Policy 502:   Behavior and Discipline

502.1 Student Conduct
 
 
The Board believes inappropriate student conduct, including threats of violence, causing 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 school premises. 

The Board supports the use of video cameras to prevent inappropriate student conduct on school premises.  The video cameras will be used to monitor student behavior and may be used as evidence in a student disciplinary proceeding.  The video tapes are student records subject to school district confidentiality, board policy and administrative regulations. 

Students shall conduct themselves in a manner fitting to their age level and maturity and with respect and consideration for the rights of others while on school district property or on property within the jurisdiction of the school district; while on school owned and/or operated school or chartered buses; while attending or engaged in school activities; and while away from school grounds if misconduct will directly affect the good order, efficient management and welfare of the school district. 

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 obtain their education or participation; 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 on school district property or on property within the jurisdiction of  the school district; while on school-owned or school-operated chartered vehicles; while attending or engaged in school district activities shall be suspended by the principal.  Notice of any suspension shall be sent to the board president.  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 areasonably 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 shall be 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 or after school has been dismissed for the day.  Whether a student will serve detention, and the length of the detention, shall be within the discretion of the licensed employee disciplining the student or the building principal. 

Suspension means either an in-school suspension or an out-of-school suspension.  An inschool 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 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 waiver of a penalty for a definite period of time in addition to being reprimanded.  The conditional suspension shall 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 shall 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 but no longer than one school year. 

It shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent, in conjunction with the principal, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.   

Legal Reference:  (Code of Iowa)  Chapter 279.8, 282.4, 282.5; Code of Iowa Administrative Rules:  Chapter 281 – 41.71 (1) (2) (3) (4), 281 - 41.72 (1) (2), 281 – 41.73 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Goss V. Lopez  95 S. Ct. 729 (1975) 

Date of Adoption:  April 10, 1995   

Reviewed:  April 9, 2001; December 3, 2001; March 10, 2003; January 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:  May 14, 2001; January 14, 2002; April 12, 2003

 

RP502.1A Student Conduct
A. Probation 
1. Probation is conditional attendance during a trial period as designated by the building principal.  Probation may be imposed by the principal or other person in charge of the attendance center for infractions of school rules which do not warrant the necessity of removal from school.  The following procedures shall be followed: 

a. The principal, or other person in charge of attendance center shall conduct an informal investigation of the allegations against the student prior to imposition of probationary status. 

b. Such investigation shall include, but not necessarily be limited to written or oral notice to the student of the allegations against the student and an opportunity to respond. 

2. Failure of the student to meet conditions and terms of probation shall result in further disciplinary action toward the student. 

B. Detention Students may be detained before or after school and under direct supervision of administration or staff. 

C. In-School Suspension 

1. In-school suspension means the student will attend school but will be temporarily isolated from one or more classes while under supervision.  In-school suspensions may be imposed by the principal or other person in  charge of the attendance center for infractions of school rules which are serious but which do not warrant the necessity of an out of school suspension or expulsion from school. 

2. The principal or other person in charge of attendance center shall conduct an informal investigation of the allegations against the student prior to imposition of an in-school suspension.  Such an investigation shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, written or oral notice to the student of the allegations against the student and an opportunity to respond.  In-school suspension shall not be imposed for a longer period than ten (10) school days.  Notice of the in-school suspension and the reasons therefore shall be sent to the student's parents or legal guardian. 

D. Out of School Suspension 

1. Out of school suspension means the student is removed from the school environment, which includes school classes and activities.  An out of school suspension will not exceed ten days. 

2. A student may be suspended from up to ten school days by a principal or other person in charge of an attendance center for a commission of gross or repeated infractions of school rules, or when the presence of the student will cause substantial interference with the maintenance of the educational environment, the normal operation of the school, or is a danger to self and others.  The principal or other person in charge of an attendance center may suspend such students only after conducting an informal investigation of the charges against the student, giving the student:

a. Oral or written notice of the allegations against the student b. The basis in fact for the charges, and c. The opportunity to respond to those charges Should the principal or other person in charge of the attendance center find it advisable, the student may be allowed to confront witnesses against the student, or call witnesses on behalf of the student.   

3. The notice to the student, investigation  and informal hearing must precede removal of the student from school.  However, nothing should prevent the immediate suspension of a student when the student's continued presence on the school grounds would endanger the student's safety  or well being, the safety or well-being of other members of the school community or substantially interfere with the proper functioning of the school.  In the  instance of an immediate suspension, a hearing will be held within three (3) school days to determine future action.  Such a hearing will be conducted in the spirit of the process envisioned above.  In the event the suspension occurred prior  to the hearing, the person responsible shall document the basis of the necessity for such action. 

4.  Notice of the suspension shall be mailed no later than the end of the school day following the day of discovery of alleged misconduct, to the student's parents or legal guardians, Superintendent and to the President of the Board of Directors.  A reasonable effort shall also be made to notify the student's parents by telephone or personal contact, and such effort shall be documented by the person making or attempting to make the contact.  Written notice to  the parents or legal guardians shall state the reasons for the suspension.  

5.  Under no circumstances may more than one administrative suspension be imposed upon a student for the same set of facts given rise to another suspension.  

6.  Out of school suspension of special needs students:  See Policy 502.2A; 502.2B 

E.  Expulsion  

1. Expulsion measure of discipline to be employed  when school resources are unable to cope constructively with pupil misconduct.  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 but not longer than one school year.  

2. Upon the recommendation of the Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee, the Board of Directors may expel a student for commission of gross or repeated infractions of school rules, or when the continued presence of the student will cause substantial interference with the maintenance of the educational environment, the normal operation of the school, or a danger to self and others.  

3. The Superintendent, student or the student's representative may request the hearing before the Board be held in closed session. 

4. A Board decision to expel is made by a majority of the board members.  The vote shall be by roll call and in public meeting.  

F. Hearing Procedure - Expulsion   

1. A written statement of the alleged misconduct given as grounds for the proposed Board expulsion will be given to the student's parents or legal guardians at least five (5) school days before the hearing.  Such statement will include the names of those school officials and teachers having knowledge of the reasons for the proposed Board expulsion.  The written statement will be accompanied by a copy of the Board policy and rules pertaining to procedures for board suspension of students.  The student will not be expelled from school until after a hearing has been held and a decision made whether the student should be suspended by Board action.   

2.  A written notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing will be sent by certified mail to the student's parents or legal guardians at least three (3) school days before the hearing.  This provision may be waived by written agreement of the parties.  

3.  If the parents or legal guardians of a student cannot be notified, or cannot be present at the hearing because of extenuating circumstances and request a postponement, the Board shall postpone the hearing  until the parents or legal guardians are notified and available to be present.  Such request for postponement should be made at least two school days prior to the scheduled hearing time.  

 

4.  If the student, the student's parent, guardian, or representative do not request postponement for cause, and are not present at the  time and place scheduled in the hearing notice, the hearing shall proceed without them.  In such an event, the record will show a factual determination by the Board that sufficient and proper notice was given the parties and no postponement was requested.

5.  If the student has reached the age 18 at the time the alleged acts took place, the student is then authorized to make decisions, sign  documents and obtain representation on behalf of the student and may elect to be represented by the student's parents or guardians.  However, notice shall also be given to the parents as outlined above unless the student shows that he or she is no longer dependent upon or residing with his or her parents and does not want them notified. 

 

6.  The opportunity will be granted prior to the hearing, for the student or the parent, guardian, or legal counsel, to examine copies of documents to be used as evidence.  Permission will be granted for the student or the student's representative to discuss the matter with administrators, teachers and other witnesses at times which will not be disruptive.  

7. The Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee shall present evidence in behalf of the Superintendent's recommendation.  An attorney hired by the Board may not present evidence and at the same time advise the Board.  

8. Witnesses at the hearing, or persons whose testimony has been submitted in written form, if available, shall be subject to cross-examination by any party as is necessary for a full and true disclosure of the facts.  

9. The opportunity will be granted for the student or the student's counsel to present the student's version or refutation of the allegations through documents and witnesses.  If the student refuses to testify, the student shall not be punished for refusal to testify, nor shall such refusal in any way be construed as an indication of guilt.   

10.   The Board's decision will be based solely upon evidence introduced at the hearing.   

11.   Within ten (10) school days of the hearing the Board will mail or have delivered to the student and the student’s counsel a written statement of the Board’s decision and the factual basis for it.   

12.   Nothing contained in paragraph 1 shall prevent the immediate Board expulsion of a student when the student's continued presence on  the school grounds would endanger the student's safety or well-being, the safety or well-being of other members of the school community or substantial interference with the proper functioning of the school.  In the instance of an immediate Board suspension, a hearing will be held within ten (10) school days to determine future action of the Board.  Such a hearing will be conducted in the spirit of due process envisioned in paragraph 1.   

13.   In no event will a student be expelled beyond the school year in which the Board expulsion hearing occurred.   

14.   The Board may render conditions for re-admission at the hearing or anytime thereafter.  The burden of proof shall be with the  student to demonstrate that all conditions for re-admittance have been met.   

G. Conditions for Re-admission Prior to Expiration of Expulsion 

The Board may grant re-admission to a student expelled by the Board at any time and upon any condition it may determine.  

H. A decision may be appealed under Chapter 290, Code of Iowa.    

Legal Reference:  (Code of Iowa)  Chapter 279.8, 282.4, 282.5; Code of Iowa Administrative Rule:  Chapter 281 - 41.71 (1) (2) (3) (4),     281 - 41.72 (1) (2), 281 - 41.73 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5).  

Date of Adoption:  April 10, 1995  

Reviewed:  December 3, 2001; January 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:  January 14, 2002

 

502.2 Use of Tobacco or Any Controlled Substance
 
 

Use and/or possession of tobacco or any controlled substance on school property is prohibited.

School district facilities and grounds, including school vehicles, are off limits for tobacco or nicotine use, including the use of look-a-likes where the original would include tobacco or nicotine.   This requirement extends to students, employees and visitors.   This policy applies at all times, including school-sponsored and nonschool-sponsored events.   Persons failing to abide by this request are required to extinguish their smoking material, dispose of the tobacco, nicotine or other product or leave the school district premises immediately.    It is the responsibility of the administration to enforce this policy.
 

 Legal Reference:  (Code of Iowa)  Chapter 279.9

                    

Date of Adoption:  January 23, 1972
 
Reviewed:  March 9, 1992; Sept. 19, 1994; Dec. 3, 2001; Jan. 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014; Nov. 10, 2014

 

Amended:  June 9, 1986; October 17, 1994; Nov. 10, 2014

 

 

 

 

502.3 Alcohol/Drug

The buildings and property of the Mount Pleasant Community School District will be alcohol and drug free.  Students shall not be in possession of, or under the influence of alcohol/drugs while in school or on school property or while attending a school activity.  The offenses are cumulative during the period they are enrolled in the Mount Pleasant Community School District in grades kindergarten through 8th grade, cumulative during the period they are enrolled in grades six through twelve.  Violation of this policy will result in the following disciplinary actions:

 

            1st offense:     

·              Contact the parents of the student(s)

·               Remove the student(s) from the premises

·               Notify the police and/or proper authorities

·               A  five (5) day out of school suspension will be administered

·              The student(s) will be required to attend a DISTRICT recognized 

              alcohol/drug education program

 

                        2nd offense:

·         Contact the parents of the student(s)

·         Remove the student(s) from the premises

·         Notify the police and/or proper authorities

·         A ten (10) day out of school suspension will be administered

·         The student(s) will be required to attend a DISTRICT recognized 

        alcohol/drug education program

 

                        3rd offense:

·         Contact the parents of the student(s)

·         Remove the student(s) from the premises

·         Notify the police and/or proper authorities

·         Expulsion

·         The student(s) will be required to attend a DISTRICT recognized

         alcohol/drug education program

 

            In the event that a student(s) sells, and/or deals in, or delivers alcohol/drugs on school property, in school or otherwise, or when attending or participating at school events.  Violation of this policy will result in:

 

                        1st offense:

·         Notify the police and/or proper authorities

·         Contact the parents of the student(s)

·         Remove the student(s) from the premises

·         A ten (10) day out of school suspension

·      The student will be required to attend a DISTRICT recognized alcohol/drug education program and the student will be required to serve a 10 hour school district service project

 

                        2nd offense:

·         Contact the parents of the student(s)

·         Remove the student(s) from the premises

·         Notification to the police and/or proper authorities

·         Expulsion

·         The student(s) will be required to attend a DISTRICT recognized alcohol/drug education program prior to re-enrolling

 

A student who takes medicine prescribed by a physician is required to advise the principal, so that the taking of medication by prescription will not be misunderstood.  A student may be subject to a breath analyzer test at any level of disciplinary action.  

Date of Adoption:  May 14, 1990  

Reviewed:  March 9, 1992; September 20, 1993; May 13, 1996; December 3, 2001; March 8, 2004; January 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:  March 9, 1992; September 20, 1993; June 10, 1996; April 12, 2004

 

502.4 Weapons on School Property
School district facilities are not an appropriate place for weapons of any kind. Weapons are defined to include, but not limited to: firearms of any type, including hunting rifles and look-alikes, knives, chains, clubs, brass knuckles, explosives, incendiary devices, chemical control agents, mace, etc. Definition of firearms means (a) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (b) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (c) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (d) any destructive device. Weapons and look-a-likes shall be taken from students and others who bring them onto the school district property or onto property within the jurisdiction of the school district or from students who are within the control of the school district.

The Board believes weapons in school district facilities cause material and substantial disruption to the school environment or present a threat to the health and safety of students, employees and visitors on the school district premises or property within the jurisdiction of the school district.

Parents of students found to possess weapons on school property shall be notified of the incident. Confiscation of weapons shall be reported to a law enforcement agency, and the student will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension or expulsion. School staff will cooperate, aid and assist law enforcement agents with their investigation concerning weapons on school property.

Weapons under the control of law enforcement employees shall be exempt from this policy. The principal may allow authorized persons to display weapons for educational purposes. Such a display shall also be exempt from this policy.

A student found to possess firearms on school property may be expelled for not less than one calendar year from date of incident.

Legal Reference: McClain v. Lafayette County Bd. of Education, 673 F. 2d 106 (5th Cir. 1982).

Iowa Code 279.8; 724 (1993). Educate America Act, P.L. 103-227

Date of Adoption: September 19, 1994

Reviewed: June 10, 1996; December 3, 2001; January 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended: July 15, 1996

 

502.5 Student Lockers
Student lockers are the property of the school district. Students shall use the lockers
assigned to them by the school district for storing their school materials and personal belongings
necessary for attendance at school. It shall be the responsibility of students to keep their assigned
lockers clean and undamaged.

To ensure students are properly maintaining their assigned lockers, the school
administration of the building may periodically inspect all or a random selection of lockers.
Inspection shall either occur in the presence of the students whose lockers are being
inspected or the inspection shall be conducted in the presence of al least one other person.

Legal Reference: Iowa Code Section 279.8; 280.14; 280.14; 808A (1995)

Date of Adoption: July 14, 1997

Reviewed: Dec. 3, 2001; Jan. 9, 2006; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

502.6 Search and Seizure
School district property is held in public trust by the board. School district authorities may, without a search warrant, search students or protected student areas based on a reasonable and articulable suspicion that a school district policy, rule, regulation or law has been violated. The search is in a manner reasonable in scope to maintain order and discipline in the schools, promote the educational environment, and protect the safety and welfare of students, employees and visitors to the school district facilities. The furnishing of a locker, desk or other facility or space owned by the school and provided as a courtesy to a student, even if the student provides the lock for it, will not create a protected student area and will not give rise to an expectation of privacy with respect to the locker, desk, or other facility.

School authorities may seize any illegal, unauthorized or contraband materials discovered in the search.  Items of contraband may include, but are not limited to, nonprescription controlled substances, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, apparatus used for controlled substances, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, weapons, explosives, poisons and stolen property. Such items are not to be possessed by a student while they are on school district property or on property within the jurisdiction of the school district; while on school owned and/or operated school or chartered vehicles; while attending or engaged in school activities; and while away from school grounds if misconduct will directly affect the good order, efficient management and welfare of the school district. Possession of such items will be grounds for disciplinary action including suspension or expulsion and may be reported to local law enforcement officials. The board believes that illegal, unauthorized or contraband materials may cause material and substantial disruption to the school environment or presents a threat to the health and safety of students, employees, or visitors on the school district premises or property within the jurisdiction of the school district.

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

Legal Reference: U.S. Const. amend. IV. New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985). Cason v. Cook, 810 F.2d 188 (8th Cir. 1987), cert. den., 482 U.S. 930 (1987). Iowa Code ch. 808A (2003). 281 I.A.C. 12.3(8).

Date of Adoption: December 13, 2004

Reviewed: January 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

 
RP502.6 Search and Seizure
I. Searches, in general.
A. Reasonable and Articulable Suspicion: A search of a student will be justified when there are
reasonable grounds for the suspicion that the search will turn up evidence that the student has
violated or is violating the law or school district policy, rules, or regulations affecting school order.
Reasonable suspicion may be formed by considering factors such as the following:

(1) eyewitness observations by employees;
(2) information received from reliable sources;
(3) suspicious behavior by the student; or,
(4) the student's past history and school record although this factor alone is not sufficient to
provide the basis for reasonable suspicion.

B. Reasonable Scope: A search will be permissible in its scope or intrusiveness when the measures
adopted are reasonably related to the objectives of the search. Reasonableness of scope or
intrusiveness may be determined based on factors such as the following:

(1) the age of the student;
(2) the sex of the student;
(3) the nature of the infraction; and
(4) the emergency requiring the search without delay.

II. Types of Searches

A. Personal Searches

1. A student's person and/or personal effects (e.g., purse, backpack, etc.) may be searched when
a school official has reasonable suspicion to believe the student is in possession of illegal or
contraband items or has violated school district policies, rules, regulations or the law affecting
school order.

2. Personally intrusive searches will require more compelling circumstances to be considered
reasonable.

(a) Pat-Down Search: If a pat-down search or a search of a student's garments (such as
handbags, bookbags, etc.) is conducted, it will be conducted in private by a school
official of the same sex as the student and with another adult witness of the same sex
present, when feasible.

(b) A more intrusive search, short of a strip search, of the student's person, (such as jackets, socks, pockets, etc.,) is permissible in emergency situations when the health and safety of students, employees, or visitors are threatened. Such a search may only be conducted in private by a school official of the same sex as the student, with an adult of the same sex present unless the health or safety of students will be endangered by the delay which may be
caused by following these procedures.

B. Locker and Desk Inspections

Although school lockers and desks are temporarily assigned to individual students, they remain the
property of the school district at all times. The school district has a reasonable and valid interest in
insuring the lockers and desks are properly maintained. For this reason, lockers and desks are
subject to unannounced inspections and students have no legitimate expectations of privacy in the
locker or desk. Periodic inspections of all or a random selection of lockers or desks may be
conducted by school officials in the presence of the student or another individual. Any contraband
discovered during such searches will be confiscated by school officials and may be turned over to law
enforcement officials.

The contents of a student's locker or desk (coat, backpack, purse, etc.) may be searched when a
school official has reasonable and articulable suspicion that the contents contains illegal or
contraband items or evidence of a violation of law or school policy or rule. Such searches should be
conducted in the presence of another adult witness when feasible.

C. Automobile Searches

Students are permitted to park on school premises as a matter of privilege, not of right. The school
retains authority to conduct routine patrols of the student parking lots. The interior of a student's
automobile on the school premises may be searched if the school official has reasonable and
articulable suspicion to believe that illegal, unauthorized or contraband items are contained inside.

Date of Adoption: December 13, 2004

Reviewed: January 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended: