“Zero Tolerance Philosophy”
In response to increased school violence, many schools have a mandated “zero tolerance” policy for serious disciplinary actions. At CV, while we too apply “zero tolerance” to serious disciplinary actions, our policies have been written to allow discretion and consideration of the student’s age, circumstances, and other mitigating elements reflected in the individual incident.
Nevertheless, as set forth in the policy section of this annual calendar, there are certain student infractions, unacceptable in our school environment, to which we do apply a zero tolerance philosophy. In all cases, whether this behavior takes place on school property, while en route to or from school, or at school-sponsored activities or events, the police will be contacted as a matter of routine. Where appropriate, criminal charges will be filed in addition to any actions outlined in our discipline code.
Violation of these policies handled under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code
Students violating part of the Weapons and Acts of Violence policy will be referred to the police for prosecution under the Crimes Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or of the United States. This includes behavior in or on school property, while en route to and from school or school events, or at school sponsored activities. In addition to criminal prosecution, the student will be subject to disciplinary action as outlined in the Disciplinary Code.
Other serious discipline problems, when appropriate, will be reported to police and charges will be brought against the student. The school will not attempt to decide if the offense is criminal in nature--that’s a police decision. In addition to referral to the police, the school will follow with appropriate disciplinary actions as outlined in this policy.
Zero Tolerance for Violent Behavior and Possession of Weapons
Possession/use of any type of weapons is prohibited
Possession of a weapon on school property, while en route to and from school or school events, or at school sponsored activities, is a misdemeanor of the first degree and offenders will be referred to the police for prosecution and be subject to expulsion for up to one (1) calendar year. Students violating this policy will immediately be removed from class and parents will be contacted.
Weapon defined: The definition of a weapon includes but is not limited to:
- Any knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nun-chuck stick, firearm, shotgun, BB gun, paintball gun, rifle and any other tool, instrument, or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury.
- A firearm which is not loaded or lacks a clip or other component to render it immediately operable, and components which can readily be assembled into a weapon.
- Any “look alikes” of any items listed above.
- The possession of spray mace and/or any other noxious chemicals is NOT a violation of this policy; however, it is not permitted. Possession will result in disciplinary action. Furthermore, its inappropriate use will be considered a violation of this policy.
Exceptions to the policy
- Any weapon which is required for use as a part of an approved course of study or supervised school activity shall be given to the teacher of that class/activity immediately upon the student’s arrival at school.
- A student who inadvertently brings a weapon to school and immediately, upon arrival, surrenders it to a staff member may be excluded from the requirements of this policy.
Acts of violence (fighting)
Acts of violence (fighting) of any type will not be tolerated on school property, while en route to and from school or school events, or at school-sponsored activities. Violators will be referred to the police for prosecution and may be subject to disciplinary action under this policy including an expulsion hearing before the school board.
Violence defined: Any act of physical aggression toward any person which may be of concern for that individual’s safety, health, or welfare.
Cooperation with police officers
CV administrators have a sincere desire to work with law enforcement officers but recognize the need to protect and safeguard students’ rights and parent interest. All interviews by law enforcement should take place with parent notification:
- Interviews for school related problems may be held in the school. Parents shall be notified and asked to attend the interview.
- In non-school related issues, the administrator shall determine the urgency of the request. Only in emergencies will the interview be permitted. If possible, parents shall be notified and asked to attend.
Note: In cases where a student is a suspect in an investigation, and parents are unable to attend, the building administrator will be present for the interview.
School Resource Officer (SRO)
Finding proactive and effective solutions to issues regarding the safety and welfare of our students has been, and will continue to be, one of the highest priorities of the School Resource Officer (SRO) partnership between the school district and East Lampeter Township. The SRO program is a nationally-accepted program involving the placement of a law enforcement officer within the K to 12 educational environment on several different levels:
- As a visible, active law enforcement figure on campus dealing with any safety and legal issues.
- As a conduit for effective communication between the district and police department and helps establish linkages with local agencies when necessary.
- As a resource to teachers, parents and students for conferences on an individual basis, dealing with individual problems or questions.