Student Conduct

LOSS OR DESTRUCTION OF DISTRICT PROPERTY OR RESOURCES

The District is authorized to seek restitution, through civil action when necessary, from the parent or guardian of an unemancipated student over the age of ten and under the age of 18 where such student:

a) Has willfully, maliciously, or unlawfully damaged, defaced or destroyed real or personal property in the care, custody and/or ownership of the District; or
b) Has knowingly entered or remained in a District building, and wrongfully taken, obtained or withheld personal property owned or maintained by the District.

In instances where the District has sought and obtained a judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction, parent or guardian liability for civil damages will not exceed $5,000. Under certain circumstances, prior to the entering of a judgment in the sum total of $500 or more, a court may consider the parent’s or guardian’s financial inability to pay any portion or all of the amount of damages which are in excess of $500, and enter a judgment in an amount within the financial capacity of the parent or guardian. However, no such judgment will be entered for an amount which is less than $500.

False Reporting of an Incident and/or Placing a False Bomb

A District is also authorized to seek restitution, as described in law, from a parent or guardian of an unemancipated student over the age of ten and under the age of 18 where such student:

a) Has falsely reported an incident; or
b) Has placed a false bomb as defined in the New York State Penal Law.

Damages for falsely reporting an incident or placing a false bomb will mean the funds reasonably expended by the District in responding to such false report of an incident or false bomb, less the amount of any funds which have been or will be recovered from any other source as enumerated in law.
In seeking restitution, the District will file with the court, the County District Attorney and defense counsel an affidavit stating that the funds reasonably expended for which restitution is being sought have not been and will not be recovered from any other source or in any other civil or criminal proceeding, except as provided for in accordance with General Obligations Law Section 3-112.

General Obligations Law Section 3-112
Penal Law Sections 60.27, 240.50, 240.55, 240.60 and 240.61

STUDENT DRESS CODE

The responsibility for the dress and appearance of students will rest with individual students and parents. They have the right to determine how the student will dress, provided that such attire does not interfere with the operation of the school or infringe upon the general health, safety and welfare of District students or employees. Student dress and appearance must be in accordance with the District Code of Conduct. The administration is authorized to take action in instances where individual dress does not meet these stated requirements.

While the school administration may require students participating in physical education classes to wear certain types of clothing such as sneakers, socks, shorts, and tee shirts, they may not prescribe a specific brand which students must wear.

This policy does not mean that student, faculty, or parent groups may not recommend appropriate dress for school or special occasions. It means that a student will not be prevented from attending school or a school function, or otherwise be discriminated against, so long as his or her dress and appearance meet the above requirements. A school function will mean a school-sponsored or school-authorized extracurricular event or activity regardless of where such event or activity takes place, including any event or activity that may take place in another state.

Education Law Section 2801(1) — definition of school function

SUSPENSION OF STUDENTS

The Superintendent and/or the principal may suspend the following students from required attendance upon instruction:

a) A student who is insubordinate or disorderly; or
b) A student who is violent or disruptive; or
c) A student whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others.

Suspension

Five School Days or Less

The Superintendent and/or the principal of the school where the student attends will have the power to suspend a student for a period not to exceed five school days. In the absence of the principal, the designated “Acting Principal” may then suspend a student for a period of five school days or less.
When the Superintendent or the principal (the “suspending authority”) proposes to suspend a student for five school days or less, the suspending authority will provide the student with notice of the charged misconduct. If the student denies the misconduct, the suspending authority will provide an explanation of the basis for the suspension.

When suspension of a student for a period of five school days or less is proposed, administration will also immediately notify the parent or person in parental relation in writing that the student may be suspended from school.

Written notice will be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or equivalent means reasonably calculated to assure receipt of such notice within 24 hours of the decision to propose suspension at the last known address or addresses of the parents or persons in parental relation. Where possible, notification will also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting parents or persons in parental relation.

The notice will provide a description of the incident(s) for which suspension is proposed and will inform the student and the parent or person in parental relation of their right to request an immediate informal conference with the principal in accordance with the provisions of Education Law Section 3214(3)(b). Both the notice and the informal conference will be in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parents or persons in parental relation. At the informal conference, the student and/or parent or person in parental relation will be authorized to present the student’s version of the event and to ask questions of the complaining witnesses. 

The notice and opportunity for informal conference will take place prior to suspension of the student unless the student’s presence in the school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process, in which case the notice and opportunity for an informal conference will take place as soon after the suspension as is reasonably practical.

Teachers will immediately report or refer a violent student to the principal or Superintendent for a violation of the District’s Code of Conduct and a minimum suspension period.

More Than Five School Days

In situations where the Superintendent determines that a suspension in excess of five school days may be warranted, the student and parent or person in parental relation, upon reasonable notice, will have had an opportunity for a fair hearing. At the hearing, the student will have the right of representation by counsel, with the right to question witnesses against him or her, and the right to present witnesses and other evidence on his or her behalf.

Where the basis for the suspension is, in whole or in part, the possession on school grounds or school property by the student of any firearm, rifle, shotgun, dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto or any of the weapons, instruments or appliances specified in Penal Law Section 265.01, the hearing officer or Superintendent will not be barred from considering the admissibility of such weapon, instrument or appliance as evidence, notwithstanding a determination by a court in a criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding that the recovery of such weapon, instrument or appliance was the result of an unlawful search or seizure.

Minimum Periods of Suspension

In accordance with law, Commissioner’s regulations and the District’s Code of Conduct, minimum periods of suspension will be provided for the following prohibited conduct, subject to the requirements of federal and state law and regulations:

a) Consistent with the federal Gun-Free Schools Act, any student who is determined to have brought a firearm to school or possessed a firearm on school premises will be suspended for a period of not less than one calendar year. However, the Superintendent has the authority to modify this suspension requirement on a case-by-case basis.
b) A minimum suspension period for students who repeatedly are substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interfere with the teacher’s authority over the classroom, provided that the suspending authority may reduce such period on a case-by-case basis to be consistent with any other state and federal law. The definition of “repeatedly is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority” will be determined in accordance with the regulations of the Commissioner.
c) A minimum suspension period for acts that would qualify the student to be defined as a violent student in accordance with Education Law Section 3214(2-a)(a), provided that the suspending authority may reduce such period on a case-by-case basis to be consistent with any other state and federal law. 

Suspension of Students with Disabilities

Generally, should a student with a disability infringe upon the established rules of the schools, disciplinary action will be in accordance with procedures set forth in the District’s Code of Conduct and in conjunction with applicable law and the determination of the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
For suspensions or removals up to ten school days in a school year that do not constitute a disciplinary change in placement, students with disabilities must be provided with alternative instruction or services on the same basis as non-disabled students of the same age.

If suspension or removal from the current educational placement constitutes a disciplinary change in placement because it is for more than ten consecutive school days or constitutes a pattern, a manifestation determination must be made. The District determines on a case-by-case basis whether a pattern of removals constitutes a change of placement. This determination is subject to review through due process and judicial proceedings.

Manifestation Determinations

A review of the relationship between the student’s disability and the behavior subject to disciplinary action to determine if the conduct is a manifestation of the disability must be made by a manifestation team immediately, if possible, but in no case later than ten school days after a decision is made:

a) By the Superintendent to change the placement to an interim alternative educational setting (IAES);
b) By an Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO) to place the student in an IAES; or
c) By the Board, District Superintendent, Superintendent or building principal to impose a suspension that constitutes a disciplinary change of placement.

The manifestation team will include a representative of the District knowledgeable about the student and the interpretation of information about child behavior, the parent and relevant members of the CSE as determined by the parent and the District. The parent must receive written notice prior to the meeting to ensure that the parent has an opportunity to attend. This notice must include the purpose of the meeting, the names of those expected to attend and notice of the parent’s right to have relevant members of the CSE participate at the parent’s request. 

The manifestation team will review all relevant information in the student’s file including the student’s individualized education program (IEP), any teacher observations, and any relevant information provided by the parents to determine if: the conduct in question was caused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to the student’s disability; or the conduct in question was the direct result of the District’s failure to implement the IEP. If the team determines the conduct in question was the direct result of failure to implement the IEP, the District must take immediate steps to remedy those deficiencies.

Finding of Manifestation

If it is determined, as a result of this review, that the student’s behavior is a manifestation of his or her disability the CSE will conduct a functional behavioral assessment, if one has not yet been conducted, and implement or modify a behavioral intervention plan.

Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) means the process of determining why the student engages in behaviors that impede learning and how the student’s behavior relates to the environment. FBA must be developed consistent with the requirements of Commissioner’s Regulations Section 200.22(a) and will include, but not be limited to, the identification of the problem behavior, the definition of the behavior in concrete terms, the identification of the contextual factors that contribute to the behavior (including cognitive and affective factors) and the formulation of a hypothesis regarding the general conditions under which a behavior usually occurs and probable consequences that serve to maintain it.

Behavioral intervention plan (BIP) means a plan that is based on the results of a functional behavioral assessment and, at a minimum, includes a description of the problem behavior, global and specific hypotheses as to why the problem behavior occurs and intervention strategies that include positive behavioral supports and services to address the behavior.

Unless the change in placement was due to behavior involving serious bodily injury, weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances, the student must be returned to the placement from which the student was removed unless the parent and the District agree to a change of placement as part of the modification of the behavioral intervention plan.

No Finding of Manifestation

If it is determined that the student’s behavior is not a manifestation of his or her disability, the relevant disciplinary procedures applicable to students without disabilities may be applied to the student in the same manner and for the same duration for which they would be applied to students without disabilities, subject to the right of the parent or person in parental relation to request a hearing objecting to the manifestation determination and the District’s obligation to provide a free, appropriate public education to such student.

Provision of Services Regardless of the Manifestation Determination 

Regardless of the manifestation determination, students with a disability will be provided the services necessary for them to continue to participate in the general education curriculum and progress toward meeting the goals set out in their IEP. They must also receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment, behavioral intervention services and modifications designed to address the behavior violation so it does not recur:

a) For subsequent suspensions or removals for ten consecutive school days or less that in the aggregate total more than ten school days in a school year but do not constitute a disciplinary change of placement school personnel, in consultation with at least one of the student’s teachers, will determine the extent to which services are needed;
b) For suspensions or other disciplinary removals in excess of ten school days in a school year which do constitute a disciplinary change in placement the IAES and services will be determined by the CSE.

Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES)

Students with disabilities who have been suspended or removed from their current placement for more than ten school days may be placed in an IAES which is a temporary educational setting other than the student’s current placement at the time the behavior precipitating the IAES placement occurred.
Additionally, an Impartial Hearing Officer in an expedited due process hearing may order a change in placement of a student with a disability to an appropriate IAES for up to 45 school days if the Hearing Officer determines that maintaining the current placement is substantially likely to result in injury to the students or others.

There are three specific instances when a student with a disability may be placed in an IAES for up to 45 school days without regard to a manifestation determination:

a) Where the student carries or possesses a weapon to or at school, on school premises, or to or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the District; or
b) Where a student knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the District; or
c) Where a student has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the District. Serious bodily harm has been defined in law to refer to one of the following: 

1. Substantial risk of death;
2. Extreme physical pain; or
3. Protracted and obvious disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ or mental faculty.

A school function will mean a school-sponsored or school-authorized extracurricular event or activity regardless of where such event or activity takes place, including any event or activity that may take place in another state.
School personnel may consider any unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis when determining whether to order a change in placement for a student with a disability who violates a code of student conduct. 

In all cases, the student placed in an IAES will:

a) Continue to receive educational services so as to enable the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress towards the goals set out in the student’s IEP, and
b) Receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention services and modifications that are designed to address the behavior violation so that it does not recur.

The period of suspension or removal may not exceed the amount of time a non-disabled student would be suspended for the same behavior.

Suspension From BOCES

The BOCES principal may suspend District students from BOCES classes for a period not to exceed five school days when student behavior warrants such action.

In-School Suspension

In-school suspension will be used as a lesser discipline to avoid an out-of-school suspension. The student will be considered present for attendance purposes. The program is used to keep each student current with his or her class work while attempting to reinforce acceptable behavior, attitudes and personal interaction. 

BOCES Activities

BOCES activities, such as field trips and other activities outside the building itself, are considered an extension of the school program. Therefore, an infraction handled at BOCES is to be considered as an act within the District itself.

A student who is ineligible to attend a District school on a given day may also be ineligible to attend BOCES classes. The decision rests with the Superintendent or designee.

Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

If a parent or person in parental relation wishes to appeal the decision of the building principal and/or Superintendent to suspend a student from school, regardless of the length of the student’s suspension, the parent or person in parental relation must appeal to the Board prior to commencing an appeal to the Commissioner of Education.

Procedure After Suspension

When a student has been suspended and is of compulsory attendance age, immediate steps will be taken to provide alternative instruction which is of an equivalent nature to that provided in the student’s regularly scheduled classes.

When a student has been suspended, the suspension may be revoked by the Board whenever it appears to be for the best interest of the school and the student to do so. The Board may also condition a student’s early return to school and suspension revocation on the student’s voluntary participation in counseling or specialized classes, including anger management or dispute resolution, where applicable.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446 Section 615(k)(l)]
18 United States Code (USC) Section 921
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1400 et seq.
20 United States Code (USC) Section 7151, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300
Education Law Sections 2801(1), 3214 and 4402
Penal Law Section 265.01
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 100.2(l)(2), 200.4(d)(3)(i), 200.22 and Part 201

STUDENTS PRESUMED TO HAVE A DISABILITY FOR DISCIPLINE PURPOSES

The parent of a student who has violated any rule or Code of Conduct of the District and who was not identified as a student with a disability at the time of such behavior may assert several protections provided for under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and State regulations if the District is deemed to have had knowledge (as determined in accordance with law and/or regulations and referenced below) that the student was a student with a disability before the behavior that precipitated the disciplinary action occurred.

Basis of Knowledge

The District will be deemed to have knowledge that the student had a disability if prior to the time the behavior occurred:

a) The parent of the student has expressed concern in writing to supervisory or administrative personnel, or to a teacher of the student, that the student is in need of special education and related services. However, expressions of concern may be oral if the parent does not know how to write or has a disability that prevents a written statement;
b) The parent of the student has requested an evaluation of the student in writing; or
c) A teacher of the student, or other District personnel, has expressed specific concerns about a pattern of behavior demonstrated by the student, directly to the Director of Special Education or to other supervisory personnel.

Exception

A student is not a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes if, as a result of receiving the information specified above (i.e., subheading “Basis of Knowledge”):

a) The parent of the student has not allowed an evaluation of the student in accordance with law and/or regulations;
b) The parent of the student has refused services under law and/or regulations; or
c) The student has been evaluated and it was determined that the student is not a student with a disability. 

Responsibility for Determining Whether a Student is a Student Presumed to Have a Disability

If it is claimed by the parent of the student or by District personnel that the District had a basis for knowledge, in accordance with law and/or regulation, that the student was a student with a disability prior to the time the behavior subject to disciplinary action occurred, it will be the responsibility of the Superintendent, building principal or other school official imposing the suspension or removal to determine whether the student is a student presumed to have a disability.

Conditions That Apply if There is No Basis of Knowledge

If it is determined that there is no basis for knowledge that the student is a student with a disability prior to taking disciplinary measures against the student, the student may be subjected to the same disciplinary measures as any other nondisabled student who engaged in comparable behaviors.

However, if a request for an individual evaluation is made during the time period in which such nondisabled student is subjected to a disciplinary removal, an expedited evaluation will be conducted in accordance with law and/or regulations. Pending the results of the evaluation, the student will remain in the educational placement determined by school authorities.

If the student is determined to be a student with a disability, taking into consideration information from the evaluation and information provided by the parents, the District will provide special education and related services in accordance with law and/or regulations.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446, Section 615(k)(5)] Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1400 et seq.
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 201.5

STUDENT USE OF COMPUTERIZED INFORMATION RESOURCES (ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY)

The Board will provide access to various computerized information resources through the District’s computer system (“DCS” hereafter) consisting of software, hardware, computer networks and electronic communications systems. This may include access to electronic mail, so-called “on-line services” and the “Internet.” It may include the opportunity for some students to have independent access to the DCS from their home or other remote locations. All use of the DCS, including independent use off school premises, will be subject to this policy and accompanying regulations. Further, all such use must be in support of education and/or research and consistent with the goals and purposes of the District.

Access to Inappropriate Content/Material and Use of Personal Technology or Electronic Devices

This policy is intended to establish general guidelines for the acceptable student use of the DCS and also to give students and parents/guardians notice that student use of the DCS will provide student access to external computer networks not controlled by the District. The District cannot screen or review all of the available content or materials on these external computer networks. Thus some of the available content or materials on these external networks may be deemed unsuitable for student use or access by parents/guardians.

Despite the existence of District policy, regulations and guidelines, it is virtually impossible to completely prevent access to content or material that may be considered inappropriate for students. Students may have the ability to access such content or material from their home, other locations off school premises and/or with a student’s own personal technology or electronic device on school grounds or at school events. Parents and guardians must be willing to establish boundaries and standards for the appropriate and acceptable use of technology and communicate these boundaries and standards to their children. The appropriate/acceptable use standards outlined in this policy apply to student use of technology via the DCS or any other electronic media or communications, including by means of a student’s own personal technology or electronic device on school grounds or at school events.

Standards of Acceptable Use

Generally, the same standards of acceptable student conduct which apply to any school activity will apply to use of the DCS. This policy does not attempt to articulate all required and/or acceptable uses of the DCS; nor is it the intention of this policy to define all inappropriate usage. Administrative regulations will further define general guidelines of appropriate student conduct and use as well as proscribed behavior.

District students will also adhere to the laws, policies and rules governing computers including, but not limited to, copyright laws, rights of software publishers, license agreements, and student rights of privacy created by federal and state law.

Students who engage in unacceptable use may lose access to the DCS in accordance with applicable due process procedures, and may be subject to further discipline under the District’s school conduct and discipline policy and the District Code of Conduct. The District reserves the right to pursue legal action against a student who willfully, maliciously or unlawfully damages or destroys property of the District. Further, the District may bring suit in civil court against the parents/guardians of any student who willfully, maliciously or unlawfully damages or destroys District property in accordance with General Obligations Law Section 3-112.

Student data files and other electronic storage areas will be treated like school lockers. This means that such areas will be considered to be District property subject to control and inspection. The Computer Coordinator may access all such files and communications without prior notice to ensure system integrity and that users are complying with the requirements of this policy and accompanying regulations. Students should NOT expect that information stored on the DCS will be private.

Notification

The District’s Acceptable Use Policy and Regulations will be disseminated to parents and students in order to provide notice of the school’s requirements, expectations, and students’ obligations when accessing the DCS. 

Regulations will be established as necessary to implement the terms of this policy.

ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, DRUGS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES (STUDENTS)

The Board recognizes that the misuse of alcohol, drugs, tobacco and other illegal substances is a serious problem with legal, physical, emotional and social implications for our students as well as the entire community. Therefore, the consumption, sharing and/or selling, use and/or possession of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, illegal drugs, counterfeit and designer drugs, or paraphernalia for the use of such drugs is prohibited at any school-sponsored function, on school grounds and on school buses at all times. The inappropriate use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs will also be disallowed.

Smoking

Smoking will not be permitted and no person will smoke within 100 feet of the entrance, exits or outdoor areas of any public or private elementary or secondary schools. However, this will not apply to smoking in a residence, or within the real property boundary lines of such residential real property.

Non-medical Use of Prescription Drugs

Non-medical use of prescription drugs among young people has become an increasing problem in the United States. Prescription drugs are easier to access because they can be taken from their home’s medicine cabinet and young people may believe they are safer than illicit drugs because they are manufactured by a pharmaceutical company.

Should a student be found in possession of any of these substances, they will be dealt with in accordance with the Code of Conduct.

Persons Entering School Grounds

Persons will be banned from entering school grounds or school-sponsored events when exhibiting behavioral, personal or physical characteristics indicative of having used or consumed alcohol or other substances. A school-sponsored function will mean a school-sponsored or school-authorized extracurricular event or activity regardless of where such event or activity takes place, including any event or activity that may take place in another state.

In accordance with Penal Law Section 220.00 for purposes of controlled substances offenses:

a) “School grounds” means (a) in or on or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground or land contained within the real property boundary line of the District’s schools, or (b) any area accessible to the public located within 1,000 feet of the real property boundary line comprising any such school or any parked automobile or other parked vehicle located within 1,000 feet of the real property boundary line comprising any District school. An “area accessible to the public” will mean sidewalks, streets, parking lots, parks, playgrounds, stores and restaurants. 

b) “School bus” means every motor vehicle owned by the District and operated for the transportation of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory 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.

Prevention and Intervention

Through the collaborative efforts of staff, students, parents/guardians and the community as a whole, a comprehensive program will be developed addressing alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances to include the following elements:

Primary Prevention

Preventing or delaying alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substance use/abuse by students will be the major focus of a comprehensive K through 12 program in which proactive measures of prevention and early intervention are emphasized. This program will include:

a) A sequential K through 12 curriculum based on recognized principles of effectiveness that is developed and incorporated into the total educational process. This curriculum will be concerned with education and prevention in all areas of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances use/abuse;
b) Training school personnel and parents/guardians to reinforce the components of the policy through in-service and community education programs with up-to-date factual information and materials;
c) An effort to provide positive alternatives to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances use/abuse through the promotion of drug/tobacco/alcohol-free special events, service projects and extracurricular activities that will develop and support a positive peer influence.

Intervention

School-based intervention services will be made available to all students, grades K through 12, and provided by prevention professionals who are appropriately trained in this area. The purpose of intervention is to eliminate any existing use/abuse of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances and to identify students considered to be at risk for use/abuse. Intervention programming will include:

a) Counseling of students in groups and as individuals on alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substance use/abuse. Counselors will be appropriately trained and skilled school staff assigned for this purpose; 

b) Referring students to community or other outside agencies when their use/abuse of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances requires additional counseling or treatment. Referral is a key link in school and community efforts and the process is basic to the dissemination of information regarding available counseling and health services;

c) Providing a supportive school environment designed to continue the recovery process for students returning from treatment. A re-entry program may include continuing student and/or family counseling and emphasizing positive alternatives to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substance use/abuse;

d) Developing a parent network to serve as a support group and provide a vehicle of communication for parent education;

e) Ensuring confidentiality as required by state and federal law.

Disciplinary Measures

Disciplinary measures for students consuming, sharing and/or selling, using and/or possessing alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, illegal drugs, counterfeit and designer drugs, or paraphernalia for the use of such drugs will be outlined in the District’s Code of Conduct on School Property.

Staff Development

There will be ongoing training of District staff about the components of an effective alcohol, tobacco and other substances program. Training will include, but not be limited to, District policies and regulations and the staff’s role in implementing such policies and regulations. Teachers will be trained to implement the District’s K through 12 alcohol, tobacco, drugs and other substance prevention curricula; intervention staff will be suitably trained to carry out appropriate services.

Implementation, Dissemination and Monitoring

It will be the responsibility of the Superintendent to implement the alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances Board policy by collaboration with school personnel, students, parents/guardians and the community at large.

Additionally, copies of Board policy will be disseminated to District staff, parents/guardians and community members. The Superintendent/designee will periodically review the tobacco, drugs and alcohol abuse prevention program to determine its effectiveness and support appropriate modifications, as needed.

Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
20 United States Code (USC) Section 7101 et seq.
Education Law Section 2801(1)
Penal Law Sections 70.70(2)(a)(i) and 220.00(17)
Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 142

USE OF ALCOHOL SCREENING DEVICES

In keeping with the Board’s commitment to promoting a safe and substance-free learning environment, authorization is given for school administration, school health personnel, and school resource officers to use both “active” and/or “passive” alcohol detection devices at all school-sponsored events and activities, whether conducted on or off school grounds as well as on school premises (during the instructional day). Screening for alcohol consumption may be required of any student or guest at all school-sponsored events and activities or of any student on school premises during the instructional day, at any time based upon reasonable suspicion that he or she is under the influence. It is not the purpose of this policy to conduct random testing of students.

The District reserves the right to require, as a condition of attendance at extracurricular events, consent by the student and the parent to such testing, which consent will be confirmed by acknowledgement of the student’s receipt of the Code of Conduct. Students who do not cooperate will be required to leave the activity immediately in the custody of his or her parent or guardian. Students who test positive for any level of alcohol will not be allowed to remain in attendance at the event.

Students who test positive will be required to leave in the custody of his or her parent or guardian and will be disciplined according to the Student Code of Conduct. No refunds will be provided to these students or their guests.

There must always be two people present when the alcohol sensor test is administered.

When practical, and provided immediate medical intervention is not needed in the interim, the student will have two opportunities to take the alcohol sensor test. The initial test may be administered at any time. A second test may be conducted 15 minutes after the first test has completed The results of both alcohol sensor tests will be documented.

All alcohol sensor tests will be conducted in a secure location, to the extent possible, away from other students.

SEARCHES AND INTERROGATIONS OF STUDENTS

Students are protected by the Constitution from unreasonable searches and seizures. A student may be searched and contraband/prohibited items seized on school grounds or in a school building by an authorized District official (as designated below) only when the District official has reasonable suspicion to believe the student has engaged in or is engaging in proscribed activity which is in violation of the law and/or the rules of the school (i.e., the District Code of Conduct).
Factors to be considered in determining whether reasonable suspicion exists to search a student include:

a) The age of the student;
b) The student’s school record and past history;
c) The predominance and seriousness of the problem in the school where the search is directed;
d) The probative value and reliability of the information used as a justification for the search;
e) The school official’s prior knowledge of and experience with the student; and
f) The urgency to conduct the search without delay.

The Superintendent, building principals, assistant principals, and school nurse are authorized to conduct searches of students and their belongings if the authorized school official has reasonable suspicion to believe that the search will produce evidence that the student has violated or is violating the law and/or the Code of Conduct.

If reasonable suspicion exists to believe that a student has violated or is violating the law and/or school rules, it is permissible for an authorized school official to search that student’s outer clothing, pockets, or property. The search may include, but is not limited to, the student’s outer clothing such as a jacket or coat, pockets, backpack, and/or purse. Searches will be conducted by a staff member of the same sex as the student. Whenever possible, another staff member, also of the same sex, will be present as a witness.

Strip Searches

A strip search is a search that requires a student to remove any or all of his or her clothing, other than an outer coat or jacket. Strip searches are intrusive in nature and are not permissible. If school authorities believe there is an emergency situation that could threaten the safety of others, the student will, to the extent practicable, be isolated and secured. Police and parents will be contacted immediately. 

Searches and Seizure of School Property

Student desks, lockers, textbooks, computers, and other materials, supplies or storage spaces loaned by the school to students remain the property of the school, and may be opened and inspected by school employees at any time. Students have no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to school property; and school officials retain complete control over such property. This means that student desks, lockers, textbooks, computers, and other materials, supplies or storage spaces may be subject to search and/or seizure of contraband/prohibited items at any time by school officials, without prior notice to students and without their consent.

Questioning of Students by School Officials

School officials have the right to question students regarding any violations of school rules and/or illegal activity. In general, administration may conduct investigations concerning reports of misconduct which may include, but are not limited to, questioning students, staff, parents/guardians, or other individuals as may be appropriate and, when necessary, determining disciplinary action in accordance with applicable due process rights.

Should the questioning of students by school officials focus on the actions of one particular student, the student will be questioned, if possible, in private by the appropriate school administrator. The student’s parent or guardian may be contacted; the degree, if any, of parental/guardian involvement will vary depending upon the nature and the reason for questioning, and the necessity for further action which may occur as a result.

The questioning of students by school officials does not preclude subsequent questioning/interrogations by police authorities as otherwise permitted by law. Similarly, the questioning of students by school officials does not negate the right/responsibility of school officials to contact appropriate law enforcement agencies, as may be necessary, with regard to such statements given by students to school officials.

School officials acting alone and on their own authority, without the involvement of or on behalf of law enforcement officials (at least until after the questioning of students by school authorities has been conducted) are not required to give the so-called “Miranda warnings” (i.e., advising a person, prior to any custodial interrogations as defined in law, of the right to remain silent; that any statement made by the individual may be used as evidence against him or her; and that the individual has the right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed) prior to the questioning of students.

If deemed appropriate and/or necessary, the Superintendent/designee may also review the circumstances with District legal counsel so as to address concerns and the course of action, if any, which may pertain to and/or result from the questioning of students by school officials. 

Law Enforcement Officials

It will be the policy of the District that a cooperative effort will be maintained between the school administration and law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement officials may be summoned in order to conduct an investigation of alleged criminal conduct on school premises or during a school-sponsored activity, or to maintain the educational environment. They may also be summoned for the purpose of maintaining or restoring order when the presence of such officers is necessary to prevent injury to persons or property.

Administrators have the responsibility and the authority to determine when the assistance of law enforcement officers is necessary within their respective jurisdictions.

Interrogation of Students by Law Enforcement Officials

If police are involved in the questioning of students on school premises, whether or not at the request of school authorities, it will be in accordance with applicable law and due process rights afforded students. Generally, police authorities may only interview students on school premises without the permission of the parent or guardian in situations where a warrant has been issued for the student’s arrest (or removal). Police authorities may also question students for general investigations or general questions regarding crimes committed on school property. In all other situations, unless an immediate health or safety risk exists, if the police wish to speak to a student without a warrant they should take the matter up directly with the student’s parent or guardian.

Whenever police wish to question a student on school premises, administration will attempt to notify the student’s parent or guardian.

If possible, questioning of a student by police should take place in private and in the presence of the building principal or designee.

Child Protective Services’ Investigations

From time to time, Child Protective Services may desire to conduct interviews of students on school property. Such interviews generally pertain to allegations of suspected child abuse and/or neglect. The Board encourages cooperation with Child Protective Services in accordance with applicable Social Services Law.

Education Law Sections 1604(9), 1604(30), 1709(2), 1709(33) and 2801
Family Court Act Section 1024
Social Services Law Sections 411-428
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2(l)

BUS RULES AND REGULATIONS

The Pine Bush Central School District furnishes transportation to those students whose disability or distance from the school make the service essential. Except as otherwise mandated in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), riding these buses is a privilege and may be withdrawn if the student does not comply with the rules and regulations set forth in the Code of Conduct.

Bus drivers will be held responsible for reasonable and acceptable behavior of students while riding the school bus. Students riding school buses are expected to conform to the rules of conduct in order to permit the bus driver to transport his or her passengers safely.

The Board, the Superintendent and/or his or her designee has the authority to suspend the transportation privileges of children who are disorderly and insubordinate on buses. Generally, parent(s)/guardian(s) will be required to make alternative transportation arrangements for their children who have been suspended from riding the bus. However, the effect of a suspension from transportation on the student’s ability to attend school will be considered. If a suspension from transportation effectively results in a suspension from attendance because of the distance between the home and the school and the absence of alternative public or private means of transportation, the District will make appropriate arrangements to provide for the student’s education.

If a student with a disability who receives transportation as a related service as part of his or her Individualized Education Program is being considered for suspension from transportation, and that suspension would effectively result in a change in placement, the student will be referred to the Committee on Special Education.

The Board directs the administration to establish rules and regulations for student conduct on buses, including applicable due process rights to be afforded students suspended from transportation privileges. These rules and regulations will be promulgated to all concerned, including the nonpublic schools to which students are transported.

Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), 20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 156

VIDEO CAMERAS ON SCHOOL BUSES

The Board recognizes its responsibility to maintain and improve discipline and to act with due care concerning the safety and welfare of its staff and students on school transportation vehicles.

After having carefully considered the District’s duty to act with due care with regard to the discipline, health, welfare and safety of staff and students and the protection of property on school transportation vehicles, the Board supports the use of video cameras on the school buses that service the District.
Video cameras may be used to monitor student behavior on school vehicles transporting students to and from school or extracurricular activities. This policy does not require that all video tapes be reviewed. The video tapes may be reviewed on a random or “as needed” basis.

Students in violation of bus conduct rules will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with established Board policy and regulations governing student conduct and discipline. Student participation in any conduct which seems to be prohibited by law will be dealt with in accordance with applicable laws and school regulations.

The District will comply with all applicable state and federal laws related to video recordings when such recordings are considered for retention as part of the student’s record as determined by the District and in accordance with law.

Video surveillance will be used in conjunction with the District’s duties with regard to discipline, and the health, welfare and safety of staff and students and the protection of property. All film used in relation to this policy will be the sole property of the District, and the Superintendent or designee will be the custodian of such film. Requests for viewing a film must be made in writing to the Superintendent or designee; and, if the request is granted, such viewing must occur in the presence of the District’s designated custodian of the film. Under no circumstances will the District’s film be duplicated and/or removed from District premises unless otherwise required by law.

The Superintendent is directed to develop regulations governing the use of video cameras in accordance with the provisions of law and established Board policies and regulations. A copy of this policy will be posted in all school buildings and will be discussed by classroom teachers with their students at the beginning of each school year. 

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT/EMERGENCY INTERVENTIONS

Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment as a means of discipline will not be used against a student by any teacher, administrator, officer, employee or agent of this District.

Whenever a school employee uses physical force against a student, the school employee will immediately report the situation to his or her principal/supervisor. The principal/supervisor will, within the same school day, make a report to the Superintendent describing in detail the circumstances and the nature of the action taken.

The Superintendent will submit a written report semi-annually to the Commissioner of Education, with copies to the Board, by January 15 and July 15 of each year, setting forth the substance of each written complaint about the use of corporal punishment received by the Pine Bush Central School District authorities during the reporting period, the results of each investigation, and the action, if any, taken by the school authorities in each case.

Emergency Interventions

However, if alternative procedures and methods which would not involve physical force do not work, then the use of reasonable physical force is not prohibited for the following reasons:

a) Self-protection;
b) Protection of others;
c) Protection of property; or
d) Restraining/removing a disruptive student.

Such emergency interventions will only be used in situations where alternative procedures and methods not involving the use of reasonable physical force cannot reasonably be employed. Emergency interventions will not be used as a punishment or as a substitute for systematic behavioral interventions that are designed to change, replace, modify or eliminate a targeted behavior.

Staff who may be called upon to implement emergency interventions will be provided appropriate training in safe and effective restraint procedures. The parent(s) of the student will be notified whenever an emergency intervention is utilized.

The District will maintain documentation on the use of emergency interventions for each student including:

a) Name and date of birth of student; 
b) Setting and location of the incident;
c) Name of staff or other persons involved;
d) Description of the incident and emergency intervention used, including duration;
e) A statement as to whether the student has a current behavioral intervention plan; and
f) Details of any injuries sustained by the student or others, including staff, as a result of the incident.

This documentation will be reviewed by District supervisory personnel and, if necessary, by the school nurse or other medical personnel. 

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 19.5, 100.2(l)(3), 200.15(f)(1) and 200.22(d)

WEAPONS IN SCHOOL AND THE GUN-FREE SCHOOLS ACT

Specific Penalties Imposed by the Gun-Free Schools Act

No student will bring or possess any “firearm” as defined in federal law on school premises (including school buildings and grounds, District vehicles, school settings and/or school-sponsored activities under the control and supervision of the District regardless of location). For purposes of this policy, the term “firearm” includes any 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 such weapon; any firearm muffler or silencer; or any “destructive device” (e.g., any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas, including bombs, grenades, rockets or other similar devices). The term does not include a rifle which the owner intends to use solely for sporting, recreational or cultural purposes; antique firearms; or Class C common fireworks.

In accordance with the Gun-Free Schools Act and Education Law Section 3214(3)(d), any student who brings or possesses a dangerous weapon or firearm, as defined in federal law, on school property, will be referred by the Superintendent to the appropriate agency or authority for a juvenile delinquency proceeding in accordance with Family Court Act Article 3 when the student is under the age of 16 except for a student 14 or 15 years of age who qualifies for juvenile offender status under the Criminal Procedure Law, and will be referred by the Superintendent to the appropriate law enforcement officials when the student is 16 years of age or older or when the student is 14 or 15 years of age and qualifies for juvenile offender status under the Criminal Procedure Law. For purposes of this policy, the term “dangerous weapon” means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than two and one-half inches (2 1/2″) in length.

In addition, any student attending a District school who has been found guilty of bringing a firearm to or possessing a firearm on school property, after a hearing has been provided in accordance with Education Law Section 3214, will be suspended for a period of not less than one calendar year and any student attending a non-District school who participates in a program operated by the District using funds from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 who is determined to have brought a firearm to or possessed a firearm at a District school or on other premises used by the District to provide Such programs will be suspended for a period of not less than one calendar year from participation in such program. The procedures of Education Law Section 3214(3) will apply to such a suspension of a student attending a non-district school. However, the Superintendent has the authority to modify this suspension requirement for each student on a case-by-case basis. In reviewing the student’s one year suspension penalty, the Superintendent may modify the penalty based on factors as set forth in regulations of the Commissioner of Education Section 100.2 and in Commissioner’s Decisions. 

Student with a Disability

In accordance with Commissioner regulations, a student with a disability who is determined to have brought a weapon (including a firearm) to school or possessed a weapon (including a firearm) at school may be placed in an interim alternative educational setting, in accordance with federal and state law, for not more than 45 calendar days. If the parent or guardian requests an impartial hearing, the student must remain in the interim alternative placement until the completion of all proceedings, unless the parent or guardian and District can agree on a different placement. For more information regarding Interim Alternative Educational Settings (IAES), refer to Policy #7313 — Suspension of Students. Students with disabilities continue to be entitled to all rights enumerated in the Individuals with Disabilities Act and Education Law Article 89; and this policy will not be deemed to authorize suspension of students with disabilities in violation of these laws.

Additionally, this policy does not diminish the authority of the Board to offer courses in instruction in the safe use of firearms in accordance with Education Law Section 809-a.

The District will continue to provide the suspended student who is of compulsory attendance age with appropriate alternative instruction during the period of the student’s suspension.

Gun-Free Schools Act as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 18 USC Sections 92l(a) and 930
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Sections 1400-1485 and 7151
Criminal Procedure Law Section 1.20(42)
Education Law Sections 310, 809-a, 3214 and Article 89
Family Court Act Article 3
Penal Law Sections 265.01-265.06
8 NYCRR Section 100.2 and Part 200

Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Tim O. Mains
Superintendent of Schools
This website is maintained by Public Information Specialist Linda Smith. It is the goal of the Pine Bush Central School District that this website is accessible to all users. View our accessibility statement. The district is not responsible for facts or opinions contained on any linked site. Some links and features on this site require the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. Visit the Adobe website to download the free Acrobat Reader. This website was produced by the Capital Region BOCES Communications Service, Albany, NY. Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved.