All student conduct shall be based on respect and consideration for the rights of others. Students are expected to behave themselves at all times in a responsible manner that will contribute to the best interest of the school system. Such conduct includes behaving themselves in such a way so as to facilitate a learning environment for themselves and other students, respecting each other and school district employees, obeying student behavior policies adopted by the local board of education, and obeying student behavior rules established by individual schools.
Behavior Support Process: A student support process for identifying and addressing the behavioral needs of students through providing integrated resources that promote behavioral change.
Bullying: (1) Any willful attempt or threat to inflict injury on another when accompanied by an apparent present ability to do so; or (2) Any intentional display of force such as would give the victim reason to fear or expect immediate bodily harm.
Chronic Disciplinary Problem Student: A student who exhibits a pattern of behavior characteristics which interfere with the learning process of students around him or her and which are likely to recur.
Disciplinary Hearing Officer: A person appointed by the Superintendent to hear discipline cases of a serious nature and determine guilt or innocence. If guilt is determined, then he/she is responsible for assigning consequences for the student’s actions.
Disciplinary Tribunal: A group of three administrators from sites other than the school where the charged student attends who hear discipline cases of a serious nature and determine guilt or innocence. If guilt is determined, then they are responsible for assigning consequences for the student’s actions.
Disciplinary Order: Any public or private school or school system order that imposes short-term suspension, long-term suspension, or expulsion upon a student in such school or system.
Expulsion: Dismissal of a student from a public school beyond the current school semester.
Long-Term Suspension: the dismissal of a student from a public school for more than ten days, but not beyond the current school semester.
Placement Review Committee: Each school will have one or more Placement Review Committees, composed of three members, to determine the placement of a student when a teacher withholds his or her consent to the return of a student to the teacher’s class. For each committee, the faculty shall choose two teachers to serve as members and one teacher to serve as an alternate member, and the principal shall choose one member of the professional staff of the school to serve as a member. The teacher withholding consent to readmit the student may not serve on the committee.
- Intentionally making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the person of another; or
- Intentionally making physical contact, which causes physical harm to another unless such physical contacts or physical harms were in defense of himself or herself, as provided in Georgia Code Section 16-3-21.
Progressive Discipline Process: A process whereby the educator determines appropriate consequences assigned to students who violate codes of conduct based on severity of misbehavior, student’s disciplinary history, and other relevant factors.
School Bus Stop: The area within the view of the bus driver as he/she approaches or departs from a pick-up/drop-off point.
Suspension: The short-term dismissal of a student from a public school for not more than ten days
The Superintendent shall, with the advice of a committee of parents,teachers, students and administrators, develop or cause to be developed, in a student conduct code, rules and regulations that implement and are consistent with this policy. (See Procedure JCDA-R) Periodic reviews of the policy and conduct code will be conducted, as necessary, with input from a committee of similar makeup.
Parents’ involvement is crucial whenever a student’s behavior is such that teachers or administrators attempt to involve them in conferences to work together to improve the student’s conduct at school. Parents are expected to accompany their student whenever the student is returning to school following an out-of-school suspension. They are also expected to attend any Student Support Team meetings if a behavior plan is to be devised for their student. Failure to do so may result in charges being filed in juvenile court to require their presence.
Distribution of Code of Conduct:
The Superintendent shall initiate procedures providing for the distribution of the code to students upon enrollment, to have the code signed and returned to school by parents, and to make the code available in each classroom at school. All employees will be properly trained in the application of the provisions. Students have the responsibility to know and respect the rules and regulations of the student conduct code. Students have the further responsibility to behave in a manner appropriate to good citizenship everywhere.
Progressive Discipline Process:
The system shall establish a progressive discipline process for the principal, the principal’s designee, or a tribunal to use when violations of the student conduct code have occurred. For each offense, a range of consequences will be defined, and any age-appropriate limitations will be specified. The specific consequences will take into consideration, but not be limited to, the following:
- Student discipline history
- Seriousness of the offense, and
- Other relevant factors.
Teachers who wish to refer a violation to the administration must do so within one school day of the violation. The referral form shall be filed with the principal or principal’s designee, and shall describe the behavior. The principal or principal’s designee shall send to the student’s parents or guardians a copy of the referral form and information regarding how the principal or principal’s designee may be contacted.
Teacher Authority over Classroom:
A teacher shall have the authority, consistent with board policy, to manage his or her classroom, discipline students, and refer a student to the principal or his designee to maintain discipline in the classroom. This authority shall be fully supported by the superintendent and the building principals, and this policy will be disseminated to faculty, staff and parents. Any teacher who has knowledge that a student has exhibited behavior which violates the student code of conduct and repeatedly or substantially interferes with the teacher’s ability to communicate effectively with the students in his/her class or with the ability of such student’s classmates to learn shall file a report of such behavior with the principal or his/her designee. The principal and teacher shall thereafter follow the procedures set forth in Georgia law, specifically O.C.G.A., section 20-2-737-738
Behavior Support Process and Chronic Disciplinary Problem Students:
The Morgan County Board of Education provides a variety of resources which are available at every school within the district to help address student behavioral problems. The school discipline process will include appropriate consideration of support processes to help students resolve such problems. In addition to chronic disciplinary problem student plans, these resources include student support teams, school counselors, Teen Institute, Peer Mediation and other programs.
For chronic disciplinary problem students, the principal or the principal’s designee shall follow the procedure outlined in O.C.G.A. 20-2-764 to 20-2-769. The behavior support process may be a part of those procedures.
For any student who is a chronic discipline problem, or when the behavior indicates a need for extensive intervention, the principal, or the principal’s designee, may organize a student support team and invite the parent(s) or guardian, teachers of the student, resource personnel, and anyone else who can offer assistance to participate. The student support team will investigate all available resources and devise a behavior plan in conjunction with the teachers, other resource personnel, student and his or her parents, if they are present.
Authority to Refuse Admission
A principal may refuse to admit a student transferring from another school or school system who is under a disciplinary order applied by the former school or school system until any assigned consequences are completed. A student who has been suspended from another system as a result of committing an act of violence resulting in injury to a teacher shall not be admitted to the Morgan County School System during the term of the suspension.
Authority to Establish School Rules
The Morgan County Board of Education grants the authority to each school to establish school rules to clarify or extend the rules in the system code of conduct. Each school’s rules must be published in the school handbook or otherwise distributed as outlined in this policy pertaining to the system code of conduct. Those rules will be approved by the board of education as a part of approval of student handbooks annually before the handbooks go to press.
The policies and procedures implemented in accordance with this rule must be in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations, including but not limited to:
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Amendments
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
- Federal Regulation 7 CFR 210.9(b)(7).
Unsafe School Designation
Major offenses by students including, but not limited to, drug and weapon offenses can lead to schools being named as an Unsafe School according to the provisions of State Board of Education Rule 160-4-8-.16 Unsafe School Choice Option.