Critical Safe Schools Policy & Procedure Handbook
DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT AND
BULLYING COMPLAINT PROCEDURE Policy Code: 1720/4015/7225
The board takes seriously all complaints of unlawful discrimination, harassment and bullying. The process provided in this policy is designed for those individuals who believe that they may have been discriminated against, bullied or harassed in violation of policy 1710/4021/7230, Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying. Individuals who have witnessed or have reliable information that another person has been subject to unlawful discrimination, harassment or bullying also should report such violations to one of the school system officials listed in subsection C.1. of this policy. Reports may be made anonymously.
- Alleged Perpetrator
The alleged perpetrator is the individual alleged to have discriminated against, harassed or bullied the complainant.
A complaint is an oral or written notification made by a person who believes he or she is the victim of unlawful discrimination, harassment or bullying.
The complainant is the individual complaining of being discriminated against, harassed or bullied.
Days are the working days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, inclement weather days, vacation days or holidays, as set forth in the school calendar. In counting days, the first day will be the first full working day following receipt of the complaint. When a complaint is submitted on or after May 1, time limits will consist of all weekdays (Monday–Friday) so that the matter may be resolved before the close of the school term or as soon thereafter as possible.
- Investigative Report
The investigative report is a written account of the findings of the investigation conducted in response to a complaint.
The investigator is the school official responsible for investigating and responding to the complaint.
A report is an oral or written notification that an individual, other than the reporter, is a suspected perpetrator or victim of unlawful discrimination, harassment or bullying.
- Reporting by Employees or Other Third Parties
- Mandatory Reporting by School Employees
Any employee who witnessed or who has reliable information or reason to believe that an individual may have been discriminated against, harassed or bullied in violation of policy 1710/4021/7230 must report the offense immediately to an appropriate individual designated in subsection C.1., below. An employee who does not promptly report possible discrimination, harassment or bullying shall be subject to disciplinary action.
- Reporting by Other Third Parties
All members of the school community including students, parents, volunteers and visitors are also strongly encouraged to report any act that may constitute an incident of discrimination, harassment or bullying.
- Anonymous Reporting
Reports of discrimination, harassment or bullying may be made anonymously but formal disciplinary action may not be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report.
- Investigation of Reports
Reports of discrimination, harassment or bullying shall be investigated sufficiently to determine whether further action under this policy or otherwise is necessary, and school officials shall take such action as appropriate under the circumstances. At the option of the alleged victim, the report may be treated as a complaint by the alleged victim under this policy.
- Complaints Brought by Alleged Victims of Discrimination, Harassment or Bullying
- Filing a Complaint
Any individual, who believes that he or she has been discriminated against, harassed or bullied is strongly encouraged to file a complaint orally or in writing to any of the following individuals:
- the principal or assistant principal of the school at which either the alleged perpetrator or alleged victim attends or is employed;
- an immediate supervisor if the individual making the complaint is an employee;
- the assistant superintendent of human resources if the alleged perpetrator or alleged victim is an employee of the school system (or the superintendent if the assistant superintendent of human resources is the alleged perpetrator);
- the Title IX coordinator for claims of sex discrimination or sexual harassment; or
- the Section 504 coordinator or the ADA coordinator for claims of discrimination on the basis of a disability.
- Time Period for Filing a Complaint
A complaint should be filed as soon as possible but no later than 30 days after disclosure or discovery of the facts giving rise to the complaint. Complaints submitted after the 30-day period may be investigated; however, individuals should recognize that delays in reporting may significantly impair the ability of school officials to investigate and respond to such complaints.
- Informal Resolution
The board acknowledges that many complaints may be addressed informally through such methods as conferences or mediation, and the board encourages the use of such procedures to the extent possible. If an informal process is used, the principal or other designated personnel must (1) notify the complainant that he or she has the option to request formal procedures at any time and (2) make a copy of this policy and other relevant policies available to the complainant. In those circumstances in which informal procedures fail or are inappropriate or in which the complainant requests formal procedures, the complaints will be investigated promptly, impartially and thoroughly according to the procedures outlined in the remainder of this policy.
- Process for Addressing Complaints of Alleged Incidents of Discrimination, Harassment or Bullying
- Initiating the Investigation
- Whoever receives a complaint of discrimination, harassment or bullying pursuant to subsection C.1. shall immediately notify the appropriate investigator who shall respond to the complaint and investigate. The investigator of a complaint is determined as follows:
- If the alleged incident occurred under the jurisdiction of the principal, the investigator is the principal or designee, unless the alleged perpetrator is the principal, the assistant superintendent of human resources, the superintendent or a member of the board. If the alleged perpetrator is any other employee, the principal or designee shall conduct the investigation in consultation with the assistant superintendent of human resources or designee.
- If the alleged perpetrator is the principal, the assistant superintendent of human resources or designee is the investigator.
- If the alleged incident occurred outside of the jurisdiction of a principal (for example, at the central office), the assistant superintendent of human resources or designee is the investigator unless the alleged perpetrator is the assistant superintendent of human resources, the superintendent or a member of the board.
- If the alleged perpetrator is the assistant superintendent for human resources, the superintendent or designee is the investigator.
- If the alleged perpetrator is the superintendent, the board attorney is the investigator. (In such cases, whoever receives a complaint of discrimination, harassment or bullying shall immediately notify the assistant superintendent of human resources who shall immediately notify the board chair. The board chair shall direct the board attorney to respond to the complaint and investigate.)
- If the alleged perpetrator is a member of the board, the board attorney is the investigator. (In such cases, whoever receives a complaint of discrimination, harassment or bullying shall immediately notify the superintendent who shall direct the board attorney to respond to the complaint and investigate. Unless the board chair is the alleged perpetrator, the superintendent shall also notify the board chair of the complaint.)
- As applicable, the investigator shall immediately notify the Title IX, Section 504 or ADA coordinator of the complaint, and, as appropriate, may designate the coordinator to conduct the investigation.
- The investigator shall explain the process of the investigation to the complainant and inquire as to whether the complainant would like to suggest a course of corrective action.
- Written documentation of all reports and complaints, as well as the school system’s response, must be maintained in accordance with policy 1710/4021/7230.
- Failure to investigate and/or address claims of discrimination, harassment or bullying shall result in disciplinary action.
- Conducting the Investigation
- The investigator is responsible for determining whether the alleged act(s) constitutes a violation of policy 1710/4021/7230. In so doing, the investigator shall impartially, promptly and thoroughly investigate the complaint. The investigator shall interview (1) the complainant; (2) the alleged perpetrator(s); and (3) any other individuals, including other possible victims, who may have relevant information.
- Information may be shared only with individuals who need the information in order to investigate and address the complaint appropriately. Any requests by the complainant for confidentiality shall be evaluated within the context of the legal responsibilities of the school system. Any complaints withdrawn to protect confidentiality must be recorded in accordance with policy 1710/4021/7230.
- The investigator shall review the factual information gathered through the investigation to determine whether the alleged conduct constitutes discrimination, harassment or bullying, giving consideration to all factual information, the context in which the alleged incidents occurred, the age and maturity of the complainant and alleged perpetrator(s), and any other relevant circumstances.
- Investigative Report
- The investigator shall submit a written investigative report to the superintendent and, as applicable, to the Title IX, Section 504 or ADA coordinator.
- The investigator shall notify the complainant of the results of the investigation within 15 days of receiving the complaint, unless additional time is necessary to conduct an impartial, thorough investigation. The investigator shall specify whether the complaint was substantiated and, if so, shall also specify:
- reasonable, timely, age-appropriate, corrective action intended to end the discrimination, harassment or bullying and prevent it from recurring;
- as needed, reasonable steps to address the effects of the discrimination, harassment or bullying on the complainant; and
- as needed, reasonable steps to protect the complainant from retaliation as a result of communicating the complaint.
- Information regarding specific disciplinary action imposed on the alleged perpetrator(s) will not be given to the complainant unless the information relates directly to the complainant (e.g., an order requiring the perpetrator not to have contact with the complainant).
- If the investigator determines that the complaint was substantiated, the perpetrator(s) shall be subject to discipline or other corrective steps, as described in policy 1710/4021/7230. If the corrective steps involve actions outside the scope of the investigator’s authority, the superintendent will be notified so that responsibility for taking the corrective steps may be delegated to the appropriate individual.
- Each alleged perpetrator will be provided with a written summary of the results of the investigation in regard to whether the complaint was substantiated, whether the alleged perpetrator violated relevant law or board policies by his or her actions, and what, if any, disciplinary actions or consequences will be imposed upon the perpetrator in accordance with board policy. The perpetrator may appeal any disciplinary action or consequence in accordance with board policy and law. However, an appeal by the perpetrator of disciplinary action does not preclude school officials from taking appropriate action to address the discrimination, harassment or bullying.
- Appeal of Investigative Report
- If the complainant is dissatisfied with the investigative report, he or she may appeal the decision to the superintendent (unless the alleged perpetrator is the assistant superintendent for human resources or the superintendent, in which cases the complainant may appeal directly to the board in accordance with the procedure described in subsection D.4.b below). The appeal must be submitted in writing within five days of receiving the investigative report. The superintendent may review the documents, conduct any further investigation necessary or take any other steps the superintendent determines to be appropriate in order to respond to the complaint. The superintendent shall provide a written response within 10 days after receiving the appeal, unless further investigation is needed.
- If the complainant is dissatisfied with the superintendent’s response, he or she may appeal the decision to the board within five days of receiving the superintendent’s response. The board will review the documents, direct that further investigation be conducted if necessary and take any other steps that the board determines to be appropriate in order to respond to the complaint. Upon request of the complainant, the board will hold a hearing pursuant to policy 2500, Hearings Before the Board. The board will provide a written response within 30 days after receiving the appeal, unless further investigation is necessary or the hearing necessitates that more time be taken to respond.
- Timeliness of Process
The number of days indicated at each step of the process should be considered a maximum. Every effort should be made to expedite the process.
If any school official charged with investigating the complaint or reviewing the investigation fails at any step in the process to communicate a decision within the specified time limit, the complainant will be entitled to appeal the complaint to the next step unless the official has notified the complainant of the delay and the reason for the delay, such as the complexity of the investigation, review or report. The school official shall make reasonable efforts to keep the complainant apprised of progress being made during any period of delay. Delays that interfere with the exercise of any legal rights are not permitted.
Failure by the complainant at any step in the process to appeal a complaint to the next step within the specified time limit will be considered acceptance of the decision at that step, unless the complainant has notified the investigator of a delay and the reason for the delay and the investigator has consented in writing to the delay.
- General Requirements
- No reprisals or retaliation of any kind will be taken by the board or by an employee of the school system against the complainant or other individual on account of his or her filing a complaint or report or participating in an investigation of a complaint or report filed and decided pursuant to this policy, unless the person knew or had reason to believe that the complaint or report was false or knowingly provided false information.
- All meetings and hearings conducted pursuant to this policy will be private.
- The board and school system officials will consider requests to hear complaints from a group, but the board and officials have the discretion to hear and respond to complainants individually.
- The complainant may be represented by an advocate, such as an attorney, at any meeting with school system officials.
- Should, in the judgment of the superintendent or designee, the investigation or processing of a complaint require that an employee be absent from regular work assignments, such absences shall be excused without loss of pay or benefits. This shall not prevent the superintendent or designee from suspending the alleged perpetrator without pay during the course of the investigation.
Records will be maintained as required by policy 1710/4021/7230.
Legal References: Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. 621 et seq.; Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., 28 C.F.R. pt. 35; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g; Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 705(20), 794, 34 C.F.R. pt. 104; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq., 34 C.F.R. pt. 100; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., 29 C.F.R. pt. 1604; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq., 34 C.F.R. pt. 106; Racial Incidents and Harassment Against Students at Educational Institutions; Investigative Guidance, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (1994); Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance: Harassment of Students by School Employees, Other Students, or Third Parties, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (2001); Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District, 524 U.S. 274 (1998); Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, 526 U.S. 629 (1999); G.S. 115C-407.15 through -407.18; State Board of Education Policy HRS-A-007
Cross References: Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying (policy 1710/4021/7230), Student and Parent Grievance Procedure (policy 1740/4010), Hearings Before the Board (policy 2500), Assaults, Threats and Harassment (policy 4331)
Adopted: November 1, 2010
STUDENT BEHAVIOR POLICIES Policy Code: 4300
All decisions related to student behavior are guided by the educational objective of the Tyrrell County Board of Education (the “board”), which is to teach responsibility and respect for cultural and ideological differences and by the board’s commitment to create safe, orderly and inviting schools. Student behavior policies are provided in order to establish: (1) expected standards of student behavior; (2) principles to be followed in managing student behavior; (3) consequences for prohibited behavior or drug/alcohol policy violations; and (4) required procedures for addressing misbehavior.
The reasons for managing student behavior are (1) to create an orderly environment where students can learn; (2) to teach expected standards of behavior; (3) to help students learn to accept the consequences of their behavior; and (4) to provide students with the opportunity to develop self control. The following principles apply in managing student behavior.
- Student behavior management strategies will complement other efforts to create a safe, orderly and inviting environment.
- Positive behavioral interventions will be employed as appropriate to improve student behavior.
- Responsibility, integrity, civility and other standards of behavior will be integrated into the curriculum.
- Disruptive behavior in the classroom will not be tolerated.
- Consequences for unacceptable behavior will be designed to help a student learn to comply with rules, to be respectful, to accept responsibility and to develop self control.
- Strategies and consequences will be age and developmentally appropriate.
- Communication of Policies
Board policies related to student behavior are codified mainly in the 4300 series. The superintendent shall incorporate information from such policies into a Code of Student Conduct that notifies students of the behavior expected of them, conduct that may subject them to discipline and the range of disciplinary measures that may be used by school officials. At the discretion of the superintendent, the Code of Student Conduct may include additional rules needed to implement the board’s student behavior policies. Each school shall create a student behavior management plan which shall elaborate further on processes for addressing student misbehavior and use of intervention strategies and consequences (see policy 4302, School Plan for Management of Student Behavior). The Code of Student Conduct shall incorporate by reference any additional student behavioral standards, prohibited conduct or disciplinary measures identified in individual school behavior plans developed in accordance with policy 4302, provided such measures are consistent with law and board policy. The Code of Student Conduct shall not impose mandatory long-term suspension or expulsion for specific violations unless otherwise provided in state or federal law.
At the beginning of each school year, principals shall make available to each student and parent all of the following: (1) the Code of Student Conduct, (2) any behavior policies of the board that are not a part of the Code of Conduct, (3) any related administrative procedures, (4) any additional discipline-related information from the school’s student behavior management plan, including behavioral standards, prohibited conduct or disciplinary measures, and (5) any other schools rules. This information shall be available at other times upon request and shall be made available to students enrolling during the school year and their parents.
For purposes of board policies related to student behavior, all references to “parent” include a parent, legal guardian, legal custodian or other caregiver adult authorized to enroll a student under policy 4120, Domicile or Residence Requirements.
Students must comply with the Code of Student Conduct in the following circumstances:
- while in any school building or on any school premises before, during or after school hours;
- while on any bus or other vehicle as part of any school activity;
- while waiting at any bus stop;
- during any school-sponsored activity or extracurricular activity;
- when subject to the authority of school personnel; and
- at any time or place when the student’s behavior has or is reasonably expected to have a direct and immediate impact on the orderly and efficient operation of the schools or the safety of individuals in the school environment.
- Consequences for Violations
Violations of the Code of Student Conduct shall be dealt with in accordance with the guidelines established in the school’s behavior management plan (see policy 4302, School Plan for Management of Student Behavior).
- Minor Violations
Minor violations of the Code of Student Conduct are those less severe infractions which involve a lower degree of dangerousness and harm. Examples of minor violations include the use of inappropriate or disrespectful language, noncompliance with a staff directive, dress code violations and minor physical altercations that do not involve weapons or injury. Aggravating circumstances, however, may justify treating an otherwise minor violation as a serious violation.
Minor violations of the Code of Student Conduct may result in disciplinary measures or responses up to and including short-term suspension. Further information regarding the procedures for short-term suspensions is provided in policy 4351, Short-Term Suspension. Other disciplinary measures or responses may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- parental involvement, such as conferences;
- isolation or time-out for short periods of time;
- behavior improvement agreements;
- instruction in conflict resolution and anger management;
- peer mediation;
- individual or small group sessions with the school counselor;
- academic intervention;
- in-school suspension;
- detention before and/or after school or on Saturday;
- community service;
- exclusion from graduation ceremonies;
- exclusion from extracurricular activities;
- suspension from bus privileges; and
- placement in an alternative school.
The parent or guardian is responsible for transportation that may be required to carry out the consequence. With the exception of suspension from bus privileges, if a parent or guardian is unable to provide transportation, another consequence will be substituted.
- Serious Violations
Serious violations of the Code of Student Conduct may result in any of the consequences which may be imposed for minor violations. In addition, serious violations that threaten to substantially disrupt the educational environment may result in long-term suspension and serious violations that threaten the safety of students, staff or school visitors may result in long-term suspension or expulsion. Certain violations involving firearms or explosive devices may result in a 365-day suspension. Further information regarding the standards and procedures for long-term suspensions, 365-day suspensions and expulsions is provided in policies 4351, Short-Term Suspension, and 4353, Long-Term Suspension, 365-Day Suspension, Expulsion. (See also policy 4333, Weapons, Bomb Threats, Terrorist Threats and Clear Threats to Safety, for information regarding 365-day suspensions for certain firearms violations.)
The superintendent is responsible for supervising the enforcement of the Code of Student Conduct to ensure that school disciplinary policies are uniformly and fairly applied throughout the school system.
Legal References: G.S. 115C-47, -288, -307, -390.2
Cross References: Goals and Objectives of the Educational Program (policy 3000), Domicile or Residence Requirements (policy 4120), Student Behavior Policies (4300 series)
AUTHORITY OF SCHOOL PERSONNEL Policy Code: 4301
The principal has the authority and responsibility to investigate and take appropriate action regarding any prohibited or criminal student behavior and any other behavior appropriately referred to him or her. The principal is responsible for informing students and parents of any standards or rules that, if violated, could result in short-term or long-term suspension or expulsion.
The teacher has the authority and responsibility to manage student behavior in the classroom and when students are under his or her supervision. The teacher is expected to implement the student behavior management plan and any other school standards or rules. The teacher may develop other standards or rules consistent with the direction provided by the Tyrrell County Board of Education (the “board”), superintendent and school principal. Every teacher, student teacher, substitute teacher, voluntary teacher, teacher assistant or other school employee is required to report to the principal all acts of violence occurring in school, on school grounds or at any school-sponsored activity.
Teachers and other school personnel have the authority to manage or remove disruptive or dangerous students from the classroom and other locations within the school building. School personnel may use reasonable force to control behavior or to remove a person from the scene in those situations when necessary:
- to correct students;
- to quell a disturbance threatening injury to others;
- to obtain possession of a weapon or another dangerous object on the person, or within the control, of a student;
- for self-defense;
- for the protection of persons or property; or
- to maintain order on school property, in the classroom, or at a school-related activity whether on or off school property.
Except as restricted by G.S. 115C-391.1, school personnel may use appropriate seclusion and restraint techniques reasonably needed in the circumstances described above as long as such use is consistent with state law and applicable board policies and procedures. (See policy 4302, School Plan for Management of Student Behavior.)
Students must comply with all directions of principals, teachers, substitute teachers, student teachers, teacher assistants, bus drivers and all other school personnel who are authorized to give such directions during any period of time when they are subject to the authority of such personnel.
Legal References: G.S. 115C-47, -288, -307, -390.3, -391.1
Cross References: School Safety (policy 1510/4200/7270), School Plan for Management of Student Behavior (policy 4302), Rules for Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Schools (regulation 4302-R)
SCHOOL PLAN FOR
MANAGEMENT OF STUDENT BEHAVIOR Policy Code: 4302
The Tyrrell County Board of Education (the “board”) believes that each school must have a plan for managing student behavior that incorporates effective strategies consistent with the purposes and principles established in policy 4300, Student Behavior Policies. School officials are encouraged to implement a system of positive behavior support and to seek other positive, innovative and constructive methods of correcting and managing student behavior in an effort to avoid repeated misbehavior and suspension.
- Components of the Plan
The plan should address: (1) the process by which student behavior will be addressed, including any use of a disciplinary committee and the means by which students at risk of repeated disruptive or disorderly conduct are identified, assessed and assisted; (2) positive behavioral interventions and possible consequences that will be used; and (3) parental involvement strategies that address when parents or guardians will be notified or involved in issues related to their child’s behavior (see policy 4341, Parental Involvement in Student Behavior Issues).
No school plan for managing student behavior may authorize the use of corporal punishment. Corporal punishment is the intentional infliction of physical pain upon the body of a student as a disciplinary measure. It includes, but is not limited to, spanking, paddling and slapping. The board prohibits corporal punishment, believing that other consequences are more appropriate and effective for teaching self-control. No teacher, substitute teacher, student teacher, bus driver, or other employee, contractor or volunteer may use corporal punishment to discipline any student. Reasonable force that is necessary to protect oneself or others is not considered corporal punishment. (See also policy 4301, Authority of School Personnel.)
Principals shall avoid removing students from the classroom for a long period of time, including in-school or out-of-school suspension, unless necessary to provide a safe, orderly environment that is conducive to learning. The principal is authorized to remove students in accordance with board policies for prohibited or criminal conduct or for other behavior that interferes with a safe, orderly environment.
- Process for Developing and Evaluating the Plan
Principals are encouraged to use a team approach in developing and evaluating the school’s plan to manage student behavior. On at least an annual basis, the plan should be evaluated based upon data on disciplinary actions taken and the impact on student academic performance. Principals shall report on at least an annual basis to the superintendent and the board on the effectiveness of the plan in minimizing classroom disruptions, referrals to the principal’s office and the use of out-of-school suspension. The report also will address the plan’s effect on academic performance.
The superintendent also is encouraged to consider, develop and propose new and alternative discipline programs to the board.
Legal References: G.S. 115C-47, -105.47, -288, -307, -390.1, -390.2, -390.3, -391.1, -397.1
Cross References: Student Behavior Policies (policy 4300), Authority of School Personnel (policy 4301), Parental Involvement in Student Behavior Issues (policy 4341)
DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR Policy Code: 4315
An orderly school environment is necessary for teachers to be able to teach and for students to be able to learn. Students are encouraged to participate in efforts to create a safe, orderly and inviting school environment. Students also are entitled to exercise their constitutional right to free speech as part of a stimulating, inviting educational environment. A student’s right to free speech will not be infringed upon; however, school officials may place reasonable, constitutional restrictions on time, place and manner in order to preserve a safe, orderly environment.
Principals and teachers have full authority as provided by law to establish and enforce standards and rules as necessary to create orderly schools and classrooms.
- Prohibited Behavior
Students are prohibited from disrupting teaching, the orderly conduct of school activities, or any other lawful function of the school or school system. The following conduct is illustrative of disruptive behavior and is prohibited:
- intentional verbal or physical acts that result or have the potential to result in blocking access to school functions or facilities or preventing the convening or continuation of school-related functions;
- appearance or clothing that (1) violates a reasonable dress code adopted and publicized by the school; (2) is substantially disruptive; (3) is provocative or obscene; or (4) endangers the health or safety of the student or others (see policy 4316, Student Dress Code);
- possessing or distributing literature or illustrations that significantly disrupt the educational process or that are obscene or unlawful;
- engaging in behavior that is immoral, indecent, lewd, disreputable or of an overly sexual nature in the school setting;
- failing to observe established safety rules, standards and regulations, including on buses and in hallways; and
- interfering with the operation of school buses, including delaying the bus schedule, getting off at an unauthorized stop, and willfully trespassing upon a school bus.
The disciplinary consequences for violations of this policy shall be consistent with Section D of policy 4300, Student Behavior Policies. The superintendent or designee shall list in the Code of Student Conduct the specific range of consequences that may be imposed on a student for violations of this policy.
Legal References: U.S. Const. amend. I; N.C. Const. art. I, § 14; G.S. 14-132, -132.2, -288.2, -288.4; 115C-47, -288, -307, -390.2
Cross References: Student Behavior Policies (policy 4300), Student Dress Code (policy 4316)
AND HARASSMENT Policy Code: 4331
The Tyrrell County Board of Education (the “board”) will not tolerate assaults, threats or harassment from any student. Any student engaging in such behavior will be removed from the classroom or school environment for as long as is necessary to provide a safe and orderly environment for learning.
- Prohibited Behavior
Students are prohibited from assaulting, physically injuring, attempting to injure or intentionally behaving in such a way as could reasonably cause injury to any other person. Assault includes engaging in a fight.
- Threatening Acts
Students are prohibited from directing toward any other person any language that threatens force, violence or disruption, or any sign or act that constitutes a threat of force, violence or disruption.
Bomb and terrorist threats are also addressed in policy 4333, Weapons, Bomb Threats, Terrorist Threats and Clear Threats to Safety.
Students are prohibited from engaging in or encouraging any form of harassment, including bullying of students, employees or other individuals on school grounds or at school-related functions. Harassment is unwanted, unwelcome and uninvited behavior that demeans, threatens or offends the victim and results in a hostile environment for the victim. The hostile environment may be created through pervasive or persistent misbehavior or a single incident if sufficiently severe.
Harassment and bullying are further defined in policy 1710/4021/7230, Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying. Complaints of harassment will be investigated pursuant to policy 1720/4015/7225, Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Complaint Procedure. For incidents of misbehavior that do not rise to the level of harassment, see policy 4310, Integrity and Civility, which establishes the expectation that students will demonstrate civility and integrity in their interactions with others.
The disciplinary consequences for violations of this policy shall be consistent with Section D of policy 4300, Student Behavior Policies. The superintendent or designee shall list in the Code of Student Conduct the specific range of consequences that may be imposed on a student for violations of this policy.
A student who is long-term suspended or reassigned to alternative education services as a result of assaulting or injuring a teacher shall not return to that teacher’s classroom without the teacher’s consent.
Legal References: G.S. 14-33, -34 through -34.2; 115C-47, -276(r), -288, -307, -390.2, -390.7
Cross References: Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying (policy 1710/4021/7230), Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Complaint Procedure (policy 1720/4015/7225), Student Behavior Policies (policy 4300), Integrity and Civility (policy 4310), Weapons, Bomb Threats, Terrorist Threats and Clear Threats to Safety (policy 4333)
WEAPONS, BOMB THREATS, TERRORIST
THREATS AND CLEAR THREATS TO SAFETY Policy Code: 4333
The Tyrrell County Board of Education (the “board”) will not tolerate the presence of weapons, bomb or terrorist threats, or actions that constitute a clear threat to the safety of students and employees. Any student violating this policy will be removed from the classroom or school environment for as long as is necessary to provide a safe and orderly environment for learning.
- Prohibited Behavior
- Weapons and Weapon-Like Items
Students are prohibited from possessing, handling, using or transmitting, whether concealed or open, any weapon or any instrument that reasonably looks like a weapon or could be used as a weapon. Weapons include all of the following:
- loaded or unloaded firearms, including guns, pistols or rifles;
- explosives, including dynamite cartridges, bombs, grenades or mines;
- knives, including pocket knives, bowie knives, switchblades, dirks or daggers;
- slingshots or slungshots;
- leaded canes;
- metal knuckles;
- BB guns;
- air rifles or air pistols;
- stun guns or other electric shock weapons, such as tasers;
- razors or razor blades (except those designed and used solely for personal shaving);
- fireworks, ammunition, bullets; and
- any sharp pointed or edged instruments except unaltered nail files and clips and tools used solely for preparation of food, instruction and maintenance.
Examples of other objects that may be considered weapons are box cutters and other types of utility blades and blowguns.
No student may knowingly or willfully cause, encourage or aid any other student to possess, handle or use any of the weapons or weapon-like items listed above. A student who finds a weapon or weapon-like item, who witnesses another student or other person with such items, or who becomes aware that another student or other person intends to possess, handle or use such items must notify a teacher or the principal immediately.
This section does not apply to board approved and authorized activities for which the board has adopted appropriate safeguards to protect student safety.
- Bomb Threats
Students are prohibited from making, aiding and/or abetting in making a bomb threat or perpetrating a bomb hoax against school system property by making a false report that a device designed to cause damage or destruction by explosion, blasting or burning is located on school property.
No student may knowingly or willfully cause, encourage or aid another student to make a bomb threat or perpetrate a bomb hoax. Any student who becomes aware that another student or other person intends to use a bomb, make a bomb threat or perpetrate a bomb hoax must notify a teacher or the principal immediately.
- Terrorist Threats
Students are prohibited from making, aiding, conspiring and/or abetting in making a terrorist threat or perpetrating a terrorist hoax against school system property by making a false report that a device, substance or material designed to cause harmful or life-threatening injury to another person is located on school property.
No student may knowingly or willfully cause, encourage or aid another student to make a terrorist threat or perpetrate a terrorist hoax. Any student who becomes aware that another student or other person intends to use a device, substance or material designed to cause harmful or life-threatening illness or injury to another person, make a terrorist threat or perpetrate a terrorist hoax must notify a teacher or the principal immediately.
- Clear Threats to Safety of Students and Employees
Students are prohibited from engaging in behavior that constitutes a clear threat to the safety of other students or employees. Behavior constituting a clear threat to the safety of others includes, but is not limited to:
- theft or attempted theft by a student from another person by using or threatening to use a weapon;
- the intentional and malicious burning of any structure or personal property, including vehicles;
- an attack or threatened attack by a student against another person wherein the student uses a weapon or displays it in a manner found threatening to that person;
- an attack by a student on any employee, adult volunteer or another student that does not result in serious injury but that is intended to cause or reasonably could cause serious injury;
- an attack by a student upon another person whereby the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury, such as broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injuries, laceration requiring stitches, loss of consciousness, or significant bruising or pain; or whereby the victim requires hospitalization or treatment at a hospital emergency room as a result of the attack;
- any intentional, highly reckless or negligent act that results in the death of another person;
- confining, restraining, or removing another person from one place to another, without the victim’s consent or the consent of the victim’s parents, for the purpose of committing a felony or for the purpose of holding the victim as a hostage, for ransom, or for use as a shield;
- the possession of a weapon on any school property, including in vehicles;
- taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody or control of another person or persons, by force, threat of force, or violence, or by putting the victim in fear;
- any unauthorized and unwanted intentional touching, or attempt to touch, by one person of the sex organ of another, including the breasts of the female and the genital areas of the male and female;
- the possession, manufacture, sale or delivery, or any attempted sale or delivery, of a controlled substance in violation of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes;
- any behavior resulting in a felony conviction on a weapons, drug, assault or other charge that implicates the safety of other persons; and
- any other behavior that demonstrates a clear threat to the safety of others in the school environment.
1. General Consequences
The disciplinary consequences for violations of this policy shall be consistent with Section D of policy 4300, Student Behavior Policies. The superintendent or designee shall list in the Code of Student Conduct the specific range of consequences that may be imposed on a student for violations of this policy.
2. Specific Consequences Mandated by Law
As required by law, a student who brings or possesses a firearm or destructive device on school property or at a school-sponsored event must be suspended for 365 days, unless the superintendent modifies, in writing, the required 365-day suspension for an individual student on a case-by-case basis. The superintendent shall not impose a 365-day suspension if the superintendent determines that the student (1) took or received the firearm or destructive device from another person at school or found the firearm or destructive device at school, (2) the student delivered or reported the firearm or destructive device as soon as practicable to a law enforcement officer or school personnel and (3) had no intent to use such firearm or destructive device in a harmful or threatening way.
For purposes of this subsection, a firearm is (1) a weapon, including a starter gun, which will, is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, (2) the frame or receiver of any such weapon or (3) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer. A firearm does not include an inoperable antique firearm, a BB gun, stun gun, air rifle or air pistol. For purposes of this subsection, a destructive device is an explosive, incendiary or poison gas (1) bomb, (2) grenade, (3) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, (4) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter once, (5) mine or (6) similar device.
A student may not be suspended for 365 days for a weapons violation except in accordance with this subsection.
Legal References: Gun-Free Schools Act, 20 U.S.C. 7151; G.S. 14-17, -18, -27.2 to -27.5, -32, -33, -34 to -34.2, -41, -60, -69.1, -69.2, -87, -87.1, -132, -132.2, -202.1, -208.18, -269.2, 277.5; ch. 90 art. 5; 115C-47, -207, -276(r), -288, -390.1, -390.5, -390.7, -390.10, -390.11; State Board of Education Policy HRS-A-002
Cross References: Student Sex Offenders (policy 4260), Student Behavior Policies (policy 4300), Integrity and Civility (policy 4310), Disruptive Behavior (policy 4315), Theft, Trespass and Damage to Property (policy 4330), Assaults, Threats and Harassment (policy 4331), Criminal Behavior (policy 4335)
CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR Policy Code: 4335
Criminal or other illegal behavior is prohibited. Any student who the principal reasonably believes has engaged in criminal behavior on school premises or at school activities will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, as stated in applicable board policies, and also may be criminally prosecuted.
School officials shall cooperate fully with any criminal investigation and prosecution. School officials shall independently investigate any criminal behavior that also violates school rules or board policy.
A. Students Charged with or Convicted of Criminal Behavior
If necessary, the superintendent and principal may take reasonable measures to preserve a safe, orderly environment when a student has been charged with or convicted of a serious crime, regardless of whether the alleged offense was committed on school grounds or was related to school activities. Depending upon the circumstances, including the nature of the alleged crime, the child’s age, and the publicity within the school community, reasonable efforts may include changing a student’s classroom assignment or transferring the student to another school. Transfer to an alternative school may be made in accordance with the criteria established in policy 3470/4305, Alternative Learning Programs/Schools. The student will continue to be provided with educational opportunities unless and until the student is found to have violated board policy or school rules and is suspended or expelled in accordance with procedures established in board policy.
B. Reporting Criminal Behavior
Principals must immediately report to law enforcement the following acts when they have personal knowledge, a reasonable belief or actual notice from school personnel that such acts have occurred on school property, regardless of the age or grade of the perpetrator or victim: (1) assault resulting in serious personal injury; (2) sexual assault; (3) sexual offense; (4) rape; (5) kidnapping; (6) indecent liberties with a minor; (7) assault involving the use of a weapon; (8) possession of a firearm in violation of the law; (9) possession of a weapon in violation of the law; and (10) possession of a controlled substance in violation of the law. A principal who willfully fails to make a required report to law enforcement will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
The principal or designee shall notify the superintendent or designee in writing or by e-mail of any report made to law enforcement. Such notice must occur by the end of the workday in which the incident occurred, when reasonably possible, but not later than the end of the following workday. The superintendent must inform the Tyrrell County Board of Education of any such reports. In addition, the principal or designee must notify the parents of students who are alleged to be victims of any reported offenses.
Certain crimes must be reported to the State Board of Education in accordance with State Board of Education Policy HRS-A-000.
Legal References: Gun-Free Schools Act, 20 U.S.C. 7151; G.S. 14-17, -18, -27.2 to -27.5, -32, -33, -34 to -34.2, -41, -60, -69.1, -69.2, -87, -87.1, -132, -132.2, -202.1, -269.2; ch. 90 art. 5; 115C-47(56); -288(g), -325; State Board of Education Policy HRS-A-000
Cross References: Alternative Learning Programs/Schools (policy 3470/4305), Drugs and Alcohol (policy 4325), Theft, Trespass and Damage to Property (policy 4330), Assaults, Threats and Harassment (policy 4331), Weapons, Bomb Threats, Terrorist Threats and Clear Threats to Safety (policy 4333), School-Level Investigations (policy 4340)
SHORT-TERM SUSPENSION Policy Code: 4351
A short-term suspension is the disciplinary exclusion of a student from attending his or her assigned school for up to 10 school days. A short-term suspension does not include (1) the removal of a student from class by the classroom teacher, the principal or other authorized school personnel for the remainder of the subject period or for less than one-half of the school day or (2) the changing of a student’s location to another room or place on the school premises. A student who is placed on a short-term suspension will not be permitted to be on school property or to take part in any school function during the period of suspension without prior approval from the principal.
The principal or designee has the authority to determine when a short-term suspension is an appropriate consequence and to impose the suspension, so long as all relevant board policies are followed. If a student’s short-term suspensions accumulate to more than 10 days in a semester, to the extent that the principal has not already done so, he or she shall invoke the mechanisms specified in the applicable safe school plan adopted pursuant to G.S. 115C-105.47(b)(5) and (b)(6). This requirement will apply to students with disabilities to the extent appropriate and consistent with the student’s educational program. In addition, multiple short-term suspensions of students with disabilities that exceed 10 cumulative days in a school year will be addressed in accordance with Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities and other applicable state and federal law.
In accordance with G.S. 115C-390.6(e) and 115C-45(c)(1), a student is not entitled to appeal the principal’s decision to impose a short-term suspension to either the superintendent or the Tyrrell County Board of Education (the “board”) unless it is appealable on some other basis.
- Pre-Suspension Rights of the Student
Except in the circumstances described below, a student must be provided with an opportunity for an informal hearing with the principal before a short-term suspension is imposed. The principal may hold the hearing immediately after giving the student oral or written notice of the charges against him or her. At the informal hearing, the student has the right to be present, to be informed of the charges and the basis for the accusations against him or her, and to make statements in defense or mitigation of the charges.
The principal may impose a short-term suspension without first providing the student with an opportunity for a hearing if the presence of the student (1) creates a direct and immediate threat to the safety of other students or staff or (2) substantially disrupts or interferes with the education of other students or the maintenance of discipline at the school. In such cases, the principal shall give the student notice of the charges and an opportunity for an informal hearing as soon as practicable.
- Student Rights during the Suspension
A student under a short-term suspension must be provided with the following:
- the opportunity to take textbooks home for the duration of the suspension;
- upon request, the right to receive all missed assignments and, to the extent practicable, the materials distributed to students in connection with such assignments; and
- the opportunity to take any quarterly, semester or grading period examinations missed during the suspension period.
- Notice to Parent or Guardian
When imposing a short-term suspension, the principal or designee shall provide the student’s parent or guardian with notice that includes the reason for the suspension and a description of the student conduct upon which the suspension is based. The principal or designee must give this notice by the end of the workday during which the suspension is imposed when reasonably possible, but in no event more than two days after the suspension is imposed. If English is the second language of the parent, the notice must be provided in English and in the parent’s primary language, when the appropriate foreign language resources are readily available. Both versions must be in plain language and easily understandable.
The initial notice may be by telephone, but it must be followed by timely written notice. The written notice must include all of the information listed above and may be sent by fax, e-mail or any other method reasonably designed to give actual notice. School officials also shall maintain a copy of the written notice in the student’s educational record.
Legal References: Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12131 et seq., 28 C.F.R. pt. 35; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq., 34 C.F.R. pt. 300; Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 705(20), 794, 34 C.F.R. pt. 104; G.S. 115C art. 9; 115C-45 (c);115C-47, -105.47, -276(r), -288, -307, -390.1, -390.2, -390.5, -390.6; Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities, State Board of Education Policy GCS-D-000
Cross References: School Safety (policy 1510/4200/7270), School Plan for Management of Student Behavior (policy 4302), School-Level Investigations (policy 4340), Parental Involvement in Student Behavior Issues (policy 4341), Removal of Student During the Day (policy 4352)
365-DAY SUSPENSION, EXPULSION Policy Code: 4353
For purposes of this policy, superintendent includes the superintendent and the superintendent’s designee.
For purposes of this policy, principal includes the principal and the principal’s designee.
- Long-Term Suspension
A long-term suspension is the disciplinary exclusion of a student from attending his or her assigned school for more than 10 school days. Disciplinary reassignment of a student to a full-time educational program that meets the academic requirements of the standard course of study established by the State Board of Education and that provides the student with the opportunity to make timely progress toward graduation and grade promotion is not a long-term suspension requiring the due process procedures set out in this policy.
Upon the recommendation of the principal, the superintendent may impose a long-term suspension on a student who willfully engages in a serious violation of the Code of Student Conduct and the violation either (1) threatens the safety of students, staff or school visitors, or (2) threatens to substantially disrupt the educational environment. The principal may recommend long-term suspension for a minor violation if aggravating circumstances justify treating the student’s behavior as a serious violation.
If the offense leading to the long-term suspension occurred before the final quarter of the school year, the exclusion must be no longer than the remainder of the school year in which the offense was committed. If the offense leading to the long-term suspension occurred during the final quarter of the school year, the exclusion may include a period up to the remainder of the school year in which the offense was committed and the first semester of the following school year.
- 365-Day Suspension
A 365-day suspension is the disciplinary exclusion of a student from attending his or her assigned school for 365 calendar days. The superintendent may impose a 365-day suspension only for certain firearm and destructive device violations, as identified in policy 4333, Weapons, Bomb Threats, Terrorist Threats and Clear Threats to Safety.
An expulsion is the indefinite exclusion of a student from school enrollment for disciplinary purposes. Upon the recommendation of the superintendent, the board may expel a student who is 14 years of age or older for certain types of misbehavior as provided in policy 4325, Drugs and Alcohol, policy 4330, Theft, Trespass and Damage to Property, policy 4331, Assaults, Threats and Harassment, and policy 4333, Weapons, Bomb Threats, Terrorist Threats and Clear Threats to Safety, if the student’s continued presence in school constitutes a clear threat to the safety of other students or employees. Additionally, a student who is subject to policy 4260, Student Sex Offenders, may be expelled if the student’s continued presence in school constitutes a clear threat to the safety of other students or employees. During the expulsion, the student is not entitled to be present on educational property and is not considered a student of the school system.
- Determination of Appropriate Consequence
- Principal’s Recommendation
The principal may impose a short-term suspension or any other consequence that is consistent with policy 4351, Short-Term Suspension, policy 4302, School Plan for Management of Student Behavior, and the Code of Student Conduct. If the principal determines that a suspension of more than 10 days (either long-term or 365-day) or an expulsion is an appropriate consequence, the principal shall propose the disciplinary penalty based upon a review of the student’s culpability and dangerousness and the harm caused by the student, plus any other mitigating or aggravating factors the principal finds relevant.
- Culpability of Student – In assessing the culpability of the student for his or her behavior, the principal may consider criteria such as:
1) the student’s age;
2) the student’s ability to form the intent to cause the harm that occurred or could have occurred; and
3) evidence of the student’s intent when engaging in the conduct.
- Dangerousness of the Student – In assessing the dangerousness of the student, the principal may consider criteria such as:
1) the student’s disciplinary or criminal record related to anti-social behavior or drugs and alcohol;
2) whether a weapon was involved in the incident and if a weapon was involved, whether the student had the ability to inflict serious injury or death with the weapon;
3) evidence of the student’s ability to cause the harm that was intended or that occurred; and
4) whether the student is subject to policy 4260, Student Sex Offenders.
- Harm Caused by the Student – In assessing the severity of the harm caused by the student, the principal may consider criteria such as whether any of the following occurred:
1) someone was physically injured or killed;
2) someone was directly threatened or property was extorted through the use of a weapon;
3) someone was directly harmed, either emotionally or psychologically;
4) educational property or others’ personal property was damaged; or
5) students, school employees or parents were aware of the presence of a weapon or of dangerous behavior on the part of the perpetrator.
After considering the above factors, the principal shall make a recommendation to the superintendent, stating the nature of the offense, the substance of the evidence involved and the length of suspension recommended. The principal also must consider and make a recommendation as to whether any alternative education services, counseling or other programs should be part of the consequence for violating board policy, the Code of Student Conduct, school standards or school rules.
If the principal recommends a 365-day suspension, he or she must identify the type of firearm or destructive device involved and the evidence substantiating that the student brought it to school grounds or to a school activity or possessed it on school grounds or at a school activity.
If the principal recommends an expulsion, he or she shall identify the basis for determining that there is clear and convincing evidence that the student’s continued presence in school constitutes a clear threat to the safety of other students or employees.
- Notice to the Student’s Parent
The principal must provide to the student’s parent written notice of the recommendation for long-term suspension, 365-day suspension or expulsion by the end of the workday during which the long-term suspension or expulsion is recommended when reasonably possible or as soon thereafter as practicable. The notice must be written in plain English and, when appropriate language resources are readily available, also in the parent’s native language. The notice must contain the following ten elements:
- the notice type, i.e., notice of long-term suspension, 365-day suspension or expulsion;*
- a description of the incident and the student’s conduct that led to the recommendation;
- the specific provision(s) of the Code of Student Conduct that the student allegedly violated;
- the specific process by which the parent may request a hearing to contest the decision and the deadline for making the request;*
- the process by which the hearing will be held, including all due process rights to be accorded the student during the hearing;
- notice of the right to retain an attorney to represent the student in the hearing process;
- notice that an advocate, instead of an attorney, may accompany the student to assist in the presentation of the appeal;
- notice of the right to review and obtain copies of the student’s educational records prior to the hearing;
- a reference to policy 4345, Student Discipline Records, regarding the expungement of disciplinary records; and
- the identity and phone number of a school employee whom the parent may call to obtain assistance in receiving a Spanish translation of the English language information included in the document.*
*This information must be provided on the notice in both English and Spanish.
- Superintendent’s Decision
The student or student’s parent may request a hearing before the superintendent within three days of receiving notice from the principal of the recommendation for long-term suspension, 365-day suspension or expulsion. Any hearing held will follow the hearing procedures outlined in Section A of policy 4370, Student Discipline Hearing Procedures. A decision will be rendered before the long-term suspension is imposed.
If the student or parent makes a timely request for a hearing, the superintendent shall confirm that the charges against the student, if substantiated, could warrant the recommended disciplinary action and shall give the student and parent reasonable notice of the time and place of the hearing.
If neither the student nor the parent appears for a scheduled hearing after being given reasonable notice of the time and place of the hearing, the student and parent are deemed to have waived the right to a hearing.
If the student and parent fail to make a timely request for a hearing or if they waive the right to a hearing by failing to appear for a duly scheduled hearing, the superintendent shall review the circumstances of the recommended long-term suspension. Following this review, the superintendent (1) may impose the long-term or 365-day suspension if it is consistent with board policies and appropriate under the circumstances, (2) may impose another appropriate penalty authorized by board policy or (3) may decline to impose any penalty.
If the student or parent requests a postponement of the hearing, or if the request for the hearing is untimely, the hearing will be scheduled, but the student does not have the right to return to school pending the hearing.
Based on substantial evidence presented at the hearing, the superintendent shall decide whether to uphold, modify or reject the principal’s recommendation. The superintendent shall immediately inform the principal of the decision regarding the recommended disciplinary penalty of a long-term or 365-day suspension and, when applicable, of any modifications to the penalty recommended by the principal.
The superintendent shall send notice of the decision via certified mail to the student and parent. The notice must include:
- the basis of the decision, with reference to any policies or rules that the student violated;
- notice of what information will be included in the student’s official record pursuant to G.S. 115C-402;
- notice of the student’s right to appeal the decision and the procedures for such appeal;
- if the decision is to suspend the student for 365 days, notice of the student’s right to petition the board for readmission under G.S. 115C-390.12;
- if applicable, notice that the superintendent or designee is recommending to the board that the student be expelled and any required notifications related to the expulsion if the student did not already receive such notice from the principal or designee; and
- if the student is to be suspended, notice of the superintendent’s or designee’s decision on whether to offer alternative education services to the student during the period of suspension, and, as applicable, a description of the services to be offered or the reason justifying the superintendent’s or designee’s decision to deny such services.
Following issuance of the decision, the superintendent shall implement the decision by authorizing the student’s return to school upon the completion of any short-term suspension or by imposing the suspension reflected in the decision.
The superintendent shall offer alternative education services to any student who receives a long-term or 365-day suspension unless the superintendent provides a significant or important reason for declining to offer such services. Alternative education services are part-time or full-time programs that provide direct or computer-based instruction to allow the student to progress in one or more core academic courses. Such services may include programs described in policy 3470/4305, Alternative Learning Programs/Schools.
The student may appeal to the board the superintendent’s decision not to provide alternative education services, as permitted by G.S. 115C-45(c)(1). Any appeal to the board must be made in writing within five days of receiving the superintendent’s decision. The superintendent shall inform the board chairperson of the request for an appeal and arrange in a timely manner a hearing before the board. In advance of the hearing, the superintendent shall provide to the student and parent and to the board a written explanation for the denial of services along with any documents or other information supporting the decision. The hearing will be conducted pursuant to policy 2500, Hearings Before the Board. The board will provide to the student and parent and to the superintendent written notice of its decision within 30 days of receiving the appeal.
If the superintendent determines that expulsion is appropriate, the superintendent shall submit to the board a recommendation and the basis for the recommendation along with any proposal for alternative education services.
- Hearings Before the Board
- Long-Term or 365-Day Suspensions
A student or his or her parent may appeal an imposed long-term or 365-day suspension. The student or parent must appeal to the board in writing within three days of receiving the superintendent’s decision. The superintendent shall inform the board chairperson of the request for an appeal and shall arrange in a timely manner a hearing before the board. The suspension need not be postponed pending the outcome of the appeal. The hearing will be conducted pursuant to Section B of policy 4370, Student Discipline Hearing Procedures. The board will provide to the student and parent and to the superintendent written notice of its decision not more than 30 calendar days after receiving the appeal.
The student or parent may request a hearing within five days of receiving notice of the superintendent’s recommendation that the student be expelled. The hearing will be scheduled with the board within five days of the superintendent’s receipt of the hearing request. The superintendent shall notify the student and parent of the date, time and place of the hearing. Any appeal of a long-term or 365-day suspension will be addressed in the same hearing. The hearing will be conducted pursuant to Section B of policy 4370.
If a hearing is not requested by the student or parent, the superintendent shall submit written evidence to support his or her recommendation to the board. The board may elect to request a hearing or to request additional records and documents.
When the board decides to expel a student, the board will document the basis for its determination that there is clear and convincing evidence that the student’s behavior indicates that the student’s continued presence in school constitutes a clear threat to the safety of other students or employees. The board also will consider and make a written determination of whether alternative education services are to be provided to the expelled student. Regardless of whether the school system provides alternative education services, the board expects school system administrators to work with other agencies to help the student and parent identify other types of services that may be of assistance to the student. The board will send via certified mail to the student’s parent a copy of the decision, notification of what information will be included in the student’s official record, the procedure for expungement of this information under G.S. 115C-402, and notice of the right to petition for readmission pursuant to G.S. 115C-390.12.
C. Educational Services for Students with Disabilities During Long-Term Suspension, 365-Day Suspension or Expulsion
Students with disabilities recognized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act will receive educational services during periods of suspension or expulsion to the extent required by Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities and state and federal law.
- Reducing Suspension and Expulsion Rates
Though the board believes that suspension or expulsion may be an appropriate and necessary consequence in certain situations, the board also recognizes that excessive use of suspension and expulsion may have a negative impact on academic achievement and graduation rates. Thus, the board encourages school administrators to find ways to reduce suspension and expulsion rates in the schools.
Legal References: U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq., 34 C.F.R. pt. 300; N.C. Const. art. I, § 19; G.S. 14-208.18; 115C art. 9; 115C-45(c)(2), -47(55), -276(r), -288, -390.1, -390.2, -390.7, -390.8, -390.9, -390.10, -390.11, -390.12, -402; State Board of Education Policy GCS-D-000; Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities
Cross References: Hearings Before the Board (policy 2500), Alternative Learning Programs/Schools (policy 3470/4305), Student Sex Offenders (policy 4260), School Plan for Management of Student Behavior (policy 4302), Drugs and Alcohol (policy 4325), Theft, Trespass and Damage to Property (policy 4330), Assaults, Threats and Harassment (policy 4331), Weapons, Bomb Threats, Terrorist Threats and Clear Threats to Safety (policy 4333), Criminal Behavior (policy 4335), School-Level Investigations (policy 4340), Student Discipline Records (policy 4345), Short-Term Suspension (policy 4351), Student Discipline Hearing Procedures (policy 4370)