misconduct, the suspending authority must provide  an explanation of the basis for the proposed suspension. The suspending authority must also notify the student’s parents in writing that the student may be suspended from school. The written notice must be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or some other means that is reasonably calculated to assure receipt of the notice within 24 hours of the decision to propose suspension at the last known address for the parents. Where possible, notice should also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting the parent. The notice shall provide a description of the charges against the student and the incident for which suspension is proposed and shall inform the parents of the right to request an immediate informal conference with the Principal. Both the notice and informal conference shall be in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parents. At the conference, the parents shall be permitted to ask questions of complaining witnesses under such procedures as the Principal may establish.
      The notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place before the student is suspended unless the student’s presence in school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process. If the student’s presence does pose such a danger or threat of disruption, the notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place as soon after the suspension as is reasonably practicable.After the conference, the Principal shall promptly advise the parents in writing of his or her decision. The Principal shall advise the parents that if they are not satisfied with the decision and wish to pursue the matter, they must file a written appeal to the Superintendent within five business days, unless they can show extraordinary circumstances precluding them from doing so. The Superintendent shall issue a written decision regarding the appeal within 10 business days of receiving the appeal. If the parents are not satisfied with the Superintendent’s decision, they must file a written appeal to the Board of Education with the district clerk within 10 business days of the date of the Superintendents’ decision, unless they can show extraordinary circumstances precluding them from doing so. Only final decisions of the Board may be appealed to the Commissioner within 30 days of the decision.
    2. Long-term (more than 5 days) suspension from school
      When the Superintendent or  Principal determines that a suspension for more than five days may be warranted, he or she shall give reasonable notice to the student and the student’s parents of their right to a fair hearing. At the hearing the student shall have the right to be represented by counsel, the right to question witnesses against him or her and the right to present witnesses and other evidence on his or her behalf. The Superintendent shall personally hear and determine the proceeding or may, in his or her discretion, designate a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The hearing officer shall be authorized to administer oaths and to issue subpoenas in conjunction with the proceeding before him or her. A record of the hearing shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required. A tape recording shall be deemed a satisfactory record. The hearing officer shall make findings of fact and recommendations as to the appropriate measure of discipline to the Superintendent. The report of the hearing officer shall be advisory only, and the Superintendent may accept all or any part thereof. An appeal of the decision of the Superintendent may be made to the Board that will make its decision based solely upon the record before it. All appeals to the Board must be in writing and submitted to the district clerk within 10 business days of the date of the Superintendent’s decision, unless the parents can show that extraordinary circumstances precluded them from doing so. The Board may adopt in whole or in part the decision of the Superintendent. Final decisions of the Board may be appealed to the Commissioner within 30 days of the decision.
    3. Permanent suspension
      Permanent suspension, when lawful, is reserved for extraordinary circumstances such as where a student’s conduct poses a life-threatening danger to the safety and well-being of other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or attending a school function.

C. Minimum Periods of Suspension

  1. Students who bring a weapon to school
    Any student, other than a student with a disability, found guilty of bringing a weapon onto school property will be subject to suspension from school for at least one calendar year. Before being suspended, the student will have an opportunity for a hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. The Superintendent has the authority to modify the one-year suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the penalty, the Superintendent may consider the following:

    1. The student’s age.
    2. The student’s grade in school.
    3. The student’s prior disciplinary record.
    4. The Superintendent’s belief that other forms of discipline may be more effective.
    5. Input from parents, teachers and/or others.
    6. Other extenuating circumstances. A student with a disability may be suspended only in accordance with the requirements of state and federal law.
  2. Students who commit violent acts other than bringing a weapon to school any student, other than a student with a disability, who is found to have committed a violent act, other than bringing a weapon onto school property, shall be subject to suspension from school for at least two days.
  3. Students who are repeatedly substantially disruptive of the educational process or repeatedly substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom any student who repeatedly is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom will be suspended from school for at least one day. For purposes of this code of conduct, “repeatedly is substantially disruptive” means engaging in conduct that results in the student being removed from the classroom by teacher(s) pursuant to Education Law §3214(3-a) and this code on two or more per quarter or four or more occasions during a semester.

D. Referrals

  1. Counseling
    The Guidance Office shall handle all referrals of students to counseling.
  2. PINS Petitions
    The district may file a PINS (person in need of supervision) petition in Family Court on any student under the age of 18 who demonstrates that he or she requires supervision and treatment by:

    1. Being habitually truant and not attending school as required by part one of Article 65 of the Education Law.
    2. Engaging in an ongoing or continual course of conduct which makes the student ungovernable or habitually disobedient and beyond the lawful control of the school.
    3. 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 PINS petition.
  3. Juvenile Delinquents and Juvenile Offenders
    The Superintendent is required to refer the following students to the County Attorney for a juvenile delinquency proceeding before the Family Court:

    1. Any student under the age of 16 who is found to have brought a weapon to school, or
    2. Any student 14 or 15 years old who qualifies for juvenile offender status under the Criminal Procedure Law §1.20 (42).
      The Superintendent is required to refer students age 16 and older or any student 14 or 15 years old who qualifies for juvenile offender status to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Back to top

X. Alternative Instruction

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.

Back to top

XI. Discipline of Students with Disabilities

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

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

A. Authorized Suspensions or Removals of Students with Disabilities

  1. 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 or herself or others. An “IAES” means a temporary educational placement for a period of up to 45 days, other than the student’s current placement at the time the behavior precipitating the IAES placement occurred, that enables the student to continue to progress in the general curriculum, although in another setting, to continue to receive those services and modifications, including those described on the student’s current individualized education program (IEP), that will enable the student to meet the goals set out in such IEP, and include services and modifications to address the behavior which precipitated the IAES placement that are designed to prevent the behavior from recurring.
  2. School personnel may order the suspension or removal of a student with a disability from his or her current educational placement as follows:
    1. The Board, the district (BOCES) Superintendent of schools, the Superintendent 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. The Superintendent may order additional suspensions of not more than 10 consecutive school days in the same school year for separate incidents of misconduct, if those removals do not constitute a change of placement.
    4. The Superintendent may order the placement of a student with a disability in an IAES to be determined by the Committee on Special Education (CSE), for the same amount of time that a student without a disability would be subject to discipline, but not more than 45 days, if the student carries or possesses a weapon to school or to a school function, or the student knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school or a school function.
      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.
  3. 1.      Subject to specified conditions required by both federal and state law and regulations, an impartial hearing officer may order the placement of a student with a disability in an IAES setting for up to 45 days at a time, if maintaining the student in his or her current educational placement poses a risk of harm to the student or others.

B. Change of Placement Rule

  1. A disciplinary change in placement means a suspension or removal from a student’s current educational placement that is either:
    1. for more than 10 consecutive school days; or
    2. for a period of 10 consecutive school days or less if the student is subjected to a series of suspensions or removals that constitute a pattern because they cumulate to more than 10 school days in a school year and because of such factors as the length of each suspension or removal, the total amount of time the student is removed and the proximity of the suspensions or removals to one another.
  2. School personnel may not suspend or remove a student with disabilities if imposition of the suspension or removal would result in a disciplinary change in placement based on a pattern of suspension or removal. However, the district may impose a suspension or removal, which would otherwise result in a disciplinary change in placement, based on a pattern of suspensions or removals if the CSE has determined that the behavior was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, or the student is placed in an IAES for behavior involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances.

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

  1. The district’s Committee on Special Education shall:
    1.  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.
    2. 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.
    1. The Superintendent,  Principal other school official imposing a suspension or removal shall be responsible for determining whether the student is a student presumed to have a disability.
    2. A student will not be considered a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes if, upon receipt of information supporting a claim that the district had knowledge the student was a student with a disability, the district either:
      1. conducted an individual evaluation and determined that the student is not a student with a disability, or
      2. determined that an evaluation was not necessary and provided notice to the parents of such determination, in the manner required by applicable law and regulations.If there is no basis for knowledge that the student is a student with a disability prior to taking disciplinary measures against the student, the student may be subjected to the same disciplinary measures as any other non-disabled student who engaged in comparable behaviors. However, if a request for an individual evaluation is made while such non-disabled student is subjected to a disciplinary removal, an expedited evaluation shall be conducted and completed in the manner prescribed by applicable federal and state law and regulations. Until the expedited evaluation is completed, the non-disabled student who is not a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes shall remain in the educational placement determined by the district, which can include suspension.
  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 bifurcated into a guilt phase and a penalty phase in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this code.
  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:
    1. The district requests such a hearing to obtain an order of an impartial hearing officer placing a student with a disability in an IAES where school personnel maintain that it is dangerous for the student to be in his or her current educational placement, or during the pendency of due process hearings where school personnel maintain that it is dangerous for the student to be in his or her current educational placement during such proceedings.
    2. The parent requests such a hearing from a determination that the student’s behavior was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, or relating to any decision regarding placement, including but not limited to any decision to place the student in an IAES.
      1. During the pendency of an expedited due process hearing or appeal regarding the placement of a student in an IAES for behavior involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances, or on grounds of dangerousness, or regarding a determination that the behavior is not a manifestation of the student’s disability for a student who has been placed in an IAES, the student shall remain in the IAES pending the decision of the impartial hearing officer or until expiration of the IAES placement, whichever occurs first, unless the parents and the district agree otherwise.
      2. If school personnel propose to change the student’s placement after expiration of an IAES placement, during the pendency of any proceeding to challenge the proposed change in placement, the student shall remain in the placement prior to removal to the IAES, except where the student is again placed in an IAES.
  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.

Back to top

XII. Corporal Punishment

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

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

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

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

Back to top

XIII. Student Searches and Interrogations

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

Lockers (even if the student owns the lock), desks, cubbyholes, etc., are the property of the school and subject to inspection without cause, at any time, without notice or the student’s or parent’s permission or presence.  Students should take this policy into account when deciding whether to store personal belongings in such places.  “Drug searches with police and K9 assistance will be conducted periodically to enhance the security of the school and the safety of our students, faculty, staff and may prevent further disruptions to the learning environment.”

In addition, the board authorizes the superintendent, principal, the school nurse and district security officials to conduct searches of students and their belongings if the authorized school official has reasonable suspicion to believe that the search will result in evidence that the student violated the law or the district code of conduct.

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

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

Searches of student’s person includes any search that involves physical contact with the student’s body, including clothing worn by the student, or the requirement that the student remove clothing, apart from outer garments such as coats, jackets, sweatshirts, sweaters, vests, etc. Removal of clothing shall be limited to removal of socks and shoes and articles of clothing that will not expose the student’s undergarments and private areas. These searches also include, but are not limited to pat-down searches, handheld metal detectors, and alcohol sensing equipment.  Police or law enforcement may assist with any search of this type.

Searches of the student’s person should be performed or witnessed by at least one school employee who is the same gender as the student searched.

These searches will only be undertaken if the school superintendent, principal, or other administrator is present and if the administrator has reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will uncover evidence that the student has violated or is violating the law or the rules of the school.

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

Whenever practicable, searches will be conducted in the privacy of administrative offices and if possible, students will be present when their possessions are being searched.

A. Documentation of Searches

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

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

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

B. Police Involvement in Searches and Interrogation of Students

District officials are committed to cooperating with police officials and other law enforcement authorities to maintain a safe school environment. If police are involved in the questioning of students on school premises, whether at the request of school authorities, it will be in accordance with applicable law and due process rights afforded students. Generally, police authorities may only interview students on school premises without the permission of the parent/guardian in situations where a warrant has been issued for the student’s arrest (or removal). Police authorities may also question students for general investigations or general questions regarding crimes committed on school property. In all other situations, unless an immediate health or safety risk exists, if the police wish to speak to a student without a warrant they should take the matter up directly with the student’s parent/guardian.

C. Child Protective Services Investigations

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

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

A child protective services worker may not remove a student from school property without a court order, unless the worker reasonably believes that the student would be subject to danger of abuse if not he or she were 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 the parent’s consent. The child protective services worker shall provide appropriate documentation to the school district.

Back to top

XIV. Visitors to the Schools

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

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

Back to top

XV. Public Conduct on School Property

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

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

All persons on school property or attending a school function shall conduct themselves in a respectful and orderly manner. In addition, all persons on school property or attending a school function are expected to be properly attired (as defined in section XIV.A.4) for the purpose they are on school property.

A. Prohibited Conduct

No person, either alone or with others, shall:

  1. Intentionally injure any person or threaten to do so.
  2. Intentionally damage or destroy school district property or the personal property of a teacher, administrator, other district employee or any person lawfully on school property, including graffiti or arson.
  3. Disrupt the orderly conduct of classes, school programs or other school activities.
  4. Distribute or wear materials 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. Intimidate, harass or discriminate against any person based on race, color, creed, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
  6. Enter any portion of the school premises without authorization or remain in any building or facility after it is normally closed.
  7. Obstruct the free movement of any person in any place to which this code applies.
  8. Violate the traffic laws, parking regulations or other restrictions on vehicles;
  9. Possess, consume, sell, distribute or exchange tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, or be under the influence of either on school property or at a school function.
  10. Possess or use weapons in or on school property or at a school function, except in the case of law enforcement officers or except as specifically authorized by the school district.
  11. Loiter on or about school property.
  12. Gamble on school property or at school functions.
  13. Refuse to comply with any reasonable order of identifiable school district officials performing their duties.
  14. Willfully incite others to commit any of the acts prohibited by this code.
  15. Violate any federal or state statute, local ordinance or policy while on school property or while at a school function.

B. Penalties

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

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

C. Enforcement

The school administration or a designee shall be responsible for enforcing the conduct required by this code.

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

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

Back to top

XVI. Dissemination and Review

A. Dissemination of the Code of Conduct

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

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

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

The Board of Education will review this code of conduct every year and update it as necessary. In conducting the review, the Board will consider how effective the code’s provisions have been and whether the code has been applied fairly and consistently.

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 no  later than 30 days after adoption.

Back to top