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503.01 Student Conduct

The Board believes inappropriate student conduct causes material and substantial disruption to the school environment, interferes with the rights of others, or presents a threat to the health and safety of students, employees, and visitors on District-premises. Appropriate behavior allows teachers to communicate more effectively with students.

Students will conduct themselves in a manner fitting their age and maturity and with respect and consideration for the rights of others while on District property or on property within the jurisdiction of the District; while on District owned and/or operated or District-chartered vehicles; while attending or engaged in District activities; and while away from District grounds if misconduct will directly affect the good order, efficient management and welfare of the District. Consequences for the misconduct will be fair and developmentally appropriate in light of the circumstances.

Students may face disciplinary action for failure to abide by this policy and/or the administrative regulations supporting it. Disciplinary action includes, but is not limited to, removal from the classroom, detention, suspension, probation, and expulsion.

“Removal from the classroom” means a student is sent to the building principal’s office. It is within the discretion of the person in charge of the classroom to remove the student. This policy is not intended to address the use of therapeutic classrooms or seclusion rooms for students.

“Detention” means the student’s presence is required during non-school hours for disciplinary purposes. The student can be required to appear prior to the beginning of the school day, after school has been dismissed for the day, or on a non-school day. Whether a student will serve detention, and the length of the detention, is within the discretion of the licensed employee or the building principal disciplining the student.

“Suspension” means either an in-school suspension, an out-of-school suspension, a restriction from activities, and/or loss of eligibility.

“In-school suspension” means the student will attend school but will be temporarily isolated from one or more classes while under supervision. An in-school suspension will not exceed ten consecutive school days.

“Out-of-school suspension” means the student is removed from the school environment, which includes school classes and activities. An out-of-school suspension issued at the building level will not exceed ten days.

“Restriction from school activities” means a student will attend school and classes and practice but will not participate in school activities. Participation in extracurricular activities is a privilege; therefore, the Superintendent/designee has the discretion to extend restrictions from activities beyond the period of a suspension when such action is necessary to maintain order and/or to protect the safety of students, staff, and/or other members of the school community.

“Probation” means a student is given a conditional suspension of a penalty for a definite period of time in addition to being reprimanded. The conditional suspension will mean the student must meet the conditions and terms for the suspension of the penalty. Failure of the student to meet these conditions and terms will result in immediate reinstatement of the penalty.

“Expulsion” means an action by the board to remove a student from the school environment, which includes, but is not limited to, removal from classes and activities for a period of time set by the board. Except as specifically permitted by the board, an expulsion results in a loss of credit for the then current semester and any additional semester included in the expulsion period.

Specific Requirements Related to Assault

A student who commits an assault against an employee, student or other person on district property or on property within the jurisdiction of the district; while on district owned and/or operated district-chartered vehicles; while attending or engaged in district activities will be suspended and notice will be provided to the board president. The board will review the suspension to determine whether to impose further sanctions up to and including expulsion.

“Assault” for purposes of this section of this policy is defined as:

  • an act which is intended to cause pain or injury to, or which is intended to result in physical contact which will be insulting or offensive to another, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act; or
  • any act which is intended to place another in fear of immediate physical contact which will be painful, injurious, insulting or offensive, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act; or
  • intentionally points any firearm toward another or displays in a threatening manner any dangerous weapon toward another.

The act is not an assault when the person doing any of the above and the other person are voluntary participants in a sport, social or other activity, not in itself criminal, when the act is a reasonably foreseeable incident of such sport or activity, and does not create an unreasonable risk of serious injury or breach of the peace.

Specific Requirements Related to Students Receiving Special Education Services

Following the suspension of a special education student, an informal evaluation of the student’s placement will take place. The Individual Education Program (IEP) will be evaluated to determine whether it needs to be changed or modified in response to the behavior that led to the suspension.

If a special education student’s in- and/or out-of-school suspension(s) equal a cumulative ten days, a staffing team will meet to determine whether the IEP is appropriate.

Appeal Process

A parent/guardian may appeal a building’s decision to suspend their child to the superintendent/designee. The appeal of a building decision to suspend does not stay the suspension, and the affected student must comply with the suspension requirements until a decision of the superintendent/designee reverses or modifies the suspension.

The parent/guardian must provide notice of the appeal to the superintendent/designee and filed with the Board Secretary no sooner than 3 days but no later than 10 days after receiving written notice from the building of the suspension decision.  The notice to the superintendent/designee and Board Secretary may be provided via a hand-delivered letter, an email, and/or a letter sent via US mail.

The superintendent/designee may not hear an appeal until the relevant building has issued a written notice directing the suspension.

The superintendent/designee shall review the written appeal.  The superintendent/designee shall communicate with the student or student’s parent to determine the basis of the appeal and may, at his/her discretion, schedule a meeting with the parent/guardian who is appealing.  The superintendent/designee shall review the facts to determine if there was a reasonable basis for the suspension.

The parent/guardian has the burden of proof in an appeal.  For the parent/guardian to prevail in overturning a building decision one or more of the following must have occurred:

  • Failure to give the student due process. For the purpose of this policy, due process means that prior to the imposition of the penalty the student is provided written or oral notice of the allegations against the student and an opportunity to respond.
  • Failure to conduct an investigation that yielded evidence of wrongdoing.
  • Failure to follow the policy.

The superintendent/designee shall issue a written decision on the appeal to the parent/guardian within 10 calendar days from the date of the appeal was filed with the Board Secretary. This decision shall be delivered to the appealing parent/guardian by hand-delivery, email, student information system, and/or letter sent by US mail.

The parent/guardian may appeal the superintendent/designee’s decision to the board.  To appeal, the parent/guardian must write a letter to the board explaining the reason for the appeal. This letter must be filed with the Board Secretary no more than 5 days after the parent/guardian received the superintendent/designee’s written decision on the initial appeal.

The board may choose to overturn the building decision upon finding that the building failed to do one or more of the following:

  • Failure to give the student due process. Due process is defined in the rules and regulations of this policy under items A2, B2, C3.
  • Failure to conduct an investigation that yielded evidence of wrong-doing.
  • Failure to follow the policy

This appeal process is separate from the appeal process delineated in Policy 503.60 Good Conduct Rule.  The board has discretion to combine the Good Conduct Appeal and Student Conduct Appeal once received by the board.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent/designee, in conjunction with the principal, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.

Legal Reference:
No Child Left Behind, Title IV, Sec. 4115, P.L. 107-110 (2004).
Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565 (1975).
Brands v. Sheldon Community School District, 671 F. Supp. 627 (N.D. Iowa 1987).
Sims v. Colfax Comm. School Dist., 307 F. Supp. 485 (Iowa 1970).
Bunger v. Iowa High School Athletic Assn., 197 N.W.2d 555 (Iowa 1972).
Board of Directors of Ind. School Dist. of Waterloo v. Green, 259 Iowa 1260, 147 N.W.2d 854 (1967).
Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 282.4, .5; 708.1 (2007).

Cross Reference:
501.00 Student Attendance
502.00 Student Rights and Responsibilities
503.06    Physical Restraint and Seclusion
504.00 Student Activities
603.03 Special Education
903.05 Distribution of Materials

R.R. 1    503.01 Student Conduct

Administrators may issue several consequences for student misconduct, including but not limited to the following: probation, in-school suspension, and out-of-school suspension. Within the parameters of law and policy, administrators have discretion to determine the consequence that is most appropriate in a given situation.

The following consequences are listed in increasing order of severity; a basic description of due process is provided for each.

In all instances, administrators will document the consequence in the student’s school record.

  1. Probation
    1. Probation is conditional suspension of a penalty for a set period of time. Probation may be imposed by the principal for infractions of school rules that do not warrant the necessity of removal from school.
    2. The principal/designee will conduct an investigation.  Prior to the imposition of the penalty, the student will be provided due process, which includes written or oral notice of the allegations against the student and an opportunity to respond. Written notice and reasons for the probation will be sent to the parents.
  1. In-School Suspension
    1. In-school suspension is the temporary isolation of a student from one or more classes while under administrative supervision. In-school suspensions may be imposed by the principal for infractions of school rules which are serious but which do not warrant the necessity of removal from school.
    2. The principal/designee will conduct an investigation. Prior to the imposition of the penalty the student will be provided due process, which includes written or oral notice of the allegations against the student and an opportunity to respond.  In-school suspension will not be imposed for more than ten school days. Written notice and reasons for the in-school suspension will be sent to the student’s parents.
  1. Out-of-School Suspension
    1. Out-of-school suspension is the removal of a student from the school environment for a period of short duration. Out-of-school suspension is to be used when other available school resources are unable to constructively remedy student misconduct.
    2. A student may be suspended out of school for up to ten school days by a principal for a commission of gross or repeated infractions of school rules, regulations, policy or the law, or when the presence of the student will cause interference with the maintenance of the educational environment or the operation of the school.
    3. The principal may suspend students after the principal/designee conducts an investigation.  Prior to imposition of a penalty, the student will be provided due process which includes:
      1. Oral or written notice of the allegations against the student; and
      2. The opportunity to respond to those charges. At the principal’s discretion, the student may be allowed to confront witnesses against the student and/or present witnesses on behalf of the student.
    4. Written notice of out-of-school suspension will be mailed to the student’s parent/guardian and the superintendent/designee as soon as reasonably possible after a decision has been reached, but no later than the end of the school day following the suspension. The principal/designee shall make a reasonable effort to personally notify the student’s parents and shall document such effort in the student’s record. Written notice to the parent/guardian will include the circumstances leading to the suspension and a copy of the board policy and rules pertaining to the suspension.
  1. Suspensions and Special Education Students
  2. Students who have been identified as special education students who are facing suspension may be referred for a review of their Individualized Education Program (IEP). As needed, the relevant IEP may be revised to include a continuum of intervention strategies and programming to address the behavior.
  3. Students who have not been identified as special education students may be referred for evaluation after a suspension to determine whether the student has a disability and is in need of special education.

Approved:
July 2, 2000

Reviewed:
October 19, 2009
August 19, 2013
April 18, 2016
December 21, 2020
January 19, 2021
September 16, 2021

Revised:
October 19, 2009
August 19, 2013
April 18, 2016
December 21, 2020
January 19, 2021
October 19, 2021