CODE OF CONDUCT VALHALLA UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT - Home of the Vikings - Valhalla Union Free School ...

 
VALHALLA UNION FREE SCHOOL
DISTRICT
Home of the Vikings

2021 ‐ 2022

CODE OF CONDUCT
Guidelines for Acceptable Behavior

316 Columbus
Avenue Valhalla,
New York 10595
914.683.5040
Table of Contents
I. Introduction                                                 1
        A. Dignity for All Students Act                         2
              1. Dignity Act Coordinators                       2
II. Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities                 3
        A. Rights of Students                                   3
              1. Student Expression                             3
              2. Symbolic Expression                            4
              3. School Newspaper                               4
              4. Student Activities                             6
              5. Student Government                             6
              6. Student Clubs and Other Student Organization   6
              7. Privacy Rights (Search and Seizures)           6
              8. Video Surveillance                             6
              9. Pregnant Students                              6
              10. Student Grievances and Complaints             7
        B. Responsibilities of Students                         7
III. Definitions                                                8
IV. Roles and Responsibilities                                  14
        A. The Role of Parents                                  15
        B. The Role of School Personnel                         15
        C. The Role of Teachers                                 16
        D. The Role of Building Administrators                  17
        E. The Role of District Administrators                  18
        F. The Role of the Board of Education                   18
        G. Conduct of Visitors                                  18
V. Reporting Code Violations                                    19
        A. District Personnel/Students                          19
        B. Local Law Enforcement Agencies                       19
        C. Human Services Agencies                              19
        D. Parents                                              19
VI. Violations of the Code of Conduct                           19
        A. Acts of Prohibited Misconduct Defined                19
        B. Dress Code                                           30
        C. Computer and Internet Use                            31
        D. Off Campus Misconduct                                32
        E. Conduct on School Bus                                32
        F. Public Conduct on School Property                    33
Table of Contents continued
VII. Infractions and Disciplinary Measures for Violations of the
Code of Conduct
       A. Violation Provisions                                     33
       B. Infractions and Reference Disciplinary Measures          34
       C. Disciplinary Measures                                    37
       D. Minimum Periods of Suspension                            38
VIII. Discipline Procedures                                        38
       A. Suspension of Students without Disabilities              38
       B. Pre-Suspension Process                                   39
       C. Short-Term Suspension Process                            39
       D. Long-Term Suspension Process                             39
       E. Hearing Procedures                                       40
       F. Suspension of Students with Disabilities                 42
              1. Section 504/Title II ADA Disabilities             42
              2. IDEA Disabilities                                 43
              3. Declassified Students                             45
              4. Students Presumed to Have a Disability            45
IX. Dangerous Students                                             45
X. Detention                                                       46
XI. Removal of a Student from the Classroom                        46
XII.In-School Suspension                                           48
XIII.Co-Curricular Policy                                          48
       A. Alcohol Violations                                       48
       B. Tobacco Use on School Property                           49
       C. Co-Curricular Suspension                                 50
 XIV.Enforcement Program                                           50
1 VUFSD Code of Conduct

Valhalla Union Free School District Code of Conduct
 I.        INTRODUCTION
 The Valhalla Union Free School District is committed to maintaining high standards of
 education for students in the schools. Because the District believes that ownership,
 responsibility and respect are essential to an effective education, the District is
 committed to creating and maintaining high behavioral standards and expectations. An
 orderly educational environment requires that everyone in the school community play a
 role in contributing to an effective learning environment. It also requires the
 development and implementation of a code of conduct that clearly defines individual
 responsibilities and acceptable conduct, identifies possible consequences of
 unacceptable conduct, and provides for an appropriate range of disciplinary responses
 that are administered promptly.

 The District believes that meeting these expectations must be a shared responsibility
 between school, home and community. This Code of Conduct was developed in
 collaboration with school and community constituents as well as other Board-approved
 school personnel. Finally, it is our belief that, to be effective, such a code must:

         Identify, recognize and emphasize acceptable behavior;
         Identify, recognize and prevent unacceptable behavior;
         Promote self-discipline;
         Consider the welfare of the individual, as well as that of the school community as
          a whole;
         Promote a close working relationship between parents/guardians and the school
          staff;
         Distinguish between minor and serious offenses, as well as between first time
          and repeat offenses;
         Provide disciplinary responses that are appropriate to the misbehavior;
         Outline procedures to ensure that they are administered in a way that is fair, firm,
          reasonable, and consistent;
         Encourage a high regard for every person’s right to reasonable hearing procedures
          and due process when accused of misconduct;
         Comply with the provisions of federal, state and local laws, as well as the guidelines
          and directives of the New York State Department of Education and the Board of
          Regents.

A school’s primary concern in establishing a code of discipline is to enable our young
people to become responsible, respectful and caring citizens within the school and
community settings. The Board of Education is responsible for ensuring that essential
regulations are established and adequate discipline is maintained in the operation of the
schools to effectively promote safety, as well as the social and educational growth of the
students. Administrative regulations are developed and enforced by the school
administration and staff.

The parent/guardian is expected to assume primary responsibility for his or her child.
2 VUFSD Code of Conduct

 The parent/guardian may be called upon to actively cooperate with the school in
 providing the necessary structure to promote his or her child’s social and educational
 growth. To this end, a high degree of parent-school communication will be fostered by
 the school.

 Disciplinary measures available to the administration of each school building include
 but are not limited to conferences, detention, in-school suspension, out-of-school
 suspension and administrative hearings with the designated hearing officer.
 Administrative hearings can result in out-of-school suspensions of more than five days
 and, in particularly serious cases, a student may be permanently suspended from school.

 A. DIGNITY FOR ALL STUDENTS ACT
 The intent of the Dignity for All Students Act (Dignity Act) is to provide all public
 school students with an environment free from harassment, bullying (including cyber
 bullying) and/or discrimination based on one’s actual or perceived race, color, weight,
 national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation,
 gender or sex by school employees or student on school property or at school sponsored
 events/activities on or off school property, as well as to foster civility in public schools.
 The Dignity Act focuses on the prevention of discriminatory behaviors, including
 harassment/bullying, that impede a student’s ability to learn, through the promotion of
 educational measures meant to positively impact school culture and climate.

 In addition to prohibiting harassment, bullying and discrimination on school property or
 at school-sponsored events, the Dignity Act also prohibits and allows for discipline
 when harassment, bullying and discrimination occur outside of school-sponsored events,
 but can be reasonably expected to materially and substantially disrupt the educational
 process.

 The Valhalla UFSD Board of Education is committed to providing a safe and nurturing
 school environment while honoring diversity and commonality. We believe that fostering
 a school climate where the worth and dignity of individuals are valued, and their safety
 and rights are protected, is essential to our mission. The development of a Responsive
 and Proactive Discipline Model will enable us to take a measured, balanced, progressive,
 and age-appropriate response to discrimination, harassment, and bullying of students by
 students and/or employees; while enabling us to focus on the corrective responses
 necessary to discern the reasons why discrimination, harassment, and bullying occur,
 while preventing additional occurrences and protecting all students.

     1. Dignity Act Coordinators

 Haidee Anaya, Principal, Virginia Road Elementary School
 hanaya@valhallaschools.org
 Matthew Curran, Principal, Kensico School mcurran@valhallaschools.org
 Jason Schrammel, Principal, Valhalla Middle School
 jschrammel@valhallaschools.org
 Jon Hirsch, Principal, Valhalla High School jhirsch@valhallaschools.org
3 VUFSD Code of Conduct

 Miriam Dobbs, Interim School Business Official, Valhalla UFSD
 mdobbs@valhallaschools.org
Dignity Act Coordinators are on the district website and can be sent directly to any
member listed above.

II. STUDENT BILL OF RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Valhalla Union Free School District believes in the right of each child, between the
ages of five and 21 years or until the child receives a high school diploma, which- ever
comes first, to receive a free and appropriate education. All students in this state between
the ages of six and the school year through which he or she becomes 16 are required by
law to regularly attend school, either in the public schools, non-public schools that are
approved for equivalency of instruction by the appropriate school authorities, or in the
home in accordance with the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

The right to a free public school education extends to all students, including those with
disabilities. However, this right is not unconditional. As long as due process of law
requirements are met, a student may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including
permanent suspension from school. Only general education students within the
compulsory education ages (age six through the school year in which the student turns
16) and all special education students are entitled to alternative, equivalent instruction
during suspension.

A. RIGHTS OF STUDENTS
Education in a free society demands that students be aware of their rights and learn to
exercise them responsibly. To this end, students have a right to:
   Be provided with an education that is intellectually challenging and relevant
        to demands of the 21st century.
  Learn in an environment free from interruption, harassment, discrimination,
       intimidation and fear.
  To be protected from intimidation, harassment, or discrimination based on actual
       or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, or
       religious practice, sex, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability,
       by employees or students on school property or at a school-sponsored event,
       function or activity.
  Access school rules and, when necessary, receive an explanation of those rules
       from school personnel.
  Present their version of the relevant events to school personnel authorized to
       impose a disciplinary penalty in connection with the imposition of the penalty.
  Be guided by a discipline policy which is fairly and consistently implemented.
  Enter into dialogue with staff on issues that affect them.

In addition, students in this District are afforded the following rights:

1. Student Expression - Students shall be allowed the opportunity for the free
expression of ideas consistent with rights established by the federal and state
constitutions. However, a student’s freedom is subject to limitation in that
4 VUFSD Code of Conduct
 the constitutional protections will not extend to libelous, slanderous,
 vulgar, lewd, indecent or obscene words or images or to words or images
 which by their very use incite others to damage property or physically
 injure persons or words and images that encourage or promote illegal
 activities or unlawful discrimination. Furthermore, speech which
 materially and substantially disrupts the work and discipline of the
 school may be subject to limitation.
 2. Symbolic Expression - Students, in light of constitutionally protected free speech
 rights, may wear political buttons, armbands or badges of symbolic expression, so long
 as the same conform to the limits set forth herein under “school newspaper” and “dress
 code”.

 3. School Newspapers - Participation in the process of publishing a school newspaper
 affords students an opportunity to learn how to report the news events of the school, as
 well as the sincere expression of all facets of student opinion. Any student newspaper
 and/or publication which are paid for by the district and/or produced under the direction
 of a teacher as part of the school curriculum are not considered public forum. The
 following guidelines are for curricular school newspapers and other school newspapers:

        a) Curricular School Newspapers: Any school-sponsored newspaper which is
        part of the adopted English or Journalism curriculum shall be under the direction
        of an official advisor who shall exercise editorial control over style and content
        of the student speech within the context of legitimate pedagogical concerns and
        responsible journalism.

               i. All materials shall be subject to prior review by the official advisor and
               by the building principal. Their decisions regarding production and
               publication shall be made within two days.

               ii. Either the advisor to such school newspaper or the building principal,
               as well as the superintendent of schools or Board of Education, may
               prohibit the publication of curricular school newspaper materials which
               are found to:

           Be inappropriate (e.g. ungrammatical, poorly written, inadequately
            researched material, biased, prejudiced, obscene, vulgar, profane, or
            libelous;
           Be unsuitable for the level of maturity of the intended audience(s);
           May substantially disrupt the work of the school;
           Impinge upon privacy rights of other students or their families or social
            relations;
           Advocate conduct inconsistent with shared values of civilized social order
            (e.g. materials which promote drug or alcohol use, dangerous behavior, etc.)
              o Associate the school with any position other than neutrality on matters
                   of political controversy or religion

              o   Erroneously attribute the views of the individual author to the school
5 VUFSD Code of Conduct
              iii. Appeals procedure: In the event that the newspaper advisor or another
             school official renders a decision that certain material shall not be printed
             in such school newspaper, the student shall be entitled to a review of that
             decision by the Superintendent of Schools, whose decision shall be final in
             this matter and shall be rendered within three days of the initial decision to
             prohibit such publication.

b) Other School Newspapers: The following guidelines shall apply to materials
published in our school newspaper(s) which are not part of the adopted English or
Journalism curriculum:

       i. All material shall be subject to prior review by the official advisor of each
       school newspaper and by the principal of the building where the newspaper is
       published. Their decision regarding publication shall be made within 2 school
       days.

       ii. Either the advisor to the school newspaper or the building principal, as well as
       the Superintendent of Schools or Board of Education, may prohibit the publication
       of school newspaper materials or articles to the extent that they:
            Clearly endanger the health, safety or welfare of students;
            Imminently threaten to disrupt the educational process of the school;
            Constitute material which is libelous or obscene; and/or
            Encourage or promote illegal activities that are against the core
                educational mission of the District
            Threaten any person or group in the school or advocate discrimination on
                the basis of disability, sexual orientation, genetic predisposition, carrier
                status, race, religion, age, sex and/or gender, marital status, or national
                origin.

       iii. Appeals Procedure: In the event that the newspaper advisor or another school
       official renders a decision that certain material shall not be printed in the school
       newspaper(s), the student shall be entitled to a review of that decision by the
       superintendent of schools, whose decision shall be final in this matter and shall
       be rendered within three (3) days of the initial decision to prohibit such
       publication.

c) Non-School Publication and Materials: Publications or materials other than the
official school newspaper(s) may be distributed by students at locations beyond the
limits of the school grounds and on occasions other than at school-sponsored activities
without the authorization of school officials.

       i. To distribute other than school newspapers on school property, a student
          distributor must request from the superintendent of schools or his/her designee
          permission to distribute materials such as handouts, petitions, leaflets, or other
          literature so

         long as the same has been written and signed by one or more district students.
6 VUFSD Code of Conduct

        ii. The source of such materials must be indicated on the printed matter.

       iii.Two copies of the material to be distributed must accompany the request
           at least two days prior to the time of distribution.

 The application for approval of distribution must be made to the superintendent or his/her
 designee who, if approval is granted, shall establish the time and place of distribution to
 assure that the process will not be disruptive of education in the building.
 4. Student Activities - All pupils shall enjoy equal access, regardless of race, color,
 creed, national origin, religion, sex and/or gender, sexual orientation, disability, age,
 economic status or marital status subject to necessary restrictions based on health and
 safety, to the various extra-curricular and co-curricular activities sponsored by the School
 District. The privilege of participating in such activities shall be conditioned upon
 appropriate conduct as established by the student code of conduct and any rules
 promulgated specifically for participation in extra and/or co-curricular activities.

 5. Student Government - Students are encouraged to participate in the various student
 governmental bodies which have been or may be established in our schools. It shall
 be the duty of the student governmental body to establish reasonable standards for
 qualification of candidates to serve in offices of the government. Elections for student
 government shall be conducted in accordance with the principles of our democracy and
 elected student representatives shall work with the faculty, administration and student
 body in identifying, cooperatively, those areas of appropriate student responsibility. All
 student governmental bodies shall have a faculty advisor and shall be organized pursuant
 to a specific written constitution which the students shall participate in formulating.

 6. Student Clubs and Other Student Organizations - The District encourages students
 to participate in curriculum related extra-curricular activity clubs and/or organizations.
 To the extent that the District authorizes meetings of non-curriculum related clubs or
 organizations, the same shall be subject to the constitution of the student government and
 shall be conducted in accordance with any applicable federal or state law, as well as Board
 of Education policy or regulations.

 7. Privacy Rights (Search and Seizure) - Students in attendance in our public schools
 are protected against illegal or unreasonable searches or seizures of their person or
 property by both the federal and state constitutions. In light of these protections, no
 student’s person or property shall be searched for illegal substances or materials unless
 the school authorities conducting the search have reasonable individualized suspicion to
 do so. Lockers and desks assigned to students may be subject to inspection at any time by
 school officials since such places are not the property of the student, but rather are owned
 by the School District and shared with the student. District owned devices assigned to
 students may be subject to inspection at any time by school officials since such devices
 are not property of the student, but rather are owned by the School District and shared
 with the student.

 8. Video Surveillance: Video surveillance cameras may be used in school buildings,
7 VUFSD Code of Conduct
 school buses or other school property in areas where there is not a “reasonable
 expectation of privacy” in order to assist the District in maintaining student discipline,
 to safeguard facilities and property of the District and for the safety of students,
 staff and visitors while on District property.

9. Pregnant Students - During pregnancy and the period of pregnancy related disability
which follows childbirth, a student shall be entitled to home instruction, upon request.

Pregnant students who desire to attend their regularly scheduled classes prior to the time
of childbirth may do so to the extent that their physician approves of such attendance.

10. Student Grievances and Complaints - If a student has a grievance or a complaint
about a school-related matter, a school employee or other school official, s/he may
submit it, in writing, to the principal of the school within 30 days of the incident who
shall respond within ten (10) school days with a written response or proposed resolution.
Grievances or complaints may be appealed in writing to the superintendent of schools if
the principal’s answer or proposed resolution is not deemed satisfactory by the student.
Grievances must occur within 10 days of the principal’s answer or proposed soluntion.
The superintendent of schools shall respond to all grievances and complaints within a
reasonable period of time following receipt of the written appeal document.

B. RESPONSIBILITIES OF STUDENTS

Students attend school so that they may develop to their fullest potential. With this in
mind, each student is expected to:

      Accept responsibility for his/her actions;
      Respect the rights of others, including his/her right to secure an education in an
       environment that is orderly and disciplined;
      Attend school on a regular and punctual basis, unless legally excused; be
       prepared to learn;
      Complete class assignments and other school responsibilities by established
       deadlines;
      Show evidence of appropriate progress toward meeting course and/or diploma
       requirements;
      Respect School property, e.g. lockers, and help to keep it free from damage;
      Obey school regulations and rules made by school authorities and by the student
       governing body;
      Recognize that teachers act in the place of a parent in matters of behavior and
       discipline when at school, as well as during any school-sponsored activities;
      React to direction given by teachers, administrators and other school personnel in
       a respectful, positive manner
      Contribute toward establishing and maintaining an educational atmosphere that
       is conducive to learning and generates safety, mutual respect and dignity for
       all;
      Dress appropriately for school and school functions, as described in Section VI;
      Become familiar with this code and seek interpretation of parts not understood;
8 VUFSD Code of Conduct
      Actively discourage inappropriate behavior of other students and report such
       behavior to the administration;
      Respect one another and treat others fairly in accordance with the District
       Code of Conduct and the provision of the Dignity Act. To conduct themselves
       in a matter that fosters an environment that is free from intimidation,
       harassment, or discrimination. To report and encourage others to report any
       incidents of intimidation, harassment or discrimination.
      Conduct themselves as representatives of the District when participating in or
       attending school-sponsored extracurricular events and to hold themselves to
       the highest standards of conduct demeanor, and sportsmanship, on and off
       school grounds;
      Adhere to the provisions of the Use of Technology Student Acceptable Use
       Agreement (Regulation 5300-R3b) and when requested, sign the Agreement.

 III. DEFINITIONS
 A. DEFINITIONS OF KEY WORDS AND TERMS

 For purposes of this Code, the following definitions apply:

 1. Alternative Instruction (AI): The temporary removal of a student from the
 classroom and the placement of that student in another designated area of the school
 building where the student will receive substantially equivalent, alternative education.

 2. Assault: The physical abuse, or infliction of personal injury, or unlawful detention of
 any person and the intentional use of physical force, or the threat thereof, that places, or
 attempts to place, another person in well-founded fear of personal injury.

     a. Bias Related: An incident is bias related if it is motivated by hate due to some
        protected characteristics of the victim, including race, gender, religion, color,
        sexual orientation, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, political beliefs, marital
        status, age, social and family background, linguistic preference, or disability. Any
        act, or attempted act, is biased related if it is designed to cause physical injury,
        emotional suffering, or property damage through intimidation, harassment,
        racial/ethnic slurs and bigoted epithets, vandalism, force, or the threat of force,
        motivated all or in part by hostility to some real or perceived characteristic of the
        victim. This definition is from the National Center for Education Statistics.

 3. Bullying: Bullying of a student by another student is strictly prohibited on school
 property, in school buildings, on school buses, and at school sponsored events and/or
 activities whether occurring on or off campus. The definition of bullying is a variety of
 negative acts carried out repeatedly over time. It involves a real or perceived imbalance
 of power, with a more powerful child or group attacking those who are less powerful.
 Bullying can take three forms:

1. Physical (including, but not limited to hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing and
taking personal belongings);
9 VUFSD Code of Conduct
2. Verbal (including, but not limited to, taunting, malicious teasing, name calling, taking
threats

3. Psychological (including, but not limited to, spreading rumors; manipulating social
relationships; or engaging in social exclusion, extortion, or intimidation).

4. Civil Rights: A right, benefit or protection that is guaranteed to an individual by
either the federal or New York State Constitution or statute.

5. Color: the term refers to the apparent pigmentation of the skin, especially as an
indication or possible indication of race.

6. Controlled Substance: A drug or other substance identified in certain provisions of
the Federal Controlled Substances Act specified in both federal and state law and
regulations that apply to this Code.

7. Counseling or Treatment Programs: For purposes of reporting, referrals to
counseling or treatment programs are formal multi-session interventions, provided by
certified or licensed professionals, aimed at reducing risk factors and increasing
protective factors linked to the identified problem area(s) (i.e. drug/alcohol
rehabilitation programs, anger management programs, etc.).

8. Cyberbullying: As with other forms of harassment/bullying, cyberbullying means the
creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by threats, intimidation or abuse, that has
or would have the effect of unreasonable and substantially interfering with a student’s
educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-
being; or conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would
reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety; or
reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury or emotional
harm to a student; or occurs off school property and creates or would foreseeably create
a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment, where it is foreseeable that
the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach school property; such conduct,
verbal threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color,
weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual
orientation, gender or sex. For purpose of this definition, the term “threats, intimidation
or abuse” shall include verbal and non-verbal actions. (Education Law § 11[7]).
Cyberbullying may involve a student on the District internet system or student use of
personal digital devices while at school or while off school grounds such as cell phones,
digital cameras, and personal computers to engage in bullying. Cyberbullying includes,
but is not limited to, the following misuses of technology: harassing, teasing, intimidating,
threatening, or terrorizing another student or staff member by way of any technological
tool such as sending or posting inappropriate or derogatory e-mail messages, instant
messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, videos, or website postings (including
blogs).

9. Dignity Act: New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act: (The Dignity Act)
seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe
and supportive environment, free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment,
10 VUFSD Code of Conduct
and bullying, that would impede a student’s ability to learn, while on school property, a
school bus and/or at a school function.

10. Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC): The Dignity Act requires that at least one staff
member at every school be thoroughly trained to handle human relations in areas of
race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practices,
disability, sexual orientation, gender, and sex (Education Law § 13[3]). This staff
member should be referred to as the Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC).

11. Disabled Student (I.D.E.A.): a student evaluated as having mental retardation, a
hearing impairment (including deafness), a speech or language impairment, a visual
impairment (including blindness), a serious emotional disturbance (referred to in this
part as "emotional disturbance"), an orthopedic impairment, autism, traumatic brain
injury or other health impairment, a specific learning disability, deaf-blindness, or
multiple disabilities, and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related
services.

12. Disabled Student (504 of the ADA/Title II): a student who: (i) has a physical or
mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, (ii) has a
record of such an impairment, or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment.

13. Disciplinary Referral Action: For purposes or reporting, a disciplinary or referral
action includes a referral to: counseling or treatment programs, teacher removal,
Alternative Instruction, Out-of-School Suspension, Involuntary transfer to Alternative
Education Program or Law Enforcement/Juvenile Justice.

14. Discrimination: means discrimination against any student by a student or students
and/or employee or employees on school property or at a school function including, but
not limited to, discrimination based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight,
national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation,
gender or sex.

15. District Function: Any school-sponsored extra-curricular event or activity.

16. District Property: Any place in or within any building, structure, athletic playing
field, playground, parking lot or land contained within the real property boundary lines
of one of the district’s elementary, middle or high school buildings, or other District
owned or controlled property, or in or on a school bus as defined in Vehicle and Traffic
Law §142.5.

17. Disruptive Student: An elementary or secondary student under the age of 21 who
is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the
teacher’s authority over the classroom.

 18. Emotional Harm: That takes place in the context of “harassment or bullying” means
 harm to a student’s emotional well-being through creation of a hostile school
 environment that is so severe or pervasive as to unreasonably and substantially interfere
 with a student’s education.
11 VUFSD Code of Conduct

 19. Employee: Any person receiving compensation from a school district or employee
 of a contracted service provider or worker placed within the school under a public
 assistance employment program, pursuant to Title Nine-B of Article Five for the
 provision of services to such district, its students or employees, directly or through
 contract, whereby such services performed by such person involve direct student
 contact (Education Law §§11[4] and 1125[3]).

 20. Ethnic group: A group of people who identify with each other through a common
 heritage including language, culture, and often a shared or common religion and/or
 ideology that stresses ancestry.

 21. Explosive: An explosive device of a nature or in a quantity that is sufficient to cause
 injury to the person of the holder thereof or to the person or property of others, including
 the District.

 22. Gang Related: An incident is gang related if it is gang motivated or if gang
 membership caused the incident or contributed to actions that occurred during the
 incident. For example, an incident of vandalism or robbery might be part of an
 initiation into a gang, or a fight might be caused by gang rivalry. An incident is
 reported as gang related only if certain that gang membership contributed to the
 incident. A gang is an organized group characterized by turf concerns, symbols,
 special dress, and/or colors that engages in delinquent or illegal activity. This
 definition is from the National Center for Education Statistics.

 23. Gender: Actual or perceived sex and includes a person’s gender identity or
 expression (Education Law §11[6]).

 24. Harassment/bullying: The creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by
 verbal threats, intimidation or abuse, including cyberbullying as defined in Education
 Law § 11 (8), that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially
 interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or
 mental, emotional or physical well-being; or conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or
 abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear
 for his or her physical safety; or reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to
 cause physical injury or emotional harm to a student; or occurs off school property and
 creates or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school
 environment, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse
 might reach school property.

 Such conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse shall include, but is not limited to
 conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived
 race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice,
 disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.

 For purpose of this definition, emotional harm that takes place in the context of
12 VUFSD Code of Conduct
 harassment or bullying means harm to a student’s emotional well-being through a
 creation of a hostile school environment that is so severe or pervasive as to unreasonably
 and substantially interfere with a student’s education.

 For purpose of this definition, the term “threats, intimidation or abuse” shall
 include verbal and non- verbal actions. (Education Law § 11[7]).

 25. Illegal Drugs: A controlled substance except for those legally possessed or used un-
 der the supervision of a licensed health-care professional, or those legally possessed or
 used under any other authority under the Controlled Substances Act or any other federal
 or New York State law.

 26. Illegal Substances: Alcohol, illegal drugs and inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD,
 PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-alike drugs, and any substances commonly
 referred to as “designer drugs.” Items that contain any prohibited substance, regardless
 of the percentage stated, shall violate this policy. For example, all beverages that contain
 any amount of alcohol shall be deemed to be an alcoholic beverage including, but not
 limited to, mouthwash, cough medicines and non-alcoholic beers. If there is any question
 regarding a particular item, request a determination by the principal prior to consumption
 or bringing to school.

 27. Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES):
  A temporary educational placement for an educationally disabled student, other than the
 student’s current placement at the time the behavior precipitating the IAES placement
 occurred, that enables the student to continue to progress in the general curriculum, to
 continue to receive appropriate services and modifications, including those described on
 the student’s current Individualized Education Program (IEP), and to meet the goals set
 out in such IEP, and includes services and modifications to address the behavior which
 precipitated the IAES placement that are designed to prevent such behavior from
 recurring.

 28. National Origin: A person’s country of birth or ancestor’s country of birth.

 29. Out-Of-School Suspension: The student is suspended from school for at least one
 school day.

 30. Parent: The biological, adoptive or foster parent, guardian or person in parental
 relation to a student.

 31. Race: A group of persons related by a common descent or heredity. For purposes of
 enumeration, the U.S. Census Bureau uses terms such as: “White/Caucasian, “Black/
 African American/African descent,” Bi-racial”, “Hispanics/Latinos” etc. to classify the
 inhabitants of the United States.

32. Removal of a student from class: A disruptive student may be removed from the
classroom to ensure that the other students continue to learn. The removal from class
applies to the class of the removing teacher only. For purposes of this Code, the removal
commences on the second consecutive day that a student is asked to leave a teacher’s
13 VUFSD Code of Conduct
 classroom (the first day being considered the discretionary use of a classroom
 management technique by the teacher).

 33. Religion: means specific fundamental beliefs and practices generally agreed to by
 large numbers of the group or a body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs
 and practices.

 34. Religion Practices: a term including practices and observances such as attending
 worship services, wearing religious garb or symbols, praying at prescribed times, dis-
 playing religious objects, adhering to certain dietary rules, refraining from certain
 activities, proselytizing, etc.

 35. School Bus: Every motor vehicle owned by a public or governmental agency or
 private school and operated for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers
 and other persons acting in supervision capacity, to or from school or school activities,
 or, privately owned and operated for compensation for the transportation of pupils,
 children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity to or from
 school or school activities (Education Law § 11 [1] and vehicle and Traffic Law § 142).
 36. School Property: This is broadly defined in §220.00 of the Penal Law as follows:
 (a) in or on or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground or land
 contained within the real property boundary line of a public or private elementary,
 parochial, intermediate, junior high, vocational, or high school; or (b) any area accessible
 to the public located within one thousand feet of the real property boundary line comprising
 any such school or any parked automobile or other parked vehicle located within one
 thousand feet of the real property boundary line comprising any such school.

 37. School Function: Any school sponsored extra-curricular, co-curricular or other
 event or activity.

 38. Sex: The biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women.
 (MALE and FEMALE denote “sex”)

 39. Sexual Orientation: Actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, or
 bisexuality (Education Law §11[5]).

 40. Suspension: The act of a building principal (or acting building principal),
 superintendent of schools, district superintendent or Board of Education in
 discontinuing the presence of a student from his/her regular classes in accordance with
 Education Law §3214

 41. Teacher Removal: For purposes of reporting, a “teacher removal” means the
 removal of a disruptive pupil from the teacher’s classroom pursuant to the provisions of
 subdivision 3-a of section 3214 of the Educational Law.

 42. Transfer to Alternative Education Program: For purposes of reporting, a
 “transfer to an alternative education program” means any transfer to an educational
  program in a setting outside of the student’s home school to which the student is
14 VUFSD Code of Conduct
 referred as part of, or in lieu of, disciplinary action, i.e., as a consequence of the child’s
 misconduct. This includes, but is not limited to, involuntary transfers pursuant to
 Educational Law 3214(5) and placement of students with disabilities in interim
 alternative educational settings as a result of violations of the school district code of
 conduct.

 43. Transfer to Law Enforcement/Juvenile Justice: For purposes of reporting,
 referrals to law enforcement or juvenile justice include each incident whereby the
 perpetrator is referred to the police, law enforcement officers, or criminal justice.

 44. Violent Student: A student under the age of 21 who (a) commits an act of violence
 upon a school employee; or (b) commits, while on District Property or at a District
 Function, an act of violence upon another student or any other person lawfully on District
 Property or at the District Function; or (c) possesses a Weapon while on District Property
 or at a District Function; or (d) displays, while on District Property or at a School
 Function, what appears to be a Weapon; or (e) threatens, while on District Property or at
 a District Function, to use a Weapon; or (f) knowingly and intentionally damages or
 destroys the personal property of any school employee or any person lawfully on District
 Property or at a District Function; or (g) knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys
 District Property.

 45. Visitor: Anyone on District Property or at a District Function who is not a District
 employee or a student of the school building in which the individual is physically
 present.

 46. Weight: Aside from the obvious meaning in the physical sense, the word is used in
 reference to a person’s “size”.

 47. Weapon: A firearm as defined in the Gun-Free Schools Act (18 USC §921) [any
 firearm, 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 such firearm;
 any firearm muffler or silencer; or any destructive device as defined in that law] as well
 as any device, instrument material or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for or
 is readily capable of causing death or serious bodily injury, including any other gun,
 pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, machine gun, disguised gun, BB gun, starter gun, pellet
 gun, dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, gravity knife, pocket knife, brass
 knuckles, sling shot, metal knuckle knife, box cutters, cane sword, electronic dart gun,
 utility knife, paintball gun, ammunition, Kung Fu star, electronic stun gun, pepper spray
 or noxious spray, explosive or incendiary bomb. “Weapon” shall also mean other device
 instrument, material or substance that can cause serious physical injury or death when
 used as a weapon.

 48. Red Flag Law: Where a Building Principal believes that a student is likely to engage
 in conduct that may result in serious harm to themselves or others, after consultation with
 the Superintendent and legal counsel, such Building Principal may seek a Temporary
 and/or Final Extreme Risk Protection Order to prohibit a student’s access to firearms.
 [FN1: Please see page 47 for the definition of “weapon” pursuant to the IDEA as
 relevant to students with disabilities.]
15 VUFSD Code of Conduct

 IV. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
 A. THE ROLE OF PARENTS
 A cooperative relationship between home and school is essential to each student’s
 successful development and achievements. To achieve this healthy relationship, parents
 are urged to:

      Show an enthusiastic and supportive attitude toward school and education;
      Build a good working relationship between themselves and their child;
      Teach their child self-respect, respect for the law, respect for others and for
        public property;
      Teach their children respect and dignity for themselves, and other students
       regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group,
       religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity,
       or sex, which strengthens the child’s confidence and promotes learning in
       accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act;
      Insist on prompt and regular attendance;
      Listen to the views and observations of all parties concerned;
      Recognize that teachers merit the same consideration and respect that parents
        expect from their child;
      Encourage their child to take pride in his/her appearance;
      Insist that their child promptly brings home all communication from school;
      Cooperate with the school in jointly resolving any school related problem;
      Set realistic standards of behavior for their child and resolve to remain firm and
        consistent;
      Help their child learn to deal effectively with negative peer pressure;
      Provide a place conducive for study and completion of homework assignments;
      Demonstrate desirable standards of behavior through personal example;
      Foster a feeling of pride in their child for their school;
      Provide support and positive reinforcement to their child.

 Parents should be aware that they are responsible for any financial obligations incurred
 by their child in school. This includes lost books, damage to property, etc.

 B. THE ROLE OF SCHOOL PERSONNEL
 School personnel play an important role in the education of students. In view of this
 responsibility, school personnel must:
   Promote a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual
    or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious
    practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex, which will strengthen each
    student’s positive self-image, confidence and promote learning;
   Confront issues of discrimination and harassment or any situation that threatens the
    emotional or physical health or safety of any student;
   Address personal biases that may prevent fair treatment of all students in
    the school or classroom setting;
16 VUFSD Code of Conduct

   Report incidents of discrimination and harassment that are witnessed or
    otherwise brought to one’s attention in a timely manner;
   Teach the common courtesies by precept and example;
   Treat students in an ethical and responsible manner;
   Help students reach their maximum potential;
   Demonstrate desirable standards of behavior through personal example;
   Exhibit professionalism in all aspects of job performance, including attire
   Report violations of the Code of Conduct to the building principal or acting
     building principal;
   Adhere to the provisions of the Use of Technology Faculty & Staff Acceptable Use
     Agreement (Regulation 5300-R3a) and when requested, sign the Agreement

C. THE ROLE OF TEACHERS
Every teacher knows that s/he works every day with this nation’s most precious commodity
the future generation. In view of this responsibility, the teacher must:

   Promote a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual
    or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious
    practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex, which will strengthen each
    student’s positive self-image and confidence;
   Confront issues of discrimination and harassment or any situation that threatens the
    emotional or physical health or safety of any student;
   Address personal biases that may prevent fair treatment of all students in the school
    or classroom setting;
   Report incidents of discrimination and harassment that are witnessed or
    otherwise brought to a teacher’s attention in a timely manner;
   Plan and conduct a product of instruction that will make learning challenging and
    stimulating;
   Recognize that some discipline problems are caused by a student’s personal and
    academic frustrations;
   Utilize classroom routines which contribute to the total instructional program and to
    the students’ development of civic responsibility;
   Seek to develop close cooperative relationships with parents for the educational
    benefit of the student;
   Distinguish between minor student misconduct best handled by the teacher and
    major problems requiring the assistance of the administrator;
   Teach the common courtesies by precept and example;
   Handle individual infractions privately and avoid punishing the group for the
    misbehavior of one or two;
   Help students cope with negative peer pressure;
   Identify changing student behavior patterns and notify appropriate personnel;
   Enable students to discuss their problems with them;
   Send communications home promptly;
   Report to the principal, any student who jeopardizes his/her own safety, the safety
    of others or of the teacher, or who seriously interferes with the instructional
17 VUFSD Code of Conduct
    program of the classroom;
   Treat students in an ethical and responsible manner;
   Help students to reach their maximum potential;
   Serve, in the absence of a parent, in the matters of behavior and discipline in
    accordance with New York State Law;
   Explain and interpret the discipline code to students;
   Enforce the code in all areas of the school;
   Demonstrate desirable standards of behavior through personal example;
   Know the support services available to students and refer students who are in need
    of such services;
   Comply with state educational law regarding corporal punishment and mandated
    reporting of suspected child abuse;
   In the event of removal from class, inform the student and the principal of the reason
    for the removal;
   Immediately report and refer violent students to the Principal or Superintendent of
    Schools.

D. THE ROLE OF BUILDING ADMINISTRATORS
As the educational leaders of the school, the principals set the disciplinary climate for the
school, not only for students, but for staff as well. Therefore, they must:
    Promote a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of
        actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion,
        religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex, which will
        strengthen each student’s positive self-image and confidence;
    Confront issues of discrimination and harassment or any situation that threatens
        the emotional or physical health or safety of any student;
    Address personal biases that may prevent fair treatment of all students in the
        school or classroom setting;
    Report incidents of discrimination and harassment that are witnessed or
        otherwise brought to a teacher’s attention in a timely manner;
    Seek to develop a sound and healthful atmosphere of mutual respect;
    Evaluate the program of instruction in their school to achieve a meaningful
        educational program;
    Help their staff self-evaluate their procedures and attitudes in relation to the
        interaction within their classrooms;
    Develop procedures which reduce the likelihood of student misconduct;
    Provide the opportunity for students and staff to approach the principal
        directly for redress of grievances;
    Work with students and staff to formulate school regulations;
    Assist staff members to resolve problems which may occur;
    Work closely with parents to establish a wholesome relationship between
        home and school;
    Utilize all appropriate support staff and community agencies to help parents
        and students identify problems and seek solutions;
    Establish necessary building security;
    Assume responsibility for dissemination and enforcement of the “Code of
18 VUFSD Code of Conduct
        Discipline and Responsibilities” and ensure that all discipline cases referred
        are resolved promptly;
       Ensure that students are provided with fair, reasonable and consistent
        discipline;
       Comply with pertinent state laws governing hearings, suspensions, and
        student rights;
       Develop behavior guidelines and appeals procedures specific to each
        assigned school in harmony with the “Code of Student Conduct and
        Responsibilities”;
       Demonstrate desirable standards of behavior through personal example.

E. THE ROLE OF DISTRICT ADMINISTRATORS
As the educational leaders of the school system, the superintendent of schools and
Central Administrators must:
   Promote a safe, orderly, respectful and stimulating school environment, free
      from intimidation, discrimination and harassment, supporting active teaching
      and learning;
   Reinforce and extend the indicated responsibilities of the principals and make
      them applicable to the school system for grades K-12;
   Recommend to the Board of Education appropriate policy, regulations and
      actions to achieve optimum conditions for positive learning;
   Develop and implement an effective “Code of Conduct” supportable by students,
      parents, staff and community;
   Demonstrate desirable standards of behavior through personal example;
   Provide each teacher with a copy of the Code of Conduct.

F. THE ROLE OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
As the elected officials in charge of our schools, the Board of Education:
   Adopts the policies governing the District, including this Code of Conduct;
   Ensures that the Code of Conduct contains clear behavioral expectations and
      disciplinary consequences for students, staff and visitors;
   Ensures that the Code of Conduct is clearly communicated to students, parents, staff
       and the school community;
   Ensures that the Code of Conduct is implemented and enforced in a consistent,
       reasonably, fair and equitable manner;
   Annually reviews the Code of Conduct and updates it as necessary;
   Appoints a Dignity Act Coordinator in each school building. The Dignity Act
       Coordinator will be thoroughly trained to handle human relations in the areas of
       race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religion practice,
       disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, and sex. The Dignity Act
       Coordinator will be accessible to students and other staff members for consultation
       and advice as needed on the Dignity Act.

G. CONDUCT OF VISITORS
In an effort to maintain a safe and healthy educational environment, all visitors to the
District must sign in at the Main Office of the building visited. Visitations to classroom for
any purpose require permission in advance from the building principal in order to allow
19 VUFSD Code of Conduct
teachers the opportunity to arrange their schedules to accommodate such request.

Visitors are expected to comport themselves in a manner that does not disrupt the academic
process and in accordance with the law and this Code of Conduct.

V. REPORTING CODE VIOLATIONS
A. DISTRICT PERSONNEL/STUDENTS
Students, teachers and other District personnel are encouraged to promptly report any
violation of the Code of Conduct to the building principal or, in his/her absence, the acting
building principal. Teachers and other District personnel shall immediately report violent
students to the building principal or superintendent of schools.

B. LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
The District will report any acts of violence which constitute a crime and any violations
of the Code of Conduct which constitute a felony to the appropriate local law enforcement
agency when the actor is16 years of age or older. When necessary, the District will file a
complaint in criminal court against the actor.

C. HUMAN SERVICES AGENCIES
The District will report any violations of the Code of Conduct which constitute a crime
to the appropriate human services agencies when the actor is under the age of 16. When
necessary, the District will file a juvenile delinquency petition or a person in need of
supervision (PINS) petition in Family Court.

D. PARENTS
If parents are concerned about a code of conduct violation they should:
               1. Talk to their child’s teachers and/or guidance counselor
               2. Talk to their child’s building principal and/or athletic director
               3. Talk to the school superintendent

VI.     VIOLATIONS OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT
A. ACTS OF PROHIBITED MISCONDUCT DEFINED
The Board expects the members of the school community to conduct themselves in an
appropriate and civil manner, with proper regard for the rights and welfare of students,
employees and other members of the school and general community, as well as for the
care of school facilities and equipment.

The best discipline is self-imposed, and students must learn to assume and accept
responsibility for their own behavior, as well as the consequences of their misbehavior.
District personnel who interact with students are expected to use disciplinary action only
when necessary and to place emphasis on the students’ ability to grow in self- discipline.

The rules of conduct listed below are intended to make the Board’s expectations for
20 VUFSD Code of Conduct
student conduct specific and clear, and focus on safety and respect for the rights and
property of others.

The commission of any of the following acts (as they are defined below) is prohibited
on District Property and at District Sponsored Functions/Events/Activities. Such
conduct is punishable by the penalties set forth in Section VII of this Code after
compliance with the procedures set forth in Section VIII hereof.

    1. Act of Violence: To strike, hit, kick, punch, scratch or otherwise physically assault
       another person lawfully on school property or attempt to do so; to damage or
       destroy the personal property of a teacher, administrator, other District employee
       or any person lawfully on District Property; or to intentionally damage or destroy
       District Property; or to commit any act that is included within the definition of a
       Violent Pupil, as defined herein. Acts of Violence include Arson, Assault, Bomb
       Threats, Fighting, and Possession of an Explosive or a Weapon.

    2. Arson: The intentional destruction or other damage by fire, explosion or smoke
       to real property or personal property of the District, to personal property of
       District students or staff, or to personal property of third parties.

    3. Assault: The physical abuse, or infliction of personal injury, or unlawful detention
       of any person coupled with the intentional use of physical force, or the threat
       thereof, that places, or attempts to place, another person in well-founded fear of
       personal injury. Counseling and/or mediation between the students will be
       encouraged.

    4. Minor Assault involving physical contact and no physical injury: Striking,
       shoving, or kicking another person or subjecting another person to unwanted
       physical contact with the intent to harass, alarm or seriously annoy another person
       but no physical injury results.

    5. Assault with Physical Injury: Intentionally or recklessly causing physical injury
       (not serious) to another person, with or without a weapon, in violation of the
       school district code of conduct. Physical injury means impairment of physical
       condition or substantial pain.

    6. Assault with Serious Physical Injury: Intentionally or recklessly causing serious
       physical injury to another person, with or without a weapon, in violation of the
       school district Code of Conduct. Pursuant to Penal Law 10.00(10), “serious
       physical injury” means physical injury, which creates a substantial risk of death,
       or serious and protracted disfigurement or protracted impairment of health or
       protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ. Serious physical
       injury requires hospitalization or treatment in an emergency room and includes
       but is not limited to, a bullet wound, a serious stab or puncture wound, fractured
       or broken bones or teeth, concussions, cuts requiring stitches and any other injury
       involving risk of death or disfigurement.

    7. Authorization: No person, either singly or in concert with others, shall, without
       permission, expressed or implied, enter into any private office of an administrative
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