PART II – GENERAL RULES AND REGULATIONS:

ACADEMIC DISCIPLINE (SECTION 2.01):

No student shall receive discipline under the Code of Student Conduct for failure to complete academic assignments. Students have the responsibility and are expected to conduct themselves in such a manner so as not to interfere with the rights of others to learn.

ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION PROGRAMS (SECTION 2.02):

The Alternative Education Programs are designed to provide educational services to those students who are unsuccessful in the normal school environment. The Alternative Education Programs described herein are those specifically related to student discipline and do not include various other alternative education opportunities provided by The School Board of Polk County, Florida.

  1. Exceptional Students: See Section 3.08, Discipline of IDEIA-Eligible Students.
  2. Unsatisfactory Completion of Assignment: Any student who fails to satisfactorily complete an Alternative Education Program assignment and has withdrawn from any school must enter the Polk County School System through the program they did not complete. This procedure may be waived if so determined by a committee assigned by the Director, Discipline.

CHILD ABUSE (SECTION 2.03):

When child abuse and/or neglect is suspected by school personnel, the law requires that the suspected child abuse and/or neglect be reported immediately to the Florida Abuse Registry, 1-800-962-2873.

CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS (SECTION 2.04):

All secret societies and kindred organizations are prohibited, forbidden, and excluded from the public schools of Polk County, Florida. No student shall be permitted to join or be connected with any such club or organization in the Polk County School system.

STUDENT DATING VIOLENCE AND ABUSE (SECTION 2.05):

It is the policy of the Polk County School Board that all of its students have an educational setting that is safe, secure, and free from dating violence and abuse. The District shall not tolerate dating violence and abuse of any kind. Dating violence or abuse by any student is prohibited on school property, during any school related or school sponsored program or activity, or during school sponsored transportation.

Definitions:

    1. Dating Violence is a pattern of emotional, verbal, sexual or physical abuse used by one person in a current or past intimate relationship to exert power and control over another when one or both of the partners is a student.
    2. Abuse is mistreatment which may include insults, coercion, social sabotage, sexual harassment, threats and/or acts of physical or sexual abuse. The abusive partner uses this pattern of violent and coercive behavior to gain power and maintain control over the dating partner.

Reporting Dating Violence or Abuse

School employees shall report to the Principal or designee suspected cases of dating violence and abuse. Students should report suspected cases of dating violence and abuse to the Principal or designee and may do so anonymously. Student victims should report any incidents of violence and abuse to the Principal or designee as soon after it occurs as possible. Nothing herein shall be construed as relieving a mandatory reporter of the obligation to report a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect.

DRESS CODE (SECTION 2.06):

Students are required to wear appropriate clothing according to the situation and the grade level involved. Inappropriate clothing and appearance are disruptive to the school program and principals will enforce adherence to this policy by those under their jurisdiction. Each school may provide for more specific dress code requirements within the scope of this district-wide dress code. The principal shall confer and obtain approval from the school’s School Advisory Council (SAC) to develop and notify parents and students of the school’s specific dress code before the end of the school year. School administrators have final authority to decide if clothing complies with District rules. Dress Code is not to be used as a barrier to access education. No student may be denied attendance at school or otherwise penalized if failure to comply with dress code is due to financial hardship. Responsible timeframes may be established for compliance for financial hardship and for students new to the district.

  1. Section 4.03, Disruptive Behavior and/or Minor Infractions: Section 4.03, Disruptive Behavior and/or Minor Infractions: Repeated violations of the dress code shall be treated as disruptive behavior under Section 4.03 herein. However, dress code violations shall not carry over on the student’s discipline record to subsequent semesters.
  2. General Dress Code Requirements: Section 1 paragraph (d) of subsection (2) of section s.1006.07, Florida Statutes requires each district school board to adopt a dress code policy that prohibits a student, while on the grounds of a public school during the regular school day, from wearing clothing that exposes underwear or body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner or disrupts the orderly learning environment. Each student is responsible for compliance with appropriate dress, respect for self and others, and the role appropriate dress and respect for self and others has on an orderly learning environment. Any student who violates the below dress policy is subject to the following disciplinary actions:
        1. For a first offense, a student shall be given a verbal warning and the school principal or designee shall call the student’s parent or guardian.
        2. For a second offense, the student is ineligible to participate in any extracurricular activity for a period of time not to exceed 5 days and the school principal or designee shall meet with the student’s parent or guardian.
        3. For a third or subsequent offense, a student shall receive an in-school suspension pursuant to 1003.01(5) for a period not to exceed 3 days, the student is ineligible to participate in any extracurricular activity for a period not to exceed 30 days, and the school principal or designee shall call the student’s parent or guardian and send the parent or guardian a written letter regarding the student’s in-school suspension and ineligibility to participate in extracurricular activities.
        1. Shirts and Blouses: Shirts or blouses shall be tucked into the waistband of the pants or Exceptions will be allowed in individual cases based upon the discretion of the principal or designee.
        2. Pants: Pants with belt loops shall be worn with a belt that is properly fastened. Pants shall be worn so that the waistband is worn at the waist and not below the waist. Section 1 paragraph (d) of subsection (2) of section s.1006.07, Florida Statutes requires each district school board to adopt a dress code policy that prohibits a student, while on the grounds of a public school during the regular school day, from wearing clothing that exposes underwear or body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner or disrupts the orderly learning environment. Each student is responsible for compliance with appropriate dress, respect for self and others, and the role appropriate dress and respect for self and others has on an orderly learning environment.
        3. Skirts and Dresses: The hem of girls’ skirts or dresses shall be no shorter than mid-thigh as determined by the principal or designee in the exercise of his or her judgment.
        4. Appropriate Sizes: Students shall wear clothing of appropriate size as determined by the principal or designee exercising his or her judgment.

       

  3. Unacceptable Attire: Students are not allowed to wear clothing (including bandanas), jewelry (including body piercing jewelry and “grills”), buttons, haircuts, tattoos, or other attire or markings which are offensive, suggestive, disruptive, or indecent such as:
      1. Clothing associated with gangs.
      2. Clothing encouraging the use of tobacco, drugs, alcohol, or violence.
      3. Clothing associated with discrimination on the basis of age, color, handicap, national origin, marital status, race, religion, or sex.
      4. Clothing exposing the torso or upper thighs such as see-through garments, mini-skirts or mini-dresses, halters, backless dresses, tube tops or tank tops without over blouses or shirts, spaghetti strap garments without over blouses or shirts, bare midriff outfits, or shirts or blouses tied at the midriff.
      5. Clothing not properly fastened or with tears.
      6. Clothing or outer garments traditionally designed as undergarments such as boxer shorts, bloomers, tights, hosiery, and sleepwear.
      7. Clothing or footwear that is construed by the principal or designee as hazardous or dangerous to the health of the student or others.
      8. Overalls – any bibbed pants or shorts (with an inseam).
      9. Trench Coats
      10. Hooded sweatshirts are acceptable, but hoods may not be worn during school hours.

     

  4. Shorts: All students may wear hemmed walking shorts or Bermuda shorts and female students may wear skorts, provided that such shorts or skorts are no shorter than mid-thigh as determined by the principal or designee exercising his or her judgment.
      1. Unacceptable Shorts: Athletic shorts including spandex-style “bicycle” shorts, cut-off jeans, frayed jeans or pants, cut-off sweat pants, short shorts, running shorts, and see-through boxer- type shorts are not allowed.
      2. Career Centers: For safety and employment training purposes, students enrolled at the career centers will not be allowed to wear shorts.
      3. Revocation of Shorts Privilege for Excessive Violations: If an individual school’s School Advisory Council (“SAC”) determines that too many students have abused and violated the shorts policy, the SAC and principal may request that the School Board revoke the shorts privilege at that particular school so that the entire student body will not be allowed to wear shorts to school during the next semester. In such cases, the School Board may elect to prohibit wearing shorts to school at that particular school during subsequent semesters or school years or re-instate the privilege of wearing shorts to school as the School Board may deem appropriate. The principal may revoke the shorts privilege of any student who violates the provisions of the shorts policy twice in one semester.

     

  5. Student Identification Badges – Grades 6-12: Student identification badges will be provided to secondary students to ensure safety and security of students and staff. Students must wear the ID card at all times around the neck area when on school grounds.
  6. Face Covering – Grades K-12 (Only applicable when the wearing of a face covering is required by the District): Students must wear a face covering at all times required by the District. It must cover the nose, mouth, and fit snugly against the sides of a person’s face with little or no gaps to ensure their own safety and the safety of other students and staff. Students must wear the face covering when on school grounds or district provided transportation unless the student is involved in an approved activity when a face covering would not be appropriate. All face coverings must comply with general dress code and school uniform requirements.*** Grades K-1 are in developmental stages upon the first 9 weeks of entering schools.

 

STUDENTS GRADES K-8

    1. Scope: This policy shall apply to all students in kindergarten through eighth grade except for students attending the following schools or centers:
        1. Gause Academy
        2. Teen Parent Program
        3. Roosevelt Academy

       

    2. Magnet Schools: Magnet school student uniform requirements shall take precedence over the uniform dress code described herein.
    3. Basic Uniform Clothing: At each school to which this uniform dress code applies, the principal shall confer with the school’s SAC to develop and publish a school dress code that will contain the following basic uniform requirements as to the styles and colors of clothing.
        1. Girls’ Basic Uniform: The basic uniform clothing for girls in kindergarten through eighth grade shall consist of a long or short-sleeved navy blue or white collared blouse or polo shirt with a dark blue, black or khaki (tan) skirt, walking shorts, slacks, skorts, jumper, or similar clothing. The skirt, shorts, slacks, skorts, and jumpers may be of denim, corduroy, or twill fabric.
        2. Boys’ Basic Uniform: The basic uniform clothing for boys in kindergarten through eighth grade shall consist of a long or short-sleeved navy blue or white collared shirt, such as a polo, oxford or dress shirt, and a dark blue, black or khaki (tan) pair of long pants, or walking shorts. The pants or shorts may be of denim, corduroy, or twill fabric.
        3. Additional Uniform Alternatives: In addition to the basic uniform clothing specified in paragraphs and b. above, at the discretion of the principal, a school may include in the school’s uniform dress code the following alternatives:
          1. One additional specified color may be allowed for the collared shirt or blouse. Colored trim, stripes, or decorations will not be allowed. A small logo is acceptable.
          2. Skirts, shorts, slacks, skorts, and jumpers must be a solid color (traditional blue jean colors are acceptable) with no stripes, decorations, or embroidery. One specified plaid will be allowed. A small logo is acceptable.
        4. Considerations: In selecting such alternatives, if any, the principal and SAC shall take into consideration the availability, affordability, and practicality of the alternative.
        5. School T-Shirts: In addition to the shirts and blouses described in subparagraphs a., b., and c. above, each school may include in its uniform dress code the option of allowing students to wear a school-sponsored T-shirt (which may have a crew neck rather than a collar).

       

    4. Outer Garments: The uniform dress code shall not prohibit students from wearing coats, jackets, sweaters, or other appropriate outer garments when necessary due to weather conditions or for other legitimate reasons. Sweatshirts or sweaters of appropriate school color may be worn over appropriate uniform shirt or blouse. Trench coats are not appropriate nor are they allowed for grades K-12.
    5. District-wide Dress Code: All other aspects of student dress and appearance not covered by this uniform dress code policy shall be governed by the remaining provisions of this section and any related school rules pertaining to student appearance.
    6. Financial Considerations: 
        1. Financial Hardships: No student shall be denied attendance at school or be otherwise penalized for failing to wear clothing that complies with the uniform dress code if such failure is due to financial hardship.
        2. Assistance: Each school’s principal and SAC shall develop procedures and criteria to offer assistance to students who would have or are having difficulty complying with their school’s uniform dress code due to financial hardships and shall develop a program to provide for donations of clothing or financial assistance, consignment shops, or reuse of uniform clothing or similar program that would alleviate such financial hardships.

       

    7. New Students: Students entering the Polk County Public School System during the school year shall be granted a grace period of one (1) month before being required to comply with the uniform dress code.
    8. Alternative Education Programs: Students in grades kindergarten through eighth assigned to an Alternative Education Program shall be required to dress in accordance with the uniform dress code in effect at the school in which they were enrolled before their assignment to the Alternative Education Program.
    9. Exceptions: Exceptions to the uniform dress code shall be permitted when:
        1. A student wears a uniform of a nationally recognized youth organization, such as the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, on regular meeting days.
        2. A student wears a button, armband, or other accouterment to exercise the right of free speech guaranteed by the United States and Florida Constitutions, unless the button, armband, or other accouterment signifies or is related to gangs, gang membership, or gang activity, or would otherwise violate the dress code policy.
        3. A student wears a costume or special clothing necessary for a school play or other school- sponsored activity as permitted by the principal.
        4. The wearing of clothing in compliance with the uniform dress code violates a student sincerely held religious belief or by reason of a student’s disability or medical condition.

       

    10. Breach of Conduct, Section 4.03: Repeated violations of the uniform dress code shall be treated as disruptive behavior under Part VI, Section 03, Disruptive Behavior and/or Minor Infractions.

DRUG-FREE SCHOOLS (SECTION 2.07):

The School Board is responsible for maintaining an environment in which students are protected from drugs and drug-related activities. The community rightfully expects the school to exercise this responsibility to prevent drug problems from arising.

  1. Florida Law: The use, possession, or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol is unlawful and harmful.
      1. Students: Students are subject to the laws regarding the use, possession, and distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol on school campus as well as elsewhere and have the responsibility to obey these laws.
      2. Employees/Failure to Report a Violation: Failure by any employee to report a known violation shall be in violation of Florida law and the expressed policy of this Board and would constitute an act of gross insubordination and willful neglect of duty.

     

  2. Policy: It is the expressed policy of this Board that the use, possession, distribution, or overt act in connection with any controlled substance, counterfeit controlled substance, alcoholic beverage, or model glue, as defined by law, by any student enrolled in the Polk County Public School System would result in immediate disciplinary action as outlined in Part V, Section 5.10, Drugs, and will also be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
  3. Searches: See Glossary

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES & ATHLETICS
(SECTION 2.08):

Students will exhibit satisfactory conduct in order to retain eligibility to participate in extracurricular activities in Polk County Public Schools. Students attending an Alternative School cannot participate in extracurricular activities.

Disciplinary Actions – Extracurricular Activities/Athletics
For In-School Suspension: Students may not participate in extracurricular game activities during in-school suspension. Practice is acceptable.
For Out-of-School Suspension: Students assigned to out of school suspension shall be excluded from participating in all extracurricular activities from the date of the offense until completion of the disciplinary action, and the student has attended a regular school day. For the purpose of continuity, suspension shall begin the day the referral is finalized and the consequences issued by the appropriate administrator.
For Level III or Level IV Offenses: Students who commit a level III or IV offense shall be excluded from participating in all extracurricular activities from the date of the offense until completion of the disciplinary action, and the student has attended a regular school day.
Students entering Polk County Public Schools from another school district or charter school must complete any disciplinary actions from the previous school district before the student is eligible to participate in any interscholastic school activity within Polk County Public Schools.

Special Note: Athletic Policies
A student not currently suspended from interscholastic extracurricular activities, or suspended or expelled from school, pursuant to a district school board’s suspension or expulsion powers provided in law, including ss. 1006.07, 1006.08, and 1006.09, is eligible to participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities.
A student may not participate in a sport if the student participated in that same sport at another school during that school year, unless the student meets the criteria in s. 1006.15 (3)(h).
A student’s eligibility to participate in any interscholastic extracurricular activity may not be affected by any alleged recruiting violation until final disposition of the allegation pursuant to s.1006.20 (2)(b).
If a player quits or is dismissed for disciplinary reasons from a team, he/she shall not be permitted to try out for the next season’s sport at the same school until the season ends in the initial sport from which the athlete quits. For example: Quits football to try out for basketball. A season is defined as the first day of practice through the school’s last FHSAA play-off game. (Sideline cheer Included.)
The following includes a list of examples, such as, but not limited to, which may be considered for exclusion as eligibility standards to participate in extracurricular interscholastic activities:

  • School attendance policy that may prevent a student from participating
  • Alcohol/drug related behavior
  • School/classroom discipline issues
  • Principal discretion
  • Social media issues
  • Bullying
  • Sportsmanship
  • Dress code policy
  • Four year limit of eligibility
  • Age limit – 19 years, 9 months (seniors) or 19 years on or after Sept. 1st (all others)
  • Physical evaluation (EL2) and Consent and Release from Liability Certificate (EL3)
  • Any other district policy which would remove or prevent a student from participating in extracurricular activities.

High School Eligibility
Academic Requirements: 2.0 grade point average required for academic eligibility. A high school student must have a cumulative 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 unweighted scale, or its equivalent, at the conclusion of each semester to be academically eligible during the next semester (s. 1006.15 (3)(a)1, Florida Statutes). Final grades previously earned by the student from another school shall not be converted using the scale in calculating GPA. The grades from all courses required for graduation that a student takes, including those taken by the student before he/she begins high school, must be included in the calculation of the student’s cumulative GPA at the conclusion of each semester. For public school students, this includes the courses listed in s. 1003.4282, Florida Statues.
Academic eligibility/ineligibility is for one semester. A student who is academically eligible at the beginning of a semester will continue to be academically eligible for that entire semester. Likewise, a student who is academically ineligible at the beginning of a semester will continue to be academically ineligible for that entire semester, except as provided in by-law 9.4.5.1.2. The student’s academic eligibility for each successive semester will depend upon his/her cumulative GPA at the conclusion of the previous semester. 9.4.1.3 Attendance during previous two consecutive semester required. A student cannot be academically eligible if he/she has not attended school and received grades for all courses taken during the previous two consecutive semesters. (FHSAA By-Laws.)
All district high schools shall be members of the Florida High School Athletic Association Inc. (FHSAA) and shall be governed by the rules and regulations adopted by FHSAA. Students who participate in athletics shall meet eligibility requirements by FHSAA and the school board.

Special Note: Athletic Student Transfer Eligibility
A student who transfers is immediately eligible as long as all other eligibility requirements are met. Students may not participate in the same sport in the same year at more than one school (unless one of the exceptions are met):

  1. Children of active duty military whose move resulted from military orders
  2. Children relocated due to foster care placement or McKinney-Vento Act
  3. Children who move due to a court-ordered change in custody due to separation, or serious illness or death of custodial parent
  4. Good cause policy in district or charter (district placement)
    1. Special assignment by Regional Superintendent, School Office, or Office of School Culture and Climate
    2. Move to a new residence following the marriage of the student. The student immediately establishes a new residence that makes it necessary to attend a different school
    3. Reassignment by District School Board or Charter School Board
    4. Transfer of school within the first 20 days – i.e.: acceptance into a previously applied for magnet program
    5. Any athletic appeal which will require the Office of Athletics Review Committee to intervene and make a decision on a case led by the Senior Coordinator of Athletics. All decisions will be given within 10 school days from the date of the appeal
    6. Affidavit of residency will require county athletic approval
    7. Academy transfer before the season begins

FALSE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST STAFF (SECTION 2.09):

Principal or the principal’s designee will follow progressive discipline depending on the intent and severity of the false accusations. The principal or the principal’s designee may recommend the expulsion or assignment to an alternative program of any student or group of students found to have intentionally conspired to make false accusations or made false accusations that jeopardize the professional reputation, employment, or professional certification of a teacher or other member of the school staff.

HARASSMENT/DISCRIMINATION/BULLYING (SECTION 2.10):

The Board vigorously enforce its prohibition against harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation, transgender status o r g e n d e r identity ), religion or disability (including HIV, AIDS or sickle cell trait), pregnancy, marital status, age (except as authorized by law), military status, ancestry or genetic information which are classes protected by State and/or Federal law (collectively, “protected classes”) and encourages those within the School District community as well as third parties, who feel aggrieved to seek assistance to rectify the problems. The Board will investigate all allegations of unlawful harassment and in those cases where legally prohibited harassment is substantiated, the Board will take immediate steps to end the harassment. Individuals who are found to have engaged in unlawful harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

The Board will not tolerate harassment/discrimination by any of its employees or students, or nonemployee volunteers who work under the control of school authorities as described in Board Policy 5517.01. Discrimination and harassment threaten the safety, security, and well-being of not only those against whom such actions are directed, but everyone who has an interest in our schools. For these reasons, the School Board has adopted this policy as its commitment to requiring and ensuring that all School Board activities will take place without harassment or discrimination being directed against any person.

Any substantiated violation of this policy will be deemed a serious violation and shall be addressed accordingly. All administrators, managers, and supervisors are expected and required to ensure that this policy is fully implemented and vigorously enforced.

  1. Definition: Discrimination is conduct which deprives the victim of the proper opportunity to participate in employment, educational programs or activities, School Board or school-sponsored activities, or in any other activities offered or provided by the School Board on account of race, color, national origin, sex, disability,
  2. Definition: Harassment is a form of discrimination. It is conduct directed by a person or persons against another person on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, pregnancy, marital status, age, religion, military status, language spoken, homelessness, or genetic information which are classes protected by State and/or Federal law which is severe, persistent, pervasive, and objectively offensive to the point that the prohibited conduct impairs the victim’s participation in his/her employment, educational programs, school-sponsored activities, or any other activities offered or provided by the School District as more specifically defined below.
  3. Sexual Harassment Sexual Harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
      1. Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of employment, an individual’s education, or participation in any School Board function.
      2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for an employment or academic decision affecting that individual.
      3. Such conduct interferes with an employee’s work performance or student’s academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or school environment.
      4. Harassment/Discrimination, as defined above, may include, but is not limited to, the following:
        1. Verbal, nonverbal, graphic, electronically- transmitted and written harassment or abuse.
        2. Pressure for sexual activity.
        3. Repeated remarks to a person with sexual or demeaning implications.
        4. Unwelcome or inappropriate touching.
        5. Suggesting or demanding sexual involvement accompanied by implied or explicit threats concerning one’s employment or academic record.
      5. It is harassment/discrimination for a School Board employee or nonemployee volunteer to use his or her authority to solicit sexual favors or attention from subordinates or students, including but not limited to incidents when the subordinate’s or student’s failure to submit will result in adverse treatment, or when the subordinate’s or student’s acquiescence will result in preferential treatment.

     

  4. Racial Harassment: Racial harassment consists of verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward any person based upon race when such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or school environment; or when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or any school activity. Racial harassment, as defined above, may include, but is not limited to, the following conduct which is based upon race:
      1. Epithets and slurs.
      2. Negative stereotyping.
      3. Threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts.
      4. Electronically transmitted, written or graphic material that shows hostility or aversion toward an individual group.
      5. It is racial harassment for a School Board employee, nonemployee volunteer or student to create or be responsible for a racially hostile environment—i.e., harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent so far as to interfere with or limit the ability of an employee or student to participate in or benefit from services, activities, or privileges provided by the District.

     

  5. Disability Harassment: Disability harassment is oral or physical conduct, or any act as relating to an individual’s disability that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to limit or interfere with the ability of the individual to participate in or benefit from District programs or activities; harassment that has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or school environment. Disability harassment, as defined above, may include, but is not limited to conduct directed at the characteristics of a person’s disabling condition such as:
      1. Imitating manner of speech.
      2. Interfering with necessary equipment.
      3. Negative stereotyping.
      4. Threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts.
      5. Electronically transmitted, written or graphic material that shows an aversion or hostility towards an individual or group with disabling attributes.
      6. It is disability harassment when a School Board employee, nonemployee volunteer or student seeks to involve a student or employee with a disability in antisocial, dangerous, or criminal activity where the student or employee, because of disability, is unable to comprehend fully or consent to the behavior.

     

  6. Procedures: 
    1. Any student who alleges harassment/discrimination by another student or employee may use the District’s complaint procedure found in the School Board Policy or the Equity Handbook or may complain directly to his or her principal or teacher.
    2. Filing of a complaint or otherwise reporting harassment/discrimination will not affect the student’s status, extracurricular activities, future grades, or work assignments.
    3. The right to confidentiality, both of the complainant and of the accused, will be respected consistent with the Board’s legal obligations to investigate all allegations of harassment/discrimination and take corrective action when such conduct has occurred.
    4. In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes harassment/discrimination, the totality of the circumstances, the nature of the conduct and the context in which the alleged conduct occurred will be investigated. The principal or designee has the responsibility of investigating complaints of harassment/discrimination and reporting his or her findings to the Superintendent or designee and should seek the assistance of the Superintendent or designee in resolving complicated factual situations.
    5. A substantiated charge of harassment/discrimination against a student shall subject that student to disciplinary action, including but not limited to suspension or expulsion, consistent with other provisions contained herein as determined by the Superintendent or designee. Such disciplinary actions shall be subject to the applicable appeal procedures set forth in Part III, Discipline and Appeal Procedures.

Bullying: Three criteria are necessary for an incident to be bullying:

  1. Any behavior that is unwanted, offensive, threatening, intimidating, insulting, causes discomfort or humiliation, or interferes with the individual’s school performance which results in the victim feeling stressed, injured, or threatened
  2. The behaviors are repeated
  3. There is an imbalance of power between the bully and the victim.

The behavior can take the form of:

  • Physical aggression including but not limited to hitting; pushing; spitting, stalking, destruction of property, etc.
  • Verbal aggression including, but not limited to name calling, teasing, making remarks that are insulting, intimidating, threatening, publicly humiliating, disrespecting or demeaning a person’s race, religion, disability, appearance, or sexual orientation.
  • Emotional (relational) aggression including but not limited to spreading rumors.
  • Sexual aggression including but not limited to any unwanted sexual advances or actions intended to make the other person uncomfortable, embarrassed, or humiliated, and might include obscenities or gestures, exposure, or physical contact.
  • Cyberbullying/Cyberstalking includes but is not limited to using the internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones to communicate words, images, or language, directed at specific persons that has the harmful effects described above (1).

INVESTIGATIONS AT SCHOOL (SECTION 2.11):

All notification calls shall be documented. When parents cannot be reached, school administrators will call all telephone numbers listed on the student’s emergency information card in an effort to notify the parent. Repeated efforts must occur to notify parent.

Criminal – If a student is a suspect in a criminal investigation by a law enforcement agency that may result in arrest or criminal charges, an administrator will exhaust all efforts to contact the parent before the police officer begins questioning. If the parent cannot be located, the law enforcement agency may go ahead with questioning. If contacted, the law enforcement agency may allow the parent to be present during questioning.

Administrative – If a student is suspected of violating the Code of Student Conduct, school officials can question the student without first contacting the parent. Students do not have a right to have parents present or a right to an attorney when questioned.

Victim or Witness – If a student is a victim or a witness, the law enforcement agency or administrative investigators are allowed to question the student without first contacting the parent. If the investigation involves child abuse, the official conducting the investigation will decide who can be present during the interview.

When the initial interview with the student is conducted at school, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or law enforcement agency may allow a school staff member who is known by the student to be present if: (a) the school staff member could enhance the success of the interview by his/her presence, and (b) the student requests or consents.

If a student needs to be interviewed Department of Children and Families (DCF) or law enforcement agency can interview him/her. The DCF agent or law enforcement officer must sign an Interview/Release to DCF/ Law Enforcement form.

NOTE: Parents shall not be notified in cases where such legal authorities are investigating allegations of child abuse or neglect by the parent and/or guardian.

 

Removal of Student from School Property – If a student is being interviewed as a witness, the law enforcement agency cannot remove the student from school property without a subpoena or first obtaining the consent of the parent. If subject to arrest, with or without a warrant, the officer can remove the student without parental consent or the consent of school officials. The administrator will try to notify the parent before the student is removed or as soon after removal as possible.

If a student needs to be taken into protective custody, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or law enforcement agency can remove him/her. Anytime a student is taken from school by DCF or the officer, the officer must sign a Release to DCF/ Law Enforcement form.

NOTE: All DCF/ law enforcement officers must be properly identified before access is given to students or student records.

MEDICATION (SECTION 2.12):

Students are not allowed personal possession of any medication while at school.

  1. Definition: Medications (over-the-counter or prescription) used in the treatment of a physical condition and/or illness, which shall include but not be limited to all forms of pills, tablets, capsules, lozenges, liquids, creams, etc., that may be taken internally or applied to the body.
  2. Requirements: An adult must bring all medications to school that are to be administered to students by school personnel. Medication must be in the original labeled container prepared by a pharmacist (prescription) or the manufacturer (nonprescription) accompanied by a completed Authorization for Medication form. The physician/mid-level practitioner and the parent/guardian must complete this form.
  3. Drug-Free Schools: Students found to be in personal possession of medications while at school may be in violation of Part VII, Section 5.10 – Drugs. If a student brings medication on school premises and takes an overdose with the intent to commit suicide, the student should be referred to the medical and mental health services available in the community rather than being subjected to a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
  4. Exception: Students requiring inhalers, Epi-pens or pancreatic enzymes may carry their inhaler/Epi- pen/pancreatic enzymes if the physician documents it on the Authorization for Medication form. Additional requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Lip balm, sunscreen, and saline for contact lenses are not considered to be medications and may be carried by the student without an Authorization for Medication form.

NO CONTACT ORDER (SECTION 2.13):

A circuit court judge may deny a respondent/perpetrator contact with the petitioner/victim, or siblings of the petitioner/victim, if they attend the same school or ride the same school bus. If a No Contact Order is issued, the respondent/perpetrator will be given the option of attending another school (transportation at expense of the parents) or attending an Alternative Education Program. If the petitioner/victim/sibling contact is on the bus, the respondent/perpetrator will be transported at the expense of the parents.

SEARCHES (SECTION 2.14):

A student’s locker, vehicle, purse, backpack, computer, personal communication device, and other personal possessions may be searched if there is a reasonable belief any of them contain drugs, weapons, contraband, or other items not permitted on campus. Any search will be conducted in accordance with School Board Policy 5771 – Search and Seizure. Trained sniff-screening dogs are allowed in the schools to prevent drugs and weapons. The routine checks by dogs are not considered a search by law. These are safety precautions to provide a safe and healthy school in which to learn. Strip searches of students by school personnel are prohibited. Nothing in this provision shall be construed to obstruct a law enforcement officer in the performance of his/her duty.

STUDENT TRANSPORTATION (SECTION 2.15):

  1. Rules and Regulations Governing Behavior for Students who Ride a School Bus: A student’s violation of School Board transportation policies, including Part IV, Breaches of Conduct, Section 4.06, School Bus Safety Rules and Part V, Serious Breaches of Conduct, Section 5.27, Serious Misconduct on a School Bus, and disruptive behavior on a school bus or at a designated school bus stop may be grounds for suspension of the student’s privilege of riding on a school bus, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, expulsion, or any other appropriate disciplinary action recommended by the principal and approved by the School Board, and may also be reported to law enforcement officials with the possibility of criminal penalties being imposed.

TARDIES (SECTION 2.16):

A tardy is the absence of any student at the start of class. Excused and unexcused tardies will be defined the same as excused and unexcused absences. Students cannot be suspended out of school for unexcused tardies.

TECHNOLOGY USE: See Technology Policies

TEXTBOOKS AND LIBRARY OBLIGATIONS (SECTION 2.17):

An obligation is defined as school property lost by a student. It is not a fine accessed by a school for late fees. (School Board Policy 6152 – STUDENT FEES, FINES, AND CHARGES B. “School Fees” do not include library fines.) Late fees are not transferable and should be removed at the end of the school year by each school.

(School Board Policy2520 – INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT) Failure to provide payment for the damage or loss may result in the suspension of the student from participation in extra-curricular activities, or the debt may be satisfied by the student performing community service activities at the school site as determined by the school principal.

Parent/student will be offered the following for satisfying

  • Replace a library book with a book in the same The title must be approved by the library media specialist.
  • Replace the same textbook title and edition from an outside source through purchase, a receipt is required to verify the purchase
  • Allow the student to work off the obligation at the rate of $5.00/hour outside of instructional time