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Board Policy
Descriptor Code: JD
Student Discipline  
Print Policy
 

It is the intention of the Paulding County School District to operate each school in a manner that will provide an orderly process of education and that will provide for the welfare and safety of all students who attend the schools within the district.  In accordance with that purpose, the Board of Education has adopted a policy which requires all schools to adopt codes of conduct which require students to conduct themselves at all times in an orderly manner to facilitate a positive learning environment for themselves and other students.  These standards for behavior require students to respect each other and school district employees, to obey student behavior policies adopted by the Board and to obey student behavior rules established at each school within the district.

The school's primary goal is to educate, not to punish; however, when the behavior of an individual student comes in conflict with the rights of others, corrective actions may be necessary for the benefit of that individual and the school as a whole.  Accordingly, students shall be governed by policies, regulations and rules set forth in this Code of Conduct.  

The Code of Conduct is effective during the following times and in the following places:

  • At school or on school property at any time
  • Off school grounds at any school activity, function or event and while traveling to and from such events;
  • On vehicles provided for student transportation by the school system; and
  • at school bus stops.

Also, students may be disciplined for conduct off campus which is felonious or which may pose a threat to the school's learning environment or the safety of students and employees.

Parents are encouraged to become familiar with the Code of Conduct and to be supportive of it in their daily communication with their children and others in the community.  

As required by the Georgia General Assembly, parents and guardians are encouraged to inform their children on the consequences, including potential criminal penalties, of underage sexual conduct and crimes for which a minor can be tried as an adult.

Standards for Student Behavior

Standards for student behavior are designed to create the expectation that students will behave themselves in such a way so as to facilitate a positive learning environment for themselves and other students.  The standards are designed also to encourage students to respect each other and school district employees, to motivate students to obey student behavior policies adopted by this board and to obey student behavior rules established at each school within this school district.   

Behavioral Expectations

Each student is expected to:

  • Demonstrate courtesy with all individuals regardless of circumstances, even when others do not;
  • Behave in a responsible manner, always exercising self-discipline;
  • Attend all classes regularly and on time;
  • Prepare for each class by taking appropriate materials and assignments;
  • Meet the Paulding County School District and school  standard of grooming and dress;
  • Respect the rights and privileges of other students, teachers,  and other employees of the Paulding County School District;
  • Respect the property of others, including Paulding County School District property and facilities;
  • Cooperate and assist the school staff in maintaining safety, order, and discipline; and
  •  Refrain from committing violations of the Code of Student Conduct.

Disciplinary Procedures

The disciplinary procedures outlined in this behavior code are clearly stated to insure that all students are aware of unacceptable behavior that is in violation of school district policies and the consequences of such policy violations.  Offenses are classified as Level One, Level Two, or Level Three.

Level One

Student offenses classified as Level One are those that significantly threaten the safety of students and staff, significantly disrupt the orderly school environment, and/or may result in injury or significant loss of property. 

Student offenses classified as Level One may result in the following actions by the principal of the school:

  • Placement in In-school suspension (ISS) for ten (10) days or less;
  • Suspension from school (OSS) for ten (10) days or less;
  • Referral to a disciplinary tribunal for a long-term suspension/expulsion from school for more than ten (10) days; and/or
  • Referral to the appropriate law enforcement agency and the district attorney.

A student who commits a second Level One offense while enrolled in the Paulding County School District may be permanently expelled from the school district.

Level One Offenses include:

  • Possession of a weapon in a school safety zone as provided for in Code Section 16-11-127.1.
  • Possession of a firearm in a school safety zone as defined by 16-11-131. 
    • This offense shall be grounds for long-term suspension/expulsion from the school district of not less of one calendar year.
  • Unlawful use or possession of illegal drugs or alcohol, including, but not limited to: 
    • Possession, distribution, sale use, and/or under the influence of narcotics, alcohol, stimulants, dangerous drugs, controlled and/or prohibited substances as defined by the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, on school property or at any school related activity.
    • Sale, attempted sale, distribution, or being under the influence of a prescription or over the counter drug.
    • Possession, distribution, attempted sale or sale of substances represented as drugs or alcohol.
  • Possession of explosives as defined by O.C.G.A. 16-7-80 and 16-7-81, on school property or at any school related event.
  • Falsifying, misrepresenting, omitting or erroneously reporting information regarding instances of alleged inappropriate behavior by a teacher, administrator or other school employee toward a student. 
  • Assault, including threatened physical violence, of teachers, administrators, and other school personnel.
    • If a student commits an act of physical threat (assault) upon a school employee, a mandatory disciplinary hearing shall be held regardless of the recommended discipline, unless the hearing is waived. A disciplinary hearing regarding a recommendation for a short-term out of school suspension (10 days or less) may be waived by the employee. A disciplinary hearing regarding a recommendation for a long-term out of school suspension (11 days or more) may be waived by both the employee and the parent/guardian/student over 18.
  • Physical violence against a school employee, with or without harm.
    • No student may intentionally make physical contact to a school employee unless such physical contacts or physical harms were in self-defense, as provided in Georgia Code section 16-3-21. If a student commits an act of physical violence upon a school employee, a mandatory disciplinary hearing shall be held regardless of the recommended discipline, unless the hearing is waived. A disciplinary hearing regarding a recommendation for a short-term out of school suspension (10 days or less) may be waived by the employee. A disciplinary hearing regarding a recommendation for a long-term out of school suspension (11 days or more) may be waived by both the employee and the parent/guardian/student over 18.
  • Engaging in sexual offenses as defined by O.C.G.A. 16-6-1 through 16-6-24 while on school property or at any school related event.
  • Commission of any delinquent act or behavior which if committed by an adult would be classified as a felony offense as defined by State Board Rule 160-4-8-.16.
  • Any off-campus behavior of a student, as defined by State Board Rule 160-4-8-.16, which could result in the student being criminally charged with a felony and which makes the student's continued presence at school a potential danger to persons or property at the school or which disrupts the educational process.
    • A student who has committed a violation of criminal laws and whose presence on the school campus may endanger the safety of other students or cause substantial disruption to the school operation may be subject to disciplinary action, including in-school suspension, short-term suspension, and referral to a disciplinary tribunal.  The Superintendent is authorized to place a student in an alternative educational  setting  as appropriate and in the best interest of the student and the education of other students within the school system
  • The fourth offense of fighting during grades nine (9) to twelve (12).
  • The third commission in a school year of "bullying", as defined by subsection (a) of Code Section 20-2-751.4, for students in grades six (6) to twelve (12); Upon finding that a student in grades six (6) to twelve (12) has committed the offense of bullying for the third time in a school year, the student must be recommended to a tribunal for expulsion and assignment to an alternative school.
  • Willful or malicious damage to real or personal property of the school or to personal property of any person legitimately at school which results in a loss of more that $100.
  • Marking, defacing, or destroying school property which results in a loss or more than $100.                  
  • Any behavior which endangers the safety of others, including, but not limited to, making a bomb threat, detonating fireworks on school district property or at any school related event, arson or throwing objects from a school bus window;
  • Stealing or theft of school district property or the property of others that result in a loss in excess of $100.
  • Willful and persistent violation of the student code of conduct.

Since these offenses may be grounds for long-term suspension/expulsion, including permanent expulsion and referral to the proper law enforcement agency, students may be referred to a disciplinary tribunal. 

Parents or students may elect not to contest whether a student has violated the Code of Conduct or the appropriate discipline, and in such cases, an agreement may be negotiated which would include the parents or students waiving a right to a hearing before a disciplinary tribunal.  Such an agreement and waiver must be approved also by the disciplinary tribunal or hearing officer in accordance with Board policy.

Level Two

Student offenses classified as Level Two are serious violations of the behavior code.  Offenses classified as Level Two may result in the following actions by the principal of the school.  

  • Warning and/or Counseling with a School Administrator or Counselor;
  • Loss of Privileges;
  • Isolation or Time Out;
  • Temporary Removal from Class or Activity;
  • Notification of Parents;
  • Parent Conference;
  • Detention/Saturday School.
  • Placement in In-school Suspension (ISS) for 10 days or less;
  • Suspension from school (OSS) for ten (10) days or less;
  • Any other corrective measure the principal  may undertake, which he or she believes to be in the best interest of the student and the school, provided any such action does not violate school board policy; and/or
  • Referral to the appropriate law enforcement agency and the district attorney.

Three or more level two offenses may be considered as willful and persistent violation of the student code of conduct and are cumulative over a school year.

Level Two  offenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Disrespectful conduct toward teachers, administrators, and other school personnel, including use of vulgar or profane language;
  • Verbal assault of, physical assault or battery of, and disrespectful conduct, including use of vulgar or profane language, toward persons attending school related functions;
  • Verbal assault of  other students, including threatened violence, or sexual harassment as defined pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972;
  • Physical assault or battery of other students, including sexual harassment as defined pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972;
  • Fighting;
  • Bullying as defined by subsection (a) of Code Section 20-2-751.4;
  • Willful or malicious damage to real or personal property of the school or to personal property of any person legitimately at the school that results in loss of less than $100.
  • Marking, defacing, or destroying school property that results in a loss of less than $100.
  • Marking, defacing, or destroying the property of another student that results in a loss of less than $100.
  • Stealing, theft, or extortion of school district property or the property of others that result in the loss of $100 or less.
  • Sexually related offenses not classified as a Level One, including, but not limited to lewd or indecent behavior and harassment;
  • Possession/use of tobacco products;
  • Possession of, or possession with the intent to use, any object or materials of any kind for the purpose of injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body illegal drugs or alcohol;
  • Possession of common fireworks as defined by O.C.G.A. 25-10-1;
  • Displaying or wearing gang articles, paraphernalia, or clothing; recruiting or soliciting membership in any gang or gang-related organizations; or holding oneself out as a member of a gang;
  • Disruption of the orderly school environment, including but not limited to the inciting, advising, or counseling of others to engage in prohibited acts or harassing other students or any school employee through racially disparaging conduct or communication;
  • Failure to comply with the local and district-wide provisions relating to the use of the electronic communication network as defined by policy IFBG - Internet Acceptable Use;
  • Disrespectful conduct toward other students, including the use of vulgar or profane language;
  • Leaving campus without proper authorization;
  • Failure to comply with compulsory attendance as required under Code Section 20-2-690.1 and the Paulding County Attendance Protocol;
  • Willful disobedience, insubordination, and/or blatant disrespect directed toward a school board employee;
  • Repeated occurrence of minor offenses listed under Level Three.

Before a student is suspended (in-school or out-of-school) for ten days or less, the principal or designee will inform the student of the offense for which the student is charged and allow the student to explain his or her behavior.  If the student is suspended (in-school or out-of-school), a reasonable attempt will be made to notify the student's parents. 

Level Three

Offenses classified as Level Three are less serious violations of the Behavior Code.  The following disciplinary actions may be imposed at the discretion of principals and/or their designee for any Level III violation of this Code of Conduct:

  • Warning and/or Counseling with a School Administrator or Counselor;
  • Loss of Privileges;
  • Isolation or Time Out;
  • Temporary Removal from Class or Activity;
  • Notification of Parents;
  • Parent Conference;
  • Detention/Saturday School;
  • Placement in In-school Suspension (ISS);
  • Any other corrective measure the principal  may undertake, which he or she believes to be in the best interest of the student and the school, provided any such action does not violate school board policy;

Offenses classified as Level Three include, but are not limited to:

  • Public affection;
  • Gambling;
  • Cheating;
  • Violation of School Board dress code;
  • Forgery;
  • Possession of explicit/obscene material;
  • Profanity;
  • Any behavior which disrupts the learning environment of the classroom or school, not listed as a major offense.

Student Support Process 

Student support processes are designed to consider, as appropriate in light of the severity of the behavioral problem, support services available at each school, the school  district and other public entities or community organizations which may assist students to address behavior problems;.

The Paulding County School District provides a variety of resources which are available at every school within the district to help address student behavioral problems.  These resources include Student Support Teams, school counselors, chronic disciplinary problem student plans, and the Paulding County Attendance Protocol.

Progressive Discipline Processes

Progressive discipline processes are designed to create the expectation that the degree of discipline imposed by each school will be in proportion to the severity of the behavior of a particular student, the previous discipline history of the student and other relevant factors, while ensuring that each student receives the due process mandated by federal and state law.

The Code of Conduct provides a systematic process of behavioral correction in which inappropriate behaviors are followed by consequences.  Disciplinary actions are designed to teach students self-discipline and to help them substitute inappropriate behaviors with those that are consistent with the character traits from Georgia's Character Education Program.

Parental Involvement Processes

Parental involvement processes are designed to enable parents, guardians, teachers, and school administrators to work together to improve and enhance student behavior and academic performance.  The process should enable parents, guardians, and school employees to communicate freely their concerns about student behaviors which detract from the learning environment.   School administrators recognize that two-way communication through personal contacts is extremely valuable; therefore, they provide information to parents, as well as ongoing opportunities for school personnel to hear parents' concerns and comments.

Parents and students should contact the principal of the school if specific questions arise related to the Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct specifies within its standards of behavior various violations of the Code which may result in a school staff member's request that a parent or guardian come to the school for a conference.

Parents are encouraged to visit the schools regularly and are expected to be actively involved in the behavior support processes designed to promote positive choices and behavior.

Georgia law mandates that any time a teacher or principal identifies a student as a chronic disciplinary problem student, the principal shall notify by telephone call and by mail the student's parent or guardian of the disciplinary problem, invite the parent or guardian to observe the student in a classroom situation, and request at least one parent or guardian to attend a conference to devise a disciplinary and behavioral correction plan.

Georgia law also states that before any chronic disciplinary problem student is permitted to return to school from a suspension or expulsion, the school shall request by telephone call and by mail at least one parent or guardian to schedule and attend a conference to devise a disciplinary and behavioral correction plan.

The law allows a local board of education to petition the juvenile court to require a parent/guardian to attend a school conference.  If the court finds that the parent or guardian has willfully and unreasonably failed to attend a conference requested by the principal pursuant to the laws cited above, the court may order the parent or guardian to attend such a conference, order the parent or guardian to participate in such programs or such treatment as the court deems appropriate to improve the student's behavior, or both.  After notice and opportunity for hearing, the court may impose a fine, not to exceed $500.00, on a parent or guardian who willfully disobeys an order of the court under this law.

Each school shall involve parents in updating student codes of conduct.  Each code shall require disciplinary action for each infraction of the code.

Bus Conduct

The student behavior code applies to all school district transportation and at school bus stops.  Many of the violations of the student behavior code will result in immediate removal from any school district transportation. The following are additional provisions prescribing and governing student conduct and safety rules on all school buses and at school bus stops:

  • Students shall be prohibited from acts of physical violence as defined by Code Section 20-2-751.6, bullying as defined by subsection (a) of Code Section 20-2-751.4, physical assault or battery of other persons on the school bus, verbal assault of other persons on the school bus, disrespectful conduct toward the school bus driver  or  other persons on the school bus, and other unruly behavior;
  • Students shall be prohibited from using any electronic devices during the operation of a school bus, including but not limited to cell phones, pagers, audible radios, tape or compact disc players ; or any other electronic device in a manner that might interfere with the school bus communications equipment or the school bus driver's operation of the school bus; and
  • Students shall be prohibited from using mirrors, lasers, flash cameras, or other lights or reflective devises in a manner that might interfere with the school bus driver's operation of the school bus.

 If a student is found to have engaged in physical acts of violence as defined by Code Section 20-2-751.6, the student shall be subject to the penalties set forth in that Code Section.  The consequences for physical violence against a teacher, school bus driver, or other school personnel may include expulsion for the remainder of the student's eligibility to attend public schools.

A meeting of the parent or guardian of the student and appropriate school officials must be held to form a school bus behavior contract whenever:

  • A student is found to have engaged in bullying; or
  • A student is found to have engaged in a physical assault or battery of another person on the school bus.

The school bus behavior contract shall provide for age-appropriate discipline, penalties, and restrictions for student misconduct on the bus.  Provisions may include, but are not limited to assigned seating, ongoing parental involvement, a suspension from riding the bus, and suspension from school.  These provisions regarding use of a bus behavior contract are not to be construed to limit the instances when other code of conduct violations may require use of a student bus behavior contract.

Other infractions of bus conduct rules include: 

  • Failure to remain seated;
  • Eating or drinking on the bus;
  • Putting any part of the body outside a window;
  • Consistent tardiness to bus stop;
  • Unnecessary noise;
  • Loading or unloading at unassigned stops; and/or
  • Refusal to sit in assigned seat.

 Disciplinary actions by an administrator include, but are not limited to:

  • Conference with student;
  • Conference with parent/guardian;
  • Detention;
  • Saturday School;
  • In-school Suspension;
  • Suspension from the bus transportation system; or
  • Suspension from School.

 Bus referrals are cumulative over the school year.  Recommended action includes, but is not limited to:

  • First referral - Form sent to parents;
  • Second referral - Suspension for five days from the bus transportation system;
  • Third referral - Suspension for nine days from the bus transportation system; and
  • Fourth referral - Permanent suspension from the bus transportation system.

Attendance

 Truant - any child subject to compulsory attendance who during the calendar year has more than five days of unexcused absences.

 Attendance problems such as truancy, excessive tardiness without a legal excuse, and/or checking out of school early without a legal excuse will result in disciplinary action by the school including, but not limited to: 

  • detentions;
  • Saturday School;
  • In-school Suspension;
  • Declaring a student ineligible to participate in extracurricular activities;
  • Declaring a student ineligible to drive and park at school;
  • Referral  of students age six (6) sixteen (16) to Juvenile Court for truancy and/or as an unruly youth;
  • Referral of students age fourteen and older to  the Department of Motor Vehicles for the suspension or denial of instructional and drivers licenses;
  • Referral of the parent/guardian to State Court for Failure to Comply with the Compulsory Attendance provisions of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.).  
  • Referral of the parent/guardian to the Department of Family and Children Services for suspicion or indications of abuse/neglect.

 Please refer to Board Policy JB, Student Attendance.

Persistently Dangerous School

 A public school in which for each of three consecutive years on the property of the public school, or at an event within the jurisdiction of a public school, or at a school sponsored event:

  • At least one student enrolled in that school is found by a official action to have committed an offense in violation of a school rule that involved one or more of the following 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)
    • Arson - First Degree (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 two percent or more of the student population or ten students, whichever is greater are found by official action to have committed an offense in violation of a school rule that involved one or more of the following offenses:
    • Non-felony drugs (O.C.G.A. 16-13-2)
    • Felony drugs (O.C.G.A. 16-13-127.1)
    • Felony Weapons (O.C.G.A. 16-11-127.1)
    • Terroristic Threats (O.C.G.A. 16-11-37)
  • or any combination of the aforementioned criteria 

 shall be identified by the Georgia Department of Education as a persistently dangerous public school.

 The local school district shall:

  • within ten school days of notification shall notify the parents/guardians of students in a school that has been identified as a persistently dangerous school;
  • adopt a corrective action plan and submit it to the Georgia Department of Education;
  • upon completion of its planned corrective action plan, apply to the Georgia Department of Education to have the school removed from the list of persistently dangerous schools.

 Any student who is a victim of a violent criminal offense that occurs on the property of a public school in which the student is enrolled, while attending a school sponsored event that occurs on the property of a public school, or while attending an event under the jurisdiction of a public school shall be permitted to attend a safe public school, including a charter school, within ten (10) school days of the violent criminal offense, and to the extent possible, shall allow victims to transfer to a school that is making adequate yearly progress and has not been identified as being in school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring.

 A local board of education with one or more of its schools identified as persistently dangerous is not required to cover the cost of transportation to a safe public school beyond the levels identified by federal legislation.

Authority of the Principal

 The principal is the designated leader of the school and, in concert with the staff, is responsible for the orderly operation of the school.  In cases of disruptive, disorderly or dangerous conduct covered in this Code, the principal may undertake the corrective measure or measures which he or she believes to be in the best interest of the student and the school, provided any such action does not violate school board policy.

Distribution of the Student Code of Conduct

 The student code of conduct shall be distributed to each student and the student's parents or guardians during the first week of school and upon enrollment of each new student.  The parents shall be requested to sign an acknowledgement of the receipt of the code of conduct and return promptly the acknowledgement to the school.  The student code of conduct shall be available in the school office and each classroom.

School Clubs/Organizations

 Each school will provide information regarding school clubs and organizations, including name of club, mission, or purpose, name of faculty advisor, and description of past or planned activities. A form will be provided to the parent or guardian to decline permission for his or her student to participate in a club or organization designated by him or her.

 

Paulding County Schools
Date Adopted:  8/24/2001
Last Revised:  5/28/2013

Policy Reference Disclaimer: These references are not intended to be part of the policy itself, nor do they indicate the basis or authority for the board to enact this policy. Instead, they are provided as additional resources for those interested in the subject matter of the policy.

Note: The State of Georgia has moved the Georgia Code. This new environment no longer allows us to link directly to the Georgia Code. For example enter 20-02-0211 in the search window and the Georgia Code will appear.
State Code Description
O.C.G.A. 20-02-0753 Tribunal following allegations of assault and battery or suspension exceeding 10 days
O.C.G.A. 20-02-1000 Limitation on civil damages for disciplining students
O.C.G.A. 20-02-1001 Limited immunity from criminal liability
O.C.G.A. 20-02-0736 Student codes of conduct; distribution
Rule 160-4-7-.09 Procedural Safeguards/Parent Rights
Rule 160-4-8-.12 Alternative Education Programs
Rule 160-4-8-.15 Student Discipline