Code of Conduct
Code of Conduct
2017 – 2018
Rowan-Salisbury School System
Post Office Box 2349
Salisbury, North Carolina 28145
The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education
Mr. Joshua “Josh” Wagner
Mrs. Susan Cox
Dr. Richard Miller
Mr. Dean Hunter
Mrs. Alisa Byrd
Mrs. W. Jean Kennedy
Mr. Travis Allen
Dr. Lynn Moody
Dr. Julie R. Morrow
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum
Mr. W. Anthony Vann
Assistant Superintendent for Operations
- INTRODUCTORY INFORMATION
- SECTION I: MISSION STATEMENT AND EXPECTATIONS
- SECTION II: STUDENT BEHAVIOR AND EXPECTATIONS
- SECTION III: USE OF SECLUSION AND RESTRAINT
- SECTION IV: SYSTEM WIDE CONDUCT POLICIES AND REGULATIONS
- SECTION V: SUBSTANCE ABUSE POLICY STATEMENT
- SECTION VI: PROVISIONS OF ENFORCMENT FOR VIOLATIONS
- SECTION VII: SUSPENSION PROCEDURES AND DUE PROCESS
- SECTION VIII: PROHIBITION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION AND HARRASSMENT
- SECTION IX: COMPLAINT PROCEDURE FOR DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT
Where every day, everyone discovers and achieves the extraordinary.
To inspire and provide opportunities for innovative and engaging learning.
Extraordinary Education Every Day!
- Reading & Literacy
- Engaging Work & Instruction
- Maintaining School Safety
- Recruiting, Developing and Retaining Quality Employees
- Engaging our Community
Beliefs About Student Discipline
- Each student must increasingly be responsible for his/her own behavior.
- Any reason for disciplinary action should be fully understood by the student and parent.
- Teachers and administrators should be consistent in administering student discipline
- Parents have a responsibility for the behavior of their children while their children are at school.
- A positive and safe learning environment is a right of ALL students that should not be violated by negative student behavior.
The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education prohibits:
- Violent acts
- Criminal acts
- Behavior which is unsafe and potentially harmful to self and others
The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education expects:
- Students to follow the guidelines in The Code of Conduct for their school and classroom.
- Parents to support the guidelines in The Code of Conduct, and those established for their child’s school and classroom.
- Educators to consistently and fairly enforce the guidelines in The Code of Conduct and those established for their school and classroom.
- The community to dedicate resources to maximize the possibilities in The Code of Conduct.
The school is an agent for the public, which created it, and has a basic responsibility to help parents educate, lead, and when necessary, discipline their child. The Board of Education and its employees will never be reluctant to insist that the parents accept this responsibility and will intervene to protect the necessary learning environment.
The Code of Conduct asks that you be
- Think before you act
- Be accountable
- Exhibit self-control
- Respect authority
- Accept responsibility for the consequences of your choices
- Don’t blame others if you make a mistake
- Practice Digital Citizenship
- Come to school everyday ready to learn
- Be accountable
Bostian Elementary 704-857-2322
Carson High School 704-855-7297
China Grove Elementary 704-857-7708
China Grove Middle 704-857-7038
Cleveland Elementary 704-278-2131
Corriher-Lipe Middle 704-857-7946
Hanford-Dole Elementary 704-639-3046
East Rowan High 704-279-5232
Enochville Elementary 704-933-2534
Erwin Middle 704-279-7265
Faith Elementary 704-279-3195
Granite Quarry Elementary 704-279-2154
Henderson Independent High 704-639-3103
Hurley Elementary 704-639-3038
Isenberg Elementary 704-639-3009
Knollwood Elementary 704-857-3400
Knox Center or Accelerated Studies 704-633-2922
Koontz Elementary 704-216-0273
Landis Elementary 704-857-3111
Millbridge Elementary 704-855-5591
Morgan Elementary 704-636-0169
Mt. Ulla Elementary 704-278-2750
North Rowan Elementary 704-639-3042
North Rowan High 704-636-4420
North Rowan Middle 704-639-3018
Overton Elementary 704-639-3000
Rockwell Elementary 704-279-3145
Rowan County Early College 704-216-3873
Salisbury High 704-636-1221
Shive Elementary 704-279-2899
South Rowan High 704-857-1161
Southeast Middle School 704-638-5561
West Rowan High 704-278-9233
West Rowan Middle 704-633-4775
Woodleaf Elementary 704-278-2203
School Closing Hotline 704-216-0220
Dr. Jason Gardner 704-630-6110
Executive Director for Elementary Education
Tina Mashburn 704-630-6061
Executive Director for Middle Grades Education
Dr. Eisa Cox 704-630-6050
Executive Director for Secondary Education
Kelly Feimster 704-630-3013
Director for Instructional Programs
Jerri Hunt 704-630-6088
Director for Federal Programs
Candace Salmon-Hosey 704-630-6013
Chief Technology Officer
Mandy Mills 704-630-6043
Director for Career and Technical Education
Andrew Smith 704-630-6019
Chief Strategy Officer
Carol Ann Houpe 704-630-6033
Director for Student Services
Candace Lindstrom 704-639-3064
Director for Exceptional Children
Amy Pruitt 704-639-3004
Director for Horizons Unlimited
Alesia Burnette 704-630-6091
Director for Accountability Services
April Kuhn, Esq. 704-630-6010
Chief Legal Officer, Adm. & Legal Services
Kristi Rhone 704-630-6084
Chief Human Resources Officer
Carol Herndon 704-630-6020
Chief Financial Officer
Rita Foil 704-630-6103
Public Information Officer
Robert “Tim” Beck 704-639-3051
Director for Bus Transportation
Eric Nianouris 704-639-3016
Director for Maintenance
Christopher Nuckolls 704-870-2248
Director of Construction
Lisa Altman 704-630-6069
Director for Child Nutrition
VISION, MISSION, AND SCHOOL EXPECTATIONS
Rowan-Salisbury Schools Vision:
Where every day, everyone discovers and achieves the extraordinary.
Rowan-Salisbury Schools Mission:
To inspire and provide opportunities for innovative and engaging learning.
Expectations of Students
The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education believes ALL students are capable of learning and should have an opportunity to learn based on their needs, interests, and abilities. Each student must increasingly be responsible for his/her own behavior. Any reason for disciplinary action should be fully understood by the student. A positive learning environment is a right of all students that should not be violated by negative student behavior. It is the responsibility of students to follow classroom and school rules and to behave in a manner, which is conducive to learning by respecting others.
The board believes that children thrive in an environment where they know what is expected of them. Expectations of appropriate behavior, in addition to those in this document, are normally stated as classroom and school rules. Teachers and schools should establish rules for appropriate student behavior and clearly communicate them to students and parents. General rules reflect overall guiding principles (i.e., respect others, have a good attitude toward learning, etc.) Specific rules should clearly define what students are to do or not do (i.e., be in class on time, keep your hands to yourself, etc.).
Appropriate behavior and regular attendance in school by students will positively impact student achievement. The Rowan-Salisbury community expects students’ academic performance to increase. Students must do their part, both academically and behaviorally, for this expectation to be met. Students are expected to participate in learning situations throughout the school day and work to their full potential each day. Student refusal to participate in learning experiences or refusal to perform in class is inappropriate.
Expectations of ParentsThe board believes that parents must share accountability for effective public education. Parents are expected to share responsibility for their child’s education before and through their child’s public school experience. Parents have a responsibility for helping their child develop a positive attitude toward school. Parents have a responsibility for getting their child to school every day the child is not ill. In addition, parents must assure that their child is not ill. In addition, parents must assure that their child is at school on time and stays at school for the entire day. The board requests and expects parents to support The Code of Conduct and its application to all children, including their own. In an effort to provide positive role models for children, the Board expects parents, educators and all adults who attend school functions to behave in a manner becoming of adults. In an atmosphere of competition, good sportsmanship and mature behavior is especially important and it is expected of all spectators. When on Rowan-Salisbury School properties, the board expects any adult to abide by school procedures and to display behavior similar to the behavior expected of students. The board does not condone any action or behavior by any person on Rowan-School property, which if committed by a student would result in disciplinary actions.
PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT AND EXPECTATIONS
Behavior that detracts from a student’s ability to profit from instruction or that infringes upon the rights of others warrants disciplinary action. The intent of any disciplinary action is to bring about a positive change in a student’s behavior. The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to give all reasonable support and assistance to the maintenance of discipline while students are under the authority of the board.
This Code does not preempt the establishment of reasonable rules which individual schools may find helpful in the management of student behavior. Individual schools may have rules that are more specific or restrictive than those in The Code of Conduct. Schools may specify certain punishments and/or consequences of misbehavior as well as expectations of good behavior. Parents, students and staff should read and become familiar with the school and classroom rules as presented in school handbooks and/or teacher lists. Principals shall inform students and parents of school rule violations that may result in out-of-school suspension.
ACADEMIC HONOR CODE
The best academic environment is one that holds personal integrity and honesty in the highest regard. To foster such an atmosphere, the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education establishes an academic honor code. The board believes students must hold themselves to this fundamental set of principles. The Code specifically endorses two of the character traits; honesty and responsibility. The board expects all students (K-12) to uphold the following code:
Academic integrity requires that students take credit only for ideas and efforts that are their own.
Academic dishonesty occurs when a student submits fraudulent work, gives or receives unauthorized assistance, creates an unfair advantage, tampers with the work of others, engages in misconduct that hinders learning by others, cheats by any means
On tests, quizzes, exams, or engages in any other unethical academic behaviors.
The principal has the discretion to apply or authorize the relevant disciplinary action according to the severity of the academic and/or The Code of Conduct violation. The disciplinary action could impact the behavior and the grade when appropriate (i.e. receiving a zero for a plagiarized assignment).
The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education recognizes that students enjoy a certain level of First Amendment protection under the United States Constitution, and endeavors to create an atmosphere where students may express themselves in creative and appropriate ways in the context of the school environment. However, students must recognize that school officials are charged with the responsibility for maintaining safety, order, and discipline in the schools. School officials, therefore, may prohibit certain expression where it substantially interferes with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the schools. In certain circumstances, school officials may determine that vulgar or threatening speech causes a substantial disruption, substantially interferes with their operation of the school, or infringes on the rights of other students or other personnel. This disruption standard applies to off-campus speech as well, including expression made on websites and/or social media, which may be accessed in the schools. If there is a substantial disruption, students and parents must be aware that this may lead to disciplinary action.
CLASSROOM AND SCHOOL EXPECTATIONS
North Carolina G.S. 115C-307 states that, “it shall be the duty of all teachers…to maintain good order and discipline in their respective schools.” It is understood that teachers have the authority and responsibility to use reasonable methods to maintain classroom control without having to refer students to the school principal. Common sense classroom rules, such as requiring students to bring adopted textbooks to class regularly or to have students to raise their hand to be recognized before speaking out in class, are appropriate. School personnel are expected to offer guidance and counseling to students when their behavior is not appropriate. Parents will be notified if their child’s misbehavior becomes severe or continues to be disruptive. When non-punitive measures for correcting inappropriate behavior (counseling) is not effective, other disciplinary actions (including suspension or expulsion) will be taken.
The principal shall have the authority to establish school-wide regulations. The principal shall use his/her discretion and best judgment in determining the need and type of disciplinary action for violation of school regulations. He/she shall retain the power and authority to use the type of discipline, which may yield positive results for the student. The Board believes that professional judgment, devoid of anger or negative emotions on the part of the staff member, shall be used when determining the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken. In general, the concept of fitting the punishment to the seriousness of the violation shall apply at all levels.
In selecting an appropriate disciplinary consequence, principals will be guided by the suggested consequence in this Code, but may depart from those suggested ranges if appropriate due to aggravating or mitigating factors. Such factors may include, but are not limited to, the student’s intent, the student’s age, and whether injury, a threat to safety, or property damage resulted from the conduct. If the principal determines that the student has given false or misleading information, either by his testimony or by denial of involvement, the disciplinary action may be increased beyond a consequence that would have been served had the student been truthful.
Individual schools have the option of additional procedures dealing with discipline. If a school chooses to develop a committee to review disciplinary matters, the procedures dealing with discipline. If a school chooses to develop a committee to review disciplinary matters, the procedures must be clearly defined and published. Disciplinary Review Committees may recommend action, including suspension or expulsion to the school principal. It is anticipated that such committees will initiate alternatives in dealing with referred students before suspension or expulsion is considered. If the committee recommends long-term suspension or expulsion ad the principal agrees, the principal will forward the committee’s recommendation to the superintendent in writing.
DISCIPLINE PROVISIONS OF EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
Should a special education student exhibit behavior for which suspension of a student would normally occur, the Rowan-Salisbury Schools will follow procedures outlined in state and federal laws. Students under suspension or expulsion who have been identified as having a disability pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act are entitled to services to the extent provided by law. Disciplinary actions for students identified as exceptional children according to North Carolina guidelines will conform to Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities as adopted by the State Board of Education. If the Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities manual does not fully address a particular issue, the director of exceptional children will develop any necessary protocols consistent with state and federal law.
A written copy of The Rights of Parents and Special Education Students is provided to parents annually by the school system’s Special Education Office staff. A copy can be obtained at any school. Every administrator who handles discipline will participate in annual staff development sessions conducted by Special Education Office staff to ensure that students who receive special education services are disciplined appropriately.
All students with disabilities will be afforded all rights as provided by state and federal law. See also Policies 1730/4022/7231, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disabilities.
DISCIPLINE PROVISION OF STUDENTS WITH DISIBILITIES
Federal laws and court rulings govern the extent to which the penalties required by The Code of Conduct can be applied to students who are identified as students with disabilities (i.e., Section 504 students). Administrators will follow current regulations when disciplining students with disabilities. All students with disabilities will be afforded all rights as provided by state and federal law. See also Policies 1730/4022/7231, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disabilities.
STUDENT SEARCHESSchool officials have the authority to conduct reasonable searches of students and to seize students’ unauthorized materials for the purposes of maintaining a safe, orderly environment and upholding standards of conduct established by the board of education. Any searches or seizures must be conducted in accordance with the standards described in this policy and any other applicable legal requirements. All school officials carrying out a search or seizure are expected to be knowledgeable about the constitutional rights of students and the appropriate procedures for conducting the search or seizure. A search must be justified at its inception and permissible in scope. School officials shall make reasonable, good faith efforts to investigate allegations of misconduct before a student search is conducted. The student search policy applies to searches conducted on school grounds, in school facilities, or at school-sponsored events.
RSS BOARD OF EDUCATION Regulation 4302-R
The following rules will govern the use of seclusion and restraint by school personnel. As used in this regulation, “school personnel” means employees of the board and any persons working on school grounds or at a school function under a contract or written agreement with the public school system or for another agency to provide educational or related services to students.
A. Physical Restraint
Physical restraint means the use of physical force to restrict the free movement of all or part of a student’s body.
Physical restraint will be considered to be a reasonable use of force when used in the following circumstances:
- as reasonably needed to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects on the person or within the control of a student;
- as reasonably needed to maintain order or to prevent or break up a fight;
- as reasonably needed for self-defense;
- as reasonably needed to ensure the safety of any student, employee, volunteer, or other person present;
- as reasonably needed to teach a skill, to calm or comfort a student, or to prevent self-injurious behavior;
- as reasonably needed to escort a student safely from one area to another;
- if used as provided for in an IEP, Section 504, or behavior intervention; or
- as reasonably needed to prevent imminent destruction to school or another person’s property.
Except as set forth above, physical restraint of students will not be considered reasonable use of force, and its use is prohibited. In addition, physical restraint will not be considered a reasonable use of force when used solely as a disciplinary consequence.
B. MECHANICAL RESTRAINT
Mechanical restraint means the use of any device or material attached or adjacent to a student’s body that restricts freedom of movement or normal access to any portion of the student’s body and that the student cannot easily remove.
Mechanical restraint of a student by school personnel is permissible only in the following circumstances:
- when properly used as an assistive technology device included in the student’s IEP, Section 504, or behavior intervention plan or as otherwise prescribed by a medical or related service provider;
- when using seat belts or other safety restraints to secure a student during transportation;
- as reasonably needed to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects on the person or within the control of a student;
- as reasonably needed for self-defense;
- as reasonably needed to ensure the safety of any student, employee, volunteer, or other person.
Except as set forth above, mechanical restraint, including the tying down, taping, or strapping down of student, will not be considered to be a reasonable use of force, and its use is prohibited.
Seclusion means the confinement of a student alone in an enclosed space from which the student is (a) physically prevented from leaving or (b) incapable of leaving due to physical or intellectual capacity.
Seclusion of a student by school personnel may be used in the following circumstances:
- as reasonably needed to respond to a person in control of a weapon or other dangerous object;
- as reasonably needed to maintain order or prevent or break up a fight;
- as reasonably needed for self-defense;
- as reasonably needed when a student’s behavior poses a threat of imminent physical harm to self or others or imminent substantial destruction of school or another person’s property; or
- when used as specified in the student’s IEP, Section 504, or behavior intervention plan; and
a. the student is constantly monitored by an adult in close proximity who is able to see and hear the student at all times;
b. the student is released from seclusion upon cessation of the behaviors that led to the seclusion or as otherwise specified in the student’s IEP, Section 504, or behavior intervention plan;
c. the confining space has been approved for such use by the local education agency;
d. the space is appropriately lighted, ventilated, and heated or cooled; and
e. the space is free from objects that unreasonably exposed the student or others to harm.
Except as set forth above, the use of seclusion will not be considered a reasonable use of force when used solely as a disciplinary consequence.
Isolation means a behavior management technique in which a student is placed alone in an enclosed space from which the student is not prevented from leaving.
Isolation is permitted as a behavior management technique provided that:
- the isolation space is appropriately lighted, ventilated and heated or cooled;
- the duration of the isolation is reasonable in light of the purpose for the isolation;
- the student is reasonably monitored; and
- the isolation space is free from objects that unreasonably expose the student or others to harm.
Time-out means a behavior management technique in which a student is separated from other students for a limited period of time in a monitored setting. Teachers are authorized to use time-out to regulate behavior within their classroom.
F. AVERSIVE PROCEDURES
Aversive procedure means a systematic physical or sensory intervention program for modifying the behavior of a student with a disability that causes or reasonably may be expected to cause one or more of the following:
- significant physical harm, such as tissue damage, physical illness, or death;
- serious and foreseeable long-term psychological impairment;
- obvious repulsion on the part of observers who can not reconcile such extreme procedures with acceptable standard practice, for example:
a. electric shock applied to the body;
b. extremely loud auditory stimuli;
c. forcible introduction of foul substances to the mouth, eyes, ears, nose or skin;
d. placement in a tub of cold water or shower;
e. slapping, pinching, hitting or pulling hair;
f. blindfolding or other forms of visual blocking;
g .unreasonable withholding of meals;
h. eating one’s own vomit; or
i. denial of reasonable access to toileting facilities.
The use of aversive procedures in public schools is prohibited.
G. NOTICE, REPORTING AND DOCMENTATION
1. School staff will promptly notify the principal or designee of any of the following:
a. any use of aversive procedures;
b. any prohibited use of mechanical restraint;
c. any use of physical restraint resulting in observable physical injury to a student;
d. any prohibited use of seclusion; or
e. any seclusion exceeding 10 minutes or beyond the amount of time specified on a student’s behavior intervention plan.
2.Notice to Parents
When a principal or designee has personal or actual knowledge of any of the evens listed above, he or she shall promptly notify the student’s parent or guardian and shall provide the name of the school employee whom the parent or guardian may contact regarding the incident.
3.Written Report to Parents
Within a reasonable period of time not to exceed 30 days after the incident, the principal or designee shall also provide the parent or guardian with a written incident report. This report must include the following:
a. the date, time of day, location, duration, and description of the incident and interventions;
b. the event or events that led up to the incident;
c. the nature and extent of any injury to the student; and
d. the name of the school employee the parent or guardian can contact regarding the incident.
4. Report to State Board
The Board will maintain a record of incidents reported under the procedure described above and will provide this information annually to the State Board of Education.
5. Non-Retaliation for Reporting
An employee making a report alleging a prohibited use of physical or mechanical restraint, seclusion or aversive procedure will NOT be discharged, threatened or retaliated against through compensation, terms, conditions, location or privilege of employment by any local Board of Education or any employee unless the employee knew or should have known that the report was false.
All students are expected to comply with all rules governing behavior and conduct. It is the responsibility of the principal/assistant principal to investigate fully the cases of students appropriately referred to his/her office for misbehavior, to ensure fair treatment of such students and protection of their procedural and substantive rights, and to determine what, if any, disciplinary action is warranted. The teacher shall have the responsibility and authority to discipline students, except in those cases requiring the attention of the principal/assistant principal.
The regulations that follow apply to any student who is on educational property, who is attendance at school or at any school-sponsored activity, or whose conduct at any time or place, on or off campus, 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.
- A. Minor Violations
- Serious Violations
- B. Level I Violations
- C. Level II Violations
- D. Level III Violations
- E. Level IV Violations
- F. Level V Violations
Minor violations of The Code of Conduct are those less severe infractions, which involve a lower degree of dangerousness and harm. Examples of minor violations include but are not limited to 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 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;
- 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;
The parent or guardian is responsible for transportation that may be required to carry out the consequence.
Serious violations of The Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary reassignment or any of the other consequences, which may be imposed for minor violations. In addition, serious violations that either (1) threaten the safety of students, staff or school visitors or (2) threaten to substantially disrupt the educational environment may result in long-term suspension or expulsion. Certain violations involving firearms or explosive devises may result in a 365-day suspension. Further information about 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, and 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.)
Behaviors that do not significantly violate the rights of others, and do not appear chronic.
- Dress Code Violation
- Falsification of Information
- Honor Code Violation
- Inappropriate Items on School Property/Use
- Medication Protocol Violation
- Possession/Use of Tobacco/E-cigarettes/Vapes
- Truancy/Skipping (maximum of in-school suspension)
Maximum of two (2) days suspension for each offense
Second and Subsequent Offenses
This violation may result in disciplinary action as determined proper by the building administrator to include documentation of notification to the parent/guardian
This violation may result in disciplinary action as determined proper by the building administrator, which may include assignment to in-school suspension or short-term suspension up to three (3) days. Additionally, a conference with the student and parent/guardian may be necessary prior to the student’s return to school.
This violation will result in disciplinary action as determined by the building administrator to include documentation of notification to the parent/guardian or in-school suspension.
This violation may result in assignment to In-School suspension or short-term suspension. Additionally, a conference with the student and parent/guardian may be necessary prior to the student’s return to school
This violation will result in disciplinary action as determined proper by the building administrator up to and including documentation of notification to the parent/guardian, in-school suspension or short-term suspension.
This violation may result in assignment to in-school suspension or short-term suspension. Additionally, a conference with the student and parent/guardian may be necessary prior to the student’s return to school in case of short-term, out-of-school suspension.
Behaviors that significantly violate the rights of others or put others at risk of harm.
- Aggressive Behavior
- Communicating Threats to a Student
- Cyber Bullying
- Disorderly Conduct (or Level III)
- Disruptive Behavior
- Harassment – Verbal
- Possession of Alcohol*
- Possession/Use of Counterfeit Items
- Possession of Chemical/Drug Paraphernalia*
- Possession of Chemical/Drug Paraphernalia*
- Property Damage – Less than $1000
- Theft – Value less than $1000
Second and Subsequent Offenses
This violation may result in assignment to in-school suspension, short-term suspension up to five (5) days or other disciplinary measures as deemed necessary by the principal.
This violation may result in assignment to In-school suspension, short-term suspension or other disciplinary measures as deemed necessary by the principal.
This violation may result in assignment to in-school suspension or short-term suspension up to 10 days.
This violation may result in in-school suspension, short-term suspension and/or disciplinary reassignment to an alternative program not to exceed 180 days.
This violation may result in assignment to in-school suspension or short-term suspension up to 10 days.
This violation may result in short-term suspension and/or long-term suspension and/or disciplinary reassignment to an alternative program not to exceed 180 days.
*See Substance Abuse Statement on pages to follow
Behaviors that significantly violate the rights of others or put others at risk of
harm and violate RSS policies, or North Carolina policies or laws.
- Adult taking indecent liberties with a Minor
- Assault involving use of a weapon (except firearms)
- Assault resulting in serious injury
- Assault on School Personnel
- Assault on a Student
- Bomb threats (dynamite, cartridge, bomb, grenade, mine, or powerful explosive)
- Breaking/Entering a School Building/Property
- Communicating Threats to an Adult
- False Alarm
- Gang Activity
- Harassment – sexual
- Off-campus Consumption of Alcohol or Controlled Substances
- Possession of a Controlled Substance/Distribution/Selling
- Possession of a weapon
- Property Damage – More than $1000
- Robbery (with or without a weapon)
- Theft – value more than $1000
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Offense
- Sexual Misconduct
- Unlawfully Setting a Fire
- Use of and/or distribution of alcohol
- Use of and/or distribution of controlled substance
First and Subsequent Offenses
This violation may result in short-term suspension for up to 10 days depending on the severity of the offense. Law enforcement and/or other agencies may be notified where appropriate.
This violation may result in short-term suspension up to 10 days and/or long-term suspension depending on the severity of the offense. Law enforcement and/or other agencies may be notified where appropriate.
This violation may result in short-term suspension up to 10 days and/or long-term suspension or expulsion depending on the severity of the offense. Law enforcement and/or other agencies may be notified where appropriate.
Possession of firearm or destructive device (a weapon, including a starter gun, which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, the frame or receiver of any such weapon, or any firearm muffler or firearm silencer. The term shall not include an inoperable antique firearm, a BB gun, stun gun, air rifle, or air pistol).
This violation may result in a 365-calendar day suspension. The superintendent may modify the consequence pursuant to Policy 4353 – Long-term Suspension, 365-day Suspension, Expulsion.
Behavior that indicates that the student’s continued presence in school constitutes a clear threat to the safety of other students or school personnel. This includes any
student subject to sex offender registration pursuant to N.C. General Statute
Grades 9 - 12
In accordance with NC Gen. Statute §115C-390.11(a), a local Board of Education may, upon the recommendation of the principal and superintendent, expel any student who is 14 years of age or older whose behavior indicates that the student’s continued presence in school constitutes a clear threat to the safety of other students or school personnel. In accordance with NC Gen. Statute §115C-390.11(a)(2), a local Board of Education may expel any student subject to sex offender registration pursuant to NC Gen. Statute §14-208.18.
Death by other than natural causes
Expulsion in accordance with NC Gen. Statute §115C-390.11(a) the local Board of Education shall consider whether there is an alternative program that may be offered by the local school administrative unit to provide educational services.
Dress Code Violation
The dress code violation includes wearing, decorating or adorning clothing that is inappropriate to the learning process. Clothing that reveals undergarments, chest, breasts, navel, buttocks, or any private body part will be considered inappropriate for the school setting. Any article that displays, suggests, promotes, or reveals a lewd, vulgar, unsafe, violent or sexual message through language, images and/or symbols is prohibited.
Falsification of Information
Falsification of information is a false statement meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.
Gambling means to bet money or wager anything on the outcome of a game, contest, or other event.
Honor Code Violation
Cheating, plagiarism, dishonesty, falsification of assignments and signatures, violation of software regulations or copyright laws, and inappropriate computer access are considered honor code violations. Also, selling merchandise, magazines, newspapers, or other property on school grounds, unless the same is an approved school activity, is considered private enterprise and an honor code violation.
Any communication used to degrade, disrespect, or that is abusive in nature, whether by signs, symbols, or gestures is prohibited in the school environment.
Refusal to comply with all appropriate or reasonable directions of principals, teachers, school resource officers (SRO), substitute teachers, student teachers, teacher assistants, bus drivers, volunteers and all other school personnel who are authorized to give such directions during any period of time when students are subject to the authority of such school personnel.
Medication Protocol Violation
Unauthorized possession of any prescription or non-prescription drugs in violation of medication protocol.
Possession/Use of Tobacco
The term “tobacco product” means any product that contains or is made or derived from tobacco and is intended for human consumption or that resembles tobacco or tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, vapes and all lighted and smokeless tobacco products.
Each student will be assigned a school schedule and must adhere to that schedule except when excused by the principal or teacher authorized to excuse a student. Maximum of in-school suspension.
This attempted assault occurs when a student behaves in such a manner as could reasonably cause physical injury to any student or staff member.
Bullying is a form of harassment. Bullying means the repeated intimidation of others by the real or threatened infliction of physical, verbal, written, electronically transmitted or emotional abuse or through destruction or theft or property of another. Bullying may include, but is not limited to, verbal taunts, name-calling and put downs, rumor spreading, extortion of money or possessions, implied or stated threats, and exclusive from peer groups.
Communicating Threats to a Student
Threatening actions include language that reasonably threatens force of violence and any sign or action that reasonably constitutes a threat of force or violence toward another student.
Cyber bullying includes, but is limited to, the following misuses of any school or non-school technology resources or networks: harassing, threatening, teasing, intimidating, humiliating, embarrassing, terrorizing another student or school employee by sending or posting such inappropriate or hurtful email messages, instant messages, text messages, text/digital pictures or images, or through social media websites and blogs. Law enforcement may be contacted.
Disorderly conduct is any action that disrupts the peace and order of the school. Trespassing/Loitering is also included as a part of disorderly conduct. Trespassing to include loitering is the presence of any student on the campus of another school in the Rowan-Salisbury School system without the knowledge and consent of the officials of the school he/she is visiting. Any student who has been suspended from school will be considered trespassing if he/she appears on school property during the suspension period without the express permission of the principal. Depending on the severity of the offense, this may be elevated to a Level III violation
-Disruptive behavior constitutes any physical or verbal action, which reasonably could or does substantially disrupt, disturb, or interfere with the peace, order, and/or discipline within the learning environment or during any school-related activity.
-Disruptive behavior also constitutes any verbal, physical, or visual forms (including cell phone and/or other digital images/recordings) of a sexual nature that create a hostile or abusive educational environment for other students.
-Disruptive behavior also includes the unauthorized photographing or video recording of student images by cell phone, digital camera, video recorder, or other device on school property or at a school-related activity that is disruptive to the school environment.
-Disruptive behavior is also any action, comments, or written messages intended to cause others to fight or which might reasonably be expected to result in a fight.
-Disruptive behavior also includes distribution of over-the-counter medications.
-No student shall possess or wear any clothing, jewelry, emblems, badges, symbols, signs, or other items, which indicate a student’s membership or desired membership or affiliation with a gang.
-Pyrotechnics and incendiary devices or materials intended to result in an explosion and/or fire is not allowed on school property, and school-sponsored event, or any activity representing Rowan-Salisbury Schools. Pyrotechnics and incendiary devices include, but are not limited to: lighters, explosive caps for toys pistols, fireworks, snake and glow works, smoke devices, trick noisemakers, wire sparkers, and other sparking devices.
Extortion is the use of one’s position or power to obtain property, funds, or patronage.
Verbal harassment means to work, torment, trouble, verbally attack, or irritate persistently any student, school employee, or any other person.
To annoy any student by playing abusive or ridiculous tricks upon him, to frighten, scold, or harass him or to subject him to personal indignity is hazing.
Inappropriate Use of Technology
Student use of technology is a privilege not a right. Inappropriate use includes, but is not limited to, posting inappropriate language, messages, pictures; downloading games, apps, etc. via unauthorized proxy or other inappropriate program. Student discipline may include short-term suspension or recommendation of long-term suspension, depending on the severity of the student’s actions. In some instances, law enforcement agencies will be contacted where appropriate. This infraction could therefore be a Level II or Level III infraction depending on the total circumstances. This infraction could also lead to a referral to law enforcement depending on the circumstances. (For more information see RSS Board of Education Policy 3225/4212/7320 Technology Responsible Use)
Possession of Alcohol
Any student possessing any malt beverages, fortified, or unfortified wine, or spirituous liquor, in any amount or form to include any alcoholic beverage on school property owned or leased by the local Board of Education, school bus stop or at any school-sponsored event is prohibited. (Please note Substance Abuse Policy Statement)
Possession of Chemical and Drug Paraphernalia
Possessing any false item, which, without authorization, bears a trademark, trade name, or other identifying marks, imprint, number or device to include currency, is prohibited. Use of any counterfeit item, which the person thereof obtains, or attempts to obtain, money property, services, or some thing of value is prohibited.
Property Damage – Less than $1000
Damage is intentionally damaging, or attempting to damage, any school property or private property while under school jurisdiction.
Theft – Value Less than $1000
Theft is stealing, attempting to steal, or possessing stolen property having reason to know it was stolen.
Adult Taking Indecent Liberties with a Minor
Committing a sexual act with or in the presence of a child under the age of 16 years, by a person at least age 16 and at least five years older than the child, for sexual gratification, regardless of whether force was used, or whether the victim consented.
An affray is a fight between three or more students on school property or at a school-related activity.
Assault Involving Use o a Weapon (except firearms)
Assault with a weapon or other object that could reasonably be considered a weapon. A weapon includes any incendiary device defined under Level II, or any weapon or dangerous instrument defined in Level III, or any firearms or explosive device defined in Level IV.
Assault Resulting in Serious Injury
An intentional act or attempt by force or violence to do injury to the person of another that causes reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm resulting in one of the following: (1) substantial risk of death, (2) serious permanent disfigurement, (3) a coma, (4) a permanent or protracted condition that causes extreme pain, (5) permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or (6) that results in prolonged hospitalization.
Assault on School Personnel
The attempted or actual hitting, striking, emitting bodily fluids, utilizing any foreign substance, or other use of force upon a school official, employee or school volunteer who is not a student. This definition also includes the accidental striking of an adult while attempting to break up a fight.
Assault on Student
The attempted or actual hitting, striking, emitting bodily fluids, utilizing any foreign substance, or other use of force upon a student. Additionally, assault on a non-school employee, or non-student is prohibited on school grounds and/or at school-sponsored, sanctioned events.
Bomb Threats (dynamite, cartridge, bomb, grenade, mine, or powerful explosive)
Communicating a report, while knowing or having reason to know the report is false, that there is located on any school premises a device designed to cause damage or destruction by explosion, blasting, or burning. Placing on any school premises with the intent of perpetrating a hoax, any device that would appear to a reasonable person to be a bomb or similar instrument capable of causing injury and/or damage. (See RSS Policy 4333)
Breaking/Entering of a School Building/Property
The wrongful breaking or entering of any school building, school-owned vehicle, or secured property of the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education at any time is prohibited. This includes the RSS network, computers, systems and programs.
Communicating Threats to an Adult
Threatening actions include language that reasonably threatens force of violence and any sign or action that reasonably constitutes a threat of force or violence toward any school employee or any other adult.
False Fire Alarm
Students will not initiate a false fire alarm on any school premises – doing so creates a clear threat to school safety. (See RSSS Policy 4333)
Fighting is the act of two or more persons involved in a physical conflict such as hitting or kicking another student or other person. A student who is attacked may use reasonable force in self-defense, but only to the extent to free himself/herself from the attack and notify proper school authorities. A student who exceeds this reasonable force may be disciplined even though he/she may not have provoked the fight.
Gang activity shall be defined as any act(s) that further promotes gangs or gang related activities or which threatens or intimidates another person or disrupts the educational environment on school premises or during any school-sponsored activity which includes, but not limited to:
1.Communicating either verbally or non-verbally (hand signs, gestures, handshakes, slogans, drawings, etc.), to convey membership or affiliation with a gang;
2.Defacing school or personal property with gang-related graffiti, symbols, or slogans;
3.Requiring payment of protection, insurance, or otherwise intimidating or threatening any person related to gang activity;
4.Inciting other students to intimidate or to act with physical violence upon any other person related to gang activity;
5.Soliciting others for gang membership; and
6.Committing any other illegal act or other violation of the Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ policies that relate to gang activity e.g. gang-related assault on student.
Student discipline for gang activity shall be in compliance with the notification requirements and processes in RSS Policy 4328, Gang-Related Activity.
Harassment – Sexual
Repeated unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment particularly when the conduct is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a student’s educational performance. (For further information, guidelines, and requirements, refer to RSS Policies 1710/4021/7230 – Prohibition against Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying)
Off-campus Consumption of Alcohol/Controlled Substances
The rule is violated when a student consumes any amount of alcohol or prohibited substance off-campus and then presents him or herself on school property-owned or leased by the local Board of Education, school bus stop, or any other school-sponsored event and a school official detects the physical characteristics of, e.g., odor, slurred speech, erratic behavior, bloodshot/glassy eyes, etc., the student’s consumption of alcohol or prohibited substance.
Possession of a weapon
Possessing, handling or transferring, whether openly or concealed, without educational permission or consent any BB gun, stun gun, air rifle, air pistol, facsimile of a gun, knife, ice pick, dagger, slingshot, leaded cane, loaded cane, sword cane, machete, switchblade knife, blackjack, metallic knuckles, razors, razor blades, box cutters, pepper spray, ammunition, explosives, explosive-making material, chemicals, or any other object that can reasonably be considered a weapon or dangerous instrument.
Possession of a Controlled Substances/Distribution/Selling
This offense includes possession, distribution or sale by a student of a controlled substance of the N. C. Controlled Substances Act or any counterfeit controlled substance. This includes, but is not limited to, marijuana, synthetic marijuana (spice or similar product), MDPV and mephedrone (e.g. bath salts), cocaine, methamphetamine, barbiturate, heroin, mescaline, LSD, codeine, opium, ecstasy, vicodin, percocet, oxycodone (or generic derivatives) or any other hallucinogenic drug. Possession shall be defined as the substance being on the person, in the student’s personal effects, vehicle, locker or desk, or in the immediate control of the student in any amount or in any form. This offense also includes the unauthorized distribution of any prescription drug. (Please note Substance Abuse Policy Statement)
Property Damage – More than $1000
Damage is intentionally damaging, or attempting to damage, any school property or private property while under school jurisdiction.
Robbery (with or without a dangerous weapon)
The taking or attempting to take anything of value from anther’s person, by force, or by an act threatening force or violence, which puts a victim in fear, without the use of a weapon. The stealing of someone’s property without the use of force or from a source other than the victim’s person is not included in this offense. If the taking from the person involves use of a dangerous weapon the incident is reported as a robbery with a dangerous weapon. Robbery with a dangerous weapon would include robbery with an instrument, article or substance likely to produce great bodily harm.
To be defined as the unauthorized and unwanted, intentional, or forcible touching of a person of either sex. This category includes forcibly and intentionally grabbing the clothed or unclothed private areas of a person.
Sexual offense may be forcible or statutory. Forcible Sexual Offense is committed by force and without the consent of the victim. Statutory Sexual Offense is a sexual act committee on a child under the age of 1 by a person who is at lease 12 years old and at least four years older than the victim, regardless of whether the victim consented. If the person is 13, 14, or 15 years of age the defendant has to be at least six years older than the victim. Statutory Sexual Offense is also sexual acts committed on a person who is mentally handicapped or incapacitated or physically helpless, regardless of whether the victim consented.
Note: The difference in sexual assault and sexual offense is that sexual assault involves forcible and intentional touching without penetration.
No student shall engage in behavior, which is indecent, disreputable, or of a sexual nature to include consensual sex and/or sexual acts.
Theft – Value More than $1000
Theft is stealing attempting to steal, or possessing stolen property having reason to know it was stolen. Theft includes stealing Rowan-Salisbury devices, which have an overall value of $1000 (i.e. laptops, iPads, and school computers).
Unlawfully Setting a Fire
Intentionally starting a fire or attempting to start a fire or aiding and abetting in the starting or attempting to start a fire without educational permission or consent is prohibited.
Use of and/or Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages
Consumption and/or distribution of an alcoholic beverage in any amount or form on school property owned or leased by the local Board of Education, school bus stop or at any school-sponsored event is prohibited. (Please note Substance Abuse Policy Statement)
Use of Controlled Substances
This offense includes the use of, but not limited to, marijuana, synthetic marijuana (spice or similar product), MDPV and mephedrone (e.g. bath salts), cocaine, methamphetamine, barbiturate, heroin, mescaline, LSD, codeine, opium, ecstasy, vicodin, percocet, oxycodone (or generic derivatives) hallucinogenic drug or any other chemical or product that may bring about a state of exhilaration or euphoria or otherwise alter the student’s mood or behavior while on school property owned or leased by the local board of Education, school bust stop, or at any school sponsored event. (Please note Substance Abuse Policy Statement)
Possession of a Firearm or Destructive Device
Bringing or possessing a firearm or destructive device on educational property or to a school-sponsored event off of educational property, including a starter gun, which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, the frame or receiver of any such weapon, or any firearm muffler or firearm silencer. A destructive device is a bomb, grenade, rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than on-quarter ounce, mine, device similar to those above. The term shall not include inoperable antique firearm, a BB gun, stun gun, air rifle, or air pistol.
Behavior indicates that the student’s continued presence in school constitutes a clear threat to the safety of other students or school personnel. This includes any student subject to sex offender registration pursuant to NC Gen. Statute §14-208.18.
Death by Other than Natural Causes
Death by other than natural causes is the killing of a living person done by another person including, but not limited to, murder, manslaughter and death by vehicle.
No student shall possess, use, transmit, conspire to transmit, sell, solicit/conspire to purchase, or be under the influence of any narcotic drug (hallucinogen, amphetamine barbiturate, marijuana) or any other controlled substance as designed by State or Federal Law, or any alcoholic beverage or “designer drugs” or counterfeit drugs (e.g. student says a substance is a drug) or any drug paraphernalia, or any inhalants, chemicals or products which when used may alter the student’s mood or behavior. In simple terms, no illegal drugs are allowed at school.
This policy shall apply to all students, before, during, and after school hours at school, in any school building and on any school premises; on any school-owned vehicle or in any other school approved vehicle used to transport students to and from school or school activities; off school property at any school sponsored or school approved activity, event or function; or during any period of time when students are subject to the authority of school personnel. The policy shall apply regardless as to how school officials become aware of the possession, use, or transmission of a controlled counterfeit substance (e.g., through first-hand observation by a school official or by reports made to school officials)
If a principal or administrator has reason to believe a student has consumed an alcoholic beverage, malt beverage, or fortified wine or other intoxicating liquor, he or she may request that the student submit to an Alcohol Screening Test. An Alcohol Screening Test device, approved and recommended by the North Carolina Department of Human Resources and purchased and maintained by the school must be used. Law enforcement personnel who have been certified by the North Carolina Department of Human Resources must administer this test. If a student refuses to perform the Alcohol Screening Test at the principal or administrator’s request, penalties under Sections B and C will apply. This policy shall not apply to the proper possession and use of prescription medicine or to the legal possession of any of the above listed substances in connection with an approved school project.
The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education realizes that under certain circumstances it may be necessary to students to take medication during school hours. Students requiring the use of medication (prescription or non-prescription) during the times they are under the supervision of the board must have a medication Permission Form, signed by a licensed health care provider, on file in the school office for each medication to be administered by school personnel. For more information, see Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education Policy 6125, or call your school office, or contact Student Services at 704-630-6001.
A. Penalty for Policy Violations
The first violation of this policy by a student in grades K-12 will result in a ten-day short-term suspension. The first and subsequent violations may result in a recommendation for long-term suspension depending on extenuating circumstances. The student shall be recommended for chemical dependency assessment and intervention, except as outlined in the Policy Exceptions and Intervention Option section included below.
B. Policy Exceptions and Intervention Option
An alternative to suspension may be made only in cases involving a first offense of this policy during a given school year where the infraction does not involve the sale, intent to sale, or distribution a substance prohibited by this policy. A student in violation of this policy for the first time shall be suspended for a minimum of ten (10) days and shall be recommended for intervention.
In order to participate in the intervention, the student must receive a chemical dependency assessment at the student’s parent’s expense from a licensed chemical dependency assessment center approved by the board of education. The center or agency from which a chemical dependency assessment indicates treatment is necessary. The school intervention specialist will monitor the student’s progress toward fulfilling the recommendations provided by the assessment. The student shall remain suspended from the school where the violation occurred for no less than ten (10) school days. If a chemical dependency assessment has not been initiated within ten (10) school days, the student may be recommended for suspension for the remainder of the school year. Re-entry into school is assured after an assessment has been completed and treatment (if recommended) is in progress. If a suspension occurs within the last ten days of school, a student shall not be enrolled in a Rowan-Salisbury school for the next school year until an assessment is completed and treatment (if recommended) is in progress. The board continually seeks to explore and implement other intervention alternatives. Other such alternatives may be implemented after this document is printed. Administrators at each school are updated on intervention alternatives as they become available and are approved by the board of education.
A. Temporary Suspension - The principal/assistant principal may impose a temporary suspension prior to a hearing if the presence of the student creates a direct and immediate threat to the safety of other students or staff, or 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 notice of the charges and an opportunity for an informal hearing as soon as practicable.
B. Short-Term Suspension – The exclusion of a student from school attendance for disciplinary purposes for up to 10 school days from the school to which the student was assigned at the time of the disciplinary action. A short-term suspension does not include the removal of a student from class by the classroom teacher, principal or other authorized school personnel for the remainder of the subject period or one-half of a school day and/or changing the student’s location to another room or place on the school premises. A student subject to short-term suspension shall be provided the following:
- The opportunity to take textbooks/one to one devices 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 the assignment.
- The opportunity to take any quarterly, semester, or grading period examinations missed during the suspension period.
C. Long-Term Suspension – suspension from school, school activities, and school grounds in excess of 10 days but not exceeding the time remaining in the school year except as provided in G.S. 115C-390.1(b)(7). This long-term suspension must have the approval of the superintendent or designee. For more information see RSS Board of Education Policy 4353 Long Term Suspensions and Policy 4370 Student Discipline Hearings. See pg. 40 in the Code of Conduct.
D. 365-Day Suspension – 365-day suspension from school, school activities, and school grounds for a period of 365 days as specified in G.S. 115C-390.10 Gun Possession. This long-term suspension must have the approval of the superintendent. For more information see RSS Board of Education Policy 4353 Long Term Suspensions and Policy 4370 Student Discipline Hearings.
E. Expulsion – indefinite exclusion from the Rowan Salisbury School system of a student (1) who is 14 years of age or older and (2) whose behavior indicates that the student’s continued presence in school constitutes a clear threat to the safety of employees or other students. Also, in accordance with N.C.G.S. §115C-390.11(a)(2), a local Board of Education may expel any student subject to sex offender registration pursuant to N.C.G.S. §14-208.18. Expulsion can only be authorized by the board of education, upon the recommendation of the principal and the superintendent.
F. Disciplinary Reassignments – Reassignment to an alternative program must be approved by the superintendent or superintendent designee.
G. Calculation of Days – Number of days refers to days when schools are in session for students except for reference to a 365-day suspension, which refers to calendar days.
H. Mandatory Offenses Reportable to Law Enforcement – As per NC General Statutes 115C-288 (g) When the principal has personal knowledge, a reasonable belief, or actual notice from school personnel that an act listed below has occurred on school property, regardless of the age or grade of the perpetrator or victim, the school principal must immediately report to law enforcement officials. The principal shall also notify the superintendent or his/her designee in writing or by electronic mail regarding any report made to law enforcement under this section. The superintendent or his/her designee shall provide the information to the local Board of Education.
The mandatory reportable offenses are as follows:
- Assault resulting in serious personal injury
- Sexual assault
- Sexual offense
- Possession of a firearm in violation of the law
- Possession of a weapon in violation of the law
- Possession of controlled substance in violation of the law
- Assault involving the use of a weapon
- Taking indecent liberties with a minor
J. Mandatory Reporting of Other Serious Violations – In addition to the ten (10) reportable offenses listed above, any Level III, IV, or V violation must be immediately reported to the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee.
K. Authority to Search – School officials have authority to conduct reasonable searches and seizures in accordance with RSS’s Policy 4342 for the purpose of maintaining a safe, orderly environment and of upholding standards of conduct established by the board or school.
STUDENT ADMISSIONS AND READMISSIONS
In accordance with G.S. 115C-366
(a4) When a student transfers into the public schools of a local school administrative unit, that local board of education shall require the student’s parent, guardian, or custodian to provide a statement made under oath of affirmation before a qualified official indicating whether the student is, at the time, under suspension or expulsion from attendance at a private or public school in this or any other state or has been convicted of a felony in this or any other state. This subsection does not apply to the enrollment of a student who has never been enrolled in or attended a private or public school in this or any other state.
(a5) Notwithstanding any other law, a local board of education may deny admission to or place reasonable conditions on the admission of a student who has been suspended from a school under G.S. 115C-390.5 through G.S. 115C-390.10 or who has been suspended from a school for conduct that could have led to a suspension from a school within the local school administrative unit where the student is seeking admission until the period of suspension has expired. Also, a local board of education may deny admission to or place reasonable conditions on the admission of a student who has been expelled from a school under G.S. 115C- 390.11 or who has been expelled from a school for behavior that indicated the student’s continued presence in school constituted a clear threat to the safety of other students or staff as found by clear and convincing evidence, or who has been convicted of a felony in this or any other state. If the local board of education denies admission to a student who has been expelled or convicted of a felony, the student may request the local board of education to reconsider that decision in accordance with G.S. 115C-390.12.
In accordance with G.S. 115C-390.12 and Policy 4362 - Requests for Readmission of Students Suspended for 365 days or expelled, all students suspended for 365 days or expelled may, after 180 calendar days from the date of the beginning of the student’s suspension or expulsion, request in writing readmission to Rowan-Salisbury Schools.
SCHOOL BUS SUSPENSIONSThe principal, or his designee, shall have the authority to suspend a student from riding a school bus for a period of 10 days or less if the student willfully violates policies of conduct established by the local board of education or the school. North Carolina statutes do not guarantee a student the right to ride a school bus. Therefore, upon repeated violations of school bus regulations, the principal may suspend a student from riding a school bus for the remainder of the school year.
The board of education mandates and the law requires that all students be treated fairly and honestly in resolving grievances, complaints, or suspensions/expulsions. Due process will be defined as fair and reasonable notices and approaches to all areas of student governance and discipline on the part of all school officials. The principal shall give full and complete consideration to the defense or excuses, if
any, made by the student and dismiss the charges if not satisfied as to the guilt of the student or reduce the punishment if not satisfied as to reasonableness of the proposed disciplinary action under all the circumstances. Due process procedures will be followed in accordance with Policies 4351, 4353, 4370. A summary of those procedures is provided below. Students and parents should consult the relevant policy for complete information.
A. SHORT-TERM SUSPENSIONS (10 DAYS OR LESS) (Policy 4351)
Students and their parent/guardian will be given an opportunity for an informal hearing with the principal/assistant principal before a short-term suspension is imposed. Except in the circumstances described below, a student and his or her parent/guardian must be provided an opportunity for an informal hearing with the principal/assistant principal before a short-term suspension is imposed. The principal/assistant principal may hold the hearing immediately after giving the student and his or her parent/guardian oral or written notice of the charges against him or her. At the informal hearing, the student and his or her parent/guardian has the right to be present, to be informed of the charges and the basis for the accusations and to make statements in defense or mitigation of the charges. Following the hearing, the principal/assistant principal shall provide written notice to the parent/guardian of his or her final decision.
1. TEMPORARY (IMMEDIATE) SUSPENSION
A student may be removed from school immediately without a prior opportunity for a hearing if the student’s presence in school poses a direct and immediate safety threat or is substantially disruptive. In that case, the notice and opportunity for an informal hearing will be provided as soon as practicable.
2. NOTICE TO PARENT OR GUARDIAN
The school administrator will notify the student’s parent or guardian that a short-term suspension has been 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 notice will explain why the student has been suspended and will describe the student’s misconduct. The notice will be provided on the day of the suspension when reasonably possible, but no later than two days after the suspension is imposed.
3. APPEAL OF SHORT-TERM SUSPENSION PROCEDURE
If the parent believes that the assistant principal/principal failed to provide the student with sufficient notice of the charges or opportunity to respond to the charges, then the parent shall appeal to the principal of the school. After the appeal at the school level the parent will have five (5) school days from the date of the principal’s/assistant principal’s decision to make a written request to the superintendent or his/her designee for a review of the suspension procedure. There shall be no right to appeal a short-term suspension to the board of education.
B. DISCIPLINARY REASSIGNMENTS
Students may be reassigned to an alternative school as a disciplinary consequence. The alternative program or school will meet the requirements of the standard course of study and provide the student the opportunity to make timely progress toward grade promotion and graduation.
- Before recommending a student for a disciplinary reassignment, the student will be provided the due process procedures applicable to short-term suspensions, described above.
- The principal/assistant principal will provide the student with the due process procedures applicable for short-term suspensions, including written notice of charges and a hearing. In addition, the school administrative hearing shall be held not less than two (2) school days from the date the notice of suspension and/or policy violations were mailed or hand delivered to the parent or legal custodian.
- If the principal recommends a disciplinary reassignment, he/she shall submit such recommendation to the superintendent’s designee for approval/disapproval.
- The parent shall be provided an opportunity to present any further information to the superintendent’s designee, regarding the proposed disciplinary reassignment through a Request for an Appeal of a Disciplinary Reassignment form provided by the principal. The form must be submitted to the Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ Office of Administration and Legal Services within two (2) school days of the school administrative hearing.
- A student attending school under a disciplinary reassignment is not eligible for athletic participation and is not permitted on his/her home school campus without prior permission from the principal.
- A student who is reassigned to an alternative school by way of a disciplinary reassignment has the right to a board appeal of the final administrative decision. A panel of three board members shall hear appeals of a final administrative decision. No new evidence, written or verbal may be presented without the prior knowledge and consent of both parties or upon a majority vote of the hearing panel. The board will place reasonable time limits on the hearing. The hearing will be private and will be recorded.
C. LONG-TERM SUSPENSION, 365-DAY SUSPENSION, EXPULSION (Policy 4353)
- Long-term suspension, 365-Day suspension, and expulsion procedures will be followed in accordance with Policy 4353. These procedures include the right to written notice of the proposed discipline and the right to request a full hearing before the disciplinary penalty is imposed.
- The school administrative hearing shall be held within the 10-day suspension. Therefore, from the date the Notice of Charges, and hearing was mailed or hand delivered to the parent or legal custodian.
- A principal may recommend to the superintendent the long-term suspension of any student who willfully engages in conduct that violates a provision of the Student Code of Conduct that authorizes long-term suspension. Only the superintendent or his/her designee has the authority to long-term suspend a student.
- A long-term suspension can be appealed within three (3) days of receipt of the notice from the school principal recommending long-term suspension, 365-day suspension, or expulsion. The superintendent or designee will notify the parent of the hearing date, which will be scheduled within the first 10 days of suspension.
- A student or parent has the right to appeal to the Board Appeals Committee, a long-term suspension decision following an administrative hearing. A request for a board hearing must be made in writing three (3) days following the administrative hearing decision. For more information see RSS Board of Education Policy 4353 Long-term Suspensions and Policy 4370 Student Discipline Hearings.
NON-DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITIES
The board of education will not discriminate against qualified persons with disabilities on the basis of a disability. This non-discrimination policy includes, but is not limited to, benefits of and participation in system programs and activities. The system will provide aids, benefits and school services to a person with disabilities in the most integrated school setting appropriate to his or her needs so that he or she may have an opportunity commensurate to that provided to persons without disabilities to obtain the same results, gain the same benefit or reach the same level of achievement. For more information please see RSS Board of Education Policy 1730/4022/7231.
MEDICAL SCREENINGSRowan-Salisbury Schools conducts various screenings for students in compliance with applicable federal and state laws. Routine mass screenings, such as vision, lice, hearing and dental are performed annually according to NC state recommendations. If you do not wish for your child to participate, please notify the school/ school nurse. If there are any concerns regarding your child's screening results, you will be notified. You may also contact Student Services at 704-630-6001 if you have further questions or visit the RSS Website School Health page at http://www.rss.k12.nc.us/school-health.
The board acknowledges the dignity and worth of all students and employees and strives to create a safe, orderly, caring, and inviting school environment to facilitate student learning and achievement. The board prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age and will provide equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups as required by law. The board will not tolerate any form of unlawful discrimination, harassment, or bullying in any of its educational or employment activities or programs.
- A. Prohibited Behaviors and Consequences
- B. Application of Policy
- C. Definitions
- D. REPORTING AND INVESTIGATING COMPLAINTS OF DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, OR BULLYING
- E. Training and Programs
- F. Notice
- G. Coordinators
- H. Records and Reporting
1. Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying
Students, school system employees, volunteers, and visitors are expected to behave in a civil and respectful manner. The board expressly prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment, and bullying.
Students are expected to comply with the behavior standards established by board policy and the Student Code of Conduct. Employees are expected to comply with board policy and school system regulations. Volunteers and visitors on school property also are expected to comply with board policy and established school rules and procedures.
Any violation of this policy is serious and school officials shall promptly take appropriate action. Students will be disciplined in accordance with the school’s student behavior management plan (see policy 4302, School Plan for Management of Student Behavior). Based on the nature and severity of the offense and the circumstances surrounding the incident, the student will be subject to appropriate consequences and remedial actions ranging from positive behavioral interventions up to, and including, expulsion.
Employees who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to, and including, dismissal. Volunteers and visitors who violate this policy will be directed to leave school property and/or reported to law enforcement, as appropriate, in accordance with policy 5020, Visitors to the Schools.
When considering if a response beyond the individual level is appropriate, school administrators should consider the nature and severity of the misconduct to determine whether a classroom, school-wide, or school system-wide response is necessary. Such classroom, school-wide, or school system-wide responses may include staff training, harassment and bullying prevention programs, and other measures deemed appropriate by the superintendent to address the behavior.
The Board prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person for reporting or intending to report violations of this policy, supporting someone for reporting or intending to report a violation of this policy, or participating in the investigation of reported violations of this policy.
After consideration of the nature and circumstances of the reprisal or retaliation and in accordance with applicable federal, state or local laws, policies, and regulations, the superintendent or designee shall determine the consequences and remedial action for a person found to have engaged in reprisal or retaliation.
This policy prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment, and bullying by students, employees, volunteers, and visitors. “Visitors” includes persons, agencies, vendors, contractors, and organizations doing business with or performing services for the school system.
This policy applies to behavior that takes place:
- in any school building or on any school premises before, during or after school hours;
- on any bus or other vehicle as part of any school activity;
- at any bus stop;
- during any school-sponsored activity or extracurricular activity;
- at any time or place when the individual is subject to the authority of school personnel; and
- at any time or place when the behavior has a direct and immediate effect on maintaining order and discipline in the schools.
For purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:
Discrimination means any act or failure to act that unreasonably and unfavorably differentiates treatment of others based solely on their membership in a socially distinct group or category, such as race, ethnicity, sex, pregnancy, religion, age, or disability. Discrimination may be intentional or unintentional.
2. Harassment and Bullying
a. Harassment or bullying behavior is any pattern of gestures or written, electronic, or verbal communications, or any physical act or any threatening communication that:
i. places a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property; or
ii. creates or is certain to create a hostile environment by substantially interfering with or impairing a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits.
“Hostile environment” means that the victim subjectively views the conduct as harassment or bullying and that the conduct is objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would agree that it is harassment or bullying. A hostile environment may be created through pervasive or persistent misbehavior or a single incident, if sufficiently severe.
Harassment and bullying include, but are not limited to, behavior described above that is reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic or motivated by an individual’s association with a person who has or is perceived to have a differentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability. Examples of behavior that may constitute bullying or harassment include, but are not limited to, verbal taunts, name-calling and put-downs, epithets, derogatory comments or slurs, lewd propositions, exclusion from peer groups, extortion of money or possessions, implied or stated threats, assault, impeding or blocking movement, offensive touching, or any physical interference with normal work or movement, and visual insults, such as derogatory posters or cartoons. Legitimate age-appropriate pedagogical techniques are not considered harassment or bullying.
Harassment, including sexual or gender-based harassment, is not limited to specific situations or relationships. It may occur between fellow students or co-workers, between supervisors and subordinates, between employees and students, or between non-employees, including visitors, and employees or students. Harassment may occur between members of the opposite sex or the same sex.
b. Sexual harassment is one type of harassment. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
i. submission to the conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment, academic progress, or completion of a school-related activity;
ii. submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the individual, or in the case of a student, submission to or rejection of such conduct is used in evaluating the student’s performance within a course of study or other school-related activity; or
iii. such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work or performance or a student’s educational performance, limiting a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or environment, or creating an abusive, intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.
Sexually harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to, deliberate, unwelcome touching that has sexual connotations or is of a sexual nature, suggestions or demands for sexual involvement accompanied by implied or overt promises of preferential treatment or threats, pressure for sexual activity, continued or repeated offensive sexual flirtations, advances or propositions, continued or repeated verbal remarks about an individual’s body, sexually degrading words used toward an individual or to describe an individual, sexual assault, sexual violence, or the display of sexually suggestive drawings, objects, pictures or written materials. Acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex, but not involving sexual activity or language, may be combined with incidents of sexually harassing conduct to determine if the incidents of sexually harassing conduct are sufficiently serious to create a sexually hostile environment.
c. Gender-based harassment is also a type of harassment. Gender-based harassment may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping but not involving conduct of a sexual nature.
Employees are required to report any actual or suspected violations of this policy. Students, parents, volunteers, visitors, or others are also strongly encouraged to report any actual or suspected incidents of discrimination, harassment, or bullying. All reports should be made in accordance with policy 1720/4015/7225, Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying Complaint Procedure, and reported to one of the school officials identified in that policy. Reports may be made anonymously, and all reports shall be investigated in accordance with that policy.
The board directs the superintendent to establish training and other programs that are designed to help eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, and bullying and to foster an environment of understanding and respect for all members of the school community. Information about this policy and the related complaint procedure must be included in the training plan.
As funds are available, the board will provide additional training for students, employees, and volunteers who have significant contact with students regarding the board’s efforts to address discrimination, harassment, and bullying and will create programs to address these issues. The training or programs should (1) provide examples of behavior that constitutes discrimination, harassment, or bullying; (2) teach employees to identify groups that may be the target of discrimination, harassment, or bullying; and (3) train school employees to be alert to locations where such behavior may occur, including locations within school buildings, at school bus stops, on cell phones, and on the Internet.
The superintendent is responsible for providing effective notice to students, parents, and employees of this policy and of the procedures for reporting and investigating complaints of discrimination, harassment, and bullying established in policy 1720/4015/7225, Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying Complaint Procedure. The superintendent must ensure that each school principal provides a copy of this policy and policy 1720/4015/7225 to students, employees, and parents or other responsible caregivers at the beginning of each school year. In addition, both policies must be posted on the school system website, and copies of the policies must be readily available in the principal’s office, the media center at each school, and the superintendent’s office. Notice of the policies must appear in all student and employee handbooks and in any school or school system publication that sets forth the comprehensive rules, procedures, and standards of conduct for students and employees.
The superintendent has appointed the following individuals to coordinate the school system’s efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under federal non-discrimination laws. These responsibilities include investigating any complaints communicated to school officials alleging noncompliance with Title VI or Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination Act, and/or the Boy Scouts Act, or alleging actions which would be prohibited by those laws.
1. Title VI or Title IX Coordinator
Name: April Kuhn, Executive Director of Legal Services
Office Address: PO Box 2349 Salisbury, NC 28145
Phone Number: 704-630-6039
2. Section 504 Coordinator
Name: Carol Ann Houpe, Director of Student Services
Address: PO Box 2349 Salisbury, NC 28145
Phone Number: 704-630-6001
3. ADA Coordinator
Name: Dr. Sandra Albert, Director of Exceptional Children
Address: PO Box 2349 Salisbury, NC 28145
Phone Number: 704-639-3064
4. Age Discrimination Coordinator
Name: April Kuhn, Executive Director of Legal Services
Office Address: PO Box 2349 Salisbury, NC 28145
Phone Number: 704-630-6039
5. Coordinator for Other Non-discrimination Laws
Name: April Kuhn, Executive Director of Legal Services
Office Address: PO Box 2349 Salisbury, NC 28145
Phone Number: 704-630-6039
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 or policy 1730/4022/7231, Non-discrimination on the Basis of Disabilities. 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.
- A. Definitions
- B. REPORTING BY EMPLOYEES OR OTHER THIRD PARTIES
- C. COMPLAINTS BROUGHT BY ALLEGED VICTIMS OF DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, OR BULLYING
- D. PROCESS FOR ADDRESSING COMPLAINTS OF ALLEGED INCIDENTS OF DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, OR BULLYING
- E. TIMELINESS OF PROCESS
- F. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
- G. Records
1. 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, 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.
5. 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.
1. 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 or policy 1730/4022/7231 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Investigation of Reports
Reports of discrimination, harassment, or bullying will 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, regardless of the alleged victim’s willingness to cooperate. At the option of the alleged victim, the report may be treated as a complaint by the alleged victim under this policy.
1. 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:
a. the principal or assistant principal of the school at which either the alleged perpetrator or alleged victim attends or is employed;
b. an immediate supervisor if the individual making the complaint Is an employee;
c. the executive director of human resources if the alleged perpetrator or alleged victim is an employee of the school system (or the superintendent if the executive director of human resources is the alleged perpetrator);
d. the Title IX coordinator for claims of sex discrimination or sexual harassment (see policy 1710/4021/7230 for contact information);
e. the Section 504 coordinator or the ADA coordinator for claims of discrimination on the basis of a disability (see policy 1710/4021/7230 for contact information); or
f. for claims of other forms of prohibited discrimination, the applicable civil rights coordinator as established in policy 1710/4021/7230.
g. In addition, complaints may be filed with:
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
4000 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1475
Telephone: 202-453-6020 TDD: 800-877-8339
FAX: 202-453-6021 Email: OCR.DC@ed.gov
2. 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.
3. Informal Resolution
The board acknowledges that many complaints may be addressed informally through such methods as conferences or mediation. The board encourages the use of informal procedures such as mediation to the extent possible; however, mediation or other informal procedures will not be used to resolve complaints alleging sexual assault or sexual violence, complaints by a student of sexual harassment perpetrated by an employee, or when otherwise inappropriate. Informal procedures may be used only if the parties involved voluntarily agree.
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 end the informal process and begin formal procedures at any time and (2) make a copy of this policy and other relevant policies available to the complainant. Any informal process should be completed within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 30 days unless special circumstances necessitate more time. If informal procedures fail to resolve the matter in a reasonable period of time or are inappropriate, or if 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.
1. Initiating the Investigation
a. 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.
i. 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 executive director 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 executive director of human resources or designee.
ii. If the alleged perpetrator is the principal, the executive director of human resources or designee is the investigator.
iii. 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.
iv. If the alleged perpetrator is the executive director of uman resources, the superintendent or designee is the investigator.
v. 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 executive director 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.)
vi. If the alleged perpetrator is a member of the board, the board attorney is the investigator. (In such case, 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.)
b. As applicable, the investigator shall immediately notify the Title IX, Section 504, ADA, or other relevant coordinator of the complaint, and, as appropriate, may designate the coordinator to conduct the investigation.
c. 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.
d. 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.
e. Failure to investigate and/or address claims of discrimination, harassment, or bullying shall result in disciplinary action.
2. Conducting the Investigation
a. The investigator is responsible for determining whether the alleged act(s) constitutes a violation of policy 1710/4021/7230 or policy 1730/4022/7231. 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); (3) individuals identified as witnesses by the complainant or alleged perpetrator(s); and (4) any other individuals, including other possible victims, who may have relevant information. The investigation will include a review of all evidence presented by the complainant or alleged perpetrator.
b. The complaint and investigation will be kept confidential to the extent possible. 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 further confidentiality will 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.
c. The investigator shall review the factual information gathered through the investigation to determine whether, based on a preponderance of the evidence, 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.
3. Investigative Report
a. The investigator shall submit a written investigative report to the superintendent and, as applicable, to the Title IX, Section 504, ADA, or other coordinator.
b. The investigator shall provide written notification to 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:
i. reasonable, timely, age-appropriate, corrective action intended to end the discrimination, harassment, or bullying, and prevent it from recurring;
ii. as needed, reasonable steps to address the effects of the discrimination, harassment, or bullying on the complainant; and
iii. as needed, reasonable steps to protect the complainant from retaliation as a result of communicating the complaint.
c. 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).
d. 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.
e. 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.
4. Appeal of Investigative Report
a. 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 executive director of 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.
b. 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.
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.
1. 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.
2. All meetings and hearings conducted pursuant to this policy will be private.
3. 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.
4. The complainant may be represented by an advocate, such as an attorney, at any meeting with school system officials.
a.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.