- Souderton Area School District Student Discipline
- Administrative Guidelines
- Discipline Structure - District Policy
- Tobacco Use Policy
- Terroristic Threats/Acts - School Board Policy 218.3
- Drug and Alcohol Policy
- Drug and Alcohol Administrative Guidelines
Souderton Area School District Student Discipline
The Souderton Area School Board believes that responsible student conduct is an essential part of the educational process and that all those involved in the schools - students, parents, teachers, and administrators - desire a learning environment free from disruptive influences.
The Board further believes that a discipline code, established in accord with the school laws of Pennsylvania and guidelines established by the Department of Education, will aid in maintaining that environment.
Finally, the Board believes that a discipline code must be fairly and consistently administered, encourage responsibility and self-discipline, differentiate between minor and serious offenses, and provide for responses that are appropriate to the misbehavior.
The Discipline Code which is on the last page, organizes student misbehavior into four categories from minor to major, depending upon the effect of the misbehavior on the learning climate of the school and on the health or safety of others in the school.
- Minor misbehavior on the part of the student which impedes orderly classroom procedure or interferes with the orderly operation of the school.
- Misbehavior of a frequency or seriousness that tends to disrupt the learning climate of the school.
- Acts, whether on or off school property, including but not limited to attendance at school-sponsored events, extracurricular activities, field trips, transportation to and from school, and the like, directed against persons or property but the conduct does not seriously endanger or pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others in the school.
- Acts, whether on or off school property, including but not limited to attendance at school-sponsored events, extracurricular activities, field trips, transportation to and from school, and the like, which result in violence to another's person or property or which pose a direct threat to the safety of others in the school.
The second column presents examples of misbehavior at each level. These examples are not all-inclusive but serve to describe the type of misbehavior at a particular level. Acts of misbehavior not listed as examples will be placed in the appropriate category and handled accordingly.
The third column of the disciplinary structure contains procedures for handling misbehavior at each level, while the fourth column presents disciplinary responses to the misbehavior by the teachers, principals, or other school authorities. The disciplinary responses also are not all-inclusive, and it is expected that the maturity of the student, the degree or the severity of the misbehavior, and the facts or circumstances surrounding the misbehavior will be taken into consideration as the disciplinary response is determined. In some instances of misbehavior, however, disciplinary responses are mandatory because of the seriousness of the offenses.
The Discipline Code will be used in conjunction with existing policies of the Souderton Area School District such as Student Dress, Student Smoking, Drug Use, Interrogations and Investigation, and Suspensions and Expulsions. The provisions of the Discipline Code will be modified, when required by State and Federal Special Education Regulations, for those students who are classified as exception.
23In 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.
DEFINITION OF TERMS:
- 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, numchucks, metal knuckles, straight razor, explosive, poisonous gas, poison, or any other item fashioned with the intent to harm, threaten, or harass another person.
Discipline Structure - District Policy
The purpose of this policy is to maintain a safe, positive environment for students and staff that is free from hazing. Hazing activities of any type are inconsistent with the educational goals of the district and are prohibited at all times. For purposes of this policy, hazing is defined as any activity that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental health, physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or membership in or affiliation with any organization recognized by the Board.
Endanger the physical health shall include but not be limited to any brutality of the physical nature, such as whipping; beating; branding; forced calisthenics; exposure to the elements; forced consumption of any food, beverage, alcohol, drug, or controlled substance; or other forced physical activity that could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the individual.
Endanger the mental health shall include any activity that would subject an individual to extreme mental stress, such as prolonged sleep deprivation, forced prolonged exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme
Embarrassment or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual.
Any, hazing activity whether by an individual or a group, shall be presumed to be a forced activity, even if a student willingly participates.
The Board does not condone any form of initiation involving hazing as part of any school sponsored student activity. No student, coach, sponsor, volunteer or district employee shall plan, encourage, assist or engage in any hazing activity. The board directs that no administrator, coach, sponsor, volunteer or district employee shall permit, condone, or tolerate any form of hazing. The district will investigate all complaints of hazing and will administer appropriate discipline to any individual who violates this policy. The Board encourages students who have been subjected to hazing to promptly report such incidents to the building principal.
District administrators shall investigate promptly all complaints of hazing and administer appropriate discipline to any individual who violates this policy. Students, administrators, coaches, sponsors, volunteers, and district employees shall be alert to incidents of hazing and shall report such conduct to the building principal.
The district shall annually inform students, parents, coaches, sponsors, volunteers, and district staff that hazing of district students is prohibited, by means of:
- Distribution of written policy.
- Publication in handbooks.
- Presentation at an assembly. Verbal instructions by the coaches or sponsor at the start of the season or program.
Tobacco Use Policy
The Board recognizes that use of tobacco by students presents a health and safety hazard, which can have serious consequences for both users and non-users.
The Board prohibits students from possessing and/or using tobacco at any time in a school building, a school bus, and on school property owned by, leased by, or under the control of the school or at school sponsored activities. Students are also prohibited from possessing and/or using tobacco on their way to and from school (portal-to-portal enforcement). Violations of this rule will result in discipline.
The school district shall also initiate prosecution of a student who violates the tobacco use policy. A student convicted of possessing or using tobacco or an electronic smoking device in a school building, on a school bus, or on school owned property may be fined significantly, plus court costs or may be admitted to alternative program per Pennsylvania Criminal Code Act 145.
Terroristic Threats/Acts - School Board Policy 218.3
Drug and Alcohol Policy
The Souderton Area School Board recognizes that the misuse of drugs, alcohol, and/or mood altering substances by members of its school population is a serious problem with legal, physical, and social implications. This policy and its associated guidelines are intended to protect the health, safety, and welfare of all concerned as well as maintain and improve the rapport existent among students and staff.
Through the use of curriculum and classroom activities, community resources, administrative and faculty efforts, rehabilitative and disciplinary procedures, the Souderton Area School District will work in a consistent manner to educate, prevent, and intervene in the use and/or abuse of all drug, alcohol, and mood altering substances by members of the entire school population.
The school district and its individual employees shall be committed to the enforcement of all existing laws, regulations, and guidelines as adopted by federal, state, local, and school district authorities. Furthermore, in accordance with Section 1317 of the School Code, this policy prohibits any student from knowingly possessing, using, distributing, manufacturing, or being under the influence of any controlled substance and/or alcoholic beverage while on school district property during the school day as well as during any school sponsored activity, function or event, or on any vehicle used to transport students. Also prohibited is the distribution or possession of any drug paraphernalia and/or drug look-alikes.
In accordance with the Board's concern for the prevention and intervention of drug and alcohol related problems, the administration is directed to develop and comply with those regulations designed to implement its commitment to healthy student growth and development. Therefore, this policy authorizes the establishment of a Student Assistance Program as coordinated and operated within the guidelines of a Student Support Team which will receive special training on a continuous and ongoing basis.
School authorities shall notify all students, parents, and/or guardians of this policy and its administrative guidelines.