Administrative Guidelines

Middle School Handbook

In accordance with the Souderton Area School Board's concern for maintaining a safe school environment which encourages responsible conduct, the following definition of terms, regulations, and guidelines shall be used by all school district personnel when responding to student discipline related situations.


  • Ammunition - any projectile, along with its fuse and primer, that is fired from a gun or otherwise propelled as well as any chemical or ex- plosive material used for defense or offense such as a rocket, grenade, mine, or the like.

  • Arson - the crime of maliciously burning a building or property of another, or burning one's own property for some improper purpose.

  • Assault - a violent attack and/or unlawful attempt or threat to injure another person physically or verbally.

  • Bullying - shall mean both an intentional, electronic, verbal, written, or physical act or a series of acts that, individually or cumulatively, are severe, persistent or pervasive, that are directed at a student by another student in a school setting and that has the intent and effect of:
    - Physically harming a student; or
    - Damaging, extorting or taking a student's personal property; or
    - Placing a student in reasonable fear of physical harm; or
    - Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to or loss of personal property; or
    - Creating an intimidating or hostile environment (shunning, spreading rumors, cyber-bullying); or
    - Substantially interfering with a student's educational opportunities; or
    - Substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

  • Expulsion - the exclusion from school by the Board of Education for a period exceeding ten school days and which may be permanent expulsion from the school rolls. All expulsions require a prior formal hearing in accordance with the procedures outlined under Policy #233.

  • Extortion - the act of obtaining money, information, or property from another by coercion, intimidation, or the threat of future harm. The threat is not limited to physical violence, but also may include that of ruining a person's reputation.

  • False Imprisonment - the unlawful detention or confinement of another. The key to the concept is submission to authority - a common practice in hazing.

  • False Reporting - any seeming crisis signal or warning given that is groundless or lacks authenticity (e.g. a bomb threat, a fire alarm, or calling 911 where no bomb, fire, or emergency exists).

  • Fighting (Level III) - a physical conflict between two or more individuals which is minor in nature and where serious bodily injury has not occurred; a conflict easily resolved by an administrator; (Level IV) - a brawl or physical conflict between two or more individuals where serious bodily injury has occurred and which is deemed appropriate for police intervention.

  • Fireworks (Level III) - any various combinations of explosives and combustibles used to generate colored lights, smoke, or noise - those devices legal for sale under the state law: (Level IV) - those devices not legal for sale under the state law.

  • Forgery - the making, completing, executing, authenticating, issuing, altering, or transferring of any writing of another without his/her authority.

  • Gambling - placing a wager or betting money on the outcome of a game, contest, or other event.

  • Harassment - to disturb or irritate someone with annoyances, insults, taunts, threats, or demands in order to gain a desired end or create worry and/or other mental suffering.

  • In-School Suspension - removal of a student from the regular school program while providing him/her with planned and supervised instruction in the basic subjects.

  • Insubordination - a rebellious attitude which implies open defiance or refusal to submit to authority.

  • Paging/Portable Communication Device - a communication/telecommunication device that emits an audible signal, vibrates, displays a message, or otherwise summons or delivers a communication to the processor.

  • Propellant - a device used to emit a substance which may or may not be used for self defense including but not limited to mace, pepper spray, and hair spray.

  • School - includes the distance a student travels to and from a specific district building within the time parameter of that student's school responsibilities (e.g. sports, detention, and other school-sponsored activities); school bus; school building or surrounding property owned by the school district; and school sponsored events (e.g. athletic events, trips, concerts, dances, meetings, etc.).

  • School Probation - refer to school probation as defined under Administrative Guidelines in the Drug and Alcohol Policy.

  • School Property - shall include buildings, facilities, and grounds on the school campus, school buses, school parking areas, and any facility being used for a school function or school sponsored trip.

  • Search and Seizure - lockers are the property of the school held in trust by the student. When an administrator suspects that a situation exists or materials are present which could be injurious to the health, safety, and welfare of pupils, he/she has the right and duty to inspect student lockers in accordance with those procedures outlined under Policy #226.

  • Sexual Harassment - unwanted or uninvited sexually oriented words or actions that hurt or humiliate someone and/or behavior which causes a person to feel uncomfortable or offended. Sexual harassment may be physical, verbal, and/or nonverbal and is illegal in schools and workplaces because it violates federal and state laws.

  • Student - any individual enrolled in the Souderton Area School District.

  • Suspension of Privileges - the exclusion of a student for a stipulated period of time from activities which include but are not limited to extracurricular activities, recess, attendance at school functions such as dances or sporting events as a spectator, use of passes during the school day, attendance at assembly programs, and/or lunch in the cafeteria.

  • Suspension (Temporary or Full) - the exclusion from school for a period from one to ten consecutive school days during which time the student is not permitted to participate in any extracurricular activities or be on school property. Prior to a 'full suspension," an informal hearing must be offered to the student and his/her parent or guardian in accordance with informal hearing procedures set forth under Policy #233.

  • Theft/Shoplifting - the taking and removing of another's personal property with the intent of permanently or temporarily depriving the owner.

  • Truancy - being absent from school without permission from a parent or school official.

  • Vandalism - the willful or malicious destruction of public or private property which requires restitution of property and damages.

  • Weapons or Dangerous Instrument - any tool or instrument which is employed to get the better of another and is capable of causing death and/or inflicting serious bodily injury upon a person - this includes but is not limited to any knife, cutting instrument, slingshot, firearm, lighters, nunchucks, metal knuckles, straight razor, explosive, poisonous gas, poison, or any other item fashioned with the intent to harm, threaten, or harass another person.