The ultimate goal of the student code of conduct is the creation of a safe environment conducive to a quality educational experience and equal access to that experience for all students. The following guidelines are designed to assure that every student has the opportunity to contribute to the creation of such an environment.
All members of the school community have the right to work and learn in an environment that is physically and psychologically safe.
Parents have the right to be fully informed of the school’s procedures for encouraging responsible behavior, and they have the responsibility of supporting it.
Parents and school staff members are responsible for teaching children appropriate behavior consistent with their developmental level.
Student will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from school, when they:
A. Engage in conduct that is disorderly. Examples of disorderly conduct include:
- Running in hallways
- Making unreasonable noise.
- Using language or gestures that are profane, lewd, vulgar, or abusive.
- Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
- Engaging in any willful act which disrupts the normal operation of the school community.
- Trespassing. Students are not allowed in any school building, other than the one they normally attend, without permission from the building administrator.
- Computer/electronics misuse, including any unauthorized use of computers, software, or Internet/Intranet account; accessing inappropriate websites; or any other violation of the district’s acceptable use policy.
B. Engaging in conduct that is insubordinate. Examples of insubordinate conduct include:
- Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators, or other school employees in charge of students, or otherwise demonstrating disrespect.
- Lateness for, missing, or leaving school without permission.
- Skipping Detention.
C. Engaging in conduct that is disruptive. Examples of disruptive conduct include:
- Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators, or other school employees in charge of students.
D. Engage in conduct that is violent. Examples of violent conduct include:
- Committing an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, and scratching) upon a teacher, administrator, or other school employee, or attempting to do so.
- Committing an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, and scratching) upon another student or other person lawfully on school property, or attempting to do so.
- Possessing a weapon. Authorized law enforcement officials are the only persons permitted to have a weapon in their possession while on school property or at a school function.
- Displaying what appears to be a weapon.
- Threatening to use any weapon.
- Intentionally damaging or destroying the personal property of a students, teacher, administrator, other district employee or any person lawfully on school property, including graffiti or arson.
- Intentionally damaging or destroying school district property.
E. Engage in any conduct that endangers the safety, morals, health, or welfare of others. Examples of such conduct include:
- Lying to school personnel.
- Stealing the property of other students, school personnel, or any person lawfully on school property or attending a school function.
- Defamation, which includes making false or unprivileged statements or representations about an individual or identifiable group of individuals that harm the reputation or the person or the identifiable group by demeaning them.
- Discrimination, which includes the use of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability as a basis for treating another in a negative manner.
- Harassment, which includes a sufficiently severe action or a persistent, pervasive pattern of actions or statements directed at an identifiable individual or group which are intended to be or which a reasonable person would perceive as ridiculing or demeaning.
- Intimidation, which includes engaging in actions or statements that put an individual in fear of bodily harm.
- Hazing. See section on Hazing.
- Selling, using , or possessing obscene material.
- Using vulgar or abusive language, cursing or swearing.
- Smoking a cigarette, cigar, pipe, or using chewing or smokeless tobacco.
- Possessing, consuming, selling, distributing, or exchanging alcoholic beverages or illegal substances, or being under the influence of either.
- Inappropriately using or sharing prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
- Indecent exposure, that is, exposure to sight of the private parts of the body in a lewd or indecent manner.
- Initiating a report warning of fire or other catastrophe without valid cause, misuse of 911, or discharge of a fire extinguisher.
F. Engage in misconduct on a school bus. It is crucial for students to behave appropriately while riding on district buses to ensure their safety and that of other passengers and to avoid distracting the bus driver. Students are required to conduct themselves on the bus in a manner consistent with established standards for classroom behavior. Excessive noise, pushing, shoving, and fighting will not be tolerated.
G. Engage in any forms of academic misconduct. Examples of academic misconduct include:
- Altering records.
- Assisting another student in any of the above actions.
For purposes of this policy, the term “bullying” among children is defined, in general, as: “a variety of negative acts carried out repeatedly over time. It involves a real or perceived imbalance of power, with a more powerful child or group attacking those who are less powerful.” Bullying can take three forms:
- a) Physical (including, but not limited to, hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, taking personal belongings)
- b) Verbal (including, but not limited to, taunting, malicious teasing, name-calling, making threats); and
- c) Psychological (including, but not limited to, spreading rumors, manipulating social relationships, or engaging in social exclusion, extortion, or intimidation).
The District also prohibits “Internet bullying” (also referred to as “cyber-bullying”), including the use of Instant Messaging, e-mail, web sites, chat rooms, and text messaging, when such use interferes with the operation of the school or infringes upon the general health, safety, and welfare of District students or employees.
However, it is important to note that a single negative act as enumerated above may also constitute “bullying” (if not more serious misconduct) based upon the particular circumstances such as the seriousness of the act and/or the intent of the actor.
By its very nature, bullying can be very difficult to detect. It is often disguised as “joking” or friendly teasing. It is the responsibility of every member of the school community to aggressively respond to bullying situations.
Students should report each and every such situation to a responsible adult, even if they fear that it may make the situation worse. They need to trust the adults, even if it seems that nothing has been done about past reports.
School Personnel need to earn that trust by reacting appropriately to student behavior they witness that may be bullying and by making sure that all cases of bullying reported by students are aggressively investigated and that guilty parties are assigned appropriate consequences.
Parents are urged to communicate any concerns to their children and, when appropriate, with school officials.
For purposes of this policy, the term "hazing" among students is defined as any humiliating or dangerous activity expected of a student to join a group, regardless of their willingness to participate. Hazing behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following general categories:
- a) Humiliation: socially offensive, isolating, or uncooperative behaviors
- b) Substance abuse: abuse of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs
- c) Dangerous hazing: hurtful, aggressive, destructive, and disruptive behaviors.
- Incorporated within this definition are various forms of physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse which may range in severity from teasing/embarrassing activities to life-threatening actions.
Even if the hazing victim participated "willingly" in the activity, or there was no "intent" by the hazer to harm or injure another individual, hazing is still hazing and is against District policy, the District Code of Conduct, and may be in violation of New York State Law. However, hazing of students does not need to rise to the level of criminal activity for such conduct to be in violation of District rules and subject to appropriate disciplinary sanctions. Any hazing activity, whether by an individual or a group, shall be presumed a forced activity and in violation of Board policy, regardless of the "willingness" of the student to participate.
Penalties for hazing will be determined by the administration based on the severity and duration, but all concerned should be aware that it is considered to be a very serious offense.