Student Bill of Rights

Students of the Pine Bush Central School District shall have the rights afforded to them under the provisions of the federal and state constitutions, the laws of the State of New York, the policies of the school district established by the Board of Education, and the rules and regulations established by the school the students attend. Although the rights of students are not identical to the rights of adults, it is recognized that a student’s private, non-school sponsored and/or non-program related conduct cannot be regulated unless the educational community is affected by such conduct.

All persons under the age of 21 who have not received a high school diploma have the right to a free public education. In addition, such persons have the right to attend school in an environment that exhibits the following characteristics:

  • is safe, orderly, and drug free; 
  • is free of discrimination based on gender, race, religion, nationality, socioeconomic background, or handicapping condition;
  • encourages students to discuss and debate ideas and opinions free from harassment or intimidation; 
  • protects free speech and expression, provided such speech or expression does not interfere with the orderly conduct of classes, and is not libelous, slanderous, or obscene; 
  • encourages learning, and allows for maximum academic and personal growth; 
    prepares students be productive members of society.

In accordance with these rights, students are held to corresponding responsibilities whether in school, on school grounds, or at school sponsored or school related activities. It is expected that students will conduct themselves in accordance with these responsibilities, and will contribute in a positive way to the maintenance of an orderly environment in which the safety and welfare of others are protected, and learning is not jeopardized. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • refraining from behavior or actions that could lead to disruption of school procedures and activities, personal danger, or property damage;
  • becoming familiar with, and abiding by all district and school policies, rules, and regulations that pertain to student conduct and safety; 
  • expressing themselves and dressing in a manner that does not disrupt the orderly operation of the school; 
  • respecting the rights of others, including their right to receive an education; 
  • respecting personal differences, and treating others in ways that do not libel, harass, intimidate, or endanger the safety, morals, health, or welfare of others; 
  • attending school regularly (students may legally be absent from school due to illness, a death in the family, religious observance, a mandatory court appearance, impassable roads, or natural catastrophe), arriving to classes on time, being prepared to work (which includes possessing the necessary tools and materials), and putting forth maximum effort; 
  • respecting and accepting the right of all staff members to issue directives that promote personal safety and ensure orderly student conduct; 
  • accounting for their actions and accepting the consequences of those actions. 
  • building good working relationships between themselves and peers, their parents, teachers, administrators and school staff, and utilizing the resources of the school and community in order to succeed.

Although students have important responsibilities to uphold in order to ensure the schools they attend are safe, orderly, and well disciplined, it is the officials of our school district and the adults in our community who must exercise the leadership and authority necessary to maintain a school environment that protects the rights of students and staff, and supports high levels of performance. Those school officials and their responsibilities regarding these matters are outlined below.

Board of Education

  • to adopt, legislate, and amend the district discipline procedure, and ensure that it is implemented in the schools in a prudent, fair, and equitable manner;
  • to serve as the highest level of appeal in the district discipline procedure as prescribed by Education Law; 
  • to affirm the authority of principals, assistant principals, teachers, and other school personnel to maintain order and discipline in the schools, which is essential to academic growth and progress. 
  • to build a good working relationship between the Board of Education, students, parents, teachers, administrators, and school staff, and utilize the resources of the district and community to assist children in being successful.
     

Administrators

  • to provide positive leadership that ensures an environment supportive of learning; 
  • to communicate district discipline policies to students, staff, and members of the community; 
  • to serve as the hearing officer between students, teachers, and parents in the due process procedure, as prescribed by Education Law; 
  • to ensure the district discipline policy is carried out in an effective manner while maintaining strong discipline in a positive, constructive manner in their respective schools; 
  • to utilize district staff appropriately and effectively to ensure proper supervision within the school and on school grounds, including, but not limited to the halls, cafeteria, and bathrooms; 
  • to inform students and parents of their right to appeal disciplinary actions taken by the school; 
  • to maintain confidentiality of information pertaining to students in accordance with federal and state law, and to the extent possible under the law, maintain the confidentiality of students who provide information to school officials regarding illegal activities; 
  • to support staff in enforcing the Student Code of Conduct; 
  • to provide other alternative educational means or suspensions of students who hinder or abate the public educational process for other students; 
  • to see that the rules and regulations in their respective schools are adhered to with continuity, fairness, and compassion; 
  • to ensure that all student referrals are followed up and brought to closure, and accurate student records are maintained; 
  • to serve as a liaison and recommending agent between teachers, support staff, and other agencies that assist in solving student problems; 
  • to facilitate collaboration between school staff, government agencies, and service organizations that assist in solving student problems; 
  • to build a good working relationship between themselves, students, parents, teachers, and school staff, and utilize the resources of the district and community to assist children in being successful. 

Teachers

  • to ensure the district discipline code is adhered to in the classroom; 
  • to promote a climate of mutual respect and dignity ; 
  • to treat students in a fair and equitable manner; 
  • to prevent a negative classroom situation from occurring by making students aware of classroom rules and regulations and by having the foresight to recognize the symptoms of a potential problem; 
  • to make every effort to solve a student discipline problem at the initial level before referral to an Administrator; 
  • to report serious violations of school rules or standards of behavior to the assistant principal or to principal; 
  • to make all referrals to the assistant principal or principal in writing. In cases of an emergency, immediate notification of the assistant principal or principal’s office is to be followed up by a written report; 
  • to intervene in emergency situations that threaten bodily harm to students or staff; 
  • to respect the individual differences of students and provide a variety of activities to diversify instruction in order to promote positive student behavior; 
  • to seek to develop cooperative and mutually supportive relationships with parents for the educational benefit of the student, and refer extraordinary student needs to the administrator or support staff; 
  • to work with oneself, one’s students and one’s associates to recognize and eliminate prejudice toward race, creed, socioeconomic background, gender, national origin or handicapping condition; 
  • to model the behaviors and attitudes students are expected to exhibit. Such behavior and attitudes include treating others with dignity and respect, working positively to resolve conflicts, and desisting behaviors that if exhibited by a student would put the student in jeopardy of disciplinary action; 
  • to build a good working relationship between themselves, students, parents, administrators and school staff, and utilize the resources of the school and community to help students succeed; 

Parents

  • to become familiar with and implement all district and building policies, rules, and regulations pertaining to student conduct and safety; 
  • to demonstrate a positive and mutually supportive attitude toward school and education; 
  • to provide the child’s health, personal cleanliness, acceptable grooming, and suitable dress; 
  • to model appropriate behavior, speech, and dress while on school property; 
  • to teach one’s child self-respect, respect for the law, respect for others, and respect for public property; 
  • to help one’s child deal effectively with peer pressure; 
  • to insist on prompt and regular attendance at school (Students may legally be absent from school due to illness, a death in the family, religious observance, a mandatory court appearance, impassable roads, or natural catastrophe.); 
  • to assure that one’s child arrives at school well-rested, prepared, and with needed materials; 
  • to provide a place at home that is appropriate for study, and ensure the completeness of homework assignments; 
  • to prepare and submit written excuses for the absences or tardiness of one’s child; 
  • to build a good working relationship between oneself, one’s child, teachers, administrators and school staff, and utilize the resources of the school and community to assist one’s child to succeed; 
  • to participate and assist in maintaining open lines of communication with the school; 
  • to cooperate with the school and school personnel in jointly resolving any school related problems; 
  • to listen to the views and observations of all parties concerned before reaching a decision; 
  • to sign all discipline referral forms and see that the student returns them to the issuing staff member the following school day; 
  • to assume financial liability for damages resulting from acts of vandalism or theft performed by one’s child. 

In order to fulfill these responsibilities, administrators, teachers, and parents must exercise their roles as follows:

All staff members must promote honest and open communication involving students, parents/guardians, all other staff, and the community at large. Such communication can result in a mutual understanding of the rights and responsibilities of each group, and a more positive school climate can be created. One means by which communication will be enhanced is through the distribution of handbooks for students, parents/guardians, and faculty by each school. Such handbooks will clearly define the law, Board of Education policy, and administrative regulations, as well as provide guidelines for the development of self-discipline and the maintenance of order. The content of such handbooks must be consistent throughout the district. All regulations pertaining to discipline and student behavior must be contained therein and distributed and reviewed annually.

Administrators and faculty must seek to provide alternative educational approaches to respond to the needs of the disruptive student. 

Students must be properly supervised at all times by the proper individual charged with this responsibility, e.g. teacher, bus driver, etc. If at any time it is necessary for the individual to be away from the students, the responsible individual must make proper arrangements to ensure temporary supervision. 

Building administrators are responsible for enforcing the laws, policies, and regulations established to ensure appropriate student behavior and a positive educational climate. In turn, teachers are responsible for maintaining appropriate student behavior in their classrooms and throughout their school.

Classrooms and schools should be administered with a focus on training students for self-discipline and individual responsibility in order to pursue the purpose of maintaining a positive climate for learning. 

When a discipline problem occurs, the teacher should exhaust all possibilities and resources available to him/her for a solution. Finding this unsuccessful, the teacher must seek further assistance through the school administration.

All parties to the problem, e.g. student, teacher, parents/guardians, administrators, and guidance staff, must be involved as early and as much as necessary to resolve it. All problems are to be dealt with in a firm, fair, legal, and timely manner. 

The building administrator and staff must make every reasonable effort to assist students to adjust properly, using to good advantage their experience and knowledge of child growth and development. Depending on the nature of the case, they may discipline the student directly in relation to the offense; call in the parents/guardians for a conference; refer the case for the attention of the support personnel; or use a combination of these procedures as well as other resources or techniques in accordance with their best judgment. 

Administrators, teachers, and counselors are to involve parents/guardians as early as possible in the resolution of a difficult problem, as parents/guardians can exert the most influence on the student in helping him/her adjust to school. Parents/guardians are expected to cooperate with the schools in working toward a solution to the problem. 

Whenever possible, administrators and teachers throughout the district are to adhere to the following for dealing with student misbehavior: 

The teacher must exhaust all resources in dealing with a problem. This means there must be at least one or more private conferences between the teacher, the student, and the parent(s)/guardian(s), to attempt to resolve the problem.

The administrator and/or counselor should be informed of the problem. 

The teacher may consider detaining the student after school for a conference and to offer assistance, and parents/guardians are to be notified. Such detention may be scheduled for the following day after the infraction occurred in order to provide sufficient time to inform parents/guardians and secure transportation.

If the teacher is unsuccessful in resolving a student discipline problem after making every effort at this, or should a student engage in a serious disciplinary problem, the problem will be referred to an administrator.

The teacher must refer a student to an administrator immediately if the teacher believes a student’s actions present a danger to himself/herself or others, threatens physical harm to himself/herself or others, damages property of the school or others, is in violation of district regulations regarding substance abuse, or is in violation of district regulations regarding possession of weapons.

The continuation of the student’s misbehavior can result in the following:

  • A conference between school staff and the student’s parents/guardian may be required.

  • The student may be placed in an alternative program such as a program for secondary students who are denied attendance in the regular day school. If so, the student’s parents/guardians must be notified and a parent/guardian conference will be required.

  • The student may be suspended out of school by the building principal for a period not to exceed five (5) days.

  • The student may be suspended out of school by the Superintendent of Schools for a period exceeding five (5) days.

  • In the event a student behaves improperly, or is suspected of participating in activities that compromise the safety or order of the school, administrators and school staff are charged with responding quickly, firmly, and within the law. The rights of students and the district in such instances are as follows:

SEARCHES AND SEIZURES

Students are protected by the Constitution from unreasonable searches and seizures. A student may be searched and contraband seized on school grounds or in a school building by a school district employee only when the school district employee has reasonable cause to believe the student is engaging in proscribed activity that is in violation of school rules and/or is illegal. Factors to be considered in determining whether reasonable cause exists to search a student include:

  • the age of the student; 

  • the student’s record and past history; 

  • the predominance and seriousness of the problem in the school where the search is directed; 

  • the urgency to conduct the search without delay.

    The administration has the right to search school lockers, and reserves the right to call upon police authorities to undertake periodic searches of lockers through the use of canine units. Although lockers are provided by the school for student use, and while a student may have exclusive use of a locker as far as other students are concerned, students do not have such exclusivity over the locker as against the school authorities.

QUESTIONING OF STUDENTS

School officials have the right to question students regarding any violation of school rules and/or illegal activity. Investigations concerning reports of misconduct are to be conducted by administration in a timely manner, and the investigation may include, but may not be limited to, the questioning of students, staff, parents/guardians, or other individuals as may be appropriate.

Students may request the presence of another staff member during questioning. This request will be granted pending the availability of the staff member, and the discretion of the administrator. Individuals who are questioned may be asked to write and sign their responses to questions, or prepare a written, signed statement indicating what he/she knows about an incident in question. If the student is unable to do so, his/her responses may be written down by the administrator.

Parents or guardians of children who are so questioned will be notified in a timely manner, and whenever possible within the same day of the questioning, in the event the infraction under investigation is of a serious nature or is illegal.

In the event a parent cannot be reached, the administrator will continue to attempt to make phone contact during the course of the day, and the following morning, and will log the time of each attempt. If phone contact cannot be made, a certified letter of notification will be mailed to the parents.

Should the questioning of students by school officials focus on the actions of a particular student, that student will also be questioned by an administrator, and he/she may be asked to write and sign his/her response to questions, or prepare a written, signed statement indicating what he/she knows about the incident in question. The student’s parent/guardian will be contacted if the actions under investigation are serious or are illegal. If this is not the case, the parent/guardian may be contacted, and 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 that may occur as a result.

(Also see Policy 7330–Law Enforcement and Search)

DETENTION

A special detention room will be designated and staffed at the middle and high schools for one hour after school on Monday through Thursday afternoons. Detention in this room for more than one hour may also be assigned at the high school. Only an administrator may assign a student to detention in this room.

At the elementary level, detention shall be at the discretion of the principal and will be supervised by the principal or his/her designee. The administrator must give the student written notice at least 24 hours in advance. Failure to make up assigned detention will result in assignment to in-school suspension. If a student is absent on the day he/she has been assigned detention, he/she is still obligated to serve detention when he/she returns. A student’s absence from school does not mean the student is excused from detention.

Assignment to detention takes precedence over all after-school or extracurricular activities. Students will be permitted to attend after-school or extracurricular activities only after their detention obligation is completed.

SUSPENSION

As provided in Education Law, the Board of Education, the Superintendent of Schools, a building principal or in his/her absence, an acting building principal, may suspend a student from attendance upon instruction where it is determined that the student:

  • is insubordinate or disorderly, or exhibits conduct that endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others; or
  •  exhibits a physical or mental condition(s) that endangers the health, safety or morals of himself/herself or other students.

In addition to the statutory grounds for suspensions from attendance upon instruction for misconduct or endangering health or safety conditions, students shall also be subject to suspension from attendance upon instruction based on a violation related to specific disciplinary infractions.

Students assigned to in-school or out-of-school suspension for a total of two or more days may, at the discretion of the building principal, be excluded from attendance at school-related activities such as dances, field trips, and other such functions. Such exclusion will be dependent upon the circumstances associated with the suspensions, including the nature of the infraction(s), subsequent improvement of behavior, and the purpose of the field trip or activity. If such privileges are lost, the student may be provided the opportunity to earn them back in accordance with the following provisions:

On a weekly basis, an assigned mentor will check the student’s grades, behavior, and effort. The mentor will be determined by the administrator in conjunction with the student.

The student will not engage in behavior that requires a disciplinary write up of any kind for five weeks. 

The student must get a progress report filled out on a weekly basis by all of his/her teachers/supervisors. This report must be taken home on the last school day of each week, signed by a parent/guardian, and returned by the student to his/her mentor. Satisfactory effort, conduct, and behavior is expected in all classes for the five-week period.

If at any time during this five-week period the student fails to meet these goals, the student will be immediately placed back at the beginning of the process for another five-week period.
 

PRE-SUSPENSION PROCESS

Prior to being suspended from attendance upon instruction in one or more classes, the student shall have a conference with a school official empowered to suspend, as referenced above, at which time the evidence upon which the decision to suspend is based shall be stated to the student and the student shall be given the opportunity to explain his/her version of the facts.

The student shall also be afforded the right to present other persons to the suspending authority in support of his/her version of the facts. If the circumstances render a pre-suspension conference impossible, such a conference shall occur as soon as is practicable after the suspension has commenced.

IN-SCHOOL SUSPENSION

Students from the middle schools and high school who are assigned to In-School Suspension (ISS) will be scheduled into a supervised room for no more than five (5) consecutive days. In addition, such students will be deprived of their usual school privileges during the time they are assigned to ISS, including attendance at all after-school activities.

Students assigned to ISS must report directly to the ISS room rather than to their homerooms. They may not leave the ISS room to attend other classes without the express permission of the administrator who assigned the student to ISS.

Students scheduled into ISS are expected to complete all class work and homework assigned by their regular teachers, including those assignments specifically provided to the student while in ISS.

Special rules will apply to students in ISS including the following:

  • Students will not converse with each other. 
  • Students will remain in their assigned seats. 
  • Students will work on the assignments provided. 
  • Students will eat lunch in the ISS room. 
  • Except in emergencies, students will be scheduled to use the lavatory once each morning and once each afternoon.
  • Elementary students assigned to ISS will be placed under the general supervision of the principal or the principal’s designee. The same guidelines identified above for secondary students assigned to ISS will be implemented for elementary school children.

SHORT-TERM SUSPENSION PROCESS

In the event a student is suspended from attendance upon instruction for between one (1) and five (5) days by a school principal or acting principal in the absence of the building principal, the student and his/her parent/guardian shall be notified in writing, by personal delivery or express mail, and by telephone, if possible, within 24 hours of the suspension, that the student has been suspended from school. Such written notice shall include a description of the incident(s) resulting in the suspension and shall inform the parent/guardian of the right to request an immediate informal conference with the principal. Upon such request, a conference with the principal and other parties involved shall be convened as soon as possible, at which time the evidence, including the witness(es) relied upon by the principal in making the suspension determination, may be questioned by the parent/ guardian. The right to an informal conference with the principal shall also extend to the student if the student is 18 years of age or older.

When a student has been suspended and is compulsory attendance age, immediate steps shall be taken to provide alternative instruction as prescribed by Education Law. Students who are suspended out of school are prohibited from being on school premises during the time of their suspension, or from participation in any after-school or extracurricular activities.

SUSPENSION FROM EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Students suspended from school for serious offenses, which may include but are not limited to the selling, use, or possession of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or other controlled substances or drug paraphernalia; possession of a weapon; or the use of violent behavior; may also be suspended from all extracurricular activities for a period of time greater than that imposed for suspension from school. The additional amount of time suspended from extracurricular activities will be determined collaboratively by the principal, administrative supervisor (such as the Director of Physical Education and Athletics,) and the coach/advisor.

Any student found to be in violation of any rules stipulated in the code of conduct for extracurricular activities, whether or not such violation occurred on school grounds or at school related activities, may be suspended from all extracurricular activities for a period time to be determined collaboratively by the principal, administrative supervisor (such as the Director of Physical Education and Athletics,) and the coach/advisor.

SUPERINTENDENT’S HEARING

 Superintendent’s disciplinary hearings are conducted according to Section 3214 Education Law. Disciplinary issues are referred to a Superintendent’s Hearing when repeated offences by a student, or the severity of a single offence, warrants consideration of a penalty greater than the five days of out-of-school suspension that can be imposed by a principal. The kinds of offences brought to a Superintendent’s Hearing include, but are not limited to, such acts as using or being in possession of illegal substances or drug paraphernalia; threatening or hitting a teacher; intimidating or attacking an individual for being a witnesses in a disciplinary proceeding; brandishing or being in possession of a weapon; sexually harassing a staff member or another student; and acts that are violent or threaten the health or safety of students and staff.

An accused student who is the subject of a Superintendent’s Hearing will be so notified in writing by overnight mail. Such notification will inform the student and his/her parents of their rights. These include the right to be represented by counsel, the right to question witnesses against him/her, and the right to present witnesses or other evidence on his/her behalf.

If an accused student chooses to call witnesses, the student will provide the district with a list of those witnesses at least 48 hours prior to the hearing. Students, and the parents of students who are required to testify either on behalf of the district or the accused student, will be so notified the day prior to the hearing. The parents of a student witness will also be notified that they can attend the Superintendent’s Hearing while their child testifies, providing their attendance is agreeable to the accused student. To protect the constitutional rights of the accused student, all witnesses who are called to testify are required to do so, and the hearing officer is empowered to issue a subpoena to any witness who is reluctant to testify.

At each hearing, witnesses will be sworn in before being asked to testify, and each witness can be questioned by representatives of the district or the accused. All physical evidence or documents related to the case must be submitted to the hearing officer so they can become part of the record and can be examined by all sides. In addition, the proceedings of the hearing will be recorded, and copies of the recording will be made available to the accused upon request. An individual witness may request a copy of the written transcript of his/her testimony only, providing that all information in violation on the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act is redacted from the transcript.

If the accused student is found guilty of the charges being brought against him/her, the hearing officer will review the student’s record of behavior prior to deciding upon the penalty. The decision of the superintendent can be appealed to the Board of Education, and the decision of the Board of Education can be appealed to the Commissioner of Education.

POLICE INVOLVEMENT

Staff of the Pine Bush Central School District will notify police when activities that occur on school grounds are illegal, or when an emergency situation occurs that, in the estimation of the administrative staff, requires police involvement. Under circumstances where a student has violated the law on school grounds and criminal proceedings may follow, the police will assume their normal role including that of investigator.

Generally, police investigations of incidents that occur out of school cannot be conducted on school grounds. The district will release students from classes to meet with the police in such cases only with parent consent, or if the police present a warrant. (Also see District Policy # 7330, Law Enforcement and Search)

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT

The use of the term “corporal punishment” in this regulation shall be defined as any act of physical force upon a student for the purpose of punishing that student. Corporal punishment is prohibited. However, reasonable physical force can be used for any of the following purposes:

  • to protect oneself from physical injury;
  • to protect another student or teacher or any other person from physical injury; 
  • to protect the property of the school or of others; 
  • to restrain or remove a student whose behavior is interfering with the orderly exercise and performance of school district functions, powers, or duties, if that student has refused to comply with a request to refrain from further disruptive acts; provided that alternative procedures and methods not involving the use of physical force cannot reasonably be employed to achieve the purposes set forth above.

 

EARLY IDENTIFICATION AND RESOLUTION 
OF STUDENT DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS

Pupil service personnel, administrators, teachers, and other staff should communicate concern to the proper authorities when they believe a student might present a possible discipline problem. The appropriate personnel will conduct an investigation of the reports, perhaps via conferences with the student, parents/guardians, teachers, other pupil service personnel, or others as he/she deems appropriate for the early identification and resolution of the suspected problem. If an administrator suspects the problem may be a manifestation of a disability, he/she will refer the matter to the Committee on Special Education in the manner prescribed by 200.4 of the Commissioner’s Regulations and by district policy.

The superintendent will direct the development of any forms necessary for the implementation of this regulation after consulting with each building principal.

DISCIPLINE CODE FOR STUDENTS

Students must conduct themselves at all times in the following manner whether in school, on school grounds, or at school sponsored or school related activities:

  • so as not to interfere with the teaching/learning process or the orderly operation of the school; 
  • so as to obey laws and rules to respect others and the property of others; 
  • so as to maintain courteous relations with teachers and fellow students; 
  • so as to assume responsibility for themselves, their conduct, and their learning; 
  • so as to maintain an excellent attendance record to class and school by avoiding unnecessary absence or tardiness; 
  • so as to make a sincere effort to always perform in the best manner possible.
     

The following student misbehaviors, though not intended to be all-inclusive, are cause for disciplinary action by school authorities:

  • possession, use, distribution or sale of drugs on school grounds or at school events; 
  • possession, use, or sale of alcohol on school grounds or at school events; 
  •   disrespectfulness; 
  • physical assault on teachers, students, or school employees; 
  • vandalism; 
  • truancy or excessive tardiness; 
  • fighting; 
  • stealing; 
  • disobedience; 
  • continual disruptive misbehavior; 
  • profane/obscene/provoking language, actions, or gestures; 
  • storing, possessing, or carrying dangerous weapons; 
  • endangering another, or impugning another’s rights; 
  • continual unexcused absenteeism; 
  • intimidation; 
  • extortion; 
  • immorality; 
  • acts of violence;
  • forgery; 
  • arson; 
  • continual infraction of school rules; 
  • dishonesty; 
  • insubordination; 
  • smoking; 
  • harassment. 

A student may be suspended from school or subjected to other disciplinary action when the student engages in conduct that is: 

  • disorderly, i.e. intentionally causing public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, by: 
  • fighting or engaging in violent behavior; 
  • intimidating, threatening, or causing bodily harm to another because that individual was asked to provide testimony, or provided testimony to a school official; 
  • making unreasonable noise; 
  • using abusive or obscene language or gestures; 
  • obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic; or 
  • creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act that serves no legitimate purpose; 
  • vandalizing school property or property of others; 
  • stealing;
  • insubordinate, (i.e. failing to comply with the lawful directions of a teacher, school administrator, or other school employee in charge of the student);
  • endangers the safety, morals, health, or welfare of others by any act, including but not limited to:
    • selling, using, or possessing alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substances or drug paraphernalia, (a violation of this nature will be referred to a Superintendent’s Hearing); 
    • selling, using, or possessing weapons, fireworks, or other dangerous instruments or contraband, (also, see Board of Education, Policy#7321 – Gun Free Schools); 
    • selling, using, or possessing obscene materials; 
    • using profane, vulgar, or abusive language, including ethnic slurs, (also see Policy #6160 – Sexual Harassment); 
    • smoking; 
    • gambling;
    • hazing; 
    • engaging in lewd behavior, or any behavior unbecoming young adults in a public school, e.g. excessive display of affection;
    • engages in any of the following forms of academic misconduct:
      • lateness for, missing, or leaving school or class without permission or excuse; 
      • cheating (including but not limited to copying, using unauthorized help sheets and the like, illegally obtaining test information in advance, substituting for a test taker, and other forms of unauthorized collusion); 
        plagiarism; 
      • misuse of the district’s computer system (see District Policy #7322 – Student Use of Computerized Information Sources).
      • Engages in conduct violating the Board of Education’s rules and regulations and local laws for the maintenance of public order on school property.

The range of disciplinary measures that may be imposed by staff and/or administration for a student’s violation of the student disciplinary code includes the following:

  • verbal warning;
  • written warning;
  • written notification to parents/guardians;
  • probation; 
  • reprimand;
  • detention;
  • in school suspension;
  • suspension from transportation;
  • suspension from social activities, athletic participation, or other extracurricular activities; 
  • suspension of other privileges; 
  • exclusion from a particular class;
  • involuntary transfer; 
  • suspension from school;
  • restitution for damage or theft of property.

Depending upon the nature of the violation, it is the Board of Education’s desire that student discipline be progressive, i.e. a student’s first violation should merit a lighter penalty than subsequent violations. It is also the board’s desire that the staff member/administrator take into account all other relevant factors in determining an appropriate penalty. The above penalties may be imposed either alone or in combination.

The Pine Bush Central School District Discipline Code does not fully encompass all of the areas of behavior and student discipline that must be addressed during the course of a school day. Rather, it is a guide by which individuals should govern their social behavior and conduct while in school. Consequently, these regulations and penalties are not considered to be inclusive, or preclude in any way the prosecution and conviction of any person for the violation of any federal or state law or local ordinance, and the imposition of a fine or penalty provided for therein.

STUDENT DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS

Any teacher, administrator, board member, parent/guardian, or other person may report a violation of the student disciplinary code to the building principal or designee. The principal or designee will then make an investigation of the charges as deemed appropriate and institute an informal or disciplinary proceeding, and/or make a referral to the Committee on Special Education, as he/she deems necessary. 

Any teacher may detain a student without first referring the case to a building administrator. The teacher must give the student notice of the reasons for the detainment and an opportunity to discuss these reasons. 

 This regulation and the Board of Education’s rules and regulations for the maintenance of public order on school property will be publicized and explained by the teaching staff to all students, and provided in writing to all parents/guardians on an annual basis. In order to ensure the effectiveness of this student disciplinary code the Board of Education requests the continuing assistance of parents/guardians in explaining and enforcing the code.
 

PROFESSIONAL STAFF DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR EFFECTIVE APPLICATION OF THE DISCIPLINE POLICY AND REGULATIONS

Continuing professional growth and increasing effectiveness on the part of the entire staff are essential for the success of educational programs and the effective application of the school conduct and discipline policy and regulations. Inservice programs to familiarize the professional staff with the provisions and purposes of this policy and regulations, shall be conducted at least once a year in each of the district’s schools by the principal or other appropriate administrator. The professional staff shall be encouraged to make use of available inservice opportunities for the same purpose or be granted approval to participate within budgetary means in workshops, summer study grants, school visitations, and attendance at professional conferences and meetings. The superintendent will have the authority to approve released time for conferences and visitations, and reimbursement for expenses, provided such activities are covered within budgetary allocations.

BUS CONDUCT

Transporting students to and from school is an enormous responsibility. Bus drivers must keep their attention on the highway and the operation of the bus. They cannot jeopardize the safety of all students because of the misbehavior of a few. The following is an outline of expected behavior for students who ride any school bus or vehicle owned or contracted by the district. The school bus must be viewed as an extension of the school, and the bus driver has complete authority over all pupils and the power to enforce all rules and regulations on the bus. These rules will be strictly enforced.

Behavior on School Vehicles

  • Students shall be ready when the bus arrives and shall enter promptly. 
  • Parents are responsible for ensuring that students stand a minimum of 15 feet away from the road when waiting for the bus.
  • Students shall not board or leave the bus while it is in motion. 
  • There shall be no unusual loudness in the way of talking or laughing, or unnecessary confusion that will interfere with the effectiveness of the bus driver. 
  • Shoving, pushing, the use of profanity and obscene language, or the use of provoking language or gestures are prohibited. 
  • Students shall keep their heads, arms, and hands inside the bus at all times.
  • Students shall not smoke or eat on the bus. 
  • Students shall keep the bus clean and sanitary.
  •  Students shall keep the seat assigned to them by the bus driver, and remain seated while the bus is in motion. 
  • Students shall always sit facing forward.
  • Students shall walk through the aisle to and from their assigned seats without disturbing or crowding other students. 
  • Students shall not bring radios, tape players, glass items, skateboards, baseball bats, golf clubs, fishing poles, archery equipment, or skis on the bus unless needed for school activities, and contained in a proper carrying case. 
  • Students shall obey the driver promptly and cooperatively. 
  • Students shall not bring any items on the bus that are prohibited in school, including, but not limited to firearms. 
  • Students wishing to remain off the bus, transfer from one bus to another, or get off at a place other than their regular stop, must have written permission from the parent and approval from the principal of the school. 
  • Students must always cross approximately ten (10) feet in front of the bus in full view of the driver and wait for the driver’s signal to cross. Students must then stop in front of the bus and look both ways before entering the lane of traffic. 
  • Students cannot bring an item on the bus that cannot be held on the lap comfortably. This is a regulation of the New York Department of Transportation. 

 Under the law, the Transportation Department is not allowed to transport live animals. Do not ask the driver to overlook this regulation.

 The preceding guidelines outline a behavior code that is necessary to ensure the orderly and safe transport of students. It is not intended to be a complete listing of all actions that violate those principles. Any additional actions that violate this standard will be dealt with in a manner that is consistent with that code. When a student is reported for improper bus behavior, the building administrator will discuss the problem with the student and/or the student’s parents/guardians, and assess an appropriate penalty. Such penalties may include the following:

  • First Offense: Written report sent home
  • Second Offense: Five days suspension of bus privileges
  • Third Offense: Ten days suspension of bus privileges
  • Fourth Offense: 30 days suspension of bus privileges
  • Subsequent offenses will result in additional suspension of bus privileges including suspensions of longer durations.

Other penalties may be as follow:

  • Smoking on the Bus – First Offense: One-week bus suspension;
  • Second Offense: Two-week bus suspension;
  • Third Offense: Bus suspension for the rest of the school year.
  •  Fighting on the Bus – First Offense: Two-week bus suspension;
  • Second Offense: Bus suspension for the rest of the school year;
  •  Vandalism (willful destruction) of the Bus – Two-week bus suspension and arrangements for payment of such damage. 

Damage Incurred While Involved in Violation of Other Rules

Arrangement of payment for reimbursement for such damage.
It is expected that each building principal involved will advise his/her students of these rules and regulations and that by this action, this will be considered the first warning. Violations from this point on will be dealt with accordingly.

Parents/guardians of students who are suspended from transportation privileges still have the legal responsibility to have their children attend school and must assume transportation responsibilities. The administrators of this policy reserve the right to modify or exceed specified penalties based upon the nature, frequency, or seriousness of the offense.

Students Rights and Responsibility Policy: While the law permits the school district to furnish transportation, it does not relieve parents/guardians of students from exercising responsibility and supervision until such times as their children board the bus in the morning and after their children leave the bus at the end of the school day.

Responsibility of Students to the Bus Driver: The bus driver, is responsible for the safety of the students on the bus, and as such deserves the same respect and cooperation as the teacher in the classroom. Requests from the bus driver are to be honored by the students without question. In consideration of this, the bus must be viewed as an extension of the classroom, and the driver shall require the children to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with established standards for classroom behavior.

Children who create serious disciplinary problems on the bus may have their riding privileges suspended. In such cases, the parents of the children involved become responsible for seeing that their children get to and from school safely.

The Pine Bush Central School District Transportation Department appreciates staff and parental cooperation in maintaining the safety of the transportation of our children. If staff or parents have any questions or need any information, please contact the Transportation Office at (845) 744-2031 ext.4012.

CLASSIFIED STUDENTS

The expectations as established within the Student Bill of Rights are appropriate for all students.

If the behavior of a classified student impedes that child’s learning or the learning of others, the CSE must, when appropriate, consider strategies and supports (including behavior interventions) to address that behavior.

Removal of a child with a disability from his/her current educational setting (in-school suspension or out of school suspension) for more than 10 school days requires the following procedures with certain exceptions. Students classified with disabilities have the following rights as authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Determination of guilt or innocence must be decided by the superintendent or his/her designee. If a classified student is found guilty of misconduct, there must be a manifestation determination by the CSE. Manifestation determination is a process of determining if the misconduct is in relationship to the handicapping condition.

Items the Committee on Special Education must consider during a manifestation determination are as follows:

  • whether the child’s IEP and placement were appropriate, and whether services were provided in accordance with the IEP; 
  • whether the child’s disability impaired his/her ability to understand the impact and consequences of the behavior; 
  • whether the child’s disability impaired the ability of the child to control the behavior.

If the behavior is found to be a manifestation of the handicapping condition, then the CSE should make a determination as to whether a change in placement, or additional supports and interventions are appropriate. The interim alternative setting shall be determined by the Committee on Special Education as soon as it is practicable to do so, but in no event more than five school days after the initial disciplinary action was taken. The interim setting shall enable the child to meet the goals of the IEP, receive services and modifications, and participate in general curriculum. If it is determined that the misconduct is not related to the handicapping condition, then the matter goes back to the superintendent for determination of penalty. If the misconduct is not related, the student can be disciplined to the same extent as non-classified students, subject to two important exceptions:

The parents may request a hearing if they disagree with the manifestation determination.  School personnel may request an expedited hearing if they maintain it is dangerous for the student to be in the current placement during the pendency of the due process proceedings.
“Stay Put” – During the pendency of due process proceedings between the parent and the district regarding the district’s determination, the student must remain in his or her then-current placement.

Exceptions to the status quo where the district can unilaterally change the placement to an interim alternative educational setting for up to 45 days are as follows:

  • If the child carries a weapon to school or a school function;
  • If the child knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs or sells or solicits the sale of controlled substances while on school property or at a school function. 

Exception upon a finding by an impartial hearing officer of “dangerousness” – A hearing officer or a court can change the placement for up to 45 days if it is found there exists a substantial likelihood that the child will be a danger to himself or others. However, the hearing officer must consider whether the district has demonstrated (by substantial evidence):

  • A substantial likelihood of injury to the student or others if the current placement is maintained; 
  • Whether the district has attempted to minimize harm in the current school setting even with supplemental aides and services; 
  • The hearing officer must determine that the interim, alternative educational setting is appropriate; 
  • The hearing officer must also consider the appropriateness of the current placement.

Within 10 business days after the decision to remove a student to an alternative setting, the CSE should convene and develop an assessment plan and appropriate behavioral intervention if one does not already exist, or review and modify, if appropriate, the existing behavioral intervention plan.

The procedures aforementioned could apply to students not previously determined to be eligible for special education or related services. This would occur if the district had knowledge that the child was suspected of having a disability before the behavior that precipitated the disciplinary action occurred. The district will be deemed to have such knowledge if:

  • The parent/guardian has expressed a concern in writing to the school personnel that his/her child needs special education and related services; 
  • The child’s behavior or performance demonstrates the need for these services; 
  • The parent/guardian has requested an evaluation of his/her child; 
  • The child’s teacher or other school personnel have expressed concern about the child’s behavior or performance to the district’s Director of Pupil Personnel and Special Services or other school personnel.
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 © 2018. All rights reserved.