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Administrative Regulation
Descriptor Code: JCDA-R
Student Behavior Code  
Print Policy
 

                                              Rockdale County Public Schools

                                                  Discipline Code of Conduct

The Rockdale County Board of Education (Board) has the authority and reserves the right to develop and implement a behavior code for all students.  Such rules and regulations as are necessary shall be developed and promulgated by the administration of the district's schools.  These regulations shall apply to the student from his/her arrival on the school property until his/her departure from said school property.

The rules and regulations of the Discipline Code of Conduct shall apply to students while on school owned property, including school buses, or property not owned by the school but used by the school with permission of the owner, while at school functions, or while under school supervision.  The rules may also apply to students who are not on school property, at a school function, activity, or event if a student engages in misconduct that could create a direct or potential danger or disruption to the general welfare and discipline of the school.

Reasonable efforts will be made to use a behavior support process to avoid student disciplinary problems.  These efforts will include but not be limited to school counseling, Student Support Team (SST), referral to community agencies, Student Assistance Program (SAP), mentoring, nurturing program, Comprehending, Listening, Understanding, Expressing (CLUE) Program.

Parents/Guardians and students are advised that a student's disciplinary history will be taken into account when disciplinary action is required.

 

Within each school, Assistant Principals, classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, media specialists, or any other adult in a supervisory role over students have the responsibility to maintain order and enforce this Code. The Principal of the school has the ultimate responsibility and authority to oversee the application, interpretation, and enforcement of the Code according to policy and regulations.

 

 

Parent/Guardian Responsibility

School-Sponsored Clubs and Organizations

In accordance with Georgia Code §20-2-751.5, parents/guardians may decline permission for his or her student to participate in a club or organization. The Rockdale County Public Schools has compiled a master list of school-sponsored clubs and organizations for the 2006-2007 school year. Each club/organization is not available at every school.  Therefore, parents/guardians are encouraged to contact their respective schools to review the complete list of clubs/organizations offered at that site.  Additional information relative to costs associated with individual clubs as well as club sponsorship is available at school sites.

Informing Children of Criminal Penalty

In accordance with Georgia Code §20-2-751.5, parents/guardians are encouraged to inform their children on the consequences, including potential criminal penalties, of under-age sexual conduct and crimes for which a minor can be tried as an adult.

Teacher Authority/Responsibility

Teachers have the authority to remove from his or her class a student who repeatedly or substantially interferes with the teacher's ability to communicate effectively with the students in the class or with the ability of the student's classmates to learn.  Local school administrators shall establish at each school at least one Placement Review Committee.  For each committee established, 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.  The Placement Review Committee shall have the authority to:

  1. Return the student to the teacher's class upon determining that such placement is the best alternative or the only available alternative; or

     

  2. Refer the student to the principal or the principal's designee for appropriate action.

Teachers who have knowledge that a student has exhibited behavior that repeatedly or substantially interferes with the teacher's ability to communicate effectively with the students in his or her class or with the ability of such student's classmates to learn, where such behavior is a violation of the student code of conduct, are required to file a report with the principal. Such report shall not exceed one page in length and shall include a description of the behavior.

Behavior Code

The Behavior Code for students enrolled in the Rockdale County Public Schools is based on that part of the philosophy of this Board that each student has a right to expect to be able to learn in an environment free from distractions and duress of any sort.  Students are expected to demonstrate respect for self and others, demonstrate courtesy to others, behave in a responsible manner, attend classes regularly, be prepared for classes, take seriously the course of study, dress appropriately, cooperate with school officials, respect other's property, and avoid violation of the student Code of Conduct. The Code as presented on the following pages is divided into two major portions: Substantive Rules and Recommended Disposition.  The former defines what is and is not acceptable behavior; the latter is designed to address appropriate consequences.

The philosophy of the Rockdale County school system is that all students have the right to learn.  In order for students to be able to accomplish this goal, each student must be in a safe and secure school climate.  The requirements for maintaining an atmosphere that provides students with maximum opportunity for learning are presented in the Student Discipline Code of Conduct.

The purposes of disciplinary action in our schools are to demonstrate to students how they must have ownership of the problem, to help the student prevent the problem from reoccurring, and to keep parents informed of misbehavior.  The administration of discipline will be as fair and consistent as possible.  Discipline will be administered in a progressive manner, when appropriate.  The level of discipline imposed will be based on the severity of the misbehavior.  The welfare of and respect for the individual student, as well as that of other students in the school, are of utmost importance in deciding proper courses of action.

The following discipline procedures are outlined to ensure that all students are aware of the actions that violate school rules and the consequences of such actions.  These rules apply to grades K-12.  It should be pointed out that this list is not all-inclusive.  A student committing an act of misconduct not listed will be subject to the discretionary authority of the administrator.

Parent involvement is necessary for correcting behavioral problems.  Disciplinary actions may include any or all of the consequences addressed in this code.  Any student who receives fifteen (15) or more cumulative days of suspension for disciplinary reasons or who is guilty of violation of Rule 27 of this Discipline Code of Conduct may be recommended to the Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee for possible long-term suspension or expulsion.  Once a student has appeared before a Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee, the principal is authorized to request another hearing at any future time during the student's educational career in the school system.

A student who is suspended from school may not be on any Rockdale County school property during the suspension period without the permission of school authorities.  A violation of this directive could result in a charge of trespass.

This Discipline Code of Conduct applies to all students, K-12, enrolled in the Rockdale County Public Schools.  The Discipline Code of Conduct shall not infringe on any right provided to students with Individualized Education Programs pursuant to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or any other federal and state policies and procedures.  Copies of the Discipline Code of Conduct shall be available in each school and in each classroom.  The content of the Discipline Code of Conduct shall be explained to all students at the time of their enrollment in a manner deemed appropriate by the school administrator. Parents/Guardians and students are provided a form for signatures, acknowledging receipt and review of their individual copy of the Discipline Code of Conduct.

As a school leader and a role model for other students, each student shall pledge the following:

  • I shall conduct myself with propriety, dignity, morality, integrity, honesty, and consistency with the student code of conduct and all policies of the Rockdale County Board of Education;
  • I shall not engage in any activity likely to bring reproach, disgrace, infamy, or public ridicule to myself, my school, or the school system; and,
  • I shall adhere to this pledge at all times including when on campus, at school-related events, and off campus. 

PART  I ~ Substantive Rules

 

Rule 1..... Disruption and Interference With School

Rule 2..... Damage, Destruction, or Theft of School Property

Rule 3..... Damage, Destruction, or Theft of Private Property

Rule 4..... Assault and/or Battery on a School Employee

Rule 5..... Fighting and/or Battery to a Person Not Employed by the School

Rule 6..... Bullying/Teasing

Rule 7..... Weapons and Dangerous Instruments

Rule 8..... Narcotics, Alcoholic Beverages, Stimulant Drugs, Controlled Substances or Medications

Rule 9..... Disregard of Directions or Commands

Rule 10... Unexcused Absences and Tardiness

Rule 11... Dress and Grooming

Rule 12... Parking and Traffic-Related Violations on Campus

Rule 13... Refusal to Accept Disciplinary Action

Rule 14... Use of Profane, Vulgar, or Obscene Words, Gestures, Pornographic/Vulgar Materials or Other Actions Which Disrupt School System Operations

Rule 15... Gambling on School Property or at a School Function

Rule 16... Misbehavior on Bus

Rule 17... Criminal Law Violations

Rule 18... Sexual Misconduct or Inappropriate Display of Affection

Rule 19... Rude and Disrespectful Behavior

Rule 20... Tobacco/Smoking-Related Offenses

Rule 21... Cheating, Plagiarism, or Academic Dishonesty

Rule 22... Altering Records, Misrepresenting Information, Forgery

Rule 23... Misuse of Computer, Network, Internet, or Intranet

Rule 24... Loitering, Trespassing, or Breaking and Entering

Rule 25... Other Misbehavior

Rule 26... Misbehavior While Off School Property

Rule 27... Cumulative Offenses

Applicability of Rules - These rules shall apply to students while on school owned property, including school buses, or property not owned by the school but used by the school with permission of the owner, while at school functions, or while under school supervision.  The rules may also apply to students who are not on school property, at a school function, activity, or event if a student engages in misconduct that could create a direct or potential danger or disruption to the general welfare and discipline of the school.        

Discipline Rule

Recommended Dispositions

     

Rule 1 | Disruption and Interference With School

 

1.1 ~ A student shall not block any entrance, occupy any school building, prevent any class or function from taking place, prevent any student, guest, or employee from using any facilities, or block any normal pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or otherwise deprive others of free access to, or use of, any facility, program, or activity associated with the Rockdale County schools.

 

Suspension permissible 1-10 days.

1.2 ~ A student shall not set fire to any school building or property; or

          1.21 Cause false fire alarm; or

          1.22 Discharge a fire extinguisher in the absence of fire.

 

Suspension permissible*

Suspension permissible 1-10 days

 1.3 ~ A student shall not intentionally make noise, engage in horseplay, or act in any other manner so as to interfere seriously with the teacher's ability to conduct his/her class.

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

 1.4 ~ A student shall not bring toys, games, radios, tape decks, laser pointers or other electronic devices to school.  Electronic devices will be confiscated and may be redeemed by student's parent/guardian in the front office.  The school system accepts no liability for confiscated electronic devices.

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

1.5 ~ A student shall not, in any other manner, by the use of violence, force, noise, coercion, threat, intimidation, fear, passive resistance, false report to authorities (i.e., prank calls) or any other conduct, intentionally cause the disruption of any lawful mission, process, or function of the school, or engage in any such conduct for the purpose of causing the disruption or obstruction of any such lawful mission, process, or function.

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days; may refer to law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction
 

1.6 ~ Unless allowed by an IEP or a 504 Plan, a student shall not carry a cell phone, pager, or similar electronic communication device during the school day on school property.  Such device may be brought to school provided it is stored, immediately upon the student's arrival at school, in the student's assigned locker or a student automobile and turned "off" so no communications may be sent or received during the school day.  The intent is to allow use of such devices before entering the school building and after school hours as a convenience for parents and students.  "School day" shall mean any time during which classes are in session in a school building or during any classroom activity off campus.  Electronic devices will be confiscated and may be redeemed by student's parent/guardian in the front office.  The school system accepts no liability for confiscated electronic devices.

 

Suspension permissible 1-10 days

 

1.7 ~ Unless allowed by an IEP or a 504 Plan, a student shall not use a pager, cell phone, or similar electronic communications device on school property during the school day.

 

Suspension permissible 1-10 days; loss of privilege of possession of device on school property and confiscation of device.

 

1.8 ~ A student shall not urge, encourage, or counsel other students to violate any portion of this Student Discipline Code of Conduct.

 

Suspension permissible 1-10 days

 

1.9 ~ A student shall not cause or participate in a disruption in the school cafeteria (such as throwing food, leaving trays on the table, causing spills of foods, or similar behavior).

 

Suspension permissible 1-10 days

 

1.10 ~ A student shall not inappropriately use an electronic device for purposes such as cheating, harassing, bullying (aka cyberbullying during the school day and/or that which causes a disruption with school), or photographing others or test material.

 

Long-term suspension or expulsion permissible

 

1.11 ~ The taking, disseminating, transferring, or sharing of obscene, pornographic, lewd, or otherwise illegal images or photographs, whether by electronic data transfer or otherwise (commonly called texting, sexting, emailing, etc.) is strictly prohibited and it may constitute a CRIME under state and federal law. Any person taking, disseminating, transferring, or sharing obscene, pornographic, lewd or otherwise illegal images or photographs will be subject to the disciplinary procedures of the school district; and reported to law enforcement which may result in arrest, criminal prosecution, and LIFETIME inclusion on sexual offender registries.

 

Long-term suspension or expulsion permissible

 

1.12 ~ The receipt or possession of obscene, pornographic, or otherwise illegal images or photographs, are strictly prohibited and may constitute a CRIME under state and federal law. Any person receiving or possessing obscene, pornographic, lewd or otherwise illegal images or photographs will be subject to the disciplinary procedures of the school district; and reported to law enforcement which may result in arrest, criminal prosecution, and LIFETIME inclusion on sexual offender registries.

This rule will not be enforced if the possessing or receiving student self reports the receipt or possession to a school official.

 

Long-term suspension or expulsion permissible

 

1.13 ~ School officials have the authority to search confiscated electronic devices if there is reasonable suspicion that electronic devices were used to violate school policies or laws. 

 

Long-term suspension or expulsion permissible

Rule 2 | Damage, Destruction, or Theft of School Property

2.1 ~ A student shall not cause damage to or destroy school property, or attempt to cause damage to or destroy school property, which includes library books, textbooks, reference materials, computer hardware or software, school buildings or facilities including furnishings and contents, school buses or other vehicles operated, leased, or owned by the school system, or any other materials or equipment owned by the school or school system.

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

Substantial damage to property will result in a mandatory recommendation for long-term suspension or expulsion; restitution for damages.

2.2 ~ A student shall not steal school property or attempt to steal school property which includes library books, textbooks, reference materials, computer hardware or software, school buildings or facilities including furnishings and contents, school buses or other vehicles operated, leased, or owned by the school system, or any other materials or equipment owned by the school or school system.

Same disposition as 2.1

2.3 ~ A student shall not possess, use, sell or attempt to sell, or transmit stolen school property.

Same disposition as 2.1

 

 

Rule 3 | Damage, Destruction, or Theft of Private Property

3.1 ~ A student shall not cause or attempt to cause damage to private property either on the school grounds or during a school activity, function, or event off school grounds, or while under school supervision.

 

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

Substantial damage to property will result in a mandatory recommendation for long-term suspension or expulsion; restitution for damages.

 

3.2 ~ A student shall not steal or attempt to steal private property either on the school grounds or during a school activity, function, or event off school grounds, or while under school supervision.

 

Same disposition as 3.1

3.3 ~ A student shall not possess, use, or transmit stolen private property.

Same disposition as 3.1

 

 

Rule 4 | Assault and/or Battery on a School Employee

4.1 ~ A student shall not threaten to cause physical injury or mental anguish to or make a terroristic threat toward a school employee or school resource officer on the school grounds or during a school activity, function, or event off school grounds, or while under school supervision.

 

Automatic suspension - 10 days with mandatory recommendation for long-term suspension or expulsion; may refer to law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction.  School official will develop behavior contract at the mandatory parent conference.

 

4.2 ~ A student shall not cause or attempt to cause physical injury or mental anguish to a school employee or school resource officer on the school grounds or during a school activity, function, or event off school grounds, or while under school supervision.

Same disposition as 4.1.

NOTE:  A student who intentionally commits any act of physical violence resulting in substantial physical injury to a school employee shall be permanently expelled from all public school programs.  The student may be allowed by the tribunal to attend alternative education programs.  Students in grades K-5 may be allowed by the tribunal to re-enroll in the regular public school programs.

Automatic referral to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction.

4.3 ~ Aggravated Battery: (State Code) A student shall not maliciously cause or intend to cause bodily harm to school personnel by depriving him/her of a member of his/her body, by rendering a member of his/her body useless, or by seriously disfiguring his/her body or a member thereof.

 

Automatic/Immediate 10-day suspension. Mandatory referral to Student Disciplinary Hearing; mandatory referral to law enforcement.

Rule 5 | Assault and/or Battery to a Person Not Employed by the School

5.1 ~ Fighting:  A student shall not fight or cause a fight on school grounds or during a school function. 

 

NOTE:   A student who does not start a fight but ends up in a fight may be charged with fighting if he or she could have avoided the fight.

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

Maximum penalties may be exceeded if injuries result; may refer to law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction.  School official will develop behavior contract at the mandatory parent conference.

5.2 ~ A student shall not threaten to cause physical injury or mental anguish to or make a terroristic threat toward any student or guest or any individual not employed by the school but approved to be on the school grounds or during a school function.

 

Same disposition as 5.1

5.3 ~ Battery:  A student shall not cause or attempt to cause physical injury or mental anguish to any student or guest or any individual not employed by the school but approved to be on the school grounds or during a school function.

Same disposition as 5.1

5.4 ~ Aggravated Battery: (State Code) A student shall not maliciously cause or intend to cause bodily harm to another person by depriving him/her of a member of his/her body, by rendering a member of his/her body useless, or by seriously disfiguring his/her body or a member thereof.

 

Automatic/Immediate 10-day suspension. Mandatory referral to Student Disciplinary Hearing; mandatory referral to law enforcement.

Rule 6 | Bullying

 

Bullying means any intentional written, electronic (aka cyberbullying during the school day and/or that which causes a disruption with school), verbal, or physical act or actions against another person that a reasonable person under the circumstances should know will have the effect of the following behaviors.

6.1 ~ Bullying:  A student shall not commit intentional, repeated, hurtful acts, words, or other behavior, such as name-calling, threatening, and/or shunning against another student.

 

NOTE: Bullying may be physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual in nature and may overlap with prohibited harassment under Rule 18.5.

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days.

Maximum penalties may be exceeded if injuries result; may refer to law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction.  School official will develop behavior contract at the mandatory parent conference.

For third instance of bullying, assignment to Alpha School as a minimum, but more severe punishment, or long-term suspension, or expulsion may be applied.

6.2 ~ Teasing:  No student shall intentionally tease or aggravate another person either verbally or physically so that the person is distracted from learning.

 

Suspension permissible 1-10 days

6.3 ~ A student shall not place a person in reasonable fear of substantial harm to his or her emotional or physical well-being or substantial damage to his or her property.

Same as 6.1

6.4 ~ A student shall not create a hostile threatening, humiliating, or abusive educational environment.

Same as 6.1

6.5 ~ A student shall not interfere with a student having a safe school environment that is necessary to facilitate educational performance, opportunities, or benefits.

Same as 6.1

6.6 ~ A student shall not perpetuate bullying by inciting, soliciting, or coercing an individual or group to demean, dehumanize, embarrass, or cause emotional, psychological, or physical harm to another person.

Same as 6.1

 

 

Rule 7 | Weapons and Dangerous Instruments

7.1 ~ A student shall not possess, handle, or transmit a knife with a blade less than 2 inches in length, an ice pick, or any other bladed instrument unless authorized by the teacher.  (See 7.3 for knife with larger blade.)

 

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days; automatic referral to law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction; may recommend long-term suspension to expulsion.  All incidents shall be reported to the Superintendent or designee.

 

7.2 ~ A student shall not possess, handle, or transmit any firearm.  A firearm is considered to be any weapon (including a starter gun, shotgun, stun gun, taser, or other hunting or sporting gun) which will or is designed to or may be readily converted to expel a projectile by action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or any destructive device, including, but not limited to, bombs, grenades, rockets, mines, or any other explosive material.  Antique firearms are not included in this term when used for class work as authorized by the teacher (O.C.G.A.20-2-751).

 

Automatic referral to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction; mandatory referral for a Student Disciplinary Hearing with mandatory recommendation for expulsion for one calendar year.  All incidents shall be reported to Superintendent or designee.  The Superintendent may modify the expulsion requirement for a student on a case-by-case basis.

 

7.3 ~ A student shall not possess, handle, or transmit any object which could reasonably be considered a weapon, to include but not limited to such items as dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, any other knife having a blade of two or more inches, straight-edge razor, razor blade, spring stick, metal knucks, blackjack, any bat, club, or other bludgeon-type weapon, or any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain, or any disc, of whatever configuration, having a least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart, or any weapon of like kind, and any stun gun or taser as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-106 of official Georgia law, explosives to include bullets of any type, fire crackers, caps, or cap pistols, smoke or odor bombs, BB or pellet guns, loaded canes or sword canes, or machetes.  This paragraph excludes any of these instruments used for classroom work as authorized by the teacher.

 

Automatic referral to law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction; mandatory referral for a Student Disciplinary Hearing with mandatory recommendation for expulsion for one calendar year.   All incidents shall be reported to Superintendent or designee. The Superintendent may modify the expulsion requirement for a student on a case-by-case basis.

 

 

Rule 8 | Narcotics, Alcoholic Beverages, Stimulant Drugs, Controlled Substances or Medications

8.1 ~ A student shall not share nor be involved in transmission of his/her over-the-counter medication with anyone else.

Note:  Transmit/Transmission is defined as: buying, selling, receiving and/or delivering, or sharing (the act of "changing hands") a substance.

Note:  A student using over-the-counter medication is required to complete a "Permission to Dispense Medication" form and leave the medication in the office or clinic.  The student shall be supervised when taking this medication.  Medication must be brought in the original container.

Suspension permissible 1-10 days

8.2 ~ A student shall not possess or attempt to possess, buy or attempt to buy, use, or be under the influence of any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, inhalant, anabolic steroid, or any drug requiring a prescription controlled by the Georgia Board of Pharmacy, or substance represented to be a drug.

 

Automatic referral to law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction; automatic ten-day out-of-school suspension; mandatory referral for a Student Disciplinary Hearing; student/parent participation in the Rockdale County Alcohol/Drug Awareness Program (ADAP) for eight hours.  Another program which has a minimum of the same objectives, content, quality of presenters, and program length as ADAP may be substituted if approved by the school principal in consultation with the Director of Student Services.  Any program substituted for CLUE will not be paid for by the school system.

Note: Failure to abide by the CLUE Program contract or to complete an approved alternative will result in five days of out-of-school suspension in addition to the previous suspension.

8.3 ~ A student shall not possess, consume, or be under the influence of any alcoholic beverage of any kind or any substance represented to be alcohol.

 

Same disposition as 8.2

NOTE: All incident shall be reported to Superintendent or designee.

8.4 ~ A student shall not sell, attempt to sell, transmit, or attempt to transmit drugs or substances represented or thought to be drugs by the buyer, on school property, or at a school function, or on any property used by the school with the permission of the owner or within 1000 feet of school property.

 

Automatic referral to law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction and ten days out-of-school suspension with mandatory referral for a Student Disciplinary Hearing.

8.5 ~ A student shall not sell, attempt to sell, transmit, or attempt to transmit alcohol or substances represented or thought to be alcohol by the buyer, on school property, or at a school function, or on any property used by the school with the permission of the owner, or within 1000 feet of school property.

 

Same disposition as 8.4

8.6 ~ A student shall not possess, use, sell, transmit, or solicit, or attempt to possess, use, sell, transmit, or solicit any drug-related paraphernalia which includes, but is not limited to, pipes, water-pipes, clips, rolling papers, or any other items directly related to drug use.

Up to ten days suspension and referral to law enforcement agency at discretion of principal

 

 

Rule 9| Disregard of Directions or Commands

9.1 ~ A student shall not fail to comply with reasonable directions or commands of teachers, paraprofessionals, substitute teachers, principals, administrators, school bus drivers, or other authorized personnel when on school grounds or during a school activity, function, or event off school grounds, or while under school supervision.

 

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

9.2 ~ A student shall not attempt to evade school personnel or attempt to avoid a conference or search by school personnel.

NOTE 1:  General searches of school property (including personal items found in or on school property) may be conducted at any time when there is reasonable cause for school employees to believe that something which violates a law or school rule is located on school property.

NOTE 2:  A student's person may be searched by school employees when there is reasonable cause to believe that the student has on his/her person illegal items that may interfere with the school program. (Refer to Board of Education's policy #JCAB).

Automatic 10 days suspension*

9.3 ~ A student shall not refuse to identify himself/herself or give false identity upon request of teachers, paraprofessionals, substitute teachers, school food service personnel, principals, administrators, school bus drivers, or other authorized personnel.

Suspension permissible 1-10 days

 

 

Rule 10 | Unexcused Absences and Tardiness

10.1 ~ A student shall not be unlawfully absent or truant from school or fail to comply with compulsory attendance under Code Section 20-2-690.1 of official Georgia law.

NOTE:  Lawful absences are defined by Georgia law as:

  1. Personal illness or when attendance would endanger their health or the health of others.
  2. Illness or death in the immediate family.
  3. Celebrating a religious holiday.
  4. Absences mandated by other governmental agencies such as court order or pre-induction physical for the armed services.
  5. Conditions that render attendance impossible or hazardous to health or safety.
  6. Registering to vote or voting for a period not to exceed one day.
  7. Absences for a student whose parent is in military service in the armed forces of the United States or the National Guard, and such parent has been called to duty for or is on leave from overseas deployment to a combat zone or combat supporting post.  Such student shall be granted excused absences up to a maximum of five (5) school days per school year to visit with his or her parent prior to such parent's deployment or during such parent's leave.

 

1st offense - Parent conference.

2nd offense - Disciplinary action determined by local school.

3rd offense - Referral to school social worker.

10.2 ~ A student shall not skip any class.

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

10.3 ~ A student shall not be chronically tardy to school or to class.

 

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

10.4 ~ A student shall not leave campus without permission.

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

 

 

Rule 11 | Dress and Grooming

The principal or other duly authorized school official shall determine whether any particular mode of dress or grooming results in a violation of the spirit or intent of the following rule.  The spirit and intent of this rule is to maintain an atmosphere, at all times, conducive to learning by having all students dress in conformity with the accepted standards of the community, including but not limited to the following standards.

A student shall not dress or groom so as to distract unreasonably the attention of other students or otherwise cause disruption or interference with the operations of the school.  Obscene pictures or symbols or the depiction of illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, or contraband shall not appear on clothing, nor shall inflammatory, provocative, lewd, profane, or suggestive language or symbols appear on clothing.  Clothing identifiable with any gang shall not be worn.  Hats, hair rollers, visors, and wallet chains are not considered appropriate attire inside the building.

A student shall not dress in an immodest or extreme fashion.  Examples of such extremes include, but are not limited to:

*Shoelessness           *See-through clothing

 *Bare midriffs             *Spandex pants/skirts

 *"Tank" tops              *Extremely baggy pants

 *"Short-shorts"/Mini-skirts

 * Bedroom slippers

 *Skirts & shorts above the knee

 * Pajamas

 *Lack of cleanliness in person or dress (clothes must be clean and in good repair)

 *This is not to be an all inclusive list.

Low-cut blouses, low-cut dresses, or low-cut shirts are not appropriate for school.  Any shirt or blouse that is sleeveless must have a collar and any shirt or blouse that is collarless must have sleeves.

All shirts, T-shirts, game jerseys, and similar type shirts must be tucked in.  Under no circumstances can shirts be worn in such a way as to conceal oversized/extremely baggy pants.  A student's waist must be visible at all times.

Suspension permissible 1-10 days

 

 
 

 

 

Rule 12 | Parking and Traffic Violations on Campus

 

A student shall not abuse school parking regulations nor operate a motor vehicle in such a way as to cause damage to public or private property located on school grounds or in such a way as to endanger life or limb of persons utilizing school facilities, driveways, or parking areas.

Driving privileges may be restricted.

Note: As determined by the principal, a student's vehicle may be removed from a Rockdale County school campus at the owner's expense for repeated campus vehicle violations.

Rule 13 | Refusal to Accept Disciplinary Action

A student shall not refuse to accept assigned consequences and/or fail to serve assigned consequences.

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

 

Long-term suspension or expulsion for second violation. 

 

 

Rule 14 | Use of Profane, Vulgar, or Obscene Words, Gestures, Pornographic/Vulgar Photographs or Materials, or other Actions Which Disrupt School System Operations

14.1 ~ A student shall not use profane, vulgar, or obscene words, gestures, or other actions that disrupt school system operations.

 

Suspension permissible 1-10 days

14.2 ~ A student shall not curse or verbally abuse any person, including remarks intended to demean a person's race, religion, sex, creed, national origin, disability, or intellectual ability.

 

Suspension permissible 1-10 days

14.3 ~ A student shall not possess, view, create, or distribute any illegal materials nor such items as pornography, any materials demeaning another person, or containing lewd, profane, vulgar, or obscene words, gestures or actions, or gang-related materials or photographs.

 

Suspension permissible 1-10 days

14.4 ~ Gang-Related Activity

Includes any of the following activities which can or may cause danger/disruption to the school environment and threaten the safety of students faculty, or other employees of the school system.  Behavior including but is not limited to:

  • 14.41 - A student shall not display or create gang signs and symbols on personal and/or school property.
  • 14.42 - A student shall not wear clothing that symbolizes gang affiliation (shirts, hats, bandanas, belts, jewelry, etc.).
  • 14.43 - A student shall not display gang hand signs, tattoos/brands, or other actions/items which symbolize gang affiliation.
  • 14.44 - A student shall not deface school buildings and structures with gang graffiti, symbols, or messages.
  • 14.45 - A student shall not solicit/recruit membership or participation in gang activity.
  • 14.46 - A student shall not perform any act of violence which includes, but is not limited to, intimidation and gang recruitment, which can adversely affect the educational process.

1st Offense: Suspension permissible 1-10 days.

Automatic referral to law enforcement. Mandatory parent conference. Mandatory behavior contract (specific to gang-related activity) before returning to school.

 

2nd Offense: Suspension permissible 1-10 days.
Mandatory referral to ten-day gang diversion program at CHOICES. Automatic referral to law enforcement.

 

3rd Offense: Mandatory ten-day home suspension. Automatic referral to law enforcement. Automatic Student Disciplinary Hearing.

 

 

Rule 15 | Gambling on School Property or at a School Function

A student shall not gamble or assist others to gamble on school property or at a school function.

Suspension permissible 1-10 days

 

 

Rule 16 | Misbehavior on Bus

A student shall not violate any Rockdale County school system school bus rule.  All rules and recommended dispositions in the Discipline Code of Conduct shall apply to students on school buses, at school bus stops, or in vehicles used by the school to transport students.

 

At the principal's discretion and in cooperation with the transportation department, suspension from bus and/or school is permissible.  Principal may refer to a Student Disciplinary Hearing.

 

 

Rule 17 | Criminal Law Violations

17.1 Violent Criminal Offenses: An enrolled student may not remain on any Rockdale County Public Schools campus if he/she has been found by official action to have committed an offense in violation of a school rule that involved one or more of the following violent criminal offenses:

  • aggravated battery (O.C.G.A. 16-5-24),

  • aggravated child molestation (O.C.G.A. 16-6-4),

  • aggravated sexual battery (O.C.G.A. 16-6-22.2),

  • aggravated sodomy (O.C.G.A. 16-6-2),

  • armed robbery (O.C.G.A.16-8-41),

  • first degree arson (O.C.G.A. 16-7-60),

  • kidnapping (O.C.G.A. 16-5-40),

  • murder (O.C.G.A. 16-5-1),

  • rape (O.C.G.A. 16-6-1),

  • voluntary manslaughter (O.C.G.A. 16-5-2), or

  • terroristic threat (O.C.G.A. 16-11-37).

Automatic/Immediate 10-day suspension. Mandatory referral to Student Disciplinary Hearing. School may recommend threat assessment administered by School Social Worker in cases involving terroristic threats.

 

 

 17.2 ~ A student may not remain on campus if he/she has been charged with a criminal law violation if his/her presence endangers the safety of other students or causes disruption to school operations.  Suspension permissible -- 1-10 days; may refer to Student Disciplinary Hearing
   

Rule 18 | Sexual Misconduct or Inappropriate Display of Affection

18.1 ~ A student shall not indecently expose himself or herself, or engage in any inappropriate heterosexual or homosexual act on school property, during school functions, or on any property used by the school with permission of the owner, or while under school supervision.

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days; must refer to law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction; may refer to Student Disciplinary Hearing on a case-by-case basis.

18.2 ~ A student shall not molest or rape another person on school property, during school functions, or on any property used by the school with permission of the owner, or while under school supervision.

Same disposition as 18.1

18.3 ~ A student shall not engage in any form of inappropriate bodily contact or display of affection.

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

18.4 ~ A student shall not engage in inappropriate activities such as mooning (pulling one's own pants down) or ankling (pulling another student's pants down).

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

18.5 ~ A student shall not engage in sexual harassment toward any person on school property, or at a school function, or on any property used by the school with permission of the owner.

Sexual harassment may include but is not limited to unwelcome:

A.  verbal harassment of a sexual nature or abuse;

B.  pressure for sexual activity;

C.  sexually motivated or inappropriate patting, pinching, or physical contact; and,

D.  behavior, verbal or written words or symbols directed at an individual because of gender.

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days; may refer to law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction; may refer to a Student Disciplinary Hearing.

Rule 19 | Rude and Disrespectful Behavior

A student shall not use profane, vulgar, obscene or abusive language, talk back, "sass," or intentionally argue in a demanding or disruptive manner with any school employees or persons attending school-related functions or otherwise show disrespect for school employees or others attending school-related functions.

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

Rule 20 | Tobacco/Smoking-Related Offenses

20.1 ~ A student shall not possess tobacco paraphernalia such as, but not limited to, lighters, pipes, cigarette papers.

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

 

 

20.2 ~ A student shall not possess tobacco products including cigarettes, tobacco, and snuff in any form on the school grounds or at any school-sponsored activity while under school supervision. 

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

 

 

20.3 ~ A student shall not use tobacco products, including cigarettes, in any form on the school grounds or at any school-sponsored activity while under school supervision.

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

 

 

Rule 21 | Cheating, Plagiarism, or Academic Dishonesty

A student shall not cheat on tests, examinations, projects, homework, or reports by giving or receiving unauthorized assistance nor be involved in plagiarism or other acts of academic dishonesty.

0 grade and/or suspension permissible

 

 

Rule 22 | Altering Records, Misrepresenting Information, Forgery

 

22.1 ~ A student shall not alter or misrepresent information on school records or forms, forge signatures or statements, or make false statements, written or oral.

 

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

22.2 ~ A student shall not alter or attempt to alter grades in a teacher's grade book, records, or any permanent records.

 

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days

22.3 ~ A student shall not falsify, misrepresent, omit, or erroneously report information regarding instances of alleged inappropriate behavior by a teacher, administrator, or other school employee toward a student.

Suspension permissible 1-10 days.
May recommend long-term suspension.

Rule 23 | Misuse of Computer, Network, Internet, or Intranet

23.1 ~ No student shall use a computer, the computer network, the Internet, or any intranet by such activity as importing, exporting, viewing, distributing, printing, or creating inappropriate, illicit, or illegal materials including but not limited to pornography; any materials demeaning another person, or containing lewd, profane, or vulgar words, pictures, gestures, or actions; or any records, files, or materials to which the student should not have access.

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days and prosecution under laws of Georgia

23.2 ~ No student shall use a computer, the computer network, the Internet, or any intranet to create disruption of school operations or the normal use of a computer, the computer network, the Internet, or any intranet.

Same disposition as 23.1

23.3 ~ A student shall not engage in computer theft, computer trespass, computer invasion of privacy, computer forgery, or computer password disclosure.

Suspension permissible* and prosecution under O.C.G.A. 16-9-93

Rule 24 | Loitering, Trespassing, or Breaking and Entering

24.1 ~ A student shall not enter the premises of a local school other than his/her home school, except for scheduled classes or school system-sponsored and/or approved activities, unless prior permission is received from an administrator of the school to be visited.

 

Suspension permissible* 1-10 days; may refer to law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction.

 

Note:  Remaining or returning to campus while on suspension will result in referral to police for trespassing.

 

24.2 ~ A student shall not enter any school building or school system facility on weekends or after school hours without authorization from school officials.

Same disposition as 24.1

24.3 ~ A student shall not loiter on any school campus or school system property.

Same disposition as 24.1

24.4 ~ A student shall not enter or read school records, including computer files, software, and other related materials, without authorization from school officials.

Same disposition as 24.1

Rule 25 | Other Misbehavior

The administration of the school system and the local school reserve the right to punish behavior which is subversive to good order and discipline in the Rockdale County school system, even though such behavior is not specified in the preceding written discipline rules.

Rule 26 | Misbehavior While Off School Property

If a student engages in misbehavior, while a student is not on school property or at a school function, activity, or event, which directly or potentially has an adverse effect on the good order, discipline, and welfare in the school, the school may take disciplinary action(s) against that student.

Same as violation of rule(s) while on campus.

26.1 ~ If a student engages in misbehavior which could result in the student being charged with a crime and which makes the student's continued presence at school a potential danger to persons or property at the school, the school may take disciplinary action against that student.

Suspension permissible 1-10 days; long-term suspension or expulsion

   

Rule 27 | Cumulative Offenses

 

Multiple violations of the Student Discipline Code of Conduct committed simultaneously or accumulated during the school year may result in out-of-school suspension or a recommendation for a Student Disciplinary Hearing and recommendation for long-term suspension or expulsion.

27.1 ~ Students who exhaust a Behavior Contract developed with school administrators may be recommended for a Student Disciplinary Hearing.

* May recommend Long-Term Suspension or Expulsion


PART  II  (A) ~ Procedural Rules

Rule 28... Definitions

Rule 29... Application of These Rules

Rule 30... Punishment Short of Suspension or Expulsion

Rule 31... Coverage

Rule 32... Principal's Investigation

Rule 33... Limitation on Principal's Power to Suspend or to Request a Hearing

Rule 34... Summary Suspension

Rule 35... Short-Term Suspension

Rule 36... Sending a Suspended Student Home During the School Day

Rule 37... Informing the Parents in Cases of Summary and Short-Term Suspension

Rule 38... Initiating Long-Term Suspension or Expulsion

Rule 39... Scheduling Student Disciplinary Hearing

Rule 40... Group Hearings

Rule 41... Role of Parents or Attorney

Rule 42... For Health or Safety

Rule 43... Disrupting School Operations

Definitions of Disciplinary Actions

Rule 28 | Definitions

28.1     Parent Conference

In instances where violations of the Student Discipline Code occur, the local school administration may require a parent conference before a student is allowed to return to school.

28.2     Detention

A requirement that the student report to a specified school location and to a designated teacher or school official for a limited period of time other than normal school hours (including Saturday detention).

28.3     Suspension

A.  In-school Suspension

 

Suspension of a student may be made to in-school suspension rather than to out-of-school suspension.  On days assigned to in-school suspension, a student will be excluded from all school sponsored activities including, but not limited to, athletics and marching band.

 

B.   Out-of-school Suspension

 

For serious infractions of the Student Discipline Code, a student may be given "at home" suspension which means the removal of the student from the school campus and exclusion from school-sponsored activities during the suspension.  Out-of-school suspension is a "short-term suspension" for not more than ten (10) consecutive school days. Out-of-school suspensions are not subject to appeal. The Superintendent, at his or her discretion, may conduct an administrative review of any objections to out-of-school suspension and take corrective action if warranted.

 

C.   Long-term Suspension

 

Long-term suspension means the removal of a student from school for more than ten (10) consecutive school days but not beyond the current semester.

 

28.4     Student Disciplinary Hearing

A review by a local school system tribunal of alleged facts in cases of student misconduct.  The hearing tribunal will recommend appropriate disciplinary action following a review of cases presented.

 

Specific Discipline Code violations by students, violations of Rule 27, or suspensions of more than fifteen (15) days (including in-school and out-of-school) may result in a student being referred for a hearing before a Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee.

28.5     Expulsion

Removal of a student from the school system for an extended period of time beyond the current semester by the Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee or permanently by the Board of Education.

28.6     Important Information

 

A.    Students suspended out-of-school or expelled are not allowed on school campus or at school functions.

 

B.    A student shall be subject to the rules and regulations of the Student Discipline Code at all times when the student is en route to or from or is present at school, a school function or activity, a school-related activity, or any event at which the student in any way is a representative of the school system.

 

C.    Expelled or long-term suspended students will not be allowed to earn academic credit toward graduation or toward the establishment of credit for extracurricular or interscholastic activities which results from their enrollment during their suspension and/or expulsion in home study programs, non-accredited private schools, private schools, or other public schools within the state or outside the state unless the

 

Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee or the Board of Education in imposing the suspension and/or expulsion otherwise orders.  On re-enrollment of a long-term suspended or expelled student, the Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee or the Board of Education may review and grant a request for academic credit to be used toward graduation and/or credit to be used for extracurricular or interscholastic activities provided the credit was earned in an accredited school.

 

D.    Students who are currently expelled or long-term suspended from another public school system may not enroll in the Rockdale County Public Schools until the period of suspension or expulsion has ended.  Students who are currently suspended or expelled from a private school must submit to a pre-admission hearing at the local school to determine whether they are under suspension or expulsion for an offense which would have resulted in a suspension or expulsion had they been enrolled in the Rockdale County Public Schools when they committed the offense.  If the student's conduct would have justified suspension or expulsion from the Rockdale County Public Schools, the student may not enroll in the Rockdale County Public Schools until such time as the suspension or expulsion from the private school is completed.

 

E.    In all instances of infractions of the Student Discipline Code which involve violations of the law or criminal acts, students will automatically be referred to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction.

 

F.   Students and parents shall recognize their responsibility to know the contents of this Student Discipline Code and to ask faculty or staff members for any clarification.

 

G.    Students found guilty of being accessories to any violation of school rules are subject to the same penalties as students who are actively involved in committing such offenses.

 

H.    Before any student who has been long-term suspended or expelled can re-enroll in a Rockdale County public school, the student must participate in a conference with the principal or local school administrator designated by the principal.  The parent(s) or guardian(s) of the student shall be invited to this conference.  At this conference, the student's discipline problem(s) will be reviewed and a notice of the meeting shall be placed in the student's permanent record file.

 

28.7     Interrogations and Searches

To maintain order and discipline in the schools and to protect the safety and welfare of students and school personnel, school authorities may search a student, student lockers, locker rooms, cafeterias, gymnasiums, hallways, commons areas, stadiums and stadium areas, classrooms, parking lots, school buses, and other similar areas of school facilities, or student automobiles under the circumstances outlined below and may seize any illegal, unauthorized, or contraband materials discovered in the search.  The term "unauthorized" means any item dangerous to the health or safety of students or school personnel, or disruptive of any lawful function, mission, or process of the school, or any item prohibited by Board of Education policy or school rules available beforehand to the student.  A student's failure to permit searches and seizures will be considered grounds for disciplinary action, which may include involving the local police agency in emergency situations as determined by the school administrator.

 

A.  Personal Searches - A student's person and/or personal effects (i.e., purse, book bag, etc.) may be searched whenever a school authority has reasonable grounds for suspecting that the student is in possession of illegal or unauthorized materials.  If a pat-down search of a student's person is conducted, it will be conducted in private by a school official of the same gender and with an adult witness present, when feasible.  If the school official has reasonable grounds for suspecting that the student has on his/her person an item immediately dangerous to the student or to others, the student should be isolated, police notified, and appropriate disciplinary action administered.  A Student Search Report Form must be completed regarding any personal search.

 

B.    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 student parking lots and inspections of the exteriors of student vehicles on school property.  The interiors of student vehicles may be inspected whenever a school authority has reasonable grounds for suspecting that illegal or unauthorized materials are contained inside.  Such patrols and inspections may be conducted without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant.  A Student Search Report Form must be completed regarding any automobile search.

 

C.    Locker Searches - Student lockers are school property and remain at all times under the control of the school; however, students are expected to assume full responsibility for the security of their lockers.  Periodic general inspections of lockers may be conducted by school authorities for any reason, at any time, without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant.  However, notice to expect periodic general inspections must be communicated in writing (student handbook) to the students prior to the issuance of the locker.  Searches of specific lockers or locker areas may be conducted as needed.  A record should be made of each general search.  Any illegal materials found during a locker search should be reported by completing a Student Search Report Form.

 

D.    Canine Searches - School facilities may be searched by trained canines, as described in Policy JCAB.

 

E.    Seizure of Illegal Materials - If a search yields illegal or unauthorized materials, such findings shall be turned over in person to either the principal or legal authorities for ultimate disposition.

Rule 29 | Application of These Rules

29.1  Punishment short of suspension or expulsion shall be handled according to the procedures set out in Rule 30.  Such punishment may be administered by teachers or principals.

29.2  Punishment involving summary or short-term suspension shall be handled according to the procedure set out in Parts II(A) and II(B).  Such punishment may be administered by principals.

29.3  Punishment involving long-term suspension or expulsion shall be handled according to the procedures set out in Parts II(A) and II(C).  Such punishment may be administered by a Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee or by the Rockdale County Board of Education.

29.4  Removal of dangerous students shall be handled according to the procedures set out in     Part III.

Rule 30 | Punishment Short of Suspension or Expulsion

Teachers and principals have the authority to take customary and reasonable measures to maintain proper control and discipline among students placed under their care and supervision.  Such measures may include the use of reasonable force, in the exercise of lawful authority to restrain or correct pupils and maintain order. 

Rule 31 | Coverage

Alleged misconduct shall be dealt with by the principal:

31.1  Whenever a teacher considers a problem of classroom discipline to be so serious as to warrant the principal's attention; or

31.2  Whenever the alleged misconduct constitutes a violation of the rules in Part I; or

31.3  Whenever the principal deems it advisable that he/she deal personally with the alleged misconduct.

31.4  Whenever a teacher exercises authority under sub-paragraph "A" above, the teacher shall notify the principal in writing as to the act or acts complained of together with all facts of said misconduct as the teacher knows them.

Rule 32 | Principal's Investigation

In dealing with alleged misconduct, the principal shall investigate the incident and hear all available accounts of it.  The student shall be encouraged to raise any defense he/she thinks relevant.  If the student requests that other witnesses be questioned, the principal should talk to them if possible.  If the student makes a reasonable claim of other defensive matter that, if true, would free him/her from blame, but is not immediately available, the principal should postpone disciplinary action for a reasonable time until such evidence may be presented to him/her.

Rule 33 | Limitation on Principal's Power to Suspend or to Request a Hearing

If the principal investigates a student's alleged misconduct and decides to take disciplinary action, the principal must investigate and take action on all alleged misconduct known to him/her at that time.  Consequently the most serious action the principal can take on his/her own authority for any and all misconduct by a particular student, known to him/her at any one time, is to give a ten (10) day suspension [See Part II (B)]. If the principal thinks additional penalties appropriate, he/she may request that a Student Disciplinary Hearing be set.

PART  II  (B) ~ Rules Applicable to Summary and Short-term Suspensions

Rule 34 | Summary Suspension

If the principal witnesses any serious student misconduct and he/she thinks that immediate removal of the student(s) is necessary to restore order or to protect persons on the school grounds, the principal may suspend the student immediately for not more than ten (10) school days.

 

In such cases the principal is not required to conduct the investigation described in Rule 32 before he/she suspends, but the principal shall carry out such an investigation and decide on further disciplinary action, if any, at least by the end of the school day following the summary suspension.

 

Once a principal has decided to suspend a student summarily, the principal shall follow the procedures described in Rule 36 for sending a student home during the school day.

Rule 35 | Short-Term Suspension

A short-term suspension is a denial to a student of the right to attend school and to take part in any school function for any period of time but not longer than ten (10) school days.  The principal may invoke a short-term suspension only after investigating the misconduct and only for the following reasons:

35.1  A violation of the school board rules prohibiting serious student misconduct listed in Part I; or

35.2  Misconduct of the same type as that prohibited by the rules governing serious misconduct stated by these rules; or

35.3  Misconduct that is prescribed by rules adopted by the school board covering minor misconduct.

Rule 36 | Sending a Suspended Student Home During the School Day

When a student is suspended out-of-school, the principal shall attempt to reach the student's parents or legal guardian (hereinafter the term parents includes legal guardian) to inform them of the school's action and to request that they come to the school for their child.  If the parents are unable to come for their child, or if the principal cannot reach the parents, the student must remain on school property until the close of the school day (except that a high school student may be sent home if there is a parent at home).

 

Notwithstanding the above requirement that a suspended student be released only to a parent, the principal may order students to leave the school premises immediately when he/she is faced with mass violations to school rules and it is not possible to keep the students on school grounds and restore order to protect people on the school grounds.  Even in this case, distance to home and the age and gender of the individual student may require keeping the student until the parents can be contacted.

Rule 37 | Informing the Parents in Cases of Short-Term Suspension

In enforcing short-term suspensions, the principal or designee will abide by the following regulations:

37.1  If the principal did not witness the misconduct or rule violation, he/she should make an investigation to gather the facts.

37.2  After investigating, the principal should call the student before him/her and advise the student of the charges, unless the student is unwilling to discuss the matter with the principal.  If the student is unwilling to discuss the matter with the principal, the principal has fulfilled due process requirements.  Likewise, if the student admits the charges, no further hearing is required.

If the student denies the charges, the principal should explain to the student the evidence known to school personnel, and then permit the student a reasonable opportunity to state his/her version of the facts.  The principal must permit the student to call witnesses within reason to support his/her position.

37.3  The student's parents or legal guardian should be notified by phone, and in writing, in instances where a student is suspended.  A copy of this notification should be forwarded to the Superintendent.  The letter should describe the misconduct, state the rule violated, and the principal's reasons for his/her actions.

37.4  A principal may suspend a student without affording him/her the informal hearing if the student is obviously intoxicated, under the influence of drugs, or when his/her presence poses a danger to persons or property.  In such cases, however, a local school hearing should be held as soon as possible.

PART  II  (C) ~ Rules Applicable to Long-Term Suspension and Expulsion

Rule 38 | Initiating Long-Term Suspension or Expulsion

38.1     Action Prior to Recommending Long-term Suspension or Expulsion

When the principal has determined that long-term suspension or expulsion is a probable recommendation, the case will be referred to the Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee.  Major purposes of this committee are to ensure that all aspects of the case are treated, that the rights of the student are protected, and that the best interests of all concerned parties are being served.

38.2     Expulsion Procedures

A Rockdale County student may be subject to expulsion for conduct prohibited by the Rockdale County Student Discipline Code only after action by a Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee.  The student must have been afforded notice and the opportunity for a hearing prior to any such expulsion becoming effective.  An expulsion may be imposed by a Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee, notwithstanding that the student has been previously suspended by the principal, Superintendent, or other officials under rules governing suspensions of from one (1) to ten (10) days.  When expulsion under this policy is proposed, adequate notice by the appropriate authorized official to the student and his/her parents at their last know address will include:

A.    A copy of the Rockdale County Student Discipline Code which describes the rules alleged to have been violated by the student.

 

B.    Names of witnesses or those who will present the school system's findings in the violations.

 

C.    The maximum penalty which may result from the alleged misconduct.

 

D.    The time and place of the Student Disciplinary Hearing.

 

E.    A statement that before expulsion can be invoked, the student has the right to a Student Disciplinary Hearing, attendance at which may be waived if the student and parents agree by signing a statement to that effect.  The student and his/her parents should notify the school and school system within twenty-four (24) hours of receipt of notice as to whether or not they will waive the hearing.  If no notification is received, the hearing schedule will be observed.

           

F.     A statement that the student may examine evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and have legal counsel if desired.

 

G.    A copy of the hearing procedures.

 

H.    A statement that parents or guardians may waive the right to a hearing before the Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee and accept in lieu of a hearing the punishment recommended by the principal.  A form by which the parents or guardians can exercise such waiver will be enclosed with instructions.

 

38.3     Procedures for Conducting the Student Disciplinary Hearing

A.  Hearing Officer

 

The Superintendent shall appoint an individual to serve as Hearing Officer for Student Disciplinary Hearings.  The Hearing Officer shall assure that a properly constituted Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee is convened, that appropriate notices are issued to all parties concerned, and that appropriate policies of the Board of Education are followed in the conduct of Student Disciplinary Hearings, and shall preside at the Student Disciplinary Hearings.

 

The Hearing Officer is not a member of the Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee and does not take part in the committee's decision making.  Further, the Hearing Officer shall be responsible for all aspects of preparation for, conduct of, and follow-up after all Student Disciplinary Hearing Committees and any appeals therefrom.

 

B.   Composition of the Student Disciplinary Hearing Committees

 

Each Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee will be composed of three (3) members.  Members will be administrators and teachers not associated with the school attended by the student, and they will be drawn from a pool of previously selected personnel who understand the role of the Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee in discipline and expulsion.

 

C.   Powers of Student Disciplinary Hearing Committees

 

Students appearing before a Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee are presumed innocent.  The principal or other school official shall have the burden of proof regarding rule violations and showing good cause for further discipline or expulsion.  The principal will be given the right to open and to conclude.

 

Student Disciplinary Hearing Committees may set a punishment different than that requested by the principal or the school official. The Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee will base its decision on evidence presented at the hearing.  A decision will be rendered as soon as possible following the hearing but in no event later than ten (10) days after the hearing.  The Committee's decision will be reduced to writing in a letter form, which will be mailed to the student's parents or legal guardians within ten (10) days of the hearing.  The letter will specify what further disciplinary action is prescribed.

 

D.  Record of the Hearing

 

A tape recording will be made of the hearing.

 

E.   Time and Place of the Hearing

A minimum of five (5) school days' notice will be given before the Student Disciplinary Hearing.  Notice is considered to have been given when such notice is deposited in the U.S. mail, sent by certified mail with adequate postage affixed, addressed to the last known address of parent or guardian.  Postponement may be granted by the Superintendent or designee for good cause.

F.   Examination of Witnesses

 

Members of the Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee, the principal or other school officials, the school system's attorney, the student or his/her parents or legal counsel may question witnesses about matters relevant to the charges against the student and the disposition of the matter.  Hearsay evidence is permissible.  The Hearing Officer has the authority to limit long or irrelevant questioning.

 

G.   Disposition of the Case

 

The Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee will reach its decision on whether or not the student is found guilty of the charges by a majority vote.  The committee's decision will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing.  If the student is found innocent, the matter is terminated.

 

H.  Appeals

 

An appeal of the decision of the Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee may be made to the Rockdale County Board of Education.  A pending appeal to the Board of Education will not ordinarily prevent the beginning of the expulsion if such has been prescribed by the Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee. Using his/her discretion, the Superintendent may decide to suspend enforcement of an expulsion, pending the outcome of appeals to the Board of Education.  No new evidence may be presented to the Board of Education on appeal.  All considerations on appeal will be based on the record of the proceedings of the Student Disciplinary Hearing; however, the Board of Education may request that a student and his/her parents appear in person or by attorney for questioning concerning their contentions when the appeal is officially considered by the Board.

 

Appeals to the Board of Education of the decision of the Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee may be made in writing to the Superintendent as the Executive Secretary of the Rockdale County Board of Education.  Notice of appeal and written arguments must be filed no later than twenty (20) calendar days following the decision of the Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee.  The Board of Education shall review the record and shall render its decision in writing as soon as possible but no later than ten (10) days from the date of the appeal, excluding weekends and public holidays.

 

The decision will be reduced to writing in a letter form which will be mailed within ten (10) days of the hearing.  A student or principal may appeal the action of the local Board of Education to the state Board of Education.  The penalty need not be postponed pending the outcome of the appeal.  Such an appeal shall be in accordance with Georgia Code Section 20-2-1160 and regulations of the state Board of Education governing such appeals.

Rule 39 | Scheduling Student Disciplinary Hearing

The Student Disciplinary Hearing will be scheduled and held within ten (10) school days of the beginning of suspension of a student or the occurrence of the incident causing the request for a hearing, whichever is later, unless postponement is requested.  In cases where the student requests postponement and it is granted, the student will remain suspended until the hearing is held.  In the event the Student Disciplinary Hearing is rescheduled beyond the ten (10) days at the request of the school system, the student will be given an appropriate school placement after the tenth day pending the hearing.

Rule 40 | Group Hearings

When students are charged with violating the same rule, and have acted in concert, and the facts are basically the same for all students, a single hearing may be conducted for them if the Superintendent believes that the following conditions exist.

 

40.1   A single hearing will not likely result in confusion, and

 

40.2   No student will have his/her interest substantially prejudiced by a group hearing for that student.

 

If, during the hearing, the Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee finds that a student's interest will be substantially prejudiced by the group hearing, the Committee may order a separate hearing for that student.

Rule 41 | Role of Parents or Attorney

The parents or legal guardian should be present at the Student Disciplinary Hearing and have an opportunity to make a statement to the Student Disciplinary Hearing Committee on their feelings about the proper disposition of the case and to answer questions.  If the parents cannot be present or if the student or his/her parents think that the student's interests can be protected better by the presence of an attorney at the hearing in addition to his/her parents or guardian, the student may have an attorney present.

 

If the Superintendent thinks that the presence of the school board attorney will be helpful at the hearing, the Superintendent may request the school board attorney's presence.

PART  III  ~ Rules for Removal of Dangerous Students

Rule 42 | For Health or Safety

Any student who has a dangerous communicable disease that poses a substantial threat to the health or safety of the school community may be removed from school by the principal on the approval of the Superintendent until such student no longer poses such a threat.

 

Rule 43 | Disrupting School Operations

A student who has been charged with the unlawful selling of narcotics or such other serious violation of the criminal law may be removed from the school by the principal, upon the approval of the Superintendent, when it is necessary to protect other students or avoid substantial disruption to school operations.  The school must be able to show that the continued presence of the student endangers other students or would substantially disrupt school operations.  As soon as the student no longer poses such a threat, he/she shall be reinstated.

 

Rockdale County Schools
Date Issued:  6/30/1986
Last Revised:  6/14/2012