FILE:  JD

Cf:  BD, IDDF, IHAD

Cf:  JBE, JCD, JDD, JDE

 

DISCIPLINE

 

 

It is the purpose of the Richland Parish School Board to operate the schools in a manner that will provide an orderly process of education and that will provide for the welfare and safety of all students who attend these schools.  The school's primary goal is to educate, not discipline; however, when the behavior of the individual student comes in conflict with rights of others, corrective actions may be necessary both for the benefit of that individual and the school as a whole.

 

Every teacher and other school employees in the public school system shall endeavor to hold each student to a strict accountability for any disorderly conduct in school, or on the playgrounds of the school, on any school bus, on the street or while going to or returning from school, during intermission or recess, or at any school sponsored activity or function. To assist the teacher, the Board shall establish regulations for the use of disciplinary measures within the schools and continually monitor and appraise their usefulness.  Discipline shall be administered uniformly, consistently, and in a nondiscriminatory manner.

 

Principals shall have both the authority and the duty to take disciplinary action whenever the behavior of any student(s) materially interferes with or substantially disrupts the maintenance of a proper atmosphere for learning within the classroom or other parts of the school.  However, no student shall be disciplined in any manner by the School Board or school administrator, teacher, or other school employee for the use of force upon another person when it can be reasonably concluded that the use of such force more probably than not was committed solely for the purpose of preventing a forcible offense against the student or a forcible offense provided that the force used must be reasonable and apparently necessary to prevent such offense.  A student who is the aggressor or who brings on a difficulty cannot claim the right stated above to defend himself/herself.

 

It is the expectation that each teacher may take disciplinary action, pursuant to law and Board policy, to correct a student who engages in bullying, who disrupts normal classroom activities, who is disrespectful to a teacher, who willfully disobeys a teacher, who uses abusive or foul language directed at a teacher or another pupil, who violates school rules, or who interferes with an orderly education process.  Refusal by a teacher to use corrective measures and sound management techniques breaches the accountability of the teacher to provide an environment conducive to learning for all students.  The disciplinary action taken by the teacher shall be in accordance with such regulations and procedures established by the Board.

 

Disciplinary actions taken by the teacher may include but are not limited to the following:

 

  1. Oral or written reprimands.

  2. Referral to the guidance counselor, if available, for a counseling session which shall include but shall not be limited to conflict resolution, social responsibility, family responsibility, peer mediation, and stress management.

  3. Written notification to parents of disruptive or unacceptable behavior, a copy of which shall be provided to the principal.  Parent conference is recommended if possible.

  4. Other disciplinary measures approved by the principal and faculty of the school and in compliance with Richland Parish School Board policy.

 

Any disciplinary action taken by the teacher and/or administrator shall be in accordance with such regulations and procedures established by the Board.

 

STUDENT REMOVAL FROM CLASSROOM

 

A student may be immediately removed from a classroom by the teacher and placed in the custody of the principal or designee if the  student’s behavior prevents the orderly instruction of other pupils, poses an immediate threat to the safety of students or the teacher, when a student exhibits disrespectful or threatening behavior toward a teacher such as using foul or abusive language or gestures directed at or threatening a student or teacher, when a pupil violates the school’s code of conduct, or when a student exhibits other disruptive, dangerous, or unruly behavior, including inappropriate physical contact, inappropriate verbal conduct, sexual or other harassment, throwing objects, inciting other students to misbehave, or destroying property.  The student should not be kept out of school past the suspension period imposed by the principal.

 

A student removed from the classroom shall be assigned school work missed and shall receive either partial or full credit for such work, if it is completed satisfactorily and timely as determined by the principal or his/her designee upon the recommendation of the student’s teacher.

 

Whenever a teacher is struck by a student, the student, in addition to any other discipline given, shall be permanently removed from the teacher's classroom, unless the teacher objects, or unless the principal, with the concurrence of the building level committee, finds the striking incident to be entirely inadvertent.

 

Upon the student being removed from class and sent to the principal's office, the principal or designee shall conduct a counseling session with the student to discuss the particular misconduct.  This counseling session shall serve the purpose of advising the student of the particular misconduct of which he/she is accused, giving the student an opportunity to explain his/her version of the incident in question and establishing a course of action consistent with School Board policy to identify and correct the behavior for which the person is being disciplined.

 

Any student removed from class in kindergarten through grade 6 shall not be permitted to return to class for at least thirty (30) minutes unless agreed to by the teacher.  A student removed from class in grades 7 through 12 shall not be permitted to return to class during the same class period, unless agreed to by the teacher initiating the disciplinary action.  Once removed, the student shall not be readmitted to the classroom until the principal has implemented one of the following disciplinary measures:

 

  1. In-school suspension

  2. Detention

  3. Suspension

  4. Initiation of expulsion hearings

  5. Assignment to an alternative school

  6. Requiring the completion of all assigned school and homework which would have been assigned and completed by the student during the period of suspension.

  7. Any other disciplinary measure authorized by the principal with the concurrence of the teacher or building level committee.

 

Parental Notification

 

The principal or his/her designee shall provide oral or written notification to the parent or legal guardian of any student removed from the classroom.  Such notification shall include a description of any disciplinary action taken.

 

When a student has been removed from a classroom, the teacher may require the parent, tutor, or legal guardian of the student to have a conference with the teacher in the presence of the principal or his or her designee before the student is readmitted.  Upon the student’s third removal from the same classroom, the teacher and principal shall discuss the pupil's disruptive behavior and contemplated disciplinary measures to be taken before the principal implements such measures.  If appropriate, a referral of the matter may be made to the building level committee, which shall consist of at least three (3) teachers, two (2) of whom are elected each year by their peers. In addition, a conference between the teacher or other appropriate school employee and the student’s parent, tutor, or legal guardian shall be required prior to the student being readmitted to that teacher’s classroom.  Notice of this conference shall be made by telephone at the telephone number shown on the pupil's registration card or by letter to the address shown on the pupil's registration card.  If the disruptive behavior persists, the teacher may request that the principal transfer the student into another setting.

 

SPECIFIC INFRACTIONS AND CONSEQUENCES

 

In an effort to bring uniformity to the administration of discipline in all Richland Parish schools, consequences for most common infractions by students are listed.

 

The discipline violations which shall not, on first offense, result in suspension or expulsion:

 

  1. Failure to appear at school (playing hooky)

  2. Cutting class

  3. Tardiness to class

 

The above stated discipline violations may result in a conference with the principal and/or the principal's designee, along with notification to his/her parents or parent conference.

 

REPORTS TO PRINCIPAL

 

Any teacher or other school employee may report to the principal any student who acts in a disorderly manner or is in violation of school rules, or any misconduct or violation of school rules by a student who may or may not be known to the teacher or employee.  Incidents of alleged discipline violations shall be reported on the School Behavior Report form/School Bus Behavior Report form provided by the Louisiana Department of Education.  The forms shall be submitted in accordance with procedures outlined by the School District, the Superintendent, and school system personnel.  The principal shall review and act upon such information submitted, to determine if suspension or other disciplinary action is necessary.

 

Should the principal fail to act on any report of misconduct or school violation, he/she shall explain within ten (10) days the reasons for doing so to the Superintendent or his/her designee and to the teacher or school employee, student, parent, or legal guardian reporting the violation.

 

A school principal may include, but not be limited to, such measures as detention, in-school suspension, alternative site suspension school, out-of-­school suspension from school, or suspension from riding on any  school bus in disciplining any pupil who:

 

  1. is guilty of willful disobedience.

  2. treats with intentional disrespect a teacher, principal, Superintendent, member, or employee of the Richland Parish School Board.

  3. makes against any one of them an unfounded charge.

  4. uses unchaste or profane language.

  5. is guilty of immoral or vicious practices, or of conduct or habits injurious to his/her associates.

  6. uses tobacco, tobacco products, or who possesses or uses alcoholic beverages or any controlled dangerous substance governed by the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law, in any form, in school buildings, on school grounds, or on school buses owned by, contracted to, or jointly owned by Richland Parish School Board.

  7. disturbs the school and habitually violates any rule.

  8. cuts, defaces, or injures any part of public school buildings, any property belonging to the buildings, or any school buses owned by, contracted to, or jointly owned by Richland Parish School Board.

  9. writes any profane or obscene language or draws obscene pictures in or on any school material or on any public school premises, or on any fence, pole, sidewalk, or building on the way to or from school, or on any school bus, including those owned by, contracted to, or jointly owned by Richland Parish School Board.

  10. throws missiles liable to injure other persons on the school grounds or while on any school bus, including those owned by, contracted to, or jointly owned by Richland Parish School Board.

  11. instigates or participates in fights while under school supervision; however, a student reasonably concluded to be acting in self-defense may not be disciplined.

  12. violates traffic and safety regulations.

  13. leaves his/her classroom during class hours or detention without permission.

  14. leaves the school premises without permission.

  15. is habitually tardy or absent.

  16. violates school policies on grooming and dressing.

  17. steals from classmates, teachers, and any school personnel.

  18. attends a school function when intoxicated.

  19. is convicted of a violation of any city, parish, or state ordinance or statute.

  20. uses or operates any electronic telecommunication device including any facsimile system, radio paging service, mobile telephone service, intercom, or electromechanical paging system while under school jurisdiction without approval of the principal or the principal's designee.

  21. carrying or possessing a knife with a blade less than two (2) inches in length -- may be suspended by the school principal, but, in appropriate cases, at a minimum, shall be placed in in-school suspension.

  22. commits any other serious offense.

 

RECUSAL OF ADMINISTRATOR IN DISCIPLINE MATTERS

 

Any school administrator or administrator's designee who is required to make a recommendation, decide an issue, or take action in a matter involving the discipline of a student shall recuse himself/herself whenever a member of the immediate family of the administrator or administrator's designee is involved in any manner in the discipline matter.  In case of recusal, the action to be taken shall be done so by the Superintendent or an impartial designee of the Superintendent.

 

Immediate family means the individual's children, brothers, sisters, parents, and spouse and the children, brothers, sisters, and parents of the spouse.

 

STUDENT NOTIFICATION OF DISCIPLINE

 

It is the philosophy of the Richland Parish School Board to implement a discipline policy relevant to detention, in-school suspension, alternative site suspension, out of school suspension, and expulsion that matches the consequences to the infraction.  Further, for the benefit of educating the child, preventing him/her from missing a great number of days, and teaching him/her to modify disruptive behavior, the Board seeks to provide an alternative to out-of-school suspension, unless the student's actions warrant full suspension or expulsion.

 

Prior to any detention, in-school suspension, suspension, or recommendation of expulsion from school, the school principal or the principal's designee shall advise the student of the particular misconduct of which he/she is accused and give him/her an opportunity to explain his/her version of the incident.

 

DETENTION

 

Richland Parish shall implement a detention program at each high school and employ a teacher to supervise students assigned to detention.  As an alternative to suspension, principals may assign students to detention.  Work designed to encourage acceptable behavior will be assigned.  Failure to attend assigned detention shall result in a suspension.

 

PARENT CONFERENCE

 

In any case where a teacher, principal, or other school employee is authorized to require the parent, tutor, or legal guardian of a student to attend a conference or meeting regarding the student’s behavior, and after notice, the parent, tutor, or legal guardian willfully refuses to attend, the principal, or the principal’s designee, shall, within five (5) days, file a complaint, in accordance with statutory provisions, with a court exercising juvenile jurisdiction.  Notice of the conference, specifying the time and date of the conference, shall be given by contacting the parent, tutor, or legal guardian by telephone at the telephone number shown on the student’s registration card or by sending a certified letter to the address shown on the student’s registration card.

 

If the parent or legal guardian refuses to respond, the principal may determine whether readmitting the student is in the best interest of the student.  On subsequent occurrences within the same year, the pupil shall not be readmitted unless the parent, tutor, legal guardian, court or other appointed representative responds.  A student whose presence poses a continued danger or a continual threat of disruption to the academic process shall be immediately removed from the school premises without the benefit of the procedure described above; however, the necessary procedure shall follow as soon as is practicable.

 

DELINQUENT STUDENTS

 

Students who regularly disrupt the normal school environment shall be considered as delinquent, and may be reported by appropriate school personnel to the juvenile court.  Any student that exhibits disruptive behavior, an incorrigible attitude, or any other discipline problems in general may be recommended by the principal for expulsion, assignment to an appropriate alternative educational placement, or transfer to adult education if the student is:

 

  1. Seventeen (17) years of age or older with less than five (5) units of credit toward graduation;

  2. Eighteen (18) years of age or older with less than ten (10) units of credit toward graduation; or

  3. Nineteen (19) years of age or older with less than fifteen (15) units of credit toward graduation.

 

In each case of expulsion from school, notice of the recommendation for expulsion shall be by certified letter to the parent, tutor, or legal guardian of the pupil to notify them of the expulsion and of the appeal procedures.

 

For detailed procedures on suspension and expulsion, see policy JDD, Suspension and policy JDE, Expulsion.

 

DISCIPLINE OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

 

Discipline of students with disabilities shall be in accordance with applicable state or federal law and regulations.

 

EMPLOYEE SAFETY

 

It is the belief of the Richland Parish School Board that its policy will provide an environment conducive to learning for its students and safe for its teachers and all school employees.  Any teacher or representative of a teacher who believes that an imminent danger to such teacher exists may request an investigation of the situation and resolution of the problem by the principal.  If the teacher remains unsatisfied with the response to his or her request, he or she may ask that the Superintendent investigate the situation.  The Superintendent shall notify the Board and shall undertake to resolve the situation within six (6) months.

 

If the teacher still believes that imminent danger exists, he or she shall make a request in writing to the Louisiana Superintendent of Education and provide details for his or her request.  The Superintendent shall investigate to determine if, in actuality, the school setting is not safe for teachers and students and shall take actions commensurate with his/her findings.

 

DEFINITIONS

 

Suspension shall mean that student is temporarily prohibited from participating in his/her usual placement within school.  This usually involves temporary removal from school.

 

In-school suspension shall mean (1) student is removed from his/her usual classroom placement to an alternative educational placement for a minimum of one complete school day, and (2) no interruption of services occurs.  (An alternative educational placement may be located on or off the school site, provided that the student continues to receive instructional services and remains under the supervision of school personnel or their designees.)

 

Detention shall mean activities, assignments, or work held before the normal school day, after the normal school day, or on weekends.  Failure or refusal by a student to participate in assigned detention shall subject the student to immediate suspension.  Assignments, activities, or work which may be assigned during detention include, but are not limited to, counseling, homework assignments, behavior modification program, or other activities aimed at improving the self-esteem of the student.

 

Expulsion shall mean the removal of a student from school for at least one school semester.

 

In-school expulsion shall mean (1) Student is temporarily removed from his/her usual classroom placement to an alternative educational placement for a period of time specified by the Office of Child Welfare and Attendance, and (2) no interruption of instructional services occurs.  (An alternative educational placement may be located on or off the school site, provided that the student continues to receive instructional services and remains under the supervision of school personnel of their designees.)

 

School Building Level Committee is a team of three (3) or more teachers or other school personnel who shall make recommendations regarding the disciplinary action to be taken upon request of the principal and/or teacher after the third infraction by a student.  Each year two (2) new members from the faculty shall be elected by their peers.

 

Weapon, in accordance with federal statutes, is defined as a firearm, or any instrument which is designed to expel a projectile, or any destructive device, which, in turn, means any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas, bomb, grenade, rocket, missile, mine, or any similar device.

 

Revised:  September, 1997 Revised:  July 13, 2004
Revised:  October 5, 1999 Revised:  November 10, 2009
Revised:  October 14, 2003 Revised:  January 8, 2013

 

 

Ref:    42 USC 12132 et seq. (Discrimination in Public Places)

42 USC 12112 et seq. (Equal Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities)

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§17:223, 17:224, 17:233, 17:239, 17:252, 17:416, 17:416.1, 17:416.13

Regulations for Implementation of the Exceptional Children's Act, Bulletin 1706, Louisiana Department of Education

Board minutes, 11-7-95, 10-5-99, 10-14-03, 7-13-04, 11-10-09, 1-8-13

 

Richland Parish School Board