Discipline is most effective when it deals directly with the problem at the time and place it occurs, and in a way that students view as fair and impartial. School personnel who interact with students are expected to use disciplinary action only when necessary and to place emphasis on the students’ ability to grow in self-discipline.
If the conduct of a student is related to a disability or suspected disability, the student shall be referred to the Committee on Special Education. Discipline, if warranted, shall be administered consistent with the separate requirements of this Code of Conduct for disciplining students with a disability or presumed to have a disability. A student identified as having a disability shall not be disciplined for behavior related to his/her disability.
Consequences and Procedures
Students who are found to have violated the district’s Code of Conduct may be subject to:
1. Oral or written warning either alone or in combination.
2. Parent notification.
3. Time-Out (with principal involvement warrants parent notification by teacher on designated form).
4. Removal – The teacher must complete a district-established removal form and meet with the principal or his or her designee as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the school day, to explain the circumstances of the removal and to present the removal form. If the principal or the designee is not available by the end of the same school day, the teacher must leave the form with the secretary and meet with the principal or designee prior to the beginning of classes on the next school day.
Within 24 hours or the next school day after the student’s removal, the principal or another district administrator designated by the principal, must notify the student’s parent, in writing, that the student has been removed from the class and why. The notice must also inform the parent that he or she has the right, upon request, to meet informally with the principal or the principal’s designee to discuss the reasons for the removal.
The written notice must be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or some other means that is reasonably calculated to assure receipt of the notice within 24 hours of the student’s removal at the last known address of the parent. Where possible, notice should also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting parent.
If the parent requests an informal conference, the principal and the teacher who ordered the removal will attend. If, at the informal meeting, the student denies the charges, the principal or the principal’s designees must explain why the student was removed and give the student and the student’s parent a chance to present the student’s version of the relevant events. The informal meeting must be held on or before the second school day following the removal. The timing of the informal meeting may be extended by mutual agreement of the parent and principal.
The principal or the principal’s designee may overturn the removal of the student from class if the principal finds any one of the following:
- The charges against the student are not supported by substantial evidence.
- The student’s removal is otherwise in violation of the law, including the district’s Code of Conduct.
- The conduct warrants suspension from school pursuant to Education Law 3214 and a suspension will be imposed.
The principal or his or her designee may overturn a removal at any point between receiving the referral form issued by the teacher and the close of business on the day following the 48-hour period for the informal conference, if a conference is requested. No student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher will be permitted to return to the classroom until the principal makes a final determination, or the period of removal expires, whichever is less.
Any disruptive student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher shall be offered continued educational programming and activities until he or she is permitted to return to the classroom.
Each teacher must keep a complete log (on a district provided form) for all cases of removal of students from his or her class. The principal must keep a log of all removals of students from class.
Removal of a student with a disability, under certain circumstances, may constitute a change in the student’s placement. Accordingly, no teacher may remove a student with a disability from his or her class until he or she has verified with the principal or the chairperson of the Committee on Special Education that the removal will not violate the student’s rights under state or federal regulation.
5. Suspension – Any staff may recommend to the superintendent or the principal that a student be suspended. All staff members must immediately report and refer a violent student to the principal or the superintendent for a violation of the Code of Conduct. All recommendations and referrals shall be made in writing unless the conditions underlying the recommendation or referral warrant immediate attention. In such cases a written report is to be prepared, as soon as possible, by the staff member recommending the suspension.
The superintendent or the principal, upon receiving a recommendation for referral for suspension or when processing a case for suspension, shall gather the facts relevant to the matter and record them for subsequent presentation, if necessary.
When the superintendent or principal (referred to as the “suspending authority”) proposes to suspend a student charged with misconduct for five days or less pursuant to Education Law 3214(3), the suspending authority must immediately notify the student orally. If the student denies the misconduct, the suspending authority must also notify the student’s parents in writing that the student may be suspended from school. The written notice must be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or some other means that is reasonably calculated to assure receipt of the notice within 24 hours of the decision to propose suspension at the last known address for the parent. Where possible, notice should also be provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting the parent.
The notice shall provide a description of the charges against the student and the incident for which suspension is proposed and shall inform the parent of the right to request an immediate informal conference with the principal. Both the notice and the informal conference shall be in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parents. At the conference, the parents shall be permit-ted to ask questions of complaining witnesses under such procedures as the principal may establish.
The notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place before the student is suspended unless the student’s presence in school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process. If the student’s presence does pose such a danger or threat of disruption, the notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place as soon after the suspension as is reasonably practicable.
After the conference, the principal shall promptly advise the parent of his or her decision. The principal shall advise the parent that if he or she is not satisfied with the decision and wish to pursue the matter, they must file a written appeal to the superintendent within five business days, unless they can show extraordinary circumstances precluding them from doing so. The superintendent shall issue a written decision regarding the appeal within 10 business days of receiving the appeal. If the parent is not satisfied with the superintendent’s decision, he or she must file a written appeal to the Board of Education, with the district clerk, within 10 business days of the date of the superintendent’s decision, unless they can show extraordinary circumstances precluding them from doing so. Only final decisions of the Board may be appealed to the Commissioner within 30 days of the decision.
When the superintendent or the building principal determines that a suspension for more than five days may be warranted, he or she shall give reasonable notice to the student and the student’s parent of the right to a fair hearing. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to be represented by counsel, the right to question witnesses against him or her and the right to present witnesses and other evidence on his or her behalf.
The superintendent shall personally hear and determine the proceeding or may, in his or her discretion, designate a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The hearing officer shall be authorized to administer oaths and to issue subpoenas in conjunction with the proceeding before him or her. A record of the hearing shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required. A tape recording shall be deemed a satisfactory record. The hearing officer shall make findings of fact and recommendations as to the appropriate measure of discipline to the superintendent. The report of the hearing officer shall be advisory only, and the superintendent may accept all or any part thereof.
An appeal of the decision of the superintendent may be made to the board that will make its decision based solely upon the record before it. All appeals to the Board must be in writing and submitted to the district clerk within 10 business days of the date of the superintendent’s decision, unless the parent can show that extraordinary circumstances precluded them from doing so. The Board may adopt in whole or in part the decision of the superintendent. Final decisions of the Board may be appealed to the Commissioner within 30 days of the decision.
Permanent suspension is reserved for extraordinary circumstances such as where a student’s conduct poses a life-threatening danger to the safety and well-being of other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or attending a school function.