“Discipline” means any action taken by the school district in response to behavioral violations. Discipline is not necessarily punitive, but can take positive and supportive forms. Data shows that a supportive response to behavioral violation is more effective and increases equitable educational opportunities. The purposes of the discipline policy 3241 and accompanying procedure include:
- Engaging with families and the community and striving to understand and be responsive to cultural context
- Supporting students in meeting behavioral expectations, including providing for early involvement of parents
- Administering discipline in ways that respond to the needs and strengths of students and keep students in the classroom to the maximum extent possible
- Providing educational services that students need during suspension and expulsion
- Facilitating collaboration between school personnel, students, and parents, and thereby supporting successful reentry into the classroom following a suspension or expulsion
- Ensuring fairness, equity, and due process in the administration of discipline
- Providing every student with the opportunity to achieve personal and academic success
- Providing a safe environment for all students and for district employees
See complete Policy 3241 and Procedure 3241P at www.ycs.wednet.edu/policies
CONDUCT and EXPECTATIONS
The school board acknowledges that conduct and behavior are closely associated to learning, and rules are designed to provide students with a safe, healthy, and educationally sound environment. Students and staff are expected to work together to develop a positive climate for learning.
Students are expected to be aware of the district’s rules of student conduct, including behavior standards that respect the rights, person, and property of others. Students are expected to adhere to the following rules on school grounds, during the school day as well as during any school activity on or off campus or while riding the bus.
1. Alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs and controlled substances—Possession, use, sale, distribution or being under the influence of alcohol, drugs, controlled substances, hallucinogens or items that are purported to be unlawful drugs or controlled substances during school time or school-sponsored activities, on school premises (including parking lots) or transportation are prohibited. Compliance with this prohibition is mandatory.
Students who use, possess or are under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances or possess drug-related paraphernalia shall be subject to discipline and drug/alcohol education. The student has the right to appeal.
Students who distribute, possess with intent to deliver or sell alcoholic beverages, unlawful drugs, controlled substances or hallucinogens or items that purport to be any of the foregoing shall be disciplined, and the appropriate law enforcement/juvenile agency will be contacted (Policy 3241; Procedures 3240P, 3241P, 3243P). The student has the right to appeal.
2. Attendance—State law and district policy and procedures require daily and punctual attendance of all students, unless officially excused. Parents and students are both responsible for assuring attendance.
Parents must contact the school to excuse the absence. The school will inform the parent/guardian of a student’s unexcused absence. On the third occasion of an unexcused absence, the school will schedule a conference with the parent(s)/guardian(s). Steps will be taken to attempt to eliminate or reduce the student’s absences.
In accordance with the state’s mandatory attendance laws, if a student is absent without excuse four times or 10% of the school year, the school district will enter into an attendance contract. If a student is absent without excuse five times or 10% of the school year, the school district will file a petition with the juvenile court. (Policy 3122, 3122P, RCW 28A.225).
3. Bus rules—The school district maintains a published statement of rules for students riding buses. These rules are available in school offices and on the web site. Riding is a privilege, not a right. Students’ misconduct on a vehicle will be sufficient reason to discontinue providing bus transportation to those students involved and may result in other discipline. (Procedure 6605P)
4. Cellular phones/Telecommunication devices—A cellular phone or other telecommunication device which poses a threat to academic integrity, causes a disruption to the learning environment/educational process or violates the privacy rights of others may be confiscated and searched when school officials have a reasonable suspicion that such a search will reveal a violation of school rules. Content or images that violate criminal laws will be forwarded to law enforcement. (Policy 3245, 3245P).
5. Closed campus—Students shall remain on the school campus during the school day unless excused by the school office or by waiver approved by the superintendent.
6. Cooperation—Students will obey the lawful instructions of school district personnel and follow school and classroom rules. (RCW 28A.600.040)
7. Dress and appearance—Students should dress in a manner which reflects proper decorum. Dress and appearance, including but not limited to gang apparel, which may cause safety or health problems or which pose a threat or disruption, are not allowed. Individual schools within the district may have additional restrictions as part of their dress code. (See page 36)
8. Identification—All persons will, upon request, identify themselves to proper school authorities in the school building, on school grounds or at school-sponsored events.
9. Improper use of district equipment—District resources and equipment, including, but not limited to, computers and Internet access, are to be used for district purposes.
10. Loitering—A student shall leave the school campus at the official close of the school day unless permission to do otherwise has been granted.
11. Off-campus events—Students at school-sponsored, off-campus events shall be governed by school district rules and regulations and are subject to the authority of school district officials.
12. Tobacco and delivery devices—Possession or use of tobacco products or delivery devices is not permitted in school buildings, on school property, in district-owned or contracted vehicles or at off-campus events. (Policy 4215)
DEFINITIONS of DISCIPLINE AND CORRECTIVE ACTIONS
For purposes of all disciplinary policies and procedures, the following definitions will apply:
- “Behavioral violation” means a student’s behavior that violates the district’s discipline policies.
- “Classroom exclusion” means the exclusion of a student from a classroom or instructional or activity area for behavioral violations, subject to the requirements of WAC 392-400-330 and 392-400-335. Classroom exclusion does not include action that results in missed instruction for a brief duration when:
- a teacher or other school personnel attempts other forms of discipline to support the student in meeting behavioral expectations; and
- the student remains under the supervision of the teacher or other school personnel during such brief duration.
- “Disruption of the educational process” means the interruption of classwork, the creation of disorder, or the invasion of the rights of a student or group of students.
- “Emergency expulsion” means the removal of a student from school because the student’s statements or behavior pose an immediate and continuing danger to other students or school personnel, or an immediate and continuing threat of material and substantial disruption of the educational process, subject to the requirements in WAC 392-400-510 through 392-400-530
- “Expulsion” means a denial of admission to the student’s current school placement in response to a behavioral violation, subject to the requirements in WAC 392-400-430 through 392-400-480
- “Other forms of discipline” means actions used in response to problem behaviors and behavioral violations, other than classroom exclusion, suspension, expulsion, or emergency expulsion, which may involve the use of best practices and strategies included in the state menu for behavior developed under RCW 28A.165.035.
- “Suspension” means the denial of attendance in response to a behavioral violation from any subject or class, or from any full schedule of subjects or classes, but not including classroom exclusions, expulsions, or emergency expulsions. Suspension may also include denial of admission to or entry upon, real and personal property that is owned, leased, rented, or controlled by the district.
- In-school suspension means a suspension in which a student is excluded from the student's regular educational setting but remains in the student's current school placement for up to ten consecutive school days, subject to the requirements in WAC 392-400-430 through 392-400-475.
- Short-term suspension means a suspension in which a student is excluded from school for up to ten consecutive school days, subject to the requirements in WAC 392-400-430 through 392-400-475.
- Long-term suspension means a suspension in which a student is excluded from school for more than ten consecutive school days, subject to the requirements in WAC 392-400-430 through 392-400-475.
MISCONDUCT AND BEHAVIOR VIOLATION
District personnel must consider other forms of discipline to support the student in meeting behavioral expectations. However, in accordance with the other parameters of the discipline policy, there are circumstances when the district may determine that long-term suspension or expulsion is appropriate for student behaviors listed in RCW 28A.600.015 (6)(a) through (d), which include:
- Being intoxicated or under the influence of controlled substance, alcohol or marijuana at school or while present at school activities;
- Bomb scares or false fire alarms that cause a disruption to the school program;
- Cheating or disclosure of exams;
- Commission of any crime on school grounds or during school activities;
- Fighting: Fighting and instigating, promoting, or escalating a fight, as well as failure to disperse. Engaging in any form of fighting where physical blows are exchanged, regardless of who initiated the fight. This prohibition includes hitting, slapping, pulling hair, biting, kicking, choking, and scratching or any other acts in which a student intentionally inflicts or attempts to inflict injury on another;
- Gang-related activity;
- Intentional deprivation of student and staff use of school facilities;
- Intentional endangerment to self, other students, or staff, including endangering on a school bus;
- Intentional injury to another;
- Intentionally defacing or destroying the property of another;
- Intentionally obstructing the entrance or exit of any school building or room in order to deprive others of passing through;
- Possession, use, sale, or delivery of illegal or controlled chemical substances;
- Preventing students from attending class or school activities;
- Refusal to cease prohibited behavior;
- Refusal to leave an area when repeatedly instructed to do so by school personnel;
- Sexual misconduct that could constitute sexual assault or harassment on school grounds, at school activities, or on school provided transportation;
- Substantially and intentionally interfering with any class or activity;
- Threats of violence to other students or staff;
- Use or possession of weapons is prohibited by state law and Policy 4210.
GRIEVANCE AND APPEAL PROCESS FOR STUDENT DISCIPLINE
Any parent/guardian or student who is aggrieved by the imposition of discipline will have the right to an informal conference with the principal for the purpose of resolving the grievance. At such conference the student and parent/guardian will be subject to questioning by the principal and will be entitled to question staff involved in the matter being grieved.
If after exhausting this remedy the grievance is not yet resolved, the parent and student will have the right, within two (2) school business days prior notice, to present a written and/or oral grievance to the Superintendent or designee. The Superintendent or designee will provide the parent and student with a written copy of its response to the grievance within ten (10) school business days. Use of the grievance process will not impede or postpone the disciplinary action, unless the principal or Superintendent elects to postpone the disciplinary action.
More information regarding the appeal process is contained in Procedure 3241P. The policy and procedure are available online at www.ycs.wednet.edu/policies or any school principal’s office.
The student disciplinary code and penalties will apply to conduct off school grounds that may endanger the health or safety of students within the school district or adversely affect the education process. Examples of such conduct include, but are not limited to: illegal activity, threats of violence, alcohol use, fighting, hazing, drug possession or sales, firearm possession, violent offenses, robbery, burglary, arson, and sexual assaults. Students may be subject to discipline for off-campus misconduct as well as removal from participation in extracurricular activities and/or graduation ceremonies.
POSSESSION OF A WEAPON IS A CRIME
It is a violation of district policy and state law for any person to carry a firearm or dangerous weapon on school premises, school-provided transportation or areas of other facilities being used exclusively for school activities. Under state and federal law, a student shall be expelled for no less than one year for possession of a firearm on school premises, school-provided transportation or areas of facilities being used exclusively by public schools. In addition to being expelled or suspended from school, it is a crime under Washington state law for a person (not just students) to knowingly carry a firearm or dangerous weapon on school premises. The penalty for conviction could be up to a year imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. (RCW 9.41.280)
Policy 4210, Procedure 3240P
SEARCH AND SEIZURE
A student shall be free from searches by school officials of his/her clothing, backpacks and other personal property unless there are reasonable grounds to believe that the search is necessary in the aid of maintaining school discipline and order.
Student lockers, desks and other storage areas remain the property of the school district, and school officials retain the right to inspect lockers, desks or other storage areas assigned to students. No right or expectation of privacy exists for any student, and these areas may be inspected or searched by school authorities at any time without prior notice and without reasonable suspicion that the search will yield evidence of a student’s violation of the law or a school rule. Any container(s) found as a result of a search of a locker, desk or other storage area may be searched if there is reasonable suspicion that the container(s) holds evidence of a student’s violation of the law or school rule. The methods used are to be reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not be excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the suspected infraction. A principal or designee may not subject a student to a strip search or body cavity search as those terms are defined in RCW 10.79.070.
Illegal items such as drugs, drug paraphernalia, firearms, weapons or other possessions determined to be a threat to the safety or security of others may be seized by school authorities. Items which are used to disrupt or interfere with the educational process may be temporarily removed from student possession (RCW 28A.600.222 & 230, RCW 9.14.250 & 270 & 280).
USE OF TOBACCO AND NICOTINE PRODUCTS AND DELIVERY DEVICES
The board of directors recognizes that to protect students from exposure to the addictive substance of nicotine, employees and officers of the school district, and all members of the community, have an obligation as role models to refrain from use of tobacco products and delivery devices on school property at all times. Tobacco products and delivery devices include, but are not limited to cigarettes, cigars, snuff, smoking tobacco, smokeless tobacco, nicotine, electronic smoking/vapor devices and vapor products, non-prescribed inhalers, nicotine delivery devices, or chemicals that are not FDA-approved to help people quit using tobacco, devices that produce the same flavor or physical effect of nicotine substances and any other smoking equipment device, material or innovation.
Any use of such products and delivery devices by staff, students, visitors or community members will be prohibited on all school district property, including all district buildings, grounds and district-owned vehicles, and within five hundred feet of schools. Possession by, or distribution of tobacco products to minors is prohibited.
The use of Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved nicotine replacement therapy in the form of a nicotine patch, gum or lozenge is permitted. However, students and employees must follow applicable policies regarding use of medication at school.
Notices advising students, district employees, students and community members of this policy will be posted in appropriate locations in all district buildings and at other district facilities as determined by the superintendent and will be included in the employee and student handbooks. Employees and students are subject to discipline for violations of this policy, and school district employees are responsible for the enforcement of the policy. (Policy 4215)