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of Assignment: Any student who fails to satisfactorily complete an Alternative Education Program assignment and has withdrawn from any school must enter the Polk County School System through the program they did not complete.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

PART III – DISCIPLINE AND APPEAL PROCEDURES:

DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS (SECTION 3.01):

A student who is accused of misbehavior or a breach of this Code of Student Conduct will be presented to the principal or designee by the person having knowledge of the misbehavior or breach of conduct.

  1. Written Referral: Violations shall be presented in written form and should be specific, indicating details of the incident which have been seen, heard, or experienced.
  2. Student Notification: The student will be placed on notice of the violation by the principal or designee and afforded an opportunity to explain.
  3. Initial Conference: An initial conference shall be conducted by the principal or designee at each level of discipline.
      1. Charges and Evidence: The principal or designee shall confer with the student, explain the charges and evidence against the student, and allow the student an opportunity to present his or her side of the story prior to taking disciplinary action.
      2. Parental Assistance: A good faith effort shall be made by the principal or designee to employ parental assistance or other alternative measures prior to suspension, except in the case of emergency or disruptive conditions that require immediate suspension or in the case of a serious breach of conduct as defined under Part V, Serious Breaches of Conduct.

     

  4. Parental Notification: It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to maintain current phone/contact/email information throughout the school year. It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to inform the school of any changes. Changes can be made by calling the school or going to Parent Portal on the district website: polkschoolsfl.com/parentportal
    1. By Telephone: The principal or designee shall make a good faith effort to notify the parent by telephone of the student’s misconduct and the proposed disciplinary action. 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. If the parent has provided the school with an email address you may send an email, but also must follow up with phone call and written notification.
    2. By Written Notice: Regardless of whether there has been communication with the student’s parent by telephone, the principal or designee shall, within twenty-four (24) hours of taking disciplinary action, send written notice to the parent describing the disciplinary action imposed and the reasons thereof. For Levels 1 through 3, the notice may be forwarded to the parent via the student; however, for Levels 4 through 8, the parent shall be notified by written notice via U.S. regular mail.

PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE (SECTION 3.02):

When deciding what disciplinary action should be taken, the principal or designee shall consider the student’s age, exceptionality, previous conduct, probability of a recurring violation, intent, attitude, severity of the offense, current supports in place/implemented and, whenever possible, shall impose disciplinary action in a progressive manner. Progressive discipline requires that the levels are to be used in a progressive manner moving sequentially through the Levels, unless the severity of the incident warrants a higher level. In creating safer and more effective schools, our aim is to prevent inappropriate behavior through teaching and reinforcing appropriate behaviors. Schools will attempt to provide a range of interventions that are systemically applied to students based on their demonstrated level of need and addresses the role of the environment as it applies to the development and improvement of appropriate behavior.

Progressive discipline utilizing corrective strategies that consider the student’s age, exceptionality, previous conduct, probability of a recurring violation, intent, attitude, and severity of the offense shall be utilized in all instances.

All corrective strategies used by school site- administrators must be in compliance with School Board rules and policies. Inherent in these rules and policies is the philosophy of fairness and consideration for actions that are in the best interest of students.

The aim of the district is to build effective environments in which positive behavior is encouraged more than problem behavior so that academic success can be achieved. Each school shall have in place a school wide behavior management system based upon proactive, educative, and reinforcement based strategies. This plan is to be shared with parents, students, and staff continuously throughout the school year.

Teachers are to have a consistent proactive behavior management system within the classroom. Rules/expectations are to be displayed, taught, and reviewed. Teachers are to inform/communicate with parents and students the rules/expectations of the class.

  1. Levels 1 through 6: The principal or designee has authority to impose disciplinary action beginning at Levels 1 through 6.
  2. Levels 7 and 8: The principal or designee may recommend the following levels of discipline for those offenses deemed by the principal or designee to seriously disrupt the educational process:
      1. Level 7 – Alternative Education Program: A recommendation for assignment to the Alternative Education Program is subject to the approval of the Superintendent or designee. Any student who violates the Code of Student Conduct while attending the Alternative Education Program may be subject to more severe disciplinary actions than those outlined in Part IV, Breaches of Conduct, and Part V, Serious Breaches of Conduct, of the Code of Student Conduct, including expulsion.
      2. Level 8 – Expulsion: A recommendation to expel a student from the Polk County School District is subject to the approval of the Superintendent, who upon granting approval would then present a recommendation to the School Board for final approval.

     

  3. Referral to Law Enforcement: The administrator is responsible for ensuring that acts that pose a threat to school safety and/or criminal acts are reported to law. The administrator shall notify the Director, Discipline or Regional Assistant Superintendent if police are called to the school campus and must attempt to notify the parent of the involved student and document such attempts to notify the parent.

LEVELS OF DISCIPLINE ALL STUDENTS (SECTION 3.03):

  1. Level 1 – Parental Assistance: The teacher shall communicate with the student and the student’s parent in an attempt to solve the discipline problem.
  2. Level 2 – Office Intervention: The principal or designee may intervene to address student disciplinary matters in situations where the teacher’s efforts in the classroom and with the parents are deemed unsuccessful by such administrator in resolving the student’s misconduct.
  3. Level 3 – Detention or Work Detail Programs: Detention is a form of discipline whereby the student is placed in a controlled educational setting before, during, or after school hours. Detention served in the classroom will be at the discretion of the teacher. Work detail is a form of discipline involving a manual work program and requires parental consent. If the parent does not wish his or her child to participate in a work detail program or if the student fails to participate in a work detail assignment, the principal may impose an alternative method of discipline including an out-of-school suspension.
  4. Level 4 – In-School Suspension: In-School Suspension is a form of discipline involving the student’s temporary removal from his or her regular school program and placement in an Alternative Education Program at the student’s regularly assigned school and denial of the privilege of participating in school activities. This program may include work detail (manual work on the part of the student and requires parental consent). In-School Suspension is not offered at all Polk County Schools.
  5. Level 5 – Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Short-Term: Out-of-School Suspension – Short-Term is a form of discipline involving the temporary removal of a student from all classes of instruction on public school grounds and all other school-sponsored activities, or from the school bus for a period not to exceed three (3) school days.
    1. Notice of Suspension: The principal or designee will determine the facts and if a suspension is justified, shall make a good faith effort to contact the parent by telephone.
        1. Requirements: If the parent cannot be contacted, the student is not to be sent home during the school day.
        2. Parental Notice: The principal or designee shall complete the Notice of Out-of-School or Bus Suspension form and give a copy of the notice to the student for delivery to the parent, and forward a copy of the notice by United States regular mail to the parent within twenty- four (24) hours of the decision to suspend the student.

       

  6. Level 6 – Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Long Term: Out-of-School Suspension – Long Term is a form of discipline involving the temporary removal of a student from all classes of instruction on public school grounds and all other school-sponsored activities, or from the school bus, for a period not to exceed ten (10) school days. The principal or designee shall follow the procedures set forth above (Level 5).
  7. Level 7 – Alternative Education Programs (Grades Kindergarten through Fifth): The Alternative Education Program is a form of discipline involving assignment and transfer to an Alternative Education Program designed to meet the needs of students who violate the Code of Student Conduct. Students in grades K-5 may only be assigned to an alternative education program for an expellable offense as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct. Students may be assigned to such a program for the duration of the expulsion. Students assigned to Alternative Education Programs will be denied participation in extracurricular activities sponsored by any school or by the District (except extracurricular activities in the assigned Alternative Education Program). Curricular or co-curricular participation in district activities may be approved on a case by case basis by superintendent.
  8. Level 7 – Secondary Alternative Education Programs (Grades Sixth through Twelfth): The Secondary Alternative Education Programs are a form of discipline designed to meet the needs of students who violate the Code of Student Conduct. Students assigned to Alternative Education Programs will be denied participation in any activities sponsored by any school or by the District. These activities include but are not limited to Prom, Grad Night, field trips, athletics, Band, Chorus, academic competitions or commencement (except extracurricular activities at the assigned Alternative Education Program).
    1. Out-of-School Suspension: When a student is assigned to a Secondary Alternative Education Program, an out-of-school suspension shall first be imposed to temporarily remove the student from the school and to allow the assignment to be processed.
    2. Terms: The term of assignment to a Secondary Alternative Education Program shall either be short term, 45 school days or long term, 90 school The length of the term shall be determined by the school or representative from the office of discipline based upon the student’s previous discipline history and severity of the offense. In addition, the proximity to a change of grading periods shall also be taken into consideration for a student’s return to his or her regular school.
    3. Release Criteria: A student’s attendance, participation, and progress (as evidenced by Expectations/Criteria for Release) while assigned to the Secondary Alternative Education Program will be reviewed by the Site Administrator to determine if the student has met criteria. The site administrator will schedule and conduct an exit meeting/staffing with the zoned school (to include but not limited to: alternative school staff, zoned school staff, parents and the student recommended for release). The Superintendent may release a student from the Secondary Alternative Education Program before the normal length of stay.
  9. Level 8 – Expulsion from School: Expulsion is a form of discipline involving the removal of a student from all classes of instruction on public school grounds and all other school-sponsored activities for the balance of the semester or school year plus an additional semester or school year, if appropriate.
    1. Parental Notice: Upon review and/or investigation of an incident which could result in a student being expelled from school or school bus transportation, the principal or designee shall complete and sign the Notice of Suspension and Recommendation for Expulsion form and give a copy of the notice to the student to be delivered to the parent and forward a copy by United States regular mail to the parent within twenty-four (24) hours of the notice of suspension.
    2. Superintendent’s Approval: The principal or designee shall send a copy or an electronic copy of the Notice of Suspension and Recommendation for Expulsion to the Superintendent of Schools or designee; for review and approval within twenty-four (24) hours of the violation or as soon as possible thereafter.
    3. Report of Previous Alternative Measures: The copy of the Notice of Suspension and Recommendation for Expulsion shall include or be accompanied by a detailed written report by the principal or designee on the alternative measures taken prior to the recommendation for expulsion.
    4. Basis for Extension: If, and only if, School Board action on an expulsion recommendation is pending and the ten (10) day suspension period would expire before the next regular or special meeting of the School Board, the Superintendent may extend the suspension through the date of the next regular or special meeting of the School Board.
    5. Educational Status: The student who is the subject of the expulsion recommendation shall remain on suspension or, if applicable, be assigned to an Alternative Education Program or other program or granted a Stay (pursuant to Section 3.06) as deemed appropriate by the Superintendent, until the School Board takes final action on the expulsion recommendation at its next regular or special meeting.
    6. Alternative Educational Disciplinary Program for Expelled Students: The expelled student may be eligible to attend an Alternative Education Program for Expelled Students. Any student expelled from any other school, school district, or school system must have the expulsion rescinded by that district prior to entering the Polk County School System and must enter through one of the Alternative Education Programs for Expelled Students.
        1. Final Order: The parent shall be notified that his or her child may be eligible to participate in the Alternative Education Program for Expelled Students (unless expelled without services) upon receipt of a copy of the Final Order adopted by the School Board.

       

    7. Early Reentry Program for Expelled Students: The School Board, in its sole discretion and acting upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, may rescind a previous expulsion.

ADVERSE IMPACT SUSPENSION FOR FELONIES COMMITTED OFF CAMPUS (SECTION 3.04):

An out-of-school suspension may be imposed against a student who is formally charged by the State Attorney or other prosecuting attorney with a felony, or with a delinquent act which would be a felony if committed by an adult, for an incident which allegedly occurred on property other than public school property if that incident is shown in an administrative hearing (described below) to have an adverse impact on the educational program, discipline, or welfare of the school where that student is enrolled. Students formally charged by the State Attorney’s office with a felony shall be suspended from extra-curricular and co-curricular activities until adjudication is determined or the charges are dropped or reduced.

NOTE: A student arrested for an off-campus felony cannot be suspended pursuant to this section unless and until the student is formally charged by the State Attorney or other proper prosecuting attorney.

  1. Notice of Adverse Impact Hearing: Prior to an adverse impact suspension and alternative education assignment being imposed, the principal shall immediately notify the student’s parent, in writing, of the specific charges against the student and of the student’s right to a hearing as provided under Section 1006.09(2), Florida Statutes.
    1. Legal Requirements: The notice of hearing shall also stipulate a date and time for the hearing which shall be not less than two (2) school days nor more than five (5) school days from the postmarked or hand-delivered date of said notice. If applicable, the notice shall also advise the parent of the conditions under which a waiver of suspension may be granted.
    2. Attendance at Hearing: The student, the parent, the student’s representative or attorney, and any witnesses required by the student or the principal may attend the hearing.
    3. Temporary Suspension: Pending said hearing; the student may be temporarily suspended by the principal. Such suspension shall not exceed five (5) school days.
    4. Hearing Officer: The Director, Discipline, or designee shall serve as the hearing officer and shall not be bound by rules of evidence or any other courtroom procedure and no transcript of the Adverse Impact Hearing shall be required.
    5. Recommendation: Following said hearing, the Director, Discipline, shall submit a decision to the principal and to the student’s parent within five (5) days.
        1. Judicial Proceeding: If it is determined that the student’s presence would not have an adverse impact, the student shall remain in his or her school pending the outcome of the judicial proceeding.
        2. Educational Services: If it is determined that the student’s presence would have an adverse impact, the student shall remain on Such suspension shall not affect the delivery of educational services to the student, and the student shall be immediately enrolled in a daytime Alternative Education Program or Adult School Program if the student has reached sixteen (16) years of age pending the outcome of the judicial determination.

       

  2. Judicial Determination: 
      1. Not Guilty: If the student is found not guilty the suspension and assignment to an Alternative Education Program shall be terminated immediately.
      2. Guilty: If the student is found guilty of a felony, the Superintendent shall have the authority to determine if a recommendation for expulsion shall be made to the School Board in accordance with the expulsion procedures as outlined in Part III, Discipline and Appeal Procedures, Section 3.03, Levels of Discipline.

     

  3. Crime of Violence: If such delinquent act or violation of law involves a crime of violence or a crime in which a deadly weapon was used, the arresting authority shall immediately notify the Superintendent or designee.
    1. Confidential Information: Except to the extent necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of other students and staff, the information shall be held confidential and exempt from the provisions of the Public Records Act and shall not be disclosed except to appropriate school personnel.
    2. Permanent Records: The information furnished by the law enforcement agency shall not be placed in the student’s permanent record and shall be removed from all school records no later than nine (9) months after the date of the arrest.

SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES (SECTION 3.05):

In determining whether to apply the discipline levels described in Part IV, Breaches of Conduct, or Part V, Serious Breaches of Conduct, for subsequent offenses, the principal or designee may consider the following:

  1. Part IV Offenses: If a student commits any new violation described in Part IV, Breaches of Conduct, and if that student has previously, in the same school year, committed any violation listed in Part IV described above or Part V, Serious Breaches of Conduct, then such new violation may be deemed a subsequent offense regardless of whether that particular new violation had been previously committed by that student.
  2. Part V Offenses: If a student commits any new violation described in Part V, Serious Breaches of Conduct, during the same school year, and if that student has previously committed a violation listed in Part V, then such new violation may be deemed a subsequent offense regardless of whether that particular new violation had been previously committed by that student.
  3. Students Assigned to an Alternative Education Program: Any student who violates the Code of Student Conduct while attending an Alternative Education Program may be subject to more severe disciplinary actions than those outlined in Part IV, Breaches of Conduct, and Part V, Serious Breaches of Conduct, including expulsion (with or without services).

STAY ORDER (SECTION 3.06):

If the parent does not agree with the disciplinary action Level 7 and 8 and intends to appeal such action, the parent may file a written request directed to the Superintendent for a stay order.

  1. Grant: If the stay is granted, the student shall remain in school pending conclusion of the appeal proceedings.
  2. Deny: If the stay is denied, the student shall remain on suspension or assignment to an Alternative Education Program; however, the parent may proceed with the appeal proceedings.

DUE PROCESS LEVEL 7 & 8 (SECTION 3.07):

If the parent does not agree with the disciplinary action imposed, the parent may appeal as follows:

  1. Step 1 – Principal’s Meeting – Levels 7 & 8: The written notice of disciplinary action shall inform the parent of the right to an appeal meeting to be conducted by the principal within five (5) days of the notice (if requested by the parent).
      1. Request for Meeting: If the parent does not attend the Principal’s meeting or if the parent does not request a Step 2 hearing, it shall be assumed that the parent is in agreement with the disciplinary action imposed.
      2. Attendance: The student and parent must attend the meeting and may have one (1) person in attendance at the meeting to represent them. Any adult witness directly involved in the incident may also be present at the meeting and any student witnesses may submit a written statement with the permission of his or her parent.
      3. Written Recommendation: The principal or designee will affirm, cancel, or modify the disciplinary action and shall provide the parent with a written explanation of his or her decision within three (3) days of the meeting.

     

  2. Step 2 – Administrative Hearing – Levels 7 and 8: If placement in an Alternative Education Program (Level 7) or Expulsion (Level 8) has been recommended and the parent does not agree with the decision at Step 1, the parent may continue the appeal as follows:
      1. Written Request: The parent may request an administrative hearing to be conducted by the Director, Discipline, or his designee. Such requests should be in writing or phone directed to the Director, Discipline, and must be received within two (2) days of the Step 1 Principal’s Meeting.
      2. Notice of Hearing: Upon receipt of such request, the Director, Discipline, or designee shall contact the parent and arrange a time and date for said Step 2 hearing which shall be conducted within a reasonable period of time subsequent to such Such notice shall be confirmed via telephone in writing or electronic notice and provided to the parent.
      3. Written Recommendation: The Director, Discipline, or designee shall review the prior recommendation, receive written and oral statements presented by the student, parent, and witnesses, and shall affirm, cancel, or modify the principal’s recommendation. Such decision shall be documented in written form and provided to the parent by hand delivery or U.S. regular mail.

     

  3. Step 3 – School Board Review – Level 8: If expulsion has been recommended and the parent does not agree with the decision at Step 2, the parent may continue the appeal as follows:
    1. Written Request: The parent may request a hearing to be conducted by a licensed attorney appointed by the School Board to serve as a hearing officer. Such requests should be in writing, directed to the Superintendent or designee, and must be received within two (2) days of the Step 2 hearing.
    2. Notice of Hearing: Upon receipt of such request, the parent and hearing officer shall be contacted to coordinate a time and date for said Such notice shall be confirmed in writing and provided to the parent and the Principal by hand delivery, U.S. regular mail or electronic notice if available.
    3. Hearing: The hearing officer shall review the prior proceedings and receive written and oral statements presented by the student, parent, and witnesses.
    4. Recommended Order: The hearing officer shall submit his or her recommendation to the School Board Attorney in the form of a Recommended Order. District personnel shall provide the parent with a copy of the Recommended Order by hand delivery or U.S. regular mail.
        1. Notice of Final Action: The parent will also be notified that the Recommended Order will be placed on the agenda for the next scheduled School Board meeting for final action by the School Board, and shall also be informed of the time and date of said meeting.
        2. Hearing – Sections 120.569 and 120.57, Florida Statutes: The parent will also be notified of the right to request the School Board to review the proceedings as provided in Sections 120.569 and 120.57, Florida Statutes, and of the right to an open or closed forum. Such request must be in writing and filed with the School Board Attorney no later than one (1) day prior to the scheduled School Board meeting.

       

    5. Final Order: A Final Order shall be presented to the School Board for approval. Action taken by the School Board shall conclude the appeal procedures at the administrative level and any further appeal must be filed with the District Court of Appeal, Second District, Lakeland, Florida.
      1. Parental Notification: A copy of the Final Order adopted by the School Board shall be forwarded to the parent by U.S. regular mail.
      2. Alternative Education Program for Expelled Students: The parent will also be notified that his or her child may be eligible to participate in one of the Alternative Education Programs for Expelled students.

DISCIPLINE OF IDEIA ELIGIBLE STUDENTS (SECTION 3.08):

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA), students who have been identified as a student with a disability and are receiving Exceptional Student Education services are subject to additional disciplinary guidelines that are different than those for nondisabled students. The following procedures are designed to supplement the disciplinary procedures for nondisabled students found in the Code of Student Conduct. The disciplinary guidelines contained herein are for explanatory purposes only and are not intended to impose any obligations on Polk County Schools other than those contained in federal or state law. In the event that this document conflicts with state or federal law, the state or federal law shall control. Except as set forth herein, students with disabilities may not be excluded from educational programming on the basis of behavior that is a manifestation of their disability(ies). In addition, students with disabilities cannot be excluded from school without following the specific “change in placement” procedures as provided under the law. Students with disabilities cannot be removed from school until all of the procedures set forth below have been followed.

It is the responsibility of the LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AGENT (LEA) at all IEP meetings to ensure that the rights of students and parents are not violated. It is important that the opinions of all team members involved are considered in the decision-making process.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL SUSPENSIONS/EXPULSIONS OF IDEIA ELIGIBLE STUDENTS:

Administrators may not suspend students with disabilities for more than ten (10) school days (consecutively or cumulatively) in a school year without following the procedures set forth below. The law provides that suspension or expulsion of a student for more than ten (10) consecutive school days in a school year is a “change of placement” that can only be made by following the procedures set forth in the IDEIA. The IDEIA also provides for significant procedural safeguards for students who are suspended for more than ten (10) cumulative school days.

  1. Accurate Record: An accurate record must be maintained as to the number of days that students with disabilities are suspended from school during each school year and each school must input the required suspension data on the appropriate Genesis screen.
  2. Alternatives to Suspension: Administrators and deans must also consider alternatives to out-of- school suspension for This list includes but is not limited to the following:
    1. Modifications to the IEP including Positive Behavioral Intervention Plan (PBIP) in current placement; change of current placement for additional services
    2. Parental assistance
    3. Office intervention
    4. Referral to guidance or other student services
    5. Behavior agreement with student and/or parents
    6. Detention
    7. Work detail
    8. In-school suspension

When suspension for ten (10) school days or less is contemplated or warranted under school policy, the requirement for an informal conference, as is held with nondisabled students, must be followed. The following steps must be taken before the short-term suspension of a student with a disability can occur:

  1. Previous Suspension History: The principal/designee must obtain the previous suspension history of the student for the school year to determine the number of days the student has already been suspended during that school year.
  2. Determination of Suspension: If it is found that the student is guilty of the offense, a short-term suspension may be warranted. However, the process for imposing a suspension will be different depending upon the number of days the student has already been suspended during the school year.
      1. Suspensions of Less than the Ten (10) Day Maximum: If suspension of the student has not already exceeded ten (10) days for the school year, the student may be suspended for the remaining days. At this juncture, the student and the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) must be informed in writing of the disciplinary action that will be taken and all other procedures must be followed as required for short-term suspension of nondisabled students.
      2. Suspensions of More than the Ten (10) Day Maximum: Beginning on the eleventh (11) consecutive/cumulative school day of removal in a school year, the School District must provide services to a student with a disability, consistent with the following: The School District must provide services to such a student to the extent necessary to enable the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the student’s IEP.
  3. IEP Review: A review of the student’s IEP must occur if a suspension that will result in an excess of ten (10) days during the school year is contemplated. The IEP review meeting is convened as any other IEP meeting would be and all appropriate procedures must be followed for convening the Team.
    1. Prior Written Notice must be Provided to the Parents: Reasonable written notice of the meeting must be provided to the parent(s)/guardian(s). Because disciplinary IEP meetings may need to be held more quickly than a typical IEP meeting, “reasonable notice” could include telephone contact with the parent(s)/guardian(s) to obtain their agreement to attend, followed immediately with the written notice.
    2. Manifestation Determination: A manifestation determination must be made any time disciplinary procedures result in a change of placement. The IEP team must make a determination as to whether the behavioral incident at issue was a manifestation of the student’s disability. This is required because a student with disabilities cannot be excluded from school for more than ten (10) cumulative/consecutive days in a school year on the basis of behavior that is caused by his/her disability or be subject to a series of removals which constitutes a pattern because the removals cumulate to more than ten (10) school days in a school year. A manifestation determination, consistent with the following requirements, will be made within ten school days of any decision to change the placement of a student with a disability because of a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
      1. In conducting the review, the school district, the parent, and relevant members of the IEP team will:
        1. Review all relevant information in the student’s file, including any information supplied by the parents of the student, any teacher observations of the student, and the student’s current IEP
        2. Determine whether the conduct in question was the direct result of the school district’s failure to implement the IEP or whether the conduct in question was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationships to the student’s disability
      2. If the school district, the parent, and relevant members of the student’s IEP Team determine that either of those conditions was met, the conduct must be determined to be a manifestation of the student’s Immediate action to remedy those deficiencies must be taken.
      3. If the school district, the parent, and relevant members of the IEP team determine that the conduct was a manifestation of the student’s disability, the IEP team will either:
        1. Conduct a functional behavioral assessment (FBA), unless the school district had conducted a FBA before the behavior that resulted in the change of placement occurred, and implement a behavioral intervention plan (BIP) for the student; or
        2. If a BIP has already been developed, review and modify it, as necessary, to address the behavior; and
        3. Return the student to the placement from which the student was removed, unless the parent and the school district agree to a change in placement as part of the modification of the BIP.
  4. Prior Written Notice of the IEP Team’s Recommendations must be Provided to the Parents: At the IEP meeting, the opportunity for parent participation in the decision-making process is essential. However, if the parents do not attend, a copy of any minutes and other documentation created by the IEP team shall be provided to the parents. In addition, documentation sufficient to provide written notice of the IEP team’s decisions must be provided to the parents, along with the Procedural Safeguards form. Once the parents have received notice of the IEP team’s decisions and the Procedural Safeguards, the IEP team’s recommendations may be implemented.

INTERIM ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION SETTING (IAES):

Students with disabilities may be removed to an IAES for not more than forty-five (45) school days without regard to whether the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the student’s disability if the student at school or on school premises, or to a school function, carries or possess a weapon, knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance, or has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person.

NOTE: First offense for drugs or controlled substance must comply with Section 5.10 –DRUGS of the Code.

  1. Procedures: On the date on which the decision is made to make a removal to an IAES the school must notify the parent of the decision and provide the parent a copy of the notice of procedural safeguards. A manifestation/IEP meeting must be held within ten (10) school days of the removal.
  2. Prior Written Notice of the IEP Team’s Recommendations Must Be Provided to the Parents: At the IEP meeting, the opportunity for parent participation in the process is essential. However, if the parents do not attend, a copy of any minutes and other documentation created by the IEP shall be provided to the parents. Documentation sufficient to provide written notice of the IEP team’s decisions must be provided to the parents, along with the Procedural Safeguards form. The appropriate Prior Written Notice Form must be provided to the parents.

APPEALS: In most cases, it is expected that school officials and parents, through the IEP team process, will be able to resolve change in placement issues. However, when parents disagree with the IEP team decision, and files an appeal, the student remains in the IAES determined by the IEP team pending the decision of the appeal or until the expiration of the time period specified by school personnel.

504 DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES (SECTION 3.09):

Students covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 cannot be denied services based solely on their disabilities. Such a student may not be suspended from school for more than ten (10) consecutive school days or a series of suspensions within a school year that exceeds ten (10) cumulative days (if it is determined that a pattern of exclusions creates a change of placement) without following the change of placement procedures. A student with a 504 Plan must have a Manifestation Determination Meeting before being reassigned to an alternative site for a disciplinary incident.

  1. The school-based 504 Team should review all pertinent data and hold a manifestation determination meeting regarding the student prior to any disciplinary removal for more than ten (10) days.
    1. If the behavior is caused by the disability, the student may not be removed for more than ten (10) consecutive school days (unless the behavior is drug related).
    2. If the behavior was not a manifestation of the disability, the student may be disciplined the same way the student without disabilities is disciplined.
  2. For a student who is currently engaged in the illegal use of drugs, school personnel may take the same disciplinary action as is taken for students without disabilities. No manifestation determination is required.

PART 4 – BREACHES OF CONDUCT:

When deciding what disciplinary action should be taken, the principal or designee shall consider the student’s age, exceptionality, previous conduct, probability of a recurring violation, intent, attitude, severity of the offense, current supports in place/implemented and, whenever possible, shall impose disciplinary action in a progressive manner.

Schools will provide a continuum of services to address the problem. These interventions are systemically applied, match the problem, sufficient intensity to address the need.

The goal of all consequences is to change the behavior. If a strategy is not changing the behavior, a new strategy is needed.

The following described acts or violations in this Part IV shall constitute Breaches of Conduct and include acts or conduct occurring at school or at school-sponsored activities, or on school property, a school bus or at a designated school bus stop if witnessed by a bus driver and/or bus attendant, and shall not be confined to acts or conduct occurring on the school campus if such act or conduct directly affects the educational process or welfare of the school community.

When deciding what disciplinary action should be taken, the principal or designee shall consider the student’s age, exceptionality, previous conduct, probability of a recurring violation, intent, attitude, severity of the offense, current supports in place/implemented and, whenever possible, shall impose disciplinary action in a progressive manner.

Progressive discipline requires that the levels are to be used in a progressive manner moving sequentially through the Levels, unless the severity of the incident warrants a higher level. In creating safer and more effective schools, our aim is to prevent inappropriate behavior through teaching and reinforcing appropriate behaviors. Schools will attempt to provide a range of interventions that are systemically applied to students based on their demonstrated level of need and addresses the role of the environment as it applies to the development and improvement of appropriate behavior.

ABUSIVE LANGUAGE OR CONDUCT IN THE PRESENCE OF OTHERS (SECTION 4.01):

A student who uses or engages in abusive, profane, obscene, or vulgar language or conduct in the presence of another person or possesses sexually explicit pictures, literature, or material at school, is guilty of unacceptable conduct punishable as follows:

NOTE: The district will not tolerate abusive/profane language at any age or at any grade level.

Levels:

  1. Parental Assistance
  2. Office Intervention
  3. Detention or Work Detail Programs
  4. In-School Suspension
  5. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Short-Term
  6. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Long Term

CHEATING (SECTION 4.02):

In addition to the academic ramifications for cheating, a student who participates in using, copying, or providing another student with any test, test answers or answer keys or another person’s work representing it to be his or her own work, is guilty of unacceptable conduct punishable as follows:

Levels:

  1. Parental Assistance
  2. Office Intervention
  3. Detention or Work Detail Programs
  4. In-School Suspension
  5. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Short-Term
  6. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Long Term
  7. Alternative Education Programs
  8. Expulsion from School

DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR AND/OR MINOR INFRACTIONS (SECTION 4.03):

A student who engages in unacceptable behavior or conduct which is disruptive to the educational process, including deliberately pushing, pulling, shoving, or striking another student, unless said behavior constitutes a fight, battery, or other serious breach of conduct, engaging in unsuitable, intimate, sexually suggestive behavior (inappropriate public display of affection) with another individual on the bus, campus, or other school-sponsored activities, or who violates policies determined by the principal to be minor in nature, including repeated dress code violations and inappropriate use of laser pointers, is guilty of unacceptable conduct punishable as follows:

Levels:

  1. Parental Assistance
  2. Office Intervention
  3. Detention or Work Detail Programs
  4. In-School Suspension
  5. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Short-Term
  6. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Long Term

FAILURE TO RETURN SCHOOL BOARD PROPERTY (SECTION 4.04):

A student is responsible for taking care of and returning school property entrusted to his or her care such as textbooks, library books and other educational materials or equipment, in a timely manner.

Failure to return or damage to such property may result in the student or parent being required to reimburse the school for the value of the property or the student may receive monetary credit toward such reimbursement by participating in a work detail program as described in Part III, Discipline and Appeal Procedures, Section 3.03, Levels of Discipline, at the rate of five dollars ($5) per hour.

GAMBLING (SECTION 4.05):

A student who participates in games of chance or skill for money or profit is guilty of unacceptable conduct punishable as follows:

Levels:

  1. Parental Assistance
  2. Office Intervention
  3. Detention or Work Detail Programs
  4. In-School Suspension

PHYSICAL ATTACK (SECTION 4.06):

An actual and intentional striking of another person against his/her will, or the intentional causing of bodily harm to an individual.

Levels:

  1. In-School Suspension
  2. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Short-Term
  3. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Long Term
  4. Alternative Education Programs

SCHOOL BUS SAFETY RULES (SECTION 4.07):

A student who refuses to obey school bus safety rules by not standing in a safe location while waiting for the bus at a designated bus stop; each student passenger on a school bus that is equipped with safety belts or restraint system shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt at all times while the bus is in operation; placing his or her head, hand, arm, foot, or leg out of the bus window; not crossing in front of the bus when access to the opposite side of the road is necessary; throwing objects inside or from or at a bus; talking at a railroad crossing; moving from seat to seat while the bus is in motion or refusing to sit in a seat assigned by the principal, bus driver, or attendant; eating or drinking while on the bus; tampering with the emergency door and/or using it for ordinary loading and unloading; talking other than ordinary conversation, (classroom conduct is to be observed); disregarding driver’s instructions; bringing animals, pets, etc., onto the bus, not standing back from the edge of the pavement when conditions are foggy; failing to move away from the bus as soon as students unload; delaying the bus in any way including late arrival is guilty of unacceptable conduct punishable as follows:

NOTE: Discipline issues that occur at the bus stop may only be addressed by the school if witnessed by the bus driver or bus attendant.

Levels:

  1. Parental Assistance
  2. Office Intervention
  3. Detention or Work Detail Programs
  4. In-School Suspension
  5. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Short-Term
  6. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Long Term
  7. Transportation Privilege Revoked

SKIPPING CLASS/UNAUTHORIZED AREA (SECTION 4.08):

A student who, during school hours, enters or remains in a building or area on the school campus where the student is enrolled without authorized permission or who, during school hours, skips any portion of a class or an entire class or classes, without authorized permission, but remains on campus, is guilty of unacceptable conduct punishable as follows:

Levels:

  1. Parental Assistance
  2. Office Intervention
  3. Detention or Work Detail Programs
  4. In-School Suspension

STUDENT TRANSPORTATION, IMPROPER USE OF
(SECTION 4.09):

A student who improperly uses any means of transportation on a school campus is guilty of unacceptable conduct punishable as follows:

Levels:

  1. Parental Assistance
  2. Office Intervention
  3. Detention or Work Detail Programs
  4. In-School Suspension

TARDY (SECTION 4.10):

Punctuality is necessary for the student to take full advantage of available educational opportunities. Tardies will not be carried over into the next semester. Students who are tardy are subject to the following:

Levels:

  1. Parental Assistance
  2. Office Intervention
  3. Detention or Work Detail Programs
  4. In-School Suspension

TOBACCO PRODUCTS/NICOTINE DISPENSING PRODUCTS (SECTION 4.11):

A student who is in possession of tobacco products while on a school campus is guilty of unacceptable conduct punishable as set forth below. Tobacco products are defined as all types of tobacco and/or nicotine, including cigars, cigarettes, pipe tobacco, smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, any other matter or substance that contains tobacco, possession of papers used to roll cigarettes, electronic “vapor” or other substitute forms of cigarettes, clove cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other nicotine dispensing devices, to include matches and lighters. School administration/designee shall confiscate and destroy any tobacco products found in a student’s possession while on the school campus and make a referral to law enforcement as appropriate:

Levels:

  1. Parental Assistance
  2. Office Intervention
  3. Detention or Work Detail Programs
  4. In-School Suspension
  5. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Short-Term
  6. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Long Term

PART 5 – SERIOUS BREACHES OF CONDUCT

When deciding what disciplinary action should be taken, the principal or designee shall consider the student’s age, exceptionality, previous conduct, probability of a recurring violation, intent, attitude, severity of the offense, current supports in place/implemented and, whenever possible, shall impose disciplinary action in a progressive manner.

Schools will provide a continuum of services to address the problem. These interventions are systemically applied, match the problem, and have sufficient intensity to address the need.

The goal of all consequences is to change the behavior. If a strategy is not changing the behavior, a new strategy is needed.

The following described acts or violations in this Part V shall constitute Serious Breaches of Conduct and include acts or conduct occurring at school or on school property, a school bus or at a designated school bus stop if witnessed by a bus driver and/or bus attendant, and shall not be confined to acts or conduct occurring on the school campus if such act or conduct directly affects the educational process or welfare of the school community.

When deciding what disciplinary action should be taken, the principal or designee shall consider the student’s age, exceptionality, previous conduct, probability of a recurring violation, intent, attitude, severity of the offense, current supports in place/implemented and, whenever possible, shall impose disciplinary action in a progressive manner.

Progressive discipline requires that the levels are to be used in a progressive manner moving sequentially through the Levels, unless the severity of the incident warrants a higher level. In creating safer and more effective schools, our aim is to prevent inappropriate behavior through teaching and reinforcing appropriate behaviors. Schools will attempt to provide a range of interventions that are systemically applied to students based on their demonstrated level of need and addresses the role of the environment as it applies to the development and improvement of appropriate behavior.

OPTIONAL AT DISCRETION OF PRINCIPAL

Any student suspended for fighting, battery, assault, or other confrontation may be furnished a Conflict Resolution Student Study Packet at the time of the suspension. The study packet may be obtained from the Mark Wilcox Center. This study packet must be satisfactorily completed by the student during the suspension and returned to the administrator or dean responsible for the initial disciplinary action. If the student satisfactorily completes the study packet prior to the end of the suspension period, the suspension may be reduced by the administrator or dean subsequent to a meeting with the student and parent. The parent has the responsibility to request the meeting.

ABUSIVE LANGUAGE OR CONDUCT DIRECTED AT A SCHOOL BOARD EMPLOYEE (SECTION 5.01):

A student who uses or engages in abusive, profane, obscene, or vulgar language or conduct directed at a School Board employee, is guilty of a serious breach of conduct punishable as follows:

NOTE: The district will not tolerate abusive/profane language at any age or at any grade level.

Levels:

  1. Parental Assistance
  2. Office Intervention
  3. Detention or Work Detail Programs
  4. In-School Suspension
  5. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Short-Term
  6. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Long Term
  7. Alternative Education Programs

ARSON (SECTION 5.02):

A student who willfully, by fire or explosion, damages or attempts to damage any building, structure, vehicle, or other property owned or maintained by the School Board is guilty of a serious breach of conduct which shall be reported to the proper law enforcement agency and is punishable as follows:

Violations of this section may be referred to mental health services identified by the school district pursuant to s.1012.584(4).

Levels:

  1. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Long Term
  2. Alternative Education Programs
  3. Expulsion from School

ASSAULT (SECTION 5.03):

A student who intentionally threatens, by word or act, to strike or cause bodily harm to another person, has the capability to carry out such threat, and causes the other person to have a well-founded fear that he or she is about to be struck or about to suffer such bodily harm is guilty of a serious breach of conduct which shall be reported to the proper law enforcement agency and is punishable as follows:

Violations of this section may be referred to mental health services identified by the school district pursuant to s.1012.584(4).

Levels:

  1. In-School Suspension
  2. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Short-Term
  3. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Long Term
  4. Alternative Education Programs
  5. Expulsion from School

BATTERY-AGGRAVATED/FELONY (SECTION 5.04):

A student who intentionally strikes another person against the will of the other person or intentionally causes great bodily harm to another person is guilty of a serious breach of conduct which must be reported to the proper law enforcement agency and is punishable as follows:

Violations of this section may be referred to mental health services identified by the school district pursuant to s.1012.584(4).

First Offense Levels:

  1. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Short-Term
  2. Out-of-School or Bus Suspension – Long Term
  3. Alternative Education Programs
  4. Expulsion from School

BOMB AND EXPLOSIVE (SECTION 5.05):

A student who is in possession of a bomb, explosive device, or substance or materials intended for use in a bomb or explosive device or substance while at school or a school sponsored activity, on School Board property or a school bus (unless the material or device is being used as part of a legitimate school-related activity or science project conducted under the supervision of an instructor with the knowledge and consent of the principal), is guilty of a serious breach of conduct punishable as follows:

Violations of this section will be referred to mental health services identified by the school district pursuant to s.1012.584(4).

Level:

  1. Expulsion from School (for not less than one full year)

BOMB THREAT (SECTION 5.06):

Any student who reports a bomb or explosive at any school building, on school property or a school- sponsored activity where no bomb exists, will be guilty of a serious breach of conduct and is punishable as follows:

Violations of this section may be referred to mental health services identified by the school district pursuant to s.1012.584(4).

Level:

  1. Expulsion from School (for not less than one full year)

Nothing in this rule shall be construed as penalizing any student who, in good faith, makes a report concerning illegal activity, even if such report later proves to be unfounded.

BULLYING (HARASSMENT) (SECTION 5.07):

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 vic