Student Discipline Code
Code of Student Conduct
It is the responsibility of both parents and students to be thoroughly familiar with the information in the Code of Student Conduct.
Code is Board Policy
The Student Handbook is annually approved as referenced in Board Policy 218 – Discipline. The Code of Student Conduct applies to all students and has been developed so that students and their parents are aware of expectations for student behavior. The Code divides infractions into four (4) levels, gives examples of each type, and sets forth various disciplinary options. The Code also includes a minimum penalty for some offenses. The Code is based on Pennsylvania’s Regulations and Guidelines for Student Rights and Responsibilities.
Building Level Regulations
Each school in the district has supplemented this Code of Student Conduct with a published set of additional rules and regulations which they feel necessary for the operation of their building. All those regulations become a part of the district’s discipline procedure and are an extension of the Code of Student Conduct.
School detentions at the secondary level will be held from 3 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays only. Work and athletic events are not reasons to be excused from detention. Failure to serve a detention will result in assignment to two additional detentions. Students serving detention and/or their parents/guardians are responsible for transportation.
It is the responsibility of all adults and students to report any violation of school rules or any illegal activity to the building administration.
In all cases of discipline, communication with the home is essential. Furthermore, certain disciplinary situations entitle students to a due process hearing—either informal or formal.
Informal hearings are offered to students and their parents for suspensions that may extend beyond three (3) days. Informal hearings are opportunities to meet with administration and review the circumstances of behavioral incidents. Parents may waive an informal hearing but are encouraged to participate.
Formal hearings are held before the school board or a committee of the school board and are typically used for cases of expulsion. Parents are notified in writing of the time, place, and purpose of the hearing. They have the right to counsel and/or witnesses if they choose. Unless requested by the parents/student to be public, hearings are private. Expulsion proceedings may also take place before the superintendent using what is known as an expulsion waiver. The school board must approve any agreements reached through the expulsion waiver process.
Search and Seizure
Students’ possessions and personal/school property can be searched by school officials using the standard of reasonable suspicion. Lockers, desks, and school-issued laptop computers are public school property; therefore, students shall not expect privacy regarding anything stored or placed in these items.
- Lockers/desks may be locked only with locks provided by the school.
- School employees may inspect a student’s locker/desk at any time for the purpose of determining whether the locker is being improperly used for the storage of contraband, a substance or object the possession of which is illegal, or any material that poses a hazard to the safety and good order of the schools. Blanket locker and desk searches are also permitted for reasonable suspicion.
- Students’ cell phones and personal electronic devices are subject to search using the standard of reasonable suspicion.
- Personal items (purses, wallets, pocketbooks, backpacks, etc.) are subject to search using the standard of reasonable suspicion and may not be searched without reasonable suspicion. Students may, however, be instructed to empty their pockets/shoes and any other area on their person where items can be concealed.
- Automobiles parked on school property are subject to search using the standard of reasonable suspicion. Students may be asked to open their car, glove box, trunk, etc.
- Any illegal materials, items, and/or anything that could be used to disrupt or cause harm to others may be seized during the search and may be used as evidence in determining disciplinary and/or legal action.
- Failure to cooperate with a request to search personal property could result in disciplinary action.
- Searchesmay also be conducted by police and police specially trained dogs. Dogs are trained to identify illegal drugs, not tobacco. If a student’s locker is identified by a drug detector dog during the search, the student will be notified. Depending what is found in the locker, the student will receive consequences if in violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Appropriate search and seizure procedures will be initiated if reasonable suspicion is established following a search utilizing drug detector dog(s). Depending on what is seized during the search, the student can be subject to consequences if in violation of the Code of Student Conduct and/or face legal action.
The administration reserves the right to handle individual cases at its discretion within the parameters of these policies.
How to read the Code of Student Conduct:
- All misbehaviors have been classified under one of four levels. The levels progress from minor infractions through criminal offenses.
- Level I offenses are often handled directly by staff members. However, teachers may choose to refer Level I offenses directly to administration.
- Infractions are listed at the lowest level on which they will generally occur. Administration reserves the right to assign the level of an infraction depending on the seriousness/frequency of the offense.
- The Examples of Infraction section provides examples but is not intended to be complete.
- The Procedures section lists actions required from staff and administration for these offenses.
- Disciplinary Options are examples of the kinds of disciplinary techniques which may be used. Examples listed may be used for offenses at a higher level, but will generally not be used at a lower level.