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 classroom behavior allows teachers to communicate more effectively with students.

Students will conduct themselves in a manner fitting to their age level 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 District or 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 who fail to abide by this policy, and the administrative regulations supporting it, may be disciplined for conduct which disrupts or interferes with the education program; conduct which disrupts the orderly and efficient operation of the school district or school activity; conduct which disrupts the rights of other students to participate in or obtain their education; conduct that is violent or destructive; or conduct which interrupts the maintenance of a disciplined atmosphere. Disciplinary measures include, but are not limited to, removal from the classroom, detention, suspension, probation, and expulsion.

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 by the principal. Notice of the suspension is sent to the Board president. The Board will review the suspension to determine whether to impose further sanctions against the student which may include 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.


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.

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 or loss of eligibility. An 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. An 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. A restriction from school activities means a student will attend school and classes and practice but will not participate in school activities.

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, 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.

Following the suspension of a special education student, an informal evaluation of the student's placement will take place. The Individual Education Program (IEP) is 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 suspensions, either in or out of school, equal ten days on a cumulative basis, a staffing team will meet to determine whether the IEP is appropriate.

It is the responsibility of the Superintendent/designee, in conjunction with the principal, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.
 
Under this policy, a parent/guardian may appeal a building's decision to suspend.  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.


Appeals of Suspension Decisions:

A decision by a building principal to suspend a student may be appealed from the building 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 Superintendent/designee must communicate with the student or student’s parent to determine the basis of the appeal. The Superintendent/designee must review the facts to determine if there was a reasonable basis for the suspension.

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

  1. 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.
  2. Failure to conduct an investigation that yielded evidence of wrong-doing.
  3. Failure to follow the policy.

The parent/guardian must provide notice of the appeal to the Superintendent/designee.  The appeal must be filed with the Board Secretary either by hand delivered letter, email, sent via US mail no sooner than 3 days but no later than 10 days after receiving written notice from the building of the suspension decision.

 

The Superintendent/designee may not hear an appeal until the letter has been issued by the building.  The Superintendent/designee will review the written appeal and may choose to schedule a meeting with the parent/guardian.  The Superintendent/designee must issue a written decision to the parent/guardian within 10 days from the date of the appeal filed with the Board Secretary.

 

The parent/guardian may choose to appeal the Superintendent/designee decision to the Board.  The parent/guardian must include the reason for the appeal and it must be filed with the Board Secretary within 5 days after receiving the written decision by the Superintendent/designee.  The Board may choose to overturn the building decision upon finding that the building failed to do one of the following:

 

  1. Failure to give the student due process. Due process is defined in the rules and regulations of this policy under items A2, B2, C3.
  2. Failure to conduct an investigation that yielded evidence of wrong-doing.
  3. Failure to follow the 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
504.00 Student Activities
603.03 Special Education
903.05 Distribution of Materials


R.R. 1 503.01

Administrators have available several consequences for student misconduct, including but not limited to the following. Administrators have discretion to determine what consequence best meets the facts of the situation.  The following is a list of consequences from least to most severe and a description of what is meant by due process.  In all instances, administrators will document the consequence in the student’s school record.


A. 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 which do not warrant the necessity of removal from school.
  2. The principal 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.


B. 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 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.


C. Out-of-School Suspension

  1. Out-of-school suspension is the removal of a student from the school environment for periods 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 conducting 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 or present witnesses on behalf of the student.

4. Notice of the out-of-school suspension will be mailed as soon as reasonably possible after a decision has been reached, but no later than the end of the school day following the suspension to the student's parents and the Superintendent/designee. A reasonable effort is made to personally notify the student's parents and such effort is documented by the person making or attempting to make the contact. Written notice to the parents will include the circumstances which led to the suspension and a copy of the Board policy and rules pertaining to the suspension.


D. Suspensions and Special Education Students

  1. Students who have been identified as special education students may be referred for a review of the student's Individual Education Program (IEP). The IEP may be revised to include a continuum of intervention strategies and programming to change the behavior.
  2. Students who have not been identified as special education students may be referred for evaluation after the student's 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


Revised:
October 19, 2009

August 19, 2013
April 18, 2016