V-03: Safe Schools and Student Discipline

North Sanpete School District
Statement of..........

Board Policy With Guidelines

Policy Number:  V-3
Effective Date:  02/14/1995
Revised Date:  05/19/2015
Revised Date:  10/18/2016
Revised Date:  05/16/2017
Revised Date:  05/15/2018
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Subject: Safe Schools and Student Discipline

  1. BOARD
    The North Sanpete School District is committed to provide a learning environment that is safe, positive, and free of disruption created by students. Every student is expected to follow accepted rules of conduct, show respect for other people and property, and obey persons in authority. Each school will be free of violence, discrimination, intimidation or harm from individuals, groups or gangs.  The following policy and guidance have been developed for this purpose in accordance with Utah law (UCA §53G-8-201 through 212) and the Federal Gun Free Schools Act of 1994. Student conduct that causes disruption to the learning atmosphere merits disciplinary action to be taken. 

  2. DEFINITIONS
    The following definitions shall apply under this Policy:
    1. Parent – means a custodial parent of a school-age minor; a legally appointed guardian of a school-age minor; or any other person purporting to exercise any authority over the minor which could be exercised by a parent or guardian.
    2. Suspension - means removal of a student from the student’s regular classroom assignment for a period of 90 school days or less.
    3. In-school Suspension - means temporary reassignment, for a specific period of time, to a designated room within the school.
    4. Short-term Suspension - means exclusion of the student from the school, school grounds, and school activities and functions for a specific period of time which is equal to or less than 10 school days.
    5. Long-term Suspension - means exclusion of the student from the school, school grounds, and school activities and functions for a specific period of time, which is greater than 10 school days.  
    6.  Expulsion - means a termination of attendance or participation in a public school or program for a period in excess of 90 days.  
    7. Involuntary Transfer - means a reassignment of a student by an appropriate school District administrator from one school, campus, or academic program to a different school, campus, or academic program within the District. Involuntary transfer may be for an indefinite period of time or for a fixed period of time.
    8. Disruptive Student Behavior - means the grounds for suspension or expulsion as described in this policy, such as:
      1. the use of foul, profane, vulgar or abusive language while engaged in school activities;
      2. illicit use, possession, or distribution of controlled substance or drug paraphernalia, and the use, possession, or distribution of an electronic cigarette as defined in Utah Code 76-10-101, tobacco, or alcohol;
      3. hazing, demeaning, or assaultive behavior, whether consensual or not, including behavior involving physical violence, restraint, improper touching, or inappropriate exposure of body parts not normally exposed in public settings, forced `ingestion of any substance, or any act which would constitute a crime against a person or public order under Utah law;
      4. bullying and cyber-bullying;
      5. abusive conduct; and
      6. all other conduct described in section IV below.
    9.  School District Location - means in any school building or on any school premises; on any school-owned vehicle or in any other school-approved vehicle used to transport students to and from school or school activities; off school property at any school-sponsored or school-approved activity, event or function, such as a field trip or athletic event, where students are under the supervision of the school district.
    10. Weapon – “Dangerous weapon,” includes any item that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury.  "Weapon" includes any firearm--a pistol, revolver, shotgun, sawed-off shotgun, rifle or sawed-off rifle, or any device that could be used as a dangerous weapon from which is expelled a projectile by action of an explosive.  The following factors should be used in determining whether a knife, or any other item, object, or thing not commonly considered a dangerous weapon is a dangerous weapon:
      1. The character of the instrument, object, or thing;
      2. The character of the wound produced, if any;
      3. The manner in which the instrument, object, or thing was used;
      4. The intent of the student in possession of the object; or
      5. The other lawful purposes for which the instrument, object, or thing may be used.
      6. Student possession of a weapon shall not violate this policy if possession is approved in writing by the responsible school administrator or if the item or material is present or to be used in connection with a lawful activity approved in writing by the responsible school administrator before the material in question is brought on school premises.
    11. Sexual Harassment –means the same as the definition in North Sanpete School District Policy V-4. Investigative procedures for sexual harassment allegations will follow Policy V-4. 
    12. Gang-related activity -- means any activity by a group of three or more people who form an allegiance and engage in a range of anti-social behaviors that may include violent or unlawful activity or both. These groups may have a name, turf, colors, symbols, or distinct dress, or any combination of the preceding characteristics.
    13. Hazing –means the same thing as defined in North Sanpete School District Policy V-48.
    14. False Report –means activating of school alarms or safety systems, making false bomb threats, or other incidents that jeopardize the safety of others and interrupt school.
    15. Imminent Danger –means the appearance of threatened and impending injury which would lead a reasonable and prudent person to attempt an instant defense; something which is threatening to happen at once, something close, although not yet touching, or on the point of happening.
    16. Bullying –means the same thing as defined in North Sanpete School District Policy V-48
    17. Cyber-Bullying—means the same thing as defined in North Sanpete School District Policy V-48
    18. Retaliate—means the same thing as defined in North Sanpete School District Policy V-48 

  3. NOTICE OF POLICY REQUIREMENTS
    1. Students and parents shall be given annual notice of applicable rules of conduct and are expected to comply with applicable rules of conduct as well as all federal, state, local laws and ordinances.
    2. Parents of students and students transferring into the district receive a copy of this policy at the time of enrollment.
    3. A copy of this policy shall also be posted in a prominent place in each school in the District.
    4. Any significant change in this policy shall be posted in each school in the District, and a copy of the revised policy, shall be posted on the District’s website prior to the effective date of the policy.

  4. STUDENT CONDUCT THAT WARRANTS DISCIPLINE
    1. A student may be disciplined for any of the following prohibited conduct when it occurs:
      1. in a school building, or on school property;
      2. in conjunction with any school-sponsored activity,
      3. in or on a school vehicle, or
      4. when it threatens harm or does harm to
        1. the school,
        2. school property, or
        3. a person associated with the school wherever that may occur consistent with Utah Code 53G-8-205(1)(e), if the conduct has a nexus to the school.
    2. Schools (including teams, clubs, etc.) may have higher standards of conduct and/or more significant consequences than those outlined below (UHSAA Handbook, Article 10, Section 2)
    3. Prohibited conduct that “ may” warrant, but does not require suspension or expulsion:
      1. Frequent or flagrant willful disobedience or defiance of proper authority;
      2. Disruptive behavior, including the use of foul, profane, vulgar, or abusive language;
      3. Willful destruction, defacing, or damaging of school property;
      4. Behavior which poses an immediate, significant threat or imminent danger to the safety of other students or school personnel or to the operation of the school;
      5. Bullying, hazing, cyber bullying, retaliation, and making false allegations of bullying, bullying or retaliation, as those terms are defined in Policy V-48. (See District Policy V-48, “Prohibition of Bullying, Hazing, and Retaliation”)
      6. Engaging in, assisting, permitting, or otherwise being involved in hazing, as provided by Policy V-48 (See District Policy V-48, “Bullying, Hazing and Retaliation”)
      7. Sexual harassment of another student or school personnel (See District Policy V-4 “Sexual Harassment”)
      8. Possession, control or use of an alcoholic beverage (See District Policy V-35, “Substance Abuse”)
      9. Selling, giving, delivering, transferring, possessing, controlling, or distributing alcoholic beverage on or in proximity to school property or in conjunction with any school-sponsored activity
      10. Selling, giving, delivering, transferring, possessing, controlling, or distributing tobacco products on school property or at any school-sponsored activity  (See District Policy V-40, “Comprehensive Tobacco Prevention”)
      11. Being under the influence of a drug or an alcoholic beverage or controlled substance on school property or at any school-sponsored event
      12. Displaying, distributing, inducing, viewing, dealing, and/or possessing on school property (lockers, locker rooms, restrooms, buses, fieldtrips, or any school-sponsored trip or activity) pornographic or indecent materials as defined in Utah Code 76-10-1201 and 1203.
        1. Materials includes books, pictures, magazines, videos, CDs, cell phone, tablets, laptops, computers, other electronic devices.
        2. Pornographic or indecent includes “sexting” defined as images sent or received electronically of peers who are nude, semi-nude, or in a compromising position.
      13. Engaging in public displays of affection that offend a reasonably objective observer
      14. Engaging in lewd conduct, including disrobing wholly or partially in a public place
      15. Violations of the District dress code (See District Policy V-6 “Dress and Grooming Code”)
      16. Creating threatening or disruptive web pages which pose a threat to school staff or fellow students and/or cause a material and substantial disruption of the educational process
      17. Illegally possessing, distributing, abusing and/or selling prescription or non-prescription drugs
      18. Any use of an electronic communication device or camera to record sounds or images or otherwise capture material in an unauthorized setting or at an unauthorized time
      19. The use of any interfering device or any electronic communication device or camera to threaten, intimidate or embarrass another or to capture and transmit test information or any other information in a manner constituting fraud, theft or academic dishonesty (See V-46 "Interfering Devices and Electronic Communication Device Policy”)
      20. Truancy
      21. Participating in any other activity which violates applicable school rules or federal, state or local law or ordinance, or disrupts the educational process, or disrupts normal school proceedings through threats or participation in any planned conspiracy relating to the foregoing.
    4. Prohibited Conduct that requires suspension or expulsion:
      1. the sale, control, delivery, transfer or distribution of a drug or controlled substance, as defined in Utah Code §58-37-2, an imitation controlled substance, as defined in Utah Code §58-37 or drug paraphernalia as defined in Utah Code §58-37-2
      2. the commission of an act involving the use of force or the threatened use of force which, if committed by an adult, would be a felony or class A misdemeanor, see Utah Code §53G-8-205(2); §76-5-102; and §76-5-102(3).
      3. possession, control, or actual or threatened use of a real weapon, explosive    or flammable device or material; or
      4. the actual or threatened use of a look-alike or pretend weapon with intent to intimidate another person or to disrupt normal school activities.

  5. SCHOOL-LEVEL PROCEDURES
    1. Violations of Section IV.C. of this Policy will normally be handled by the administration on the school level.
    2. Investigations
      1. When a student is alleged to have engaged in a prohibited conduct identified in Section IV.C. of this Policy, the school administrator will initiate an investigation.
      2. At a minimum, the investigation will include an interview with the student alleged to have engaged in the prohibited conduct, during which the administrator will explain the allegations to the student, discuss the evidence obtained, and provide the student an opportunity to respond.   
      3. If the prohibited conduct has criminal implications that could result in charges of a class B misdemeanor or higher, administrators may report the prohibited conduct to law enforcement, in addition to or in conjunction with the administrator’s investigation.
        1. Investigations of student sexting will be referred to law enforcement and all evidence will be turned over to law enforcement immediately.
        2. Students who are minors and engaging in sexting may be charged with child pornography.
      4. Administrators and law enforcement may interview a student with or without a parent present, where exigent circumstances exist and it is necessary to secure evidence immediately, unless the student is under 14 years of age and is in a custodial interrogation.
      5. Other students and/or school personnel may also be interviewed as witnesses. Witnesses should write statements, or if a witness is too young to write, an administrator may record the statement. 
      6. Consistent with the District’s search and seizure policy (see District Policy V-33 “Search and Seizure”), a student’s personal belongings may be searched if necessary and if the administrator reasonably suspects to find evidence of the prohibited conduct.
      7. Administrators may review disciplinary reports of involved students and physical evidence belonging to the school or which are public, such as video or audio, notes, social media or graffiti.
      8. Administrators will document the investigation.
      9. Law enforcement may investigate criminal activity that occurs on school grounds independent of school administration. Law enforcement may question youth 14 years of age or older without parent consent.   
    3. Procedures for Administrators Imposing Discipline
      1. Following the investigation, the administrator shall:
        1. Take appropriate action consistent with findings made by the administrator after review of the evidence and the student’s response, and with applicable school and District policies and state and federal law, including laws or regulations specific to students with disabilities;
        2. Administrators may impose short-term suspensions consistent with minimal due process.
        3. If the investigation results in a suspension, administrators will notify parents as soon as reasonably possible.
        4. A student who is suspended from school will be kept at school until the end of the school day or until parents provide another way home.
        5. Notify the District administration of the possible need for a District-level hearing if a suspension of more than 10 days is warranted
    4. School Administrator Imposed Disciplinary Sanctions--one or more may be imposed:
      1. Suspension up to 10 days;
      2. Continued school attendance subject to a Remedial Discipline Plan;
      3. Continued school attendance accompanied by the student’s parent/guardian;
      4. In-school suspension;
      5. Referral to juvenile court or proper law enforcement authorities if the behavior is a referable offense under Utah law;
      6. Restitution;
      7. Temporary home-based instruction;
      8. Involuntary transfer;
      9. Recommendation to the superintendent for suspension beyond 10 days;
      10. Restrictions placed on attendance at school activities and/or participation in extra-curricular activities, student government, etc.
      11. Referral to alternative evidence-based interventions such as a mobile crisis outreach team, a receiving center operated by the Division of Juvenile Justice Services, a youth court, or comparable restorative justice program; or
      12. Others sanctions as deemed appropriate for the offense.
    5. Conduct That Requires Suspension or Expulsion
      1. Administrators may make recommendations for student suspensions of 10 days or more.
      2. If the student engages in prohibited conduct identified in IV.D., the student shall be suspended or expelled from school for not less than one calendar year, subject to the decision of the school district’s superintendent or District Committee identified in Section VII.B. below, that the suspension/expulsion term should be less than one year or an alternative restorative justice practice is appropriate.
      3. Administrators shall make a good faith effort to meet with student and parent(s) prior to recommending long-term suspension or expulsion.
      4. Only the board of education may expel a student. District administrators may recommend student expulsion and a recommended length of expulsion to the board.
      5. Notice to parents: adequate due process and these procedures do not preclude District administrators from removing a student from school property or a school activity as necessary in an emergency situation to protect the safety of other students or activity participants. The District shall provide adequate due process to a student as soon as reasonably possible following an emergency removal.
    6. Procedures for handling offenses involving weapons, use of force, and/or drugs as identified in IV.D:
      1. If the conduct requires mandatory expulsion/suspension, then the principal shall suspend the student up to 10 days and may recommend that the superintendent suspend the student for up to one calendar year, or the equivalent imposed over consecutive portions of two school years.
      2. The principal, superintendent, or District Committee may recommend modification of the expulsion term to less than a calendar year depending upon the intent, the circumstances surrounding the incident, the student’s prior disciplinary record and other appropriate considerations. These modifications must be approved by the local school board and shall give highest priority to a safe school environment for all students.
    7. Students removed from school will be afforded due process in accordance with Section IX of this policy.

  6. DISCIPLINE FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
    Students who are receiving services under IDEA, § 504 (of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973), or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) shall be disciplined consistent with the federal law(s), Utah State Board of Education Special Education Rules (R277-750) and North Sanpete School District Special Education Policies.

  7. POTENTIAL DISTRICT REMEDIAL MEASURES AND DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS
    1. An administrator who recommends a suspension for 10 or more days or who is involved in an investigation of a seriously egregious offense shall refer the student to the District for District-level remedial measures and disciplinary action as follows:
      1. Continued school and class attendance with student accompanied by the student's parent/guardian for a designated period of time;
      2. In-school suspension with student attendance in a designated in-school suspension location and program;
      3. Voluntary transfer by student to another school, campus, community-based alternative school or other special program within the district, subject to the admission criteria of such alternative programs;
      4. Withholding of official grade reports, diplomas and transcripts from students or parents (but not from the State or a licensed child-placing agency acting as a student’s guardian) only and solely for a student’s loss or damage of school property and consistent with § 53G-8-212 until the loss/damage is reimbursed by the student or parent;
      5. Detention of students in grades K through six in school after regular school hours only following notice to parent and consistent with Utah Code § 53G-8-203; or
      6. Involuntary transfer to another school, campus, community-based alternative school or other special program within the District.
      7. Home-based instruction provided by a licensed educator for a minimum of two hours per week. State Board of Education Rule 277-419-5A9(1)(f)(ii) provides for this option for LEAs; the LEA continues to receive full funding for the student, subject to compliance with the rule.
      8. Short-term (less than 10 school days) suspension.
      9. Long-term (10 or more school days) suspension.
      10. Expulsion
    2. Procedures for District-level remedial measures or disciplinary action.
      1. When a student is referred to the District for remedial measure or disciplinary action, the student and the student’s parents will meet with a committee comprised of at least the student’s administrator and other school and District personnel (“District Committee”)
      2. Prior to the meeting described in VI.B.1, the administrator will provide written notice to the parent of the allegation of the student’s prohibited conduct, directions to contact the district office to schedule a meeting, the purpose of the meeting, and the procedures that will be followed in the meeting.
      3. The meeting is an informal setting to discuss the consequences of the student’s prohibited conduct.
      4. The District Committee may impose any of the remedial measure or disciplinary actions described in VI.A.
      5. If the District Committee determines that expulsion is appropriate, the student will be given the opportunity to request a more formal hearing as outlined in the procedures set forth in Section IX, Due Process, below.

  8. AUTHORITY TO IMPOSE DISCIPLINE
    1. The Board of Education hereby delegates to each District school principal the authority to suspend a student in the principal's school for up to ten (10) school days consistent with Utah Code § 53G-8-205 and this policy.
    2. The Board of Education hereby delegates to the Superintendent the authority to suspend a student for up to one (1) school year consistent with Utah Code § 53G-8-205 and this policy.
    3. The Board of Education has the authority to expel a student for a fixed or indefinite period consistent with Utah Code § 53G-8-205.
  9. DUE PROCESS
    1. Whenever a student is removed from school for a short or long-term suspension or an expulsion, the student is entitled to due process in the form of notice of the allegations and an opportunity to be heard.
    2. The shorter the removal, the more informal the process may be. A student who is removed from school for ten days or less must be given notice of the allegations and an opportunity to respond to those allegations by the administrator prior to removal.
    3. A student who is removed from school for more than ten days will meet with the District Committee with his/her parents present to discuss the allegations, as described in Section VII.B. of this Policy. The allegations and evidence of the allegations will be discussed and the student will be given an opportunity to respond to the allegations during this meeting.
    4. If, after the meeting with the District Committee described in section VII.B. above, a determination is made to recommend expulsion to the Board of Education, the student is entitled to request a hearing by submitting a written request to the Board of Education within five (5) school days of the recommendation by the Committee.
    5. The Board of Education shall appoint an independent hearing officer to review the evidence presented by the District Committee and by the student and will make a recommendation to the Board in writing regarding expulsion.
    6. The Board will review the recommendation of the hearing officer and will either uphold or overturn the decision to expel.

  10. EDUCATION OF STUDENTS SUBJECT TO REMEDIAL OR DISCIPLINARY MEASURES
    1. A student subject to remedial or disciplinary measures but not long-term suspension or expulsion will continue to receive educational services from the District.
    2. If a student is suspended long-term or expelled, it is the responsibility of the student’s parent to provide an alternative education plan, which will ensure that the student's education continues during the period of the suspension or expulsion.
      1. The parent may work with designated District or school officials to determine how that responsibility might best be met through private education, alternative programs offered by the District or other alternatives which will reasonably meet the student's educational needs.
      2. Costs for educational services not provided by the District are the responsibility of the student's parent or guardian.
      3. Review of student progress: The district shall contact the parent of each suspended or expelled student under the age of 16 at least once per month during the suspension/expulsion period to determine the student's progress.
      4. The District shall maintain a record of all suspended or expelled students and a notation of the recorded suspension or expulsion shall be attached to the student's transcript.

  11. READMISSION OF SUSPENDED OR EXPELLED STUDENTS
    1. Suspended students
      1. The District shall provide a report or document to parents of students who are suspended for 10 days or more.
      2. The report may provide conditions for a student’s readmission following the designated suspension period.
      3. A student’s parent shall meet with the District prior to a student’s readmission following a long-term suspension to ensure that the student’s behavior will not be repeated.
    2. The Superintendent or designee shall review the expulsion record of each expelled student at least once per year and shall report the conclusions of the review to the Utah State Board of Education, upon request, and to the North Sanpete board of education.
      1. The superintendent or designee may make recommendations regarding whether the sanction should be modified or terminated.
      2. The superintendent/designee shall determine what conditions, if any, should be imposed on the student prior to readmission, if readmission is appropriate.

  12. DENIAL OF ADMISSION BASED ON PRIOR EXPULSION
    1. A student may be denied admission to a public school on the basis of having been expelled from that or any other school during the preceding 12 months.
    2. If a student has been subject of a safe school violation in a previous school or has been subject to state custody as a Youth in Custody, the student may be referred to the District Committee for appropriate placement.
    3. A suspension or expulsion under this Policy is not subject to the age limitations of Utah Code § 53G-6-204.

  13. OTHER SAFE SCHOOL-RELATED ISSUES
    1. Expected conduct for student leaders
      1. Participation in interscholastic athletics, student leadership, other school programs, and other extra-curricular activities is not a constitutionally protected right.
      2. Students in these positions and activities are held to higher standard because they become role models for the school and the community. Therefore, students who are suspended or expelled may lose their position or privilege of participation due to a suspension and/or expulsion.
      3. Students are not entitled to due process for revocation of extra-curricular privileges. 
    2. Notification of weapons on school property
      1. Whenever a student is found on school property during school hours or a school sponsored activity in possession of a dangerous weapon and that information is reported to or known by the principal, the principal shall notify appropriate law enforcement personnel as well as school and district personnel who, in the good faith opinion of the principal, should be informed.
      2. Student searches shall be conducted by appropriate school personnel consistent with the law and North Sanpete School District Policy V-33.
    3. Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and/or Neglect
      1. Utah law requires that whenever a school employee has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to incest, molestation, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, or neglect, or observes a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances which would reasonably result in such, the employee shall immediately report the observations or information to the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) or a local law enforcement agency, consistent with Utah Code § 62A-4a-401.
      2. A person who makes a report in good faith shall be immune from civil or criminal liability that might otherwise arise by reason of that report.
      3. Appropriate training shall be provided to appropriate school employees on signs, symptoms and procedure in child abuse and neglect reporting and procedures.
      4. Training shall include when and how school employees who have reason to believe that a child has been abused shall report the information to appropriate school or District administrators following the report to DCFS or local law enforcement.

  14. EMERGENCY SAFETY INTERVENTIONS
    1. Appropriate use of physical restraint of students
      1. A school employee may not inflict or cause the infliction of corporal punishment upon a child who is receiving services from the school. However, this does not prohibit the use of reasonable and necessary physical restraint or force in self-defense or otherwise appropriate circumstances, consistent with Utah Code § 53G-8-302. This may include, the following:
        1. to obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object in the possession or under control of a child;
        2. to protect a child or another person from physical injury;
        3. to remove from a situation a child who is violent or disruptive; or
        4. to protect property from being damaged when physical safety is at risk.  
      2. Whenever it is necessary for a school employee to use physical restraint, the school employee will comply with District Policy V-54 and Utah guidelines as found in the Least Restricted Behavioral Interventions (LRBI) Technical Assistance Manual.

  15. DISCLAIMER
    This Safe School Policy is not exhaustive in addressing all issues, situations, consequences, and procedures in handling Safe School violations; therefore, in addition to what is outlined in this policy, appropriate District administrators or their designees may discipline students consistent with Utah law, Utah Administrative Rules and general principles of due process.

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