Student Code of Conduct

STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT CONTENTS

Introduction
Philosophy
Due Process
Rights and Responsibilities
Education
Free Speech and Expression
Safe School Environment
Personal Property
Individual Fair Treatment and Respect
Dress and Grooming Habits
Privacy
Facilities, Faculty, and Curriculum Appropriate to Needs
Extra-Curricular Activities
Reinforcement of Positive Behavior
Consequences of Inappropriate Behavior
Suspension and Expulsion
Return of Confiscated Personal Property
Assistance in Interpreting School Rules
Time and Geographic Application of Student Conduct Rules
Procedures for Suspension
Procedures for Expulsion
Students with Disabilities

INTRODUCTION

The following information was compiled by a broad-based committee of students, parents, and school personnel representing the high school, the junior high schools, and the elementary schools. It was also approved by the Superintendent and the Board of Education.

The responsibility for development and maintenance of self-discipline falls to the combined efforts of students, parents, teachers, administrators, and to our community, which establishes the value system we accept. When self-discipline fails, however, regulations for management of school behavior must be outlined by those responsible for the operation of the schools.

The Board of Education of the MSD of Wayne Township has the legal responsibility for the schools in which students are enrolled. The Board, in turn, has set policies and has appointed administrative officers to carry them out. Administrators, teachers, and other school personnel have the duty as well as the obligation to protect the student and the educational environment in which the student exercises his or her right to an education. Authority for this Board responsibility comes from the Indiana Constitution and the Indiana General Assembly and is set out in the policies of the MSD of Wayne Township.

The Board of Education and the Superintendent have established written policies, rules and regulations of general application governing student conduct in all schools. Subject to legal limitations, each principal may take any action concerning his or her school activities within his or her jurisdiction which is reasonably necessary to carry out or prevent interference with an educational function or school purposes. Such action may include establishing written rules and standards to govern student conduct. Similarly, the Superintendent or administrative staff, with the Superintendent’s approval, may take any action with respect to all schools within the Superintendent’s jurisdiction which is reasonably necessary to carry out or prevent interference with an educational function or school purposes. School purposes refers to the reasons for which a school corporation operates, including: to promote knowledge and learning generally, to maintain an orderly and efficient educational system, and to take any action under the authority granted to the Board of Education by the laws of the United States and the State of Indiana.

PHILOSOPHY

Because the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township has a strong interest in seeing that its students achieve their fullest potential as human beings, a Student Code of Conduct has been developed. This code presents opportunities and guidelines for students as they exercise their rights and assume their responsibilities as citizens of the school community. The MSD of Wayne Township, recognizing that education is a cooperative enterprise, maintains that parents are necessary partners in achieving a quality education for all.

Students enrolled in MSD of Wayne Township schools have certain rights and responsibilities as members of the school community. Their rights are given by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, the Constitution and the laws of the state of Indiana, and the policies and regulations adopted by the Board of Education. The right to an education supersedes all other rights and must take precedence when the right to an education is infringed upon. The responsibility to exercise that right rests with a student. This Student Code of Conduct is to be applied in conjunction with any other rules for an individual school or activity. Rules, standards, or actions which interfere with a constitutionally protected fundamental student right shall be applied only in instances where they are necessary to prevent interference with an educational function or school purpose.

All students, parents, and school personnel enjoying these rights in the school community must also accept the corresponding responsibilities. The student has the responsibility not to deny any other student the right to an education. Other responsibilities include knowledge of, obedience to, and compliance with these rules and regulations. The utilization of referral agencies and alternatives may be used to develop intervention strategies. The cost of external alternative programs must be assumed by the students and/or parents.

Administrators and teachers also have rights and responsibilities. The teacher’s right and duty to discipline is based on the duty to protect the student and the educational environment in which the student exercises his or her right to an education. Administrators have the responsibility for maintaining and facilitating the educational program.

DUE PROCESS

Due process is guaranteed to students in certain circumstances by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Indiana law. Due process in education requires that rules and regulations governing student conduct are made available and explained to students and parents; that when a student is believed to have violated a rule or regulation, he or she is confronted with this belief and given the opportunity to respond to the accusation; that when rules or regulations are violated, certain consequences may occur; and that if expulsion from school is a recommended consequence and if the student or his or her parent wishes, a meeting on the expulsion will be offered. Appeals to the Board of Education and to the civil courts may follow.

RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

I. EDUCATION

RIGHTS

  • Eligible students whose parents or guardians reside within the areas served by the MSD of Wayne Township, along with transfer students, have a right to a public education beginning with kindergarten and extending through the twelfth grade. This right extends to all students, including married students, students with a child or children, pregnant students, and students with disabilities regardless of the severity of their disability. Attendance in school is mandatory in Indiana from age seven or from the time of official enrollment until the student graduates or becomes eighteen.
  • No student shall be subjected to corporal punishment, suspended, or expelled from the MSD of Wayne Township without an appropriate level of due process being implemented. However, a student’s immediate removal may be necessary to restore order or to protect persons where the student’s presence in school would constitute an interference with an educational function or school purposes.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • It is a joint responsibility of the student and parent or guardian to see that the student attends school regularly:
    • To be on time to school and each class assignment.
    • To have appropriate supplies, texts, and/or equipment on hand when required for class.
    • To have assignments prepared.
    • To understand and obey rules and regulations.
    • To accept authority of school personnel.
    • To seek help when it is needed.
    • To have the parent or guardian notify the school of the student’s absence.
    • To obtain and complete assignments for all absences.
    • To understand due process and its basic principle, which is to provide justice, not evasion.

Research indicates a positive correlation between attendance and grades. Parents are encouraged to maintain a close contact with the school so that a joint effort might be made to prevent the development of attendance and discipline problems.

II. FREE SPEECH AND EXPRESSION
RIGHTS

  • Students may express publicly or privately, in writing or orally, their opinions, concerns and ideas as long as that expression does not interfere with the rights of others in the school setting, interfere with the school environment, or interfere with an educational function.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • To see that the student’s expression is offered in an appropriate manner at an appropriate time and place so that it does not interfere with an educational function or school purposes; present a hazardous condition; contain vulgarities, libelous or slanderous components as defined by law; or advocate violation of a law or school rule.

III. SAFE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT

RIGHTS

  • Students are entitled to a safe school environment in which to learn.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • To monitor one’s own behavior so that harm to self or to others does not occur.
  • To help forestall, when possible, wrongful acts by other students or individuals.
  • To advise staff members when the safety of individuals or property is threatened.

IV. PERSONAL PROPERTY

RIGHTS

  • Students have the right to have personal belongings secure within the educational setting.
  • Students shall be provided a copy of all the rules regarding searches of lockers and their contents. Lockers and other storage areas remain the property of the MSD of Wayne Township. Where possible, searches shall be conducted in the presence of the student whose assigned locker or storage area is the subject of the search. A student may be searched by the principal or designee when there is reasonable suspicion to believe that the student possesses any illegal item or an item that will cause harm to that student or to any other person.

RESPONSIBLITIES

  • To keep personal property in appropriate places.
  • To keep locker combinations confidential and to use only their assigned locker.
  • To refrain from bringing to school any materials or items that would be disruptive or dangerous.
  • To respect the property rights of all others.
  • To refrain from transporting or keeping illegal and/or dangerous items on school property.

V. INDIVIDUAL FAIR TREATMENT AND RESPECT

RIGHTS

  • Students have a right to expect courtesy, fairness, and respect from school personnel and other students.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • To treat others in the educational setting with courtesy, fairness and respect.

VI. DRESS AND GROOMING HABITS

RIGHTS

  • Students may dress and groom themselves in any manner that is not disruptive to the educational program or dangerous to themselves or others.

RESPONSIBILITES

  • To follow the MSD of Wayne Township’s dress code, dressing and exhibiting grooming habits appropriate for the educational activity.
  • To refrain from grooming in the classroom or where it would constitute an interference with an educational function or school purposes.
  • To wear required safety devices or uniforms that ensures the student’s safety or unrestricted movement.

VII. PRIVACY

RIGHTS

  • Students’ educational records will be protected, and any disclosure will be consistent with legal requirements specified in the state and federal law.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • To keep school personnel promptly informed about changes in addresses, phone numbers, emergency contacts, etc.

VIII. FACILITIES, FACULTY, AND CURRICULUM APPROPRIATE TO NEEDS

RIGHTS

  • Students’ right to a public education assumes that a diversified curriculum will be taught by appropriately licensed teachers in clean, equipped facilities.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • To contact appropriate persons and to use appropriate channels to make needs known.
  • To refrain from destroying or damaging school property.

IX. EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

RIGHTS

  • Students who express an interest in and meet the qualifications for participation in any extra-curricular activity may not be denied participation on the basis of age, sex, race, color, creed, national origin, disability, or ability to pay.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • To be enrolled in school, to become informed about the rules for participation, and to understand that ability may govern participation in certain activities.

REINFORCEMENT OF POSITIVE BEHAVIOR

The MSD of Wayne Township recognizes the importance of follow-up and reinforcement of positive behavior changes. Many informal and formal ways of telling a student that he or she has improved are used in the elementary and secondary schools. Some of them are:

  • Acknowledgement and praise
  • Identification of accomplishments
  • Notes or telephone calls home
  • Reinstatement of privileges
  • Special privileges
  • Special duties
  • Special honors
  • Rewards
  • Positive progress reports
  • Certificates

CONSEQUENCES OF INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR

The Superintendent, principal, administrative personnel, and teachers are authorized to take any action in connection with student behavior reasonably desirable or necessary to help any student, to further school purposes, or to prevent any interference with an educational function, including such actions as:

  • Conference with student and/or parent
  • Isolation by teacher
  • Behavioral modification agreement
  • Assigning additional work
  • Denial of bus privileges
  • Student program adjustment
  • Detention before or after school
  • Temporary removal from class
  • Financial restitution
  • Denial of graduation ceremony
  • Probationary agreement
  • Suspension and expulsion
  • Incidents constituting a violation of criminal or juvenile law will be reported to law enforcement agencies.

Loss of privileges, including, but not limited to, athletic activities, non-credit school activities, and school provided transportation. The loss of school-provided transportation for an extended period of time may be appealed to an assistant superintendent.

Temporary Reassignment: Administrative placement of a student away from regular activities.

It is highly recommended that the parents be contacted in most cases of inappropriate behavior.

SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION

DEFINITIONS

  • Parent means natural or adopting father or mother or a court-appointed guardian, or a parent awarded custody or control. This term includes non-custodial parents unless their parental rights have been terminated by a court order.
  • Student means any person enrolled in the MSD of Wayne Township.
  • The terms Superintendent and principal include their respective designees.
  • Suspension: Any disciplinary action whereby a student is separated from school attendance according to Indiana Code. Due process procedures must be followed.
  • Expulsion: Disciplinary action whereby a student:
    • Is separated from school attendance for a period of more than ten (10) days.
    • Is separated from school attendance for the balance of the current semester or current year unless a student is permitted to complete required examinations in order to receive credit in the current semester of current year. Any expulsion that will remain in effect during the first semester of the following school year must be reviewed by the expulsion examiner before the beginning of the school year.
    • Suffers a penalty which automatically prevents his or her completing within the normal time his or her overall course of study in any school in the school corporation.
  • In Possession: Students are required to inspect their possessions and vehicle for the presence of items that may not be possessed on school property, before coming on school property. Students are “in possession” of an item for purposes of these rules when the item is on their person, in their immediate possession such as in their hand, a pocket, a purse, or a backpack, is in a place under their exclusive control, or the student is aware the item is in a place to which the student has access such as a shared locker or vehicle. More than one student may have “constructive possession” of a single item and be responsible for possession of the item. Possession of an item on a direct route to the main office of the school from the place on school property where an item was first found shall not be a violation of these student conduct rules.

GROUNDS FOR SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION

The following rules define misconduct for which a student may be suspended or expelled from school attendance and denied credit for all activities occurring during the period of suspension or expulsion:

  1. Behavior that injures or presents a risk of injury to the student or another person, or provoking or attempting to provoke or cause another person to fight. Examples: fighting with another person; throwing an object at a person; pushing, hitting, striking, or tripping another person; driving a vehicle in a dangerous manner; handling dangerous materials such as chemicals in chemistry class in a dangerous way; calling a person a derogatory name; or encouraging a person to fight.
  2. Damaging or stealing school property or the property of another person or organization. Examples: taking a student’s textbooks and hiding them from the student responsible for the books; removing property without permission from a locked or unlocked desk, car, or locker.
  3. Disrupting a class or school activity. Examples: distracting other students while a teacher is lecturing; disrupting a student convocation with noise.
  4. Harassing, bullying, threatening, hazing, or intimidating another person. “Harassing” or bullying behavior is unwelcome behavior that interferes with a victim’s ability to learn or derive benefit from a school activity that is directed toward the victim after the victim (or another person on the victim’s behalf) has stated or shown that the behavior is unwelcome. “Hazing” behavior is behavior directed toward a student with that student’s consent that is nevertheless abusive, demeaning, or dangerous. Examples: picking on a student who is distracted or intimidated by the behavior; bullying or pushing another student around; hazing a student as a part of joining a club or group.
  5. Possessing a knife, firearm, bullets, a dangerous device, fireworks, or other item that is or appears to be a dangerous device. “Dangerous device” means an item that is readily capable of causing injury to a person and is not essential in performing a task that must be performed by a student for school purposes. The term includes all weapons, including firearm ammunition, fireworks, a smoke or noise bomb, a handgun, a rifle, a shotgun, a stun gun, chemical mace, pepper gas, a laser pointer or other laser light device, and all personal protection devices such as a tear or CS gas dispenser, including personal protection devices that emit only sound. Example: bringing any weapon on school property or to a school activity such as a ball game or play.
  6. Consuming, possessing, offering, providing, accepting, or being under the influence of alcohol or an alcoholic beverage, an illegal drug, a prescription drug (except as authorized in a prescription by a licensed health care provider), an over-the-counter medication containing a stimulant such as preparations containing caffeine, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine as an ingredient (except as authorized in a prescription by a licensed health care provider), or any substance represented to be or thought by the intended recipient to be an illegal or prescription drug. Examples: bringing any medicine not prescribed for the student possessing the medicine to school; possession of any illegal drug such as marijuana, or a tablet or pill represented to be an illegal or prescription drug.
  7. Consuming, possessing, offering, providing, accepting, or being under the influence of an inhalant, a solvent, or other volatile substance or combination of volatile substances, contrary to safety instructions provided on the product’s labeling, or the direction of school personnel. Example: intentionally inhaling glue or acetone fumes.
  8. Possessing drug-preparation or drug-consumption paraphernalia such as rolling papers or clips, or displaying materials that promote or encourage alcohol or drug use. Example: wearing a t-shirt with a commercial beer logo or a marijuana leaf visible to other students.
  9. Possessing cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, or other tobacco product or a device such as a lighter designed primarily for use in consuming tobacco products. Example: carrying cigarettes, cigar, snuff, chewing tobacco, cigarette papers, or a lighter.
  10. Engaging in consensual sexual behavior such as kissing, fondling, or sexual relations. Example: kissing or fondling another student without objection by the other student.
  11. Wearing clothing, jewelry or a hair style that is dangerous to the student, indecent, vulgar, profane, indicative of gang activity or affiliation, or presents a message that is inconsistent with the educational mission of the school district, or results in disruption of an educational function. Examples: wearing clothing with an alcoholic beverage logo or slogan, or a message that encourages and/or depicts the use of alcohol or illegal drugs; wearing or displaying gang insignia or gang identification items.
  12. Cheating, plagiarizing, submitting the work of another person for academic credit, allowing another student to cheat, or violating a building-level student honor code, or the honor code of an extracurricular activity. Examples: using notes or other memory aides when not permitted by the teacher giving the test or exercise; submitting a theme or assignment found on the Internet as an original work by the student; allowing another student to copy answers during a test; consuming an alcoholic beverage during a weekend while a member of an athletic team.
  13. Creating or distributing information including information distributed via e-mail or through a web site that results in or is likely to result in the disruption of an educational function; advocates a violation of law or a student conduct rule; is sexually explicit or obscene; is libelous, slanderous or defamatory; or invades the privacy of an identified or identifiable person. Web sites maintained on servers other than school district servers are covered by this conduct rule where the content of the communication is in violation of this rule. Example: sharing copies of materials about how to build a “stink bomb.”
  14. Possessing and/or using any personal electronic device such as a cell phone or laptop in a manner that violates school district policy A200, Responsible Use of Technology.
  15. Refusing or failing to follow a directive from a school employee with responsibility for student supervision (including instructional assistants, bus drivers, and bus aides), including a directive to respond truthfully and completely when questioned about a school-related matter. Example: responding with a known lie about another student’s misconduct when questioned by a teacher or administrator.
  16. Violating a building-level student conduct rule, a transportation department student conduct rule, or violating a rule established for a special event. Examples: violation of any rules developed for a building or class; violation of a rule established for an athletic contest or graduation ceremony.
  17. Violating the school district’s policy on responsible use of the Internet, computers, e-mail, or voice mail, facsimile machines, or any other school district communications resource. Examples: signing on to a school computer network as another person or sending harassing or threatening messages to another person in school or outside of school.
  18. Violating Indiana or federal law. Example: bringing a handgun, rifle, shotgun, or firecrackers onto school property.
  19. Not having legal settlement in the school district or attending without out-of-district transfer approval.
  20. Attempting to commit an act which is a violation of these student conduct rules. Example: attempting to punch another student but missing.
  21. Refusing to cooperate in the search of a vehicle, locker, or other place where the search is based upon reasonable suspicion of a teacher or administrator or is conducted pursuant to the consent to search given in the student parking agreement. Example: refusing to unlock a car brought onto school property when directed to unlock the vehicle by an administrator or school security officer.
  22. Aiding, assisting, or conspiring with another person to violate these student conduct rules or state or federal law. Example: guarding the entrance to a restroom while other students smoke in the restroom.
  23. Failing to report the actions or plans for action of another person to a teacher or administrator where those actions or plans, if carried out, could result in harm to a person or persons or damage property. Example: failing to report seeing a student in possession of a handgun on the bus on the way home from school.
  24. Invading the privacy of a person by photographing the person or recording another person’s words or actions without that person’s permission, or displaying a photograph or recording made with permission to persons not authorized by the subject to have access to the recorded image or words. Examples: taking a photograph of another student, or posting a photo or video clip on a web site.

RETURN OF CONFISCATED PERSONAL PROPERTY

Upon completion of all due process procedures relating to the possession of property, personal property taken from a student because of a violation of these rules may be returned to a parent/guardian if the item can be lawfully possessed by an adult, and the item has not been returned to the parent/guardian pursuant to this provision before.

A parent/guardian seeking return of confiscated property may be required to sign a waiver of further appeals of discipline of the student, provide a picture identification such as an Indiana driver’s license or identification card, and provide proof of ownership of the confiscated property.

If the personal property is prescription medication, the parent/guardian will be required to show a prescription from a health care provider to the parent/guardian or student for the medication.

A handgun or weapon of any type will only be released through a law enforcement officer. The law enforcement officer will ask for the same items listed above, and will ensure that the weapon is not illegal per se, illegally modified, or wanted in an investigation; and can be lawfully released to the parent/guardian.

ASSISTANCE IN INTERPRETING SCHOOL RULES

The examples of possible violations provided with each rule are for purposes of illustrating what student conduct would violate each rule. The examples given are not the only possible violation of the rule. Students, parents, or school employees unsure as to whether a particular act would be a ground for suspension or expulsion are encouraged to consult with the building principal for guidance before the student engages in the act.

TIME AND GEOGRAPHIC APPLICATION OF STUDENT CONDUCT RULES

  • The student conduct rules listed herein apply to student conduct:
    • during school activities on or off school property;
    • on school property at any time; or
    • while traveling to or from school or a school activity.

In addition, a student committing an act that violates Indiana or federal law at any time or place may be suspended or expelled if the unlawful act is directed toward a school employee, student, or Board member; arises out of a school relationship; or has caused or can be predicted to cause in-school consequences.

PROCEDURES FOR SUSPENSION

  • A principal may suspend a student for conduct constituting grounds for expulsion or suspension. A suspension shall occur only after the principal has made an investigation and determined that a factual reason for a suspension has occurred and suspension is necessary to help the student or to prevent interference with an educational function or school purposes. However, the student may be suspended by the expulsion examiner until the date of expulsion meeting if the expulsion examiner determines that this suspension is necessary.
  • No suspension may be made without affording the student an opportunity for an informal meeting. At the informal meeting the student is entitled to: (a) a written or oral statement of the alleged offense; (b) and, if the alleged offense is denied, a summary of evidence, and an opportunity to explain his or her conduct. Notice of the charges and the informal meeting shall precede suspension of the student, except where the nature of the misconduct requires immediate removal. In such a situation, the notice and informal meeting shall follow as soon as reasonably possible after the suspension.
  • Following a suspension, the principal shall send a written statement to the student’s parent or guardian describing the student’s conduct, misconduct, or violation of any rule or standard and the reasons for the action taken.
  • The principal shall make a reasonable effort to hold a conference with the parent before or at the time the student returns to school.

PROCEDURES FOR EXPULSION

  • A principal who recommends a student for expulsion shall file a written charge with the Superintendent’s designee. For purposes of making the Superintendent’s determination, the assistant superintendent will act as the Superintendent’s designee.
  • If the Superintendent’s designee decides that there are reasonable grounds for investigation or that an investigation is desirable, he or she shall appoint an expulsion examiner.
  • The expulsion examiner shall send a statement to the student and parent(s) that a meeting on the charges will be scheduled if the parent(s) or student requests.
  • If an expulsion meeting is held, the student may be represented and will be given an opportunity to present his/her side of the story. The meeting shall be closed to the public.
  • The expulsion examiner’s decision shall be mailed by certified mail and first class mail to the student and his/her parent(s).
  • The student or his/her parent(s) may, within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the expulsion examiner’s decision, appeal that decision to the Board of Education. The Board of Education will meet to consider the appeal and its decision will be sent by certified mail to the student and parent(s).
  • The student’s suspension may be continued by the expulsion examiner until his/her decision is rendered if the expulsion examiner determines that the student must be suspended immediately to prevent or substantially reduce the risk of interference with an educational function or school purposes, or a physical injury to the student or others.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES under an IEP

Expulsion of a student with disabilities can be considered a change in placement. If there is a situation that may warrant a recommendation of expulsion for a student with disabilities, then a case conference must be held prior to any consideration of punishment to determine whether there is a relationship between the misconduct and the disability. If there is no causal relationship, the regular due process procedures should be followed. If there is a causal relationship between the misconduct and the disability, the case conference committee should consider whether or not a change of placement is necessary and determine what the placement should be. The student with disabilities should not be suspended pending an expulsion meeting unless the student is a substantial disruption to the school environment or a danger to himself/herself or others. If the student is a substantial disruption or a danger, he or she may be suspended only until the school is able to place the student in an appropriate, more restrictive environment.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES under Section 504

If a student with a Section 504 plan is recommended for expulsion, a parent or school should also consider the relationship between the misconduct and the disability in a Section 504 meeting. This meeting would be held by contacting building administration.

Download printable version of the 2021-22 Information Guide, Code of Conduct and Annual Notices here.