WAYNE HIGHLANDS DISCIPLINARY CODE
I. Introduction and Philosophy
II. Student Rights and Responsibilities
III. Disciplinary Responses
A. Loss of privileges
C. Exclusion from classes
D. Exclusion from school
1.) Out of school suspension
A.) Formal hearing
B.) Informal Hearing
V. Alcohol and Other Drug Policy
VI. Bus Regulations
VIII. Attendance Policy
IX. Vandalism of School Property
XI. Locker Searches
XII. Dangerous Weapons
I. INTRODUCTION AND PHILOSOPHY
The ultimate objective of the Wayne Highlands School District Disciplinary Code is to bring about responsible student behavior by carefully defining unacceptable acts and by prescribing their consequences. In establishing and administering this code of conduct, the Wayne Highlands School District believes that the students will learn self-control; there will be an orderly instructional climate; and the safety and welfare of the students and employees will be better guaranteed. In addition, the School District believes that students will ultimately become responsible law-abiding citizens. In dealing with disciplinary matters the School District believes it must be consistent in administration of punishments. However, it is impossible to administer any code that prescribes a rigid system of mandatory disciplinary responses for each specific offense. Such a system would ignore the specific circumstances surrounding some instances of misconduct. On the other hand, it is equally impossible to administer a discipline system on a case-to-case basis. This method would produce inequitable decisions and confused students. In order to deal with this dilemma, the school district has fixed responses to more serious or repeated types of misconduct and uses several alternative punishments for lesser offenses.
II. STUDENTS’ RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
A. RIGHTS TO EDUCATION
All students between the ages of 6 and 21 have a right to a free public education. This includes the right to education for migratory children, pregnant or married students and students with disabilities. Students may not be excluded from extra-curricular activities because of being married or pregnant. No student shall be denied a free public education on account of race, religion, sex, or national origin. RESPONSIBILITY - Students have the responsibility to attend school regularly and to make a conscientious effort in classroom work, to conform to present school rules and to share with school adults the responsibility to develop a climate within the school, which is conducive to wholesome learning and living. Students are expected to be willing to volunteer information in matters relating to the health, safety and welfare of the school community and the protection of school property, to attend school daily, except when excused and to be on time to all classes and other school functions; to make necessary arrangements for making up work when absent from school; to pursue and attempt to complete satisfactorily the courses of study prescribed by state and local school authorities.
B. SCHOOL RULES
Students have the right to work through proper channels to help change those rules they feel are unreasonable or outdated.
RESPONSIBILITY - Students have the responsibility to assume that all rules are in effect until they are rescinded or waived. Students should obey all rules while working through channels to change them. Students have the obligation to realize that the Wayne Highlands School Board has the authority to make reasonable and necessary rules governing the conduct of students in school.
Students have the right to be treated by other students, faculty and administrators with dignity and respect.
RESPONSIBILITY - Students have the responsibility to treat other students, faculty and administrators with dignity and respect and without discrimination.
D. EXCLUSIONS FROM SCHOOL
The Board of School Directors of the Wayne Highlands School District reserves the right under law to exclude students from school for offenses such as, but not limited to, poor school citizenship, disrespect for school personnel or property, poor or unexcused school attendance, unacceptable health or safety standards, poor ethical or moral values, and drug or alcohol involvement.
RESPONSIBILITY - It shall be the responsibility of the student and his parents or guardian, if necessary, to be present at the proper time and place of a scheduled hearing. Students excluded from classes or school for 1 to 3 days must be informed of the reason for the exclusion and given the opportunity to respond before the exclusion becomes effective. All exclusions from classes for more than (3) days up to (10) days shall require an informal hearing involving the administration, student and parent. All exclusions from school for more than (10) days may require a formal hearing with the administration, student, parent and committee of the Wayne Highlands Board of Education. The expulsion shall require a vote of the full board. Students may be permitted to make up work missed while being excluded from classes or school.
RESPONSIBILITY - It is the responsibility of the student to make arrangements with all teachers on the day he/she returns to make up work missed. All work must be made up according to established building procedures.
E. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
The rights and limits of students with regard to freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly, shall be in accord with the constitution and laws of the State of Pennsylvania.
RESPONSIBILITY - Each student has the responsibility to accept and respect the rights of others and to conduct himself/herself within legal limits which do not violate the laws of obscenity and libel.
F. FLAG SALUTE
Students, if they wish, may choose not to salute the flag or recite the Pledge of Allegiance on the basis of personal belief or religious conviction.
RESPONSIBILITY - Every good school citizen should show proper respect for his/her country or flag. The rights of those students electing to salute the flag should be respected by those who wish to refrain.
G. HAIR AND DRESS
A student shall be free to determine his/her own dress and grooming according to policies and traditions consistent with the normal good grooming displayed by students of the Wayne Highlands School District.
RESPONSIBILITY - A student is responsible to dress in such a way that his/her appearance or dress does not endanger the health or safety of others, or damage property or disrupt others in the educational process. Students are required to wear a prescribed type of clothing while participating in physical education classes.
H. CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS
A student’s record shall be available to the student and/or parents or guardian according to policies adopted by the Wayne Highlands Board of Education, and at the convenience of authorized school personnel. The record will not be released without prior written approval of the student and/or his/her parents or guardian to outside agencies except those listed in the adopted policy.
A student’s personal property is subject to the applicable provision of the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions. Books and lockers are to be considered property of the school district and are subject to search by authorized school personnel without student knowledge if contraband is suspected. Students shall have no expectation of privacy in their lockers.
RESPONSIBILITY - A student is responsible not to harbor or possess any material, the possession of which is in violation of the law or which may be harmful to person or property.
III. DISCIPLINARY RESPONSES: Following is a list of penalties that may be imposed for various types of student misconduct:
A. LOSS OF PRIVILEGES
This penalty shall consist of a student losing a specific privilege for a specific period of time. Examples of such privileges may be as follows: library passes, corridor passes, early dismissal, eating lunch with peers, and bus privileges. This penalty may either be administered for misuse of the privilege or as a general penalty for misconduct.
B. EXAMPLES OF BEHAVIORS REQUIRING DISCIPLINARY RESPONSES
At the discretion of the administration, and based upon the information provided by the faculty, disciplinary action may be taken for infractions of school rules and regulations.
1. Poor school citizenship
2. Disrespect for school personnel
3. Disrespect for school property
4. Unexcused school absences
5. Tardiness to homeroom or class
6. Unacceptable manners or dress
7. Inconsiderateness of school appearance and cleanliness
8. Unacceptable health or safety standards
9. Loitering in lavatories
10. Other infractions as determined by administration
11. Refusing a search based on reasonable suspicion.
Students may be assigned a p.m. detention for violating school rules. Detention is held on specified days from 3:10 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. Any disciplinary offenses while in detention shall be considered a major disciplinary infraction and shall make a student liable for a suspension. Detention supersedes all other school activities. Any detention missed due to absence from school will be made up during the next scheduled detention. Students may also be assigned an a.m. detention, which is specifically for students who have violated the Tardiness to School policy. The a.m. detention is held on specified days from 7:30–8:10 A.M. The same rules apply as listed above.
D. EXCLUSION FROM CLASSES
Students excluded from classes shall report to the principal or assistant principal during the day he is assigned this punishment. Students shall report with assignments and are expected to do assigned academic work the entire school day. Students are not allowed to talk or socialize with other students.
1. No student may be excluded from classes unless he/she has been informed of the reasons for the exclusion and has been given an opportunity to respond before the exclusion becomes effective.
2. Communication to the parents or guardian shall follow the action taken by the school.
3. When the exclusion exceeds ten (10) consecutive school days, an informal hearing with the principal or assistant principal shall be offered to the student and his/her parents or guardian prior to the eleventh school day in accordance withnthe procedures in IV. b. “Informal Hearing”.
Students may be excluded from classes for the following offenses:
1. Inappropriate behavior 8. Using forged notes or signatures
2. Disrespect for school personnel 9. Skipping Class
3. Disrespect for school property 10. Theft
4. Fighting 11. Threatening Others
5. Truancy 12. Accumulation of offenses
6. Leaving school without permission 13. Other Infractions determined by
7. Repeated Infractions administration
E. EXCLUSION FROM SCHOOL
The following provisions pertain to the administration of exclusion from school in the Wayne Highlands School District.
1. Exclusion from school may be given by the principal, assistant principal, or a person in charge of the public school.
2. No student shall be excluded from school until the student has been informed of the reasons for the exclusion and given an opportunity to respond. Prior notice of the intended exclusion need not be given when it is clear that the health, safety or welfare of the school community is threatened.
3. The parents or guardian and the superintendent of the district shall be notified immediately in writing when the student is excluded.
4. When the exclusion exceeds three consecutive school days, the student and his/her parents or guardian shall be given the opportunity for an informal hearing consistent with the requirements set forth in IV. b. “Informal Hearing”.
5. Students shall have the responsibility to make up exams and work missed while being disciplined by exclusion from school and shall be permitted to complete these assignments within guidelines established by the respective school.
6. When an exclusion from school exceeds ten consecutive school days, the student and his/her parents or guardian shall be given an opportunity for a formal hearing in accordance with the procedure of IV. a. “Hearings”.
7. Students are not permitted to be in any school building, on school grounds, in any school vehicle, or at any school sponsored activity during the scheduled exclusion from school. All expulsions may require a formal hearing in accordance with the procedures of IV. a. “Hearings”.
A. During the period of the hearing and decision of the board of school directors, the student shall be placed in his/her normal class except as set forth below.
B. If it is determined after an informal hearing that a student’s presence in his/her normal class would constitute a threat to the health, safety, morals or welfare of others, and it is not possible to hold a formal hearing within ten (10) days, the student may be excluded from school for more than ten (10) school days, provided the formal hearing is not unreasonably delayed. Any student so excluded shall be provided with alternative education, which may include some home study.
C. Students who are less than 17 years of age are still subject to the compulsory school attendance law even though excluded from school and must be provided an education.
D. The initial responsibility for providing the required education rests with the student’s parents or guardian, either through placement in another school, tutorial or correspondence study or other educational program approved by the district superintendent.
E. If upon written evidence, but in no event longer than 30 instructional days, the parents or guardian are unable to secure an approved education program, the student’s school district has the responsibility to make some of the provision for the child’s education.
F. If the approved educational program is not complied with, the school district may take action in accordance with the provisions of the Juvenile Act of 1972 to ensure that the child will receive a proper education.
G. The following is a list of offenses that may be punishable by exclusion from
1. Possession/Use/Furnishing/Selling controlled substances (drugs, alcohol) in school, on school property, on a school bus or during a school sponsored trip or activity.
7. Terroristic Threats/Acts
8. Possession/Use/Transfer of dangerous weapons
9. Possession/Theft/Sale of stolen property
11. Repeated disciplinary offenses
The Wayne Highlands School District recognizes that education is a fundamental right and that students must be afforded all appropriate elements of due process if they are to be excluded from school. In a case involving an exclusion from school in excess of ten (10) consecutive school days, the student is entitled to a formal hearing, which is a fundamental element of the due process. In cases involving exclusion from classes, or exclusion from school for ten (10) consecutive school days or exclusion from school in excess of three (3) consecutive school days, students are entitled to an informal hearing.
A. FORMAL HEARING: A formal hearing may be required in all cases of exclusion from school exceeding ten (10) consecutive school days. This hearing may be held before the board of school directors or a duly authorized committee of the board, or a qualified hearing examiner appointed by the board. A majority vote of the entire school board is required to expel a student.
1. The following due process requirements are to be observed with regard to the formal hearing:
a. Notification of the charges shall be sent to the student’s parents or guardian by certified mail.
b. Sufficient notice of the time and place of the hearing must be given.
c. The hearing shall be held in private unless the student or his/her parents or guardian request a public hearing.
d. The right of the student to be represented by counsel.
e. The right of the student to be presented with the names of witnesses against the student, and copies of the statements and affidavits of those witnesses.
f. The right of the student to request that any such witnesses appear in person and answer questions or be cross-examined.
g. The right of the student to testify and present witnesses on his/her own behalf.
h. A record must be kept of the hearing, either by a stenographer, or by tape recorder. The student is entitled, at the student’s expense, to a copy of the
i. The proceeding must be held with all reasonable speed.
2. Where the student disagrees with the results of the hearing, recourse is available in the appropriate court. If it is alleged that a constitutional issue is involved, thestudent may file a claim for relief in the appropriate federal court.
B. INFORMAL HEARING: The purpose of the informal hearing is to enable the student to meet with the appropriate school official(s) to explain the circumstances surrounding the event for which the student is being excluded from school, or to show why the student should not be excluded from school.
1. The informal hearing is meant to encourage the student’s parents or guardian to meet with the principal to discuss ways by which future offenses can be avoided.
2. The following due process requirements are to be observed in regard to the informal hearing:
a. Notification of the reasons for the exclusion shall be given in writing to the parents or guardian of the student.
b. Sufficient notice of the time and place of the informal hearing must be given.
c. The right of the student to question any witnesses present at the hearing.
d. The right of the student to speak and produce witnesses on his/her own behalf.
e. The district shall offer to hold the informal hearing within the first five (5) days of the exclusion.
V. ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUG POLICY
This policy, including the rules, regulations and guidelines, is a concerted effort by the Wayne Highlands School District to openly and effectively respond to the current uses and abuses of drugs, alcohol, and mood-altering substances by the members of our student population.
Statement of Policy
Throughout the use of an up-to-date curriculum, classroom activities, community support and resources, a strong and consistent administrative and faculty effort, and rehabilitative and disciplinary procedures, the Wayne Highlands School District will work to educate, prevent, and intervene in the use and abuse of all drug, alcohol, and moodaltering substances by the student population.
Definition of the terms
Drug/Mood Altering Substance/Alcohol - Shall include any alcohol or malt beverage, any drug listed in Act 64 (1972) as a controlled substance, chemical, abused substance or medication for which a prescription is required under the law and/or any substance which is intended to alter mood. Examples of the above include but are not limited to beer, wine, liquor, marijuana, cocaine, crack, hashish, chemical solvents, glue, depressants, stimulants, steroids, lookalike substances, and any capsules or pills not registered with the nurse, annotated within the student’s health record and given in accordance with the school district’s policy for the administration of medication to students in school. Crisis Intervention Counselor - is a certified program specialist with an expertise in the area of social restoration and student high-risk behaviors. Distributing - deliver, sell, pass, share, or give any alcohol, drug, or mood altering substance as defined by this policy, from one person to another or to aid therein. Possession - possess or hold without any attempt to distribute any alcohol, drug, or mood altering substance determined to be illegal or as defined in this policy. Cooperative Behavior - shall be defined as the willingness of a student to work with staff and school personnel in a reasonable and helpful manner, complying with requests and recommendations of the staff and school personnel. Uncooperative Behavior - is resistance or refusal, either verbal, physical, or passive, on the part of the student to comply with the reasonable request or recommendations of school personnel. Defiance, assault, deceit, and truancy shall constitute examples of uncooperative behavior. Uncooperative behavior shall also include the refusal to comply with the recommendations of a licensed drug and alcohol facility. Drug Paraphernalia - includes any utensil or item ,which in the school’s judgement can be associated with the use of drugs, alcohol, or mood-altering substances. Examples include but are not limited to roach clips, pipes and bowls.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
A student who on school grounds, during a school session, or anywhere at a school sponsored activity, demonstrates behavioral evidence of, or admits to being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or mood altering substances or possesses, uses, dispenses, sells or aids in the procurement of alcohol, narcotics, restricted drugs, mood-altering substances, or any substance purported to be a restricted substance or over the counter drug shall be subject to discipline pursuant to the provision and procedures outlined in Wayne Highlands School District’s Discipline Code.
As an integral part of the Wayne Highlands School District Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program, these guidelines represent one component in a district-wide effort to respond effectively to drug, mood-altering substance, and alcohol related situations that may occur at school or at school-sponsored activities. These guidelines are intended to provide a consistent minimum disciplinary means to respond to drug, mood altering substance, and alcohol related events. The Wayne Highlands School District will provide a safe and healthy environment for students with due consideration for their legal rights and responsibilities. The Board reserves the right to use any extraordinary measures deemed necessary to control substance abuse even if the same is not provided for specifically in any rule or regulation enumerated herein.
PENALTY – ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUG POLICY
If it is verified by the principal that a student has violated this policy in regard to using, possessing, distributing or being under the influence of a controlled substance, the following steps shall be taken:
1. The parent/guardian shall be notified immediately.
2. The local or State Police will be notified.
3. The school’s Student Assistance Team and the Wayne Highlands School District Crisis Intervention Counselor will be notified.
4. The student shall be excluded from classes for the remainder of the school day or until such time as he/she can be taken home by a parent/guardian. The student shall be excluded from school for ten (10) days. The student and parent/guardian shall be offered an informal hearing within the first five (5) days of the exclusion. The principal shall recommend an additional thirty-five (35) day exclusion from school for a violation involving alcohol (45 day total exclusion), and an additional one hundred seventy (170) day exclusion from school for a violation involving any other controlled substance (180 day total exclusion).
5. The student and parent/guardian will be offered a formal hearing.
6. In the event that the student in uncooperative, the principal may recommend to the Board that the student be excluded from school for additional days. For a second or subsequent offense, or exhibition of uncooperative behavior, the principal may recommend to the Board that the student be permanently expelled from the District.
7. The principal may reduce the length of the exclusion from school if the student complies with conditions established by the administration (i.e. academic progress, compliance with treatment recommendations, substance testing, etc.).
VI. BUS REGULATIONS
Riding a bus in the Wayne Highlands School District is a privilege. In order to insure the safety of all students riding on district buses, the following rules have been initiated:
1. The student shall at all times sit in the seat assigned by the school bus driver and shall not leave that seat while the bus is in motion.
2. The student shall not at any time use foul or offensive language or interfere with the rights of other pupils.
3. The student shall promptly observe reasonable and logical instructions given by the school bus driver.
4. The student shall wait for the school bus to come to a full stop before boarding the bus and shall then immediately proceed to his assigned seat.
5. AT DISMISSAL TIME THE STUDENTS SHALL WAIT ON THE WALKWAYS BEHIND THE CURB FOR THEIR ASSIGNED BUSES. THE BUS DRIVER WILL NOT OPEN THE DOORS TO PERMIT STUDENTS TO BOARD THE BUSES UNLESS THEY ARE IN SINGLE FILE.
6. The student shall not project any part of his body out of the school bus window or throw any objects from a school bus. Throwing of any object within the school bus is prohibited.
7. The student shall not at any time place books, book bags, musical instruments or other obstructions in the school bus aisle.
8. The student shall not interfere with, or tamper with any mechanical equipment of the school bus.
9. The student shall at all times observe accepted standards of health and cleanliness, and shall assist the school bus driver in keeping the bus neat and orderly.
10. SMOKING OR ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES OR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.
11. Students shall board and exit buses at assigned stops only.
12. Visitor requests must be approved verbally by the bus driver or Contractor 24-48 hours in advance. If the driver says he or she has room, a parental permission slip must be presented directly to the driver on the day requested by any student in grades 5-12. Students in grades K-4 should follow the same procedures except that they must have the permission slips signed by the School Office prior to presenting it to the bus driver. It should be noted that the bus driver has the final say regarding available room on the bus.
13. Only students who have a properly completed late bus pass will be allowed to ride the late bus.
When one or more of the above regulations has been violated, the following procedure shall be followed:
1. A misconduct report shall be filed with the assistant principal of the school the student attends by the bus driver. The assistant principal will, on the first reported offense, mail a copy of the bus conduct report to the parents or guardians of the misconduct by the child(ren). The exception to this rule is the possession or use of controlled substances, smoking or alcoholic beverages on the bus, which will result in immediate suspension from the bus.
2. If a second misconduct report is filed by the bus driver, the assistant principal will take appropriate corrective action which may result in suspension of the student’s privilege of riding the school bus for up to three (3) school days. The assistant principal will notify the student’s parents or guardian of his/her decision by phone, followed by a letter with a copy of the bus conduct report attached. A copy of this letter is to be sent to the supervisor of transportation.
3. If a student is suspended from riding the bus a second time, the student and his/her parent or guardian may be required to meet with the assistant principal and driver before his/her privilege of riding the bus will be restored.
4. If a third suspension is invoked, the student may lose bus privileges for the remainder of the year.
5. During any suspension from bus riding privileges, it will be the parent’s responsibility to transport students to and from school.
6. The cost to repair vandalism shall be paid to the bus owner by the responsible student or the student’s parents or guardians. Failure to reimburse the owner or make suitable arrangements with the owner within thirty (30) days may result in the loss of riding privileges until settlement is made.
Fighting on school property is not permitted at any time. This includes the time when students leave home in the morning until the time it normally takes them to return home after school each day. In addition, fighting is prohibited during any school-sponsored activity. Disciplinary action shall be at the discretion of the appropriate administrator.
VIII. ATTENDANCE POLICY
After an absence, a student must present an excuse to his/her homeroom teacher signed by a parent or guardian within three (3) school days following his return. Absences will then be marked as excused or unexcused. Students who are truant shall be disciplined according to guidelines established in each school. A student who is illegally absent more than three (3) days in a particular school year shall receive a warning issued by the school district. This warning shall inform the parents or guardians that on the subsequent absence the school district may file a petition with the district magistrate in order to ensure the student complies with attendance regulations.
B. Excessive Absence
Regular school attendance is of the utmost importance regarding satisfactory promotion and course completion or award of credit. Successful completion of tests does not totally indicate that a student has mastered a particular grade or course. Excessive absenteeism extremely inhibits students from gaining information covered in class lectures and discussions and consequently may prevent students from being promoted or from receiving credit for particular courses. Respective schools within the Wayne Highlands School District shall develop appropriate procedures for dealing with students who are excessively absent. At a minimum, these procedures shall result in school/parent conferences.
IX. VANDALISM OF SCHOOL PROPERTY
Students who vandalize school property, school building, equipment, grounds or buses shall be required to repair or make restitution for damaged property. In addition, students may be excluded from classes or school and may also be reported to the local police for prosecution.
X. TOBACCO USE
Students are not permitted to smoke, use tobacco products or look-alike products any time in the school building, on the school grounds, in school buses or within the area surrounding the school grounds. This applies to all school sponsored activities as well as the regular school day. Violation of this rule constitutes a serious offense, and will result in an immediate school suspension. Possession of tobacco products or look-alike products in any form is also a punishable offense. On December 4, 1996, Governor Ridge signed Act 45 into law. This new law became effective February 3, 1997. Act 145 is a law prohibiting the possession of tobacco products by any pupil in a public school, on school property, or school buses. A student who violates this law must pay a $50.00 fine for each offense. If the violator elects to have a hearing with the magistrate, and is found guilty, he or she must pay a $50.00 fine plus court costs.
XI. LOCKER SEARCHES
School searches by administrators are allowed by law (People vs. Jackson - New York). A New Jersey Court said, “Privacy rights of a Public School Student must give way to the over-riding governmental interest in investigating reasonable suspicions.” Administrators of the Wayne Highlands School District may, in the course of their normal duties, conduct a search of student lockers, if there is reasonable suspicion for the search. It is recommended that a witness be present during the search, as well as the student whose locker is being searched. However, it is recognized that this is not always possible. All lockers issued to students (including gym and sports lockers) are school property and are subject to inspection at any time by the administration; therefore, students have no reason to assume privacy while storing possessions in their lockers.
POLICY ON DANGEROUS WEAPONS
Carrying, bringing, using or possessing any dangerous or deadly weapon in any school building, on school grounds, in any school vehicle or at any school sponsored activity is prohibited. The intent of this paragraph includes transporting weapons in privately owned vehicles used to transport students to school. Violation of this policy shall require that the proceedings for the expulsion of the student involved shall be initiated immediately by the appropriate administrator, as well as possible criminal or juvenile delinquency prosecution. Exceptions to this policy can be made on a case by case basis due to mitigating circumstances.
Weapon - an instrument of any kind that can be used to cause harm to an individual. While not inclusive, weapons include handguns; rifles, shotguns; spring gun; air gun; slingshot; bludgeons or clubs; brass knuckles or artificial knuckles; knives or swords; any explosive, including ammunition; dangerous chemicals; razors; or any instrument which, in the judgement of the administration, could be used as a weapon or mistaken for one.
Thus, imitation weapons are included.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature that substantially or unreasonably interferes with an individual’s employment or education, or creates a hostile environment. Individuals who harass others in this manner will be disciplined according to District Policy.
The Wayne Highlands School District recognizes that bullying of students has a negative effect on the educational environment of its schools. Students who are bullied, intimidated or fearful of other students may not be able to take full advantage of the educational opportunities offered by the school district. Bullying can also escalate into more serious violence. Therefore, the school district strives to offer all students an educational environment free from bullying.
Bullying shall mean intentional electronic, verbal, written or physical conduct directed at a student by another student that is severe, persistent or pervasive and has the intent and effect of:
1. Physically harming a student.
2. Damaging, extorting or taking a student’s personal property.
3. Placing a student in reasonable fear of physical harm.
4. Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to or loss of personal property.
5. Creating an intimidating or hostile environment that substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities.
6. Substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
The term bullying shall not be interpreted to infringe upon a student’s right to engage
in legally protected speech or conduct.
The school district will not tolerate known acts of bullying occurring on school district property, at school-sponsored activities scheduled on or off school grounds, during the time students necessarily spend traveling to and from school or school-sponsored activities, or at a designated bus stop.
The school district will also not tolerate known acts of bullying occurring outside of school settings if those acts have the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education, creating a threatening environment or substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
4. Delegation of Responsibility
Development Of Educational Programs
The Superintendent or designee shall develop administrative procedures and programs to increase the awareness of the problems of bullying, and train teachers to effectively intervene if bullying is witnessed in their presence or brought to their attention.
Teachers who observe acts of bullying shall take reasonable steps to intervene to stop such conduct, unless intervention would threaten a teacher’s personal safety. The nature of the intervention will vary depending upon the age of the student (both the victim and aggressor), the severity of the bullying and the student’s involvement in prior acts of bullying. The purpose of the intervention is to take prompt remedial steps to ensure observed acts of bullying cease and to teach students that bullying is not acceptable behavior.
Student, Parent/Guardian And Employee Reporting
The school district strongly encourages all students and parents/guardians who become aware of any act of bullying to immediately report that conduct. Students may report acts of bullying to their teachers, building principal or other school employees supervising school-sponsored activities. Parents/Guardians may contact the building principal to report acts of bullying.
If teachers cannot reasonably remediate acts of bullying through their own intervention, they should report the bullying to the building principal. Other school employees who observe acts of bullying shall report that conduct to the building principal.
Each building principal or designee is authorized to investigate reports of bullying brought to their attention by students, parents/guardians or school employees. Any investigation of a report may include meetings with students, parents/guardians or employees; a review of student records and other reasonable efforts to better understand the facts surrounding a reported incident.
Pol. 218, 233
Consequences for students who are found to have bullied others may include counseling, a parent conference, detention, suspension, expulsion, a loss of school privileges and/or exclusion from school-sponsored activities. Depending upon the severity of a particular situation, the building principal may also take appropriate steps to ensure student safety. Such steps may include the implementation of a safety plan; separating and supervising the students involved; providing employee support for students as needed; reporting incidents to law enforcement, if appropriate; and developing a supervision plan with parents/guardians.
Dissemination And Training
1. This policy shall be included in the student handbook.
2. This policy shall be conspicuously posted on the district’s web site, in every classroom and in a prominent location within each school building where notices are usually posted.
3. Discussion of the policy shall be included in the orientation of each new teacher and periodically in staff development workshops.
The Wayne Highlands School District recognizes that both the complaining student and the alleged bully/extorter have strong interest in maintaining the confidentiality of the allegations and related information. The privacy of the complaining student, the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and the witnesses will be respected as much as possible, consistent with legal obligations to investigate, to take appropriate action, and to comply with Family Education Privacy Rights Act (FERPA) and any discovery or disclosure obligations. As limited by FERPA protections, the principal or his/her designee may inform the complaining student/parents/guardians of the outcome of the investigation.
Any student who retaliates against another student for reporting bullying or extortion, or for assisting or testifying in the investigation or hearing may be subject to disciplinary action.
Interplay With Other School District Policies
Nothing in this policy shall prevent school employees from enforcing, imposing discipline or fulfilling their professional responsibilities under other school district policies or student disciplinary rules. This policy shall not be interpreted as preventing a student or parent/guardians from filing a complaint under the school district’s anti-harassment policy.
School Code – 24 P.S. Sec. 1302-A, 1303.1-A
State Board of Education Regulations – 22 PA Code Sec. 12.3
Board Policy – 218, 233, 236, 248