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468 Magee Street, Southampton, New York 11968 631-283-3550

Code of Conduct

 

Introduction:

The Tuckahoe Common School District is committed to providing a safe and orderly educational environment where students receive and Tuckahoe personnel deliver quality educational services without disruption or interference. The Tuckahoe School is also committed to maintaining in school a climate of mutual respect and dignity to promote learning within a safe environment. Responsible behavior by students, teachers, other Tuckahoe personnel, parents, and other visitors is essential to achieving these goals.

The Tuckahoe Common School District Board of Trustees has a long-standing set of expectations for conduct on school property, at school functions, and while traveling to and from school and school events. These expectations are based on the principles of civility, mutual respect, citizenship, character, tolerance, honesty and integrity, as well as the following Tuckahoe community beliefs:

  • We are a diverse community of reflective, life-long learners, both children and adults.
  • Our community of children and adult learners is a valuable resource entitled to the highest quality instruction and equitable service.
  • Respect, honesty, and trust are essential in all our interactions.
  • Integrity, continuous assessment, high standards, and innovation are the foundation of our school's success.
  • The integrity and high standards of our educational programs are reflected in our students and provide them with the skills they need to become responsible citizens and useful members of society.
  • Successful organizations depend upon individuals who take responsibility for their actions, are accountable for the programs and services they deliver, and use all their energies to fulfill the expectations of those who count on them.
  • Effective communication of accurate information to all our stakeholders enhances involvement and reduces conflict.
  • Production of quality outcomes depends on the collective effort of a well trained, motivated and healthy workforce who are encouraged to express their opinions.
  • Everyone has the right to a safe, healthy and caring environment which fosters respect and high expectations, maximizes potential, motivates interest and enthusiasm, and encourages the pursuit of happiness.

The Board recognizes the need to clearly define these expectations for acceptable conduct on school property, to identify the possible consequences of unacceptable conduct, and to ensure that discipline when necessary is administered promptly and fairly. To this end, the Board adopts the following Code of Conduct. Unless otherwise indicated, this Code applies to all students, school personnel, parents and other visitors when on school property or attending a school function.

Definitions:

For purposes of this code, the following definitions apply.

"Behavior Time Out Room " means a special location or room within a school building that is used for students who need to be temporarily placed in an environment more conducive to their needs in order to gain composure or avoid a potential problem.

"Behavior Management System " means a process or system of consequences for behavior that is developed by staff or in a program which is used by staff and students in order to monitor and improve student behaviors. Point accumulation, levels and rewards are all part of a typical behavior management system, especially within special education programs.

"Building Administrator" means a certified administrator who is responsible for the supervision and management of an educational site.

"Committee on Special Education " (CSE) means the committee on special education, or other multidisciplinary team of the student's home school district.

“Discipline Committee” means an officially designated group at the district level that is comprised of teachers from the primary and upper elementary levels, the middle school, one parent representative, and one board representative. The Assistant Principal is the chairman of this Committee. It is the responsibility of this Committee to review, edit, and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees for the purpose of updating the Code of Conduct. This Committee is also instrumental in establishing the protocol for the administration of school rules and discipline policies.

"Disruptive Student" means a student who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher's authority over the classroom.

"Electronic Communications Device " includes radios, Walkmans, pagers, CD players, cell phones, tape recorders, laptops, computers, Ipods, PDA’s, or any other electronic device, and any assistive or augmentative devices which assist in communications. Some of these devices are used in the education process, but only if and when provided by the student's home school district as specified in the student's educational program.

"Formal Removal by Teacher" means the action by a certified teacher to have a disruptive student removed from the classroom. Time-honored classroom management techniques for controlling student behavior, diffusing a situation and/or preventing a crisis, which may
involve brief periods of time spent out of the classroom, are not considered "formal removal by a teacher" for purposes of this code.

"Illegal Substances " means, but is not limited to, alcohol, tobacco, inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-alike drugs, and any substances commonly referred to as "designer drugs.

"Individualized Education Program (IEP)" means a written statement developed, reviewed and revised in accordance with section 200.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner that includes components specified in section 200.4(d)(2) of the Regulations to be provided to meet the unique educational needs of a student with a disability.

"Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)" means the Federal laws related to the education of students with disabilities.

"Itinerant Teacher" means a certified staff member who provides specialized services, such as hearing, vision, or other educationally related services to special subject content such as physical education, art, music, or language instruction (i.e. Spanish) to students and is not assigned to one program or building. These teachers usually travel to other district sites in order to deliver specialized services or curricula to students. Itinerant teachers are expected to adhere to the building and/or program parameters for discipline of each location in working with students attending that school.

"Long Term Suspension " means a suspension of five consecutive school days or more.

"Manifestation Determination " means a review of the relationship between the student's disability and the behavior subject to disciplinary action that is conducted by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) of the student's home school district.

"Non-Violent Crisis Intervention " means those techniques that enable staff to maintain control in an unlimited number of crisis situations through calm, confident actions that help staff defuse the disruptive student and reduce the change for physical injury to all who are present. In non-violent crisis intervention, the emphasis is always on the staff's primary responsibility: the care, welfare, safety and security of our students and staff. Physical restraint is only used when all verbal and paraverbal techniques have been exhausted and the individuals' actions are escalating toward physical aggression. Even when physical control is used, it is used in such a way to control and protect students.

"Other Privileges " means major co-curricular activities which may occur during or after regular school hours, on or off school property, such as clubs, social events, and major field trips, etc.

"Other School Staff " means non-pedagogical staff such as clerical, custodial and food service personnel who are located within a school building and provide operational support to the school program.

"Paraeducators " means teacher aides or teaching assistants who work under the supervision of a teacher to support the instruction of students.

"Parent and Guardian " means parent, guardian or person in parental relation to a student.

Peer Mediation ” means trained teachers, administrators and students who provide peer mediation and conflict resolution at a peer to peer level. The goal of the Peer Mediation team is to increase cooperation, communication, and the occurrence of constructive outcomes between students involved in low level conflicts.”

"Positive School Climate" means a setting where all students and staff experience a safe, healthy and caring environment which fosters respect and high expectations, maximizes potential, and motivates interest and enthusiasm.

"Principal's Designee " means another district administrator designated by the Principal.

"Program" means an educational approach to providing learning experiences in order to address academic, behavioral, developmental or career needs of students.

"School Property " means in or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot or land contained within the real property boundary line of the school, or in or on a school bus, as defined in Vehicle and Traffic Law 142.

"School Function" means any school-sponsored extracurricular event or activity.

"Short Term Suspension" means a suspension of four consecutive school days or fewer.

“Social/Extracurricular Activities” means any Tuckahoe School sponsored activity including but not limited to contests, school dances, kickline, clubs, intramural sports, and class trips.

"Student Support Service Personnel" means any staff member who provides direct educationally related services that assist students in coping with peer pressure and emerging personal, social, emotional and physical problems. These services are provided by psychologists, social workers, counselors, guidance counselors, ESL teachers, hearing teachers, vision specialists, mobility teachers, speech teachers, occupational or physical therapists. Social workers, psychologists and speech teachers, ESL, vision and hearing specialists are also considered licensed teachers under SED certification.

"Violent Student" means a student who:

  • Commits an act of violence upon a school employee, or attempts to do so.
  • Commits, while on school property or at a school function, an act of violence upon another student or any other person lawfully on school property or at the school function, or attempts to do so.
  • Possesses, while on school property or at a school function, a weapon,
  • Displays, while on school property or at a school function, what appears to be a weapon.
  • Threatens, while on school property or at a school function, to use a weapon.
  • Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys the personal property of any school employee, student or any person lawfully on school property or at a school function.
  • Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys school property.

"Weapon " means a firearm as defined in 18 USC 921 for purposes of the Gun-Free Schools Act.
It also means any other gun, BB gun, pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, machine gun, disguised gun, dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, gravity knife, brass knuckles, sling shot, metal knuckle knife, box cutter, cane sword, electronic dart gun, Kung Fu star, electronic stun gun, pepper spray or other noxious spray, explosive or incendiary bomb, or other device, instrument, material, or substance that can cause physical injury or death when used to cause physical injury or death.

Students Rights and Responsibilities:

All student interaction and communication among themselves, teachers, school administrators, other school personnel, and visitors on school property will be acceptable, civil, and respectful.

A. Student Rights

  • Tuckahoe C.S.D. is committed to safeguarding the rights given to all students under state and federal law. In addition, to promote a safe, healthy, orderly and civil school environment, all Tuckahoe students have the right to:
  • Take part in all Tuckahoe activities on an equal basis regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation or disability.
  • Present their version of the relevant events to the appropriate school personnel authorized to impose a disciplinary penalty in connection with the imposition of the penalty.
  • Access school rules and, when necessary, receive an explanation of those rules from school personnel.

B. Student Responsibilities

All Tuckahoe students have the responsibility to:

  • Contribute to maintaining a safe and orderly school environment that is conducive to learning and to show respect to other persons and to property.
  • Be familiar with and abide by all Tuckahoe policies, rules and regulations dealing with student conduct.
  • Attend school every day unless they are legally excused, and to be in class, on time, and prepared to learn.
  • Work to the best of their ability in all academic and extracurricular pursuits and strive toward their highest level of achievement possible.
  • React to direction given by all school staff in a respectful, positive manner.
  • Utilize resources to control their anger, including seeing a guidance counselor, social worker or school psychologist, participate in peer mediation (see definition), and consult with teachers, parents, administrators, or other authorized school personnel (i.e., nurse).
  • Ask questions when they do not understand.
  • Seek help in solving problems, including requesting permission to use peer mediation, seeing a guidance counselor, social worker, or school psychologist, being receptive to non-violent crisis intervention (see definition) techniques and philosophies.
  • Dress appropriately for school and school functions in accordance with the dress code within Tuckahoe's Code of Conduct Policy 5300.
  • Be accountable and responsible for their actions.
  • Conduct themselves as representatives of Tuckahoe School when participating in or attending school-sponsored extracurricular events and hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct, demeanor, and sportsmanship.

Essential Partners in Creating a Positive School Climate:

A. Parents and Guardians

All parents and guardians are expected to:

  • Recognize that the education of their children is a joint responsibility of the parents/guardians and the school community.
  • Send their children to school ready to participate and learn.
  • Ensure their children attend school daily and on time.
  • Ensure that all absences are excused.
  • Insist that their children be dressed and groomed in a manner consistent with the student dress code.
  • Know school rules and help their children understand them.
  • Help their children to understand that in a democratic society appropriate rules are required to maintain a safe, orderly environment.
  • Promote positive behavior in their children by helping them to accept the consequences of their actions and by becoming involved in the behavior management/disciplinary process.
  • Convey to their children a supportive attitude toward education and Tuckahoe School.
  • Build good relationships with teachers, other parents and their children's friends.
  • Help their children deal effectively with peer pressure.
  • Inform school officials of changes in the home situation that may affect student conduct or performance.
  • Provide an appropriate place for study at home and ensure that homework assignments are completed.
  • Respond promptly to school personnel when requested to do so.

B. Teachers

All teachers are expected to:

  • Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity, which will strengthen students' self-concept and promote motivation to learn.
  • Be fully prepared to teach.
  • Demonstrate interest in teaching, concern for student well-being, achievement and educational progress, and respond appropriately to the individual needs of each student.
  • Know school policies and rules, and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner, in accordance with the Code of Conduct.
  • Communicate to students and parents that which is important to the student's emotional, social, behavioral and academic progress, including but not limited to:
    a. Course objectives and requirements.
    b. Marking/grading procedures
    c. Assignment deadlines
    d. Expectations for students
    e. Classroom discipline plan
    f. Building-wide behavior management plan
  • Communicate regularly with student, parents and other teachers concerning growth and achievement.
  • Adhere to the Code of Conduct Policy 5300.
  • Be knowledgeable of effective classroom/building behavior management techniques and the non-violent crisis intervention philosophy and techniques.
  • Maintain confidentiality about all personal information and educational records concerning students and their families.
  • Demonstrate dependability, integrity and other standards of ethical conduct.
  • Follow the chain of command for various administrative procedures.
  • Report violent students to the Principal or his/her designee immediately.

C. Paraeducators (see definition)

All paraeducators are expected to:

  • Work under the direct supervision of a certified teacher or administrator utilizing the teacher's lesson plan and classroom/building behavior management plan.
  • Utilize non-violent crisis intervention techniques.
  • Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity which will strengthen student's self concept and promote confidence to learn.
  • Demonstrate interest and concern for student achievement in the educational process.
  • Know school policies and rules and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner in accordance with the Code of Conduct.
  • Maintain confidentiality about all personal information and educational records concerning students and their families.
  • Demonstrate dependability, integrity and other standards of ethical conduct.
  • Follow the chain of command for various administrative procedures.

D. Student Support Service Personnel (see definition)

All student support service personnel are expected to:

  • Provide educationally related service(s) to support students in their educational program.
  • Support educational and academic goals.
  • Assist students in coping with peer pressure and emerging personal, social, emotional, and physical problems.
  • Encourage students to benefit from the curriculum and co-curricular activities.
  • Know school policies and rules and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner in accordance with the Code of Conduct. Communicate regularly with students, parents and other staff.
  • Adhere to the Code of Conduct for the districts or district based school in which itinerant staff are providing services.
  • Be knowledgeable of effective classroom behavior/building management techniques and the non-violent crisis intervention philosophy and techniques.
  • Maintain confidentiality about all personal information and educational records concerning students and their families.
  • Demonstrate dependability, integrity and other standards of ethical conduct.
  • Follow the chain of command for various administrative procedures.

E. Building Administrators (see definition)

All building administrators are expected to:

  • Promote a safe, orderly and academically stimulating school environment that supports active teaching and learning.
  • Ensure that students and staff have the opportunity to communicate regularly with the Principal and approach the Principal for redress of grievances.
  • Evaluate all instructional programs for which they are responsible on a regular basis.
  • Support the development of and student participation in appropriate extracurricular activities.
  • Be responsible for enforcing the Code of Conduct and ensure that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.
  • Be knowledgeable of effective classroom behavior/building management techniques, and the non-violent crisis intervention philosophy and techniques and assure their utilization in the building/program.
  • Ensure that a building-wide behavior management system is created and supported when required to meet the needs of students enrolled in their building.
  • Maintain confidentiality about all personal information and educational records concerning students and their families.
  • Demonstrate dependability, integrity and other standards of ethical conduct.
  • Follow the chain of command for various administrative procedures.

F. Other School Staff (see definition)

All other school staff are expected to:

  • Perform specialized non-pedagogical duties that support the operational functioning of the school.
  • Know school policies and rules and support the implementation of the Code of Conduct.
  • Maintain confidentiality about all personal information and educational records concerning students and their families.
  • Demonstrate dependability, integrity and other standards of ethical conduct.
  • Follow the chain of command for various administrative procedures.

G. Other Administrative, Managerial and Technical Staff (see definition)

All administrative, managerial, and technical staff are expected to:

  • Provide specialized instructional and administrative services to Tuckahoe.
  • Support the implementation of the Code of Conduct.
  • Assure that the staff under their supervision conform to the Code of Conduct.
  • Maintain confidentiality about all personal information and educational records concerning students and their families.
  • Demonstrate dependability, integrity and other standards of ethical conduct.
  • Follow the chain of command for various administrative procedures.

I. Superintendent and the Board

The Superintendent and the Board are expected to:

  • Collaborate with student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel to develop a Code of Conduct that clearly defines expectations for the conduct of students,
  • Tuckahoe personnel and visitors on school property and at school functions.
  • Adopt and review at least annually the Tuckahoe School Code of Conduct to evaluate the Code's effectiveness and the fairness and consistency of its implementation.
  • Lead by example by conducting board meetings in a professional, respectful and courteous manner.

Student Dress Code:

All students are expected to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to dress appropriately for school and school functions. Students and their parents have the primary responsibility for acceptable student dress and appearance.

Teachers and all other Tuckahoe personnel should exemplify and reinforce acceptable attire and help students develop an understanding of appropriate appearance in the school setting.
A student's dress, grooming and appearance, including hair style/color, jewelry, make-up and nails, shall:

  • Be safe, appropriate, and not disruptive to the educational process.
  • Include appropriate footwear at all times. Footwear that is a safety hazard will not be allowed.
  • Not include extremely brief garments such as tube tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps, plunging necklines (front or back), or see through garments. Shirts, blouses, etc. much reach the waste at a minimum. Boys must wear at least a short sleeved shirt. Undershirts alone are not acceptable.
  • Not include short shorts or skirts. All shorts/skirts must be a minimum of mid-thigh; all pants, shorts, etc. must cover undergarments completely.
  • Not include the wearing of hats or coats in the classroom except for medical or religious purposes. Wallet chains are not permitted.
  • Not include items that are vulgar, obscene, and libelous or denigrate others on account of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
  • Not promote and/or endorse the use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs and/or encourage or incite illegal or violent activities.

The Principal or his or her designee shall be responsible for informing all students and their parents of the student dress code at the beginning of the school year and any revisions to the dress code made during the school year.

Students who violate the student dress code shall be required to modify their appearance. Any student who refuses to do so shall be subject to the established consequences. Any student who repeatedly fails to comply with the dress code shall be subject to additional consequences pursuant to the Code of Conduct, up to and including out of school suspension.

Academic Eligibility for Interscholastic Athletics and Extracurricular Participation:

A student’s eligibility to participate in sports, extracurricular events and school sponsored social events is subject to satisfactory effort and compliance with our school’s homework, discipline, and citizenship expectations.

Students in grades 6 through 8 are eligible to participate in Tuckahoe School sponsored activities if the student maintains a “C” average (70%) or better in the academic subject areas and is passing all subjects with a minimum grade of 65% or better. Students who fall below this minimum level of achievement, and their parents, will be notified when they are deficient and will be placed on “academic probation.” They will be subject to the following conditions:

  1. Upon notification, the student will be given a three-week probation period to bring up their grades, and until the Monday of the following week to complete missing assignments. Students will be required to attend the Tuckahoe
  2. School Homework Club program for a minimum of two days during the first week and additionally if more assistance is deemed necessary. Failure to attend the Homework Club program will result in administrative intervention.
  3. During the “academic probation” period, the student is not eligible to participate in social or extracurricular activities (see definition). However, a student enrolled in Southampton Intermediate School sports may continue during the three week probationary period.
  4. If the student meets the minimum standards by the end of the three week probation period, he/she may then continue to participate in the sport and resume participation in Tuckahoe sponsored social and extracurricular events.
  5. If the student does not meet the minimum standards at the end of the three week probation period, the student will be placed on “academic ineligibility.” Any additional activities, including participation in sports at Southampton
  6. Schools, may not be undertaken until such time as the student has met the minimum academic/homework standards as set forth above.
  7. Any exceptions must be determined on an individual basis by the Superintendent and the affected subject area teacher. Any student participating in a sport at Southampton schools must also meet the eligibility requirements of the Southampton School District.

Participants in interscholastic sports and extracurricular activities will be expected to maintain behavior that can be viewed as exhibiting the character of “model citizens” of the school district community.

Students participating in interscholastic sports and/or extracurricular activities will be bound by the policies and regulations applicable to all students registered within the Tuckahoe Common School District.

Prohibited Student Conduct:

The Tuckahoe School Board of Trustees expect all students to conduct themselves in an appropriate and civil manner, with proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students, personnel and other members of the school community, and for the care of facilities and equipment.

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

The Board recognizes the need to be clear and specific in expressing its expectations for student conduct while on school property or engaged in a school function. The rules of conduct listed below are intended to do that and focus on safety and respect for the rights and property of others.

Students who will not accept responsibility for their own behavior or who violate these school rules will be required to accept the consequences for their conduct. Students may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from school, when they engage in conduct that is disorderly, insubordinate, disruptive, violent, endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others, engage in misconduct on the school bus, or engage in academic misconduct as illustrated below:

A. Engage in Conduct that is Disorderly

Examples of disorderly conduct include:

  • Engaging in any willful act which disrupts the normal operation of the school community, running in hallways, making unreasonable noise, and using language or gestures that are profane, lewd, vulgar, abusive, intimidating, or that incite others.
  • Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
  • Misusing computer/electronic communications devices (see definition), including any unauthorized or inappropriate use of computers, software, or internet/intranet account; accessing inappropriate websites; or any other violation of the Tuckahoe School Acceptable use Policy.

B. Engage in Conduct That Is Insubordinate

Examples of insubordinate conduct include:

  • Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators or other school employees or otherwise demonstrating disrespect.
  • Missing or leaving school or class without permission.

C. Engage in conduct That Is Disruptive

Examples of disruptive conduct include:

  • Failure to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators or other school personnel, or otherwise demonstrating disrespect.
  • Endangering the health and safety of other students, staff or interfering with classes or school activities such as by means or observable clothing, personal appearance and/or observable mannerisms.

D. Engage In Conduct That Is Violent

Examples of violent conduct include:

  • Committing or attempting an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, and scratching) upon a teacher, administrator or other school employee.
  • Committing or attempting an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, and scratching) upon another student or any other person lawfully on school property.
  • Possessing a weapon (see definition). Authorized law enforcement officials are the only persons permitted to have a weapon in their possession while on school property or at a school function.
  • Displaying what appears to be a weapon.
  • Threatening to use any weapon (s).
  • Using weapon (s).
  • Intentionally damaging or destroying the personal property of a student, teacher, administrator, other Tuckahoe employee or any person lawfully on school property, including by graffiti or arson.
  • Intentionally damaging or destroying school property including by graffiti or arson.

E. Engage In Any Conduct That Endangers the Safety, Morals, Health or Welfare of Others

Examples of such conduct include:

  • Lying to school personnel.
  • Stealing school property or the property of other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or while attending a school function.
  • Defamation, which includes making false or unprivileged statements or representations about an individual or identifiable group of individuals that harm the reputation of the person or the identifiable group by demeaning them.
  • Discrimination, which includes the use of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability as a basis for treating another in a negative manner.
  • Harassment, which includes a sufficiently severe action or a persistent, pervasive pattern of actions or statements directed at an identifiable individual or group which are intended to be or which a reasonable person would perceive as ridiculing or demeaning.
  • Bullying and intimidation, which includes engaging in actions or statements that put an individual in fear of bodily harm and/or emotional discomfort; for example, play fighting, "borrowing money," teasing, or invading another's personal space, etc.
  • Sexual harassment, including overt or subtle behaviors and comments of a sexual nature that are offensive, unwelcome, interfere with another's work or academic performance, or create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment.
  • Displaying overt signs of gang affiliation, or engaging in gang-related behaviors, that increase the level of conflict or violent behavior in the schools or disrupt the educational process.
  • Hazing, which includes any intentional or reckless act directed against another for the purpose of initiation into, affiliating with or maintaining membership in any school sponsored activity, organization, club or team.
  • Selling, using or possessing obscene material.
  • Using vulgar or abusive language, cursing or swearing.
  • Using tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, pipe and/or chewing or smokeless tobacco.
  • Possessing, consuming, selling, distributing or exchanging alcoholic beverages or illegal substances (see definition) or being under the influence of either.
  • Inappropriately using or sharing prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
  • Gambling,
  • Inappropriate touching and/or indecent exposure.
  • Initiating a report warning of fire or other catastrophe without valid cause, misuse of 911, or discharging a fire extinguisher.

F. Engage in Misconduct While on a School Bus

It is crucial for students to behave appropriately while riding on district buses to ensure their safety and that of other passengers and to avoid distracting the bus driver. Students are required to conduct themselves on the bus in a manner consistent with the Tuckahoe Code of Conduct and established standards for classroom behavior. Behaviors such as excessive noise, pushing, shoving and fighting will not be tolerated.

G. Engage in Any Form of Academic Misconduct

Examples of academic misconduct include:

  • Plagiarism.
  • Cheating.
  • Copying.
  • Altering records.
  • Assisting another student in any of the above actions.

Disciplinary Consequences and Procedures:

Methods of student discipline vary in style and effectiveness. Discipline is most effective when it deals directly with the problem at the time and place it occurs, and in a way that students view as fair and impartial. While no single method of discipline is recommended or mandated, all discipline is to be humane and appropriate to the situation. School personnel who interact with students are expected to use disciplinary action only when necessary and to place emphasis on the students' ability to develop self-discipline. In order to help school personnel maintain a focus on encouraging positive student behavior, Tuckahoe employs a hierarchy of behavioral interventions to promote safe, orderly and responsible student conduct (see chart entitled: School Rules and Potential Disciplinary Procedures). Staff are provided in-service education programs to ensure effective implementation of these interventions and are involved in the development of building-specific techniques appropriate to needs of the students educated in the building.

Our Character Education Program inspires the students to understand that good character is expected, valued, and now documented on report cards. This program establishes seven pillars of character that dictate good citizenship and respect for everyone's individuality.

Disciplinary action, when necessary, will be firm, fair and consistent. So as to be the most effective in changing student behavior, there will be a rational relationship between the student's behavior and the consequences of that behavior. In determining the appropriate disciplinary action, school personnel authorized to impose disciplinary consequences will consider the following:

  • The student's age.
  • The nature of the offense and the circumstances which led to the offense.
  • The student's prior disciplinary record.
  • The effectiveness of other forms of discipline.
  • Information from parents, teachers and/or others, as appropriate.
  • Other extenuating circumstances.
  • If the conduct of a student is related to a disability or suspected disability, specific procedures outlined within the context of this section must be followed.

As a general rule, discipline will be progressive. This means that a student's first violation will usually lead to a lighter consequence than subsequent violations.

All administrative actions are documented on the Tuckahoe School Referral for Disciplinary Action form. Formal disciplinary actions are progressive and include the following:

  • Lunch/Recess Detentions
  • After School Detentions
  • Bus Suspensions
  • In School Suspensions
  • Out of School Suspensions
  • Permanent Out of School Suspension

For special education students in a Tuckahoe program, the Board accepts that students with disabilities often display a range of behaviors which would be deemed disruptive within a regular education setting. These behaviors may include conduct that is disorderly, insubordinate, disruptive, and/or violent as defined in Section II. The Tuckahoe special education programs incorporate behavior management systems as part of the overall instructional program that are designed to address this range of student behaviors. Each program within the division develops a written behavior management system tailored to the specific needs resulting from the disabilities of the students within that program.

The behavior management system of each program takes into consideration:

  • The student's age.
  • The nature of the offense and the circumstances which led to the offense.
  • The student's past history of behavior.
  • The effectiveness of alternative behavior management approaches.
  • Information from parents, teachers, and/or others, as appropriate.
  • Other extenuating circumstances, such as medications.

A. Disciplinary Consequences

Students learn socially appropriate behavior by being allowed to experience both positive and negative consequences for their actions. In addressing student behaviors that may impede learning, Tuckahoe uses a variety of:

  • positive supports, strategies and interventions to improve students' motivation, social skills, problem solving abilities, anger management, and conflict resolution;
  • environmental modifications to support students' abilities to maintain attention, stay on task, and control their behavior;
  • building-wide behavior management systems to improve students' abilities to understand the connections between their behavior and more or less desired outcomes.

As a general practice and whenever possible, there interventions are used in combination prior to imposing more severe disciplinary consequences.

Students who are found to have violated the Tuckahoe Code of Conduct may be subject to the following disciplinary actions either alone or in combination. The school personnel identified after each consequence listed in the table below are authorized to impose that consequence consistent with
the student's right to due process.

Consequences Authorized Personnel

Oral Warning
Written Warning
Written notification to parent/detention
Short Term Suspension
Suspension of other privileges
Formal removal of class by teacher
Short Term (4 days or less) Suspension from school
Long Term (4 days or more) Suspension from school
Permanent Suspension

Any member of Tuckahoe Staff
Bus Drivers and Educational Program Staff
Principal and/or Principal's Designee / Teacher
Principal
Principal
Teacher
Principal
Superintendent/Board
Superintendent/Board

Parents/guardians are powerful partners in a student's behavioral growth, and in their child's development of acceptable social skills. Tuckahoe staff realizes that good communication and informal relations between parents and educators are critical to resolving discipline issues. The use of sustained, multiple, coordinated interventions at home and in school provide students with the consistency they need to develop appropriate behaviors. Parents/guardians must help the school staff by reinforcing positive school behavior and by helping their child to understand the connection between their behavior and disciplinary consequences. Tuckahoe recognizes that parental involvement in the behavioral process is required for the student to develop the behaviors that will ensure success in the school setting and life. Therefore, it is our philosophy, to provide the parent/guardian with regular and early notification by phone and/or writing when a student's behavior is becoming problematic in addition to the required procedural notifications covered in Section VII.B. below.

B. Procedures

The amount of due process a student is entitled to receive before a consequence is imposed depends on the nature of the incident. In all cases, regardless of the consequence being imposed, the authorized school personnel must inform the student of the alleged misconduct and must investigate to the extent necessary, the facts surrounding the alleged misconduct. Prior to imposing the disciplinary consequence, the authorized school personnel shall provide the student an opportunity to present his/her version of the facts. At the discretion of the Principal, parents will be notified in writing of student violations to the Code of Conduct that do not rise to the level of suspension using a Tuckahoe disciplinary form or memo from the Principal.

Students may be entitled to additional rights before the disciplinary consequence is imposed if that consequence is other than an oral warning, written warning or written notification to their parents. These additional rights are explained below.

1. Suspension from Transportation

If a student does not conduct himself/herself properly on a bus, school bus personnel are expected to bring such misconduct to the attention of the building Principal or the Principal's designee (see definition). Students who become a serious disciplinary problem may have their riding privileges suspended by the building Principal or the superintendent or their designees. In such cases, the student's parent will become responsible for seeing that his or her child gets to and from school safely. Should the suspension from transportation amount to a suspension from attendance the school district will cooperate to make appropriate arrangements to provide for the student's continued educational programming at home.

A student subjected to a suspension from transportation is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law 3214. However, the student and the student's parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the building Principal or the Principal's designee to discuss the conduct and the consequence involved.

2. Suspension From Other Privileges

A student subjected to a suspension from other privileges is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law 3214. However, the student and the student's parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the School official imposing the suspension to discuss the conduct and the consequence arising from that conduct.

3. Formal Removal of Disruptive Students by a Teacher

A student's behavior can affect a teacher's ability to teach and can make it difficult for other students in the classroom to learn. In most instances the classroom teacher can control a student's behavior and maintain or restore control over the classroom by using appropriate research-based classroom management techniques. These techniques may include practices that involve the teacher directing a student to briefly leave the classroom to give the student an opportunity to regain his or her composure and self-control in an alternative setting. The Discipline Committee shall determine what classroom and building practices are appropriate to the population of students educated in each program operated by the school. These appropriate classroom management techniques do not constitute formal disciplinary removals by a teacher for purposes of this code.

On occasion, a student's behavior may become disruptive. For purposes of this Code of Conduct, a disruptive student is a student who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher's authority over the classroom. A substantial disruption of the educational process or substantial interference with a teacher's authority occurs when a student demonstrates a persistent unwillingness to comply with the teacher's instructions or repeatedly violates the teacher's classroom behavior rules.

The specific examples of what constitutes a substantial disruption or substantial interference with the teacher's authority over the classroom must be appropriate to the population of students educated within each program operated by the school. To that end, the Discipline Committee will establish examples of and parameters for:

  • A substantial disruption for formal removal by teacher
  • A substantial interference for formal removal by teacher
  • The length of time for a formal removal (not to exceed 2 days)
  • The place the student is removed to, appropriate activities engaged in during the formal removal and supervision provided.
  • The process for student re-entry to the classroom In order to assure consistency across each grade level, the Discipline Committee will review and approve the operative definitions regarding formal teacher removal that the
  • building-based SDM has established for the Code of Conduct.

a. The procedural requirements for a formal removal by a teacher of a student are:

  1. If the disruptive student does not pose a danger or on-going threat of disruption to the academic process, the teacher must provide the student with an explanation for why he or she is being formally removed and an opportunity to explain his or her version of the relevant events before the student is removed. Only after the informal discussion may a teacher formally remove a student from class.
  2. If the student poses a danger or ongoing threat of disruption, the teacher may order the student to be formally removed immediately. The teacher must, however, explain to the student why he or she was removed from the classroom and give the student a chance to present his or her version of the relevant events within 24 hours.
  3. The teacher must complete a School Disciplinary Referral Form and meet with the Principal or the Principal's designee (see definition) as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the school day, to explain the circumstances of the formal removal and to present the form. If the Principal or the Principal's designee is not available by the end of the same school day, the teacher must leave the form with the secretary and meet with the Principal or the Principal's designee prior to the beginning of classes on the next school day.
  4. Within 24 hours after the student's formal removal by a teacher, the Principal or another district administrator designated by the Principal must notify the student's parents, in writing, that the student has been formally removed from the class and why. The notice must also inform the parent that he or she has the right upon request to meet informally with the Principal's designee to discuss the reasons for the formal removal.
  5. The written notice must be delivered to the last known address of the parents through one or more of the following means: delivery by express mail, personal delivery, or delivery by some other means that is reasonably calculated to assure receipt of the notice within 24 hours of the student's formal removal by a teacher. When possible, notice should also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting parents.
  6. The Principal may require the teacher who ordered the formal removal to attend the informal conference.
  7. If at the informal meeting the student denies the charges, the Principal or the Principal's designee must explain why the student was formally removed of Conduct. All recommendation and referrals shall be made in writing on the Disciplinary Referral Form unless the conditions underlying the recommendation or referral warrant immediate attention. In such cases a written report is to be prepared as soon as possible by the staff member recommending the suspension.

The Principal, upon receiving a recommendation or referral for suspension or when processing a case for suspension, shall gather the facts relevant to the matter and record them for subsequent presentation, if necessary.

a. Short-term (less than 5 days) suspension from school

A Tuckahoe administrator shall initiate the suspension of a student who is insubordinate, disorderly, violent or disruptive, or whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of self or others. When the Principal initiates a suspension, all requirements of law shall be followed.

  1. Suspensions may be made by the Principal for a period of term not to exceed four school days. Suspensions may not be approved by any other staff member.
  2. The student being suspended must be told of the suspension and the reason for the suspension by the appropriate administrator.
  3. The Principal must notify the student's parents/guardians of the proposed suspension immediately by telephone. The Principal must also notify the parents in writing. The notice must describe the charges and incidents for which the suspension is proposed and provide the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) an opportunity for an informal conference with the Principal within 48 hours and prior to the imposition of the consequence.
  4. The written notice must be delivered to the last know address of the parents through one or more of the following means: delivery by express mail, personal delivery, or delivery by some other means that is reasonably calculated to assure receipt of the notice within 24 hours.
  5. If a parent/guardian wishes to contest a short term suspension by the Principal, he or she can obtain a copy of the appeal procedure from the Principal.
  6. A copy of the suspension letter shall be placed in the student's file.
  7. Upon return to school for reinstatement, the student should be accompanied by either or both parents/guardians for a reinstatement interview if possible.

The building Principal may order the suspension of a student with a disability for a period not to exceed five consecutive school days and not to exceed the amount of time a non-disabled student would be subject to suspension for the same behavior. Any student with a disability who has been suspended for any 10 days within a school year must be referred to the Committee on Special Education (see definition) of the home school district for a manifestation determination (see definition) hearing. Students with disabilities and their parents should be aware that there are special protections surrounding disciplinary actions which may warrant a manifestation determination and should request specifics of these legal protections from the Committee on Special Education.

b. Long-term (5 days or more) suspension from school, permanent suspension, and removals or suspensions that constitute a disciplinary change of placement for students with disabilities (which could include an alternative special educational setting).

When a student engages in behavior that may warrant a long-term or permanent suspension, or when a student with a disability engages in behavior that may warrant a manifestation determination because the disciplinary action may constitute a disciplinary change of placement, the building Principal shall give notice to:

  • the student and the student's parents
  • As prescribed by law, the following behaviors are serious enough to justify referral of students, for long-term (5 days or more) suspension from school, permanent suspension, or a manifestation determination:

1) Bringing or possessing a weapon at school

Any student found guilty of bringing or possessing a weapon on school property will be subject to suspension from school for at least one calendar year. Before being suspended, the student will have an opportunity for a hearing pursuant to Education law 3214. The superintendent has the authority to modify the one-year suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the suspension period, the superintendent of the school district may consider the student's age, grade in school, prior disciplinary record, potential effectiveness of other forms of discipline, input from parents, teachers and/or others, other extenuating circumstances. A student with a disability may be suspended only in accordance with the requirement of state and federal law. The local law enforcement agency will be contacted in this situation if it involves a firearm or intent to use a weapon.

2) Committing violent acts other than bringing a weapon to school

Any student who is found to have committed a violent act, other than bringing a weapon onto school property, shall be subject to a suspension from school for at least four days. If a minimum four-day suspension is proposed, the same procedural requirements for short-term suspension as described in Section 4a shall apply. The Principal and Board have the authority to reduce the proposed suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the suspension period, the student's age, grade in school, prior disciplinary record, potential effectiveness of other forms of discipline, input from parents, teachers and/or others, and other extenuating circumstances may be considered. The student and the student's parents (guardians) will be given the same notice and opportunity for a hearing given to all students subject to a long-term suspension as per the Code of Conduct. The superintendent of the school district has the authority to modify a proposed suspension which exceeds four days on a case-by-case basis using the same factors as were described above for modifying a one-year suspension for possessing a weapon. A student with a disability may be suspended only in accordance with the requirements of state and federal law.

3) Repeatedly and substantially disrupting the educational process or repeatedly and substantially interfering with the teacher's authority over the classroom.

Any student who repeatedly is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher's authority over the classroom as defined by the Discipline Committee shall be subject to a suspension from school for at least four days. For purpose of this Code of Conduct, "being repeatedly and substantially disruptive" means engaging in conduct that results in the student being removed from the classroom by the teacher(s) pursuant to Education Law 3214(3-a) and the Code of Conduct on four or more occasions during a semester. If a minimum four-day suspension is proposed, the same procedural requirements for a short-term suspension as were described in Section 4a shall apply. The Principal and Board have the authority to reduce the proposed suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the suspension period, the student's age, grade in school, prior disciplinary record, potential effectiveness of other forms of discipline, input from parents, teacher and/or others, and other extenuating circumstances may be considered. If the proposed suspension exceeds the minimum four-day suspension, the student shall be referred to the appropriate administrator of the student's home school district for a long-term suspension. The student and the student's parents (guardians) will be given the same notice and opportunity for a hearing given to all students subject to a long-term suspension as per the Code of Conduct of the student's home school district. The superintendent of the home school district has the authority to modify a proposed suspension which exceeds four days on a case-by-case basis using the same factors as were described above for modifying a one-year suspension for possessing a weapon. A student with a disability may be suspended only in accordance with the requirements of state and federal law.

5. Referrals

a. PINS petitions

The Principal or the Principal's designee may refer to the home school district any student under the age of 16 for whom a PINS (person in need of supervision) petition should be filed in Family Court because the student demonstrates that he or she requires supervision and treatment for behaviors such as:

  • Being habitually truant and not attending school as required by part one of Article 65 of the Education Law.
  • Engaging in an ongoing or continual course of conduct which make the student ungovernable, or habitually disobedient and beyond the lawful control of the school.
  • Knowingly and unlawfully possessing marijuana in violation of Penal Law 221.05. A single violation of 221.05 is sufficient basis for filing a PINS petition.

b. Juvenile Delinquents or Juvenile Offenders

The Principal or the Principal's designee will refer any student enrolled who meets the following specifications so that the school district can meet the requirement to refer the student to the County Attorney for a juvenile delinquency proceeding before Family Court:

  • Any student under the age of 16 who is found to have brought a weapon to school
  • Any student who qualifies for juvenile offender status under Criminal procedure law 1.20(42).

c. Criminal offenses.

The Principal or the Principal's designee will report to local law enforcement agencies any student who qualifies for juvenile offender status because of a violation of the code of conduct that constitutes a crime and substantially affects the order and security of the school. The student's parent (guardians) will be notified that such a report has been filed.

Student Searches and Interrogations:

The Tuckahoe Common School District Board of Trustees is committed to providing an atmosphere for a positive, safe, and orderly school environment. To achieve this kind of environment, any school official authorized to impose a disciplinary penalty on a student may question a student about an alleged violation of law or the district Code of Conduct. Students are not entitled to any sort of warning before being questioned by school officials, nor are school officials required to contact a student's parent before questioning the student. However, school officials will tell all students why they are being questioned.

In addition, the Board authorizes the Superintendent and his/her designee(s) to conduct searches of students and their belongings if he/she has reasonable suspicion to believe that the search will result in evidence that the student violated the law or the district Code of Conduct

An authorized school official may conduct a search of a student's belongings that is minimally intrusive, such as touching the outside of a book bag, without reasonable suspicion, so long as the school official has a legitimate reason for the very limited search.

An authorized school official may search a student or the student's belongings based upon information received from a reliable informant. Individuals, other than district employees, will be considered reliable informants if they have previously supplied information that was accurate and verified, or they make an admission against their own interest, or they provide the same information that is received independently from other sources, or they appear to be credible and the information they are communicating relates to an immediate threat to safety. District employees will be considered reliable informants unless they are known to have previously supplied information that they knew was not accurate.

Before searching a student or the student's belongings, the authorized school official should attempt to get the student to admit that he or she possesses physical evidence that they violated the law or the district code, or get the student to voluntarily consent to the search. Searches will be limited to the extent necessary to locate the evidence sought.

Whenever practicable, searches will be conducted in the privacy of administrative offices and students will be present when their possessions are being searched.

A. Student Lockers, Desks and other School Storage Places
The rules in this Code of Conduct regarding searches of students and their belongings do not apply to student lockers, desks and other school storage places. Students have no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to these places and school officials retain complete control over them. This means that student lockers, desks and other school storage places may be subject to search at any time by school officials, without prior notice to students and without their consent.

B. 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. If an authorized school official believes it is necessary to conduct a strip search of a student, the school official may do so only if the search is authorized in advance by the Superintendent or the school attorney. The only exception to this rule requiring advanced authorization is when the school official believes there is an emergency situation that could threaten the safety of the student or others.

Strip searches may only be conducted by an authorized school official of the same sex as the student being searched and in the presence of another district professional employee who is also of the same sex as the student.

In every case, the school official conducting a strip search must have probable cause - not simply reasonable cause - to believe the student is concealing evidence of a violation of law or the district code. In addition, before conducting a strip search, the school official must consider the nature of the alleged violation, the student's age, the student's record and the need for such a search.

School officials will attempt to notify the student's parent by telephone before conducting a strip search, or in writing after the fact if the parent could not be reached by telephone.

C. Documentation of Searches

The authorized school official conducting the search shall be responsible for promptly recording the following information about each search:

1. Name, age and grade of student searched.
2. Reason(s) for the search.
3. Name of any informant(s).
4. Purpose of search (that is, what item(s) were being sought).
5. Type and scope of search.
6. Person conducting search and his or her title and position.
7. Witnesses, if any, to the search.
8. Time and location of search.
9. Results of search (that is, what items(s) were found).
10. Disposition of items found.
11. Time, manner and results of parental notification.

The Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee shall be responsible for the custody, control and disposition of any illegal or dangerous item taken from a student. The Superintendent or his or her designee shall clearly label each item taken from the student and retain control of the item(s), until the item is turned over to the police. The Superintendent or his or her designee shall be responsible for personally delivering dangerous or illegal items to police authorities.

D. Police Involvement in Searches and Interrogations of Students

District officials are committed to cooperating with police officials and other law enforcement authorities to maintain a safe school environment. Police officials, however, have limited authority to interview or search students in schools or at school functions, or to use school facilities in connection with police work. Police officials may enter school property or a school function to question or search a student or to conduct a formal investigation involving students only if they have:

1. A search or an arrest warrant; or
2. Probable cause to believe a crime has been committed on school property or at a school function; or
3. Been invited by school officials.

Before police officials are permitted to question or search any student, the Principal or his or her designee shall first try to notify the student's parent to give the parent the opportunity to be present during the police questioning or search. If the student's parent cannot be contacted prior to the police questioning or search, the questioning or search shall not be conducted. The Principal or designee will also be present during any police questioning or search of a student on school property or at a school function.

Students who are questioned by police officials on school property or at a school function will be afforded the same rights they have outside the school. This means:

1. They must be informed of their legal rights.
2. They may remain silent if they so desire.
3. They may request the presence of an attorney.

Visitors to School:

The Board encourages parents and other members of the public to visit our school and classrooms to observe the work of students, teachers and other staff. Since schools are places of work and learning, however, certain limits must be set for such visits. The building Principal or his or her designee is responsible for all persons in the building and on the grounds. For these reasons, the following rules apply to visitors to the schools:

  • Anyone who is not a regular staff member or student of the school will be considered a visitor.
  • All visitors to the school must report to the main office of the school or reception area upon arrival at the school. There they will be required to sign the visitor's register and will be issued a visitor's identification badge, which must be worn at all times while in the school or on school grounds. The visitor must return to the reception area before to sign out before leaving the building. Movement beyond the reception area without express permission of the main office and a visitor's badge is prohibited.
  • Visitors attending school functions that are open to the public, such as parent-teacher organization meetings or public gatherings, are not required to register.
  • Parents or citizens who wish to observe a classroom while school is in session are required to arrange such visits in advance with the classroom teacher(s) or student support service personnel, so that class disruption is kept to a minimum.
  • Teachers and student support service personnel shall not take class time or related service sessions to discuss individual matters with visitors.
  • Any unauthorized person on school property will be reported to the Principal or his or her designee. Unauthorized persons will be asked to leave. The police may be called if the unauthorized person does not respond to requests or directions from the school personnel.
  • All visitors are expected to abide by the rules for public conduct on school property contained in this Code of Conduct.

Tuckahoe Employees:

Teachers and all other Tuckahoe personnel are expected to model the behaviors stated in the Code of Conduct, including compliance with the Dress Code.

Public Conduct on School Property:

The Tuckahoe Common School District is committed to providing an orderly, respectful environment that is conducive to learning. To create and maintain this kind of an environment, it is necessary to regulate public conduct on school property and at school functions. For purposes of this section of the code, "public" shall mean all persons when on school property or attending a school function including students, teachers, and other Tuckahoe staff.

The restrictions on public conduct on school property and at school functions contained in this Code are not intended to limit freedom of speech or peaceful assembly. The Tuckahoe Board recognizes that free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the objectives of the District. The purpose of this is to maintain public order and prevent abuse of the rights of others.

All persons on school property or attending a school function shall conduct themselves in a respectful and orderly manner. In addition, all persons on school property or attending a school function are expected to be properly attired for the purpose for which they are on school property, in accordance with the Dress Code.

A. Prohibited Conduct

No person, either alone or with others, shall:

  • Intentionally injure any person or threaten to do so.
  • Intentionally damage or destroy school property or the personal property of a student, teacher, administrator, other district employee or any person lawfully on school property.
  • Disrupt the orderly conduct of classes, school programs or other school activities.
  • Distribute or wear materials on school grounds or at school functions that are obscene, advocate illegal action, appear libelous, obstruct the rights of others, or are disruptive to the school program.
  • Intimidate, harass or discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
  • Enter any portion of the school premises without authorization or remain in any building or facility after it is normally closed.
  • Obstruct the free movement of any person in any place to which this Code applies.
  • Violate the traffic laws, parking regulations or other restrictions on vehicles.
  • Possess, consume, sell, distribute or exchange alcoholic beverages, and controlled substances, or be under the influence of either on school property or at a school function.
  • Possess or use weapons in or on school property or at a school function, except in the case of law enforcement officers or except as specifically authorized by the district.
  • Loiter on school property.
  • Gamble on school property or at school functions.
  • Refuse to comply with any reasonable order of identifiable district school officials performing their duties.
  • Willfully incite others to commit any of the acts prohibited by this code.
  • Violate any federal or state statute, local ordinance or board policy while on school property or while at a school function.

B. Consequences

Persons who violate this shall be subject to the following consequences:

  • Visitors: Their authorization, if any, to remain on school grounds or at the school function shall be withdrawn and they shall be directed to leave the premises. If they refuse to leave, they shall be subject to ejection.
  • Students. They shall be subject to disciplinary action as the facts may warrant, in accordance with the due process requirements.
  • Tenured faculty members: They shall be subject to disciplinary action as the facts may warrant in accordance with due process requirements.
  • Staff members in the classified service of the civil service entitled to the protection of Civil Service Law 75: They shall be subject to disciplinary action as the facts may warrant in accordance with due process requirements.
  • Staff members other than tenured faculty members or civil service staff: They shall be subject to warning, reprimand, suspension or dismissal as the facts may warrant in accordance with any legal rights they may have.

C. Enforcement

The building Principal or his or her designee shall be responsible for enforcing the conduct required by this Code.

When the building Principal or his or her designee sees an individual engaged in prohibited conduct, which in his or her judgment does not pose any immediate threat of injury to persons or property, the Principal or his or her designee shall tell the individual that the conduct is prohibited and attempt to persuade the individual to stop. The Principal or his/her designee shall also warn the individual of the consequences for failing to stop. If the person still refuses to stop engaging in the prohibited conduct, or if the person's conduct poses an immediate threat of injury to persons or property, the Principal or his or her designee may have the individual removed immediately from school property or the school function. If necessary, local law enforcement authorities will be contacted to assist in removing the person.

Tuckahoe Common School District may initiate disciplinary action against any student or staff member, as appropriate, consistent with the penalties section above. In addition, the district reserves its right to pursue a civil or criminal legal action against any person violating the district Code.

Dissemination, Distribution and Review:

A. Dissemination of Code of Conduct

The Board will work to ensure that the community is aware of this Code of Conduct by:

  • Providing copies of a summary of the Code to all students at a general assembly held at the beginning of each school year.
  • Making copies of the Code available to all parents at the beginning of the school year.
  • Mailing a summary of the Code of Conduct written in plain language to all parents of Tuckahoe students before the beginning of the school year and making this summary available later upon request.
    Providing all current teachers and other staff members with a copy of the Code and a copy of any amendments to the Code as soon as practicable after adoption.
  • Providing all new employees with a copy of the current Code of Conduct when they are first hired.
  • Making copies of the Code available for review by students, parents and other community members.
  • Mailing copies of Code of Conduct to all receiving school districts (i.e. Southampton, Westhampton Beach).

The Board shall appoint the Discipline Committee to review the Code of Conduct annually and make recommendations for revisions of this Policy to the Board by June 30 of each year. In reviewing the Committee's report and recommendations, the Board will consider how effective the Code's provisions have been. whether the Code has been applied fairly and consistently, and how the district has responded to Code of Conduct violations.

Before adopting any revisions to the Code of Conduct, the Board will hold at least one public hearing at which school personnel, parents, students and any other interested party may participate.

School Rules and Disciplinary Procedures Table:

OFFENSE FIRST SECOND THIRD FOURTH
LATE TO SCHOOL Attendance Office notifies parents. Administrative intervention as needed.
STUDENTS ARRIVING TO SCHOOL LATE MUST
REPORT TO ATTENDANCE OFFICE FOR PASS TO CLASS.
8 late arrivals per marking period = Administrative Intervention
*Note: Any late arrival more than 15 minutes counts as two times late
LATE TO CLASS 5 minutes or less = teacher intervention More than 5 minutes late to class=cutting
Administrative Intervention/Parents Notified
DETENTION Expected to be served as when assigned* Parental conference w/Discipline Committee & student, and one-day In-School-Suspension (ISS)* Parental conference w/Discipline Committee & student; may result in Out-of-School-Suspension (OSS)*
VIOLATION OF SCHOOL-
WIDE RULES
Teacher intervention and/or administrative referral. Discipline assigned on basis of severity of incident and prior offenses; parent notified
DISRUPTIVE CLASSROOM
BEHAVIOR
Teacher intervention and/or administrative referral. Discipline assigned on basis of severity of incident and prior offenses; parent notified
GROSS
INSUBORDINATION
Teacher intervention and/or administrative referral. Discipline assigned on basis of severity of incident and prior offenses: parent notified and/or parent conference called.
Chronic problem may result in up to five (5) days ISS/OSS; parent conference; possible Superintendent's hearing.
FIGHTING OSS up to 5 days, possible
Superintendent's hearing;
parents notified.
OSS up to 5 days, possible Superintendent's hearing; parents notified Superintendent's hearing; 5 days OSS; determination of further disciplinary consequences
POSSESSION/USE OF
CONTRABAND
1 day ISS, parent conference** 1-5 day ISS, parent notified** Up to 5 days ISS; Superintendent's hearing; contact with Suffolk County Health Department**
SERIOUS OFFENSES:
-PHYSICAL ABUSE OF
STAFF MEMBERS
-THEFT
-DRUG/ALCOHOL
USE/POSSESSION OR
SALE**
-POSSESSION OF
WEAPONS/DANGEROUS
OBJECTS
5 days OSS; possibility of involvement of legal officials; Superintendent's hearing.
Repayment where applicable; up to 5 days OSS; possible Superintendent's hearing.
Up to 5 days OSS; possible Superintendent's hearing
Up to 5 days OSS; possible Superintendent's hearing; may result in permanent suspension; Police Report

*failure to attend will result in a one-day ISS
**may result in police report

NOTE: Any student serving a detention, ISS, or OSS will not be permitted to participate in any extracurricular activities/sports on that day. The Administration has the ultimate authority for school discipline. They may interpret disciplinary consequences as it relates to individual Pupils, their personal needs, and the circumstances surrounding the infraction.

Exhibits:

Tuckahoe School Referral for Disciplinary Action (5300 E-1)
Peer Mediation Referral Form (5300 E-2)
The 3 strike form we used for the field trip policy (5300 E-3)

Student Bullying Prevention and Intervention:

The Board of Trustees is committed to providing an educational and working environment that promotes respect, dignity and equality. The Board recognizes that harassment, hazing and bullying is detrimental to student learning and achievement. It interferes with the mission of the district to educate its students and disrupts the operation of the schools. Such behavior affects not only the students who are its targets but also those individuals who participate and witness such acts.
To this end, the Board condemns and strictly prohibits all forms of harassment, hazing and bullying on school grounds, school buses and at all school-sponsored activities, programs and events including those that take place at locations outside the district but that materially and substantially disrupt the educational process of the school environment or impinge on the rights of others.

Definitions 
For purposes of this policy, the term “harassment” is defined as the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by verbal threats, intimidation or
abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being; or conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety. The harassing behavior may be based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or gender (identity or expression).
In some instances, bullying or harassment may constitute a violation of an individual’s civil rights. The district is mindful of its responsibilities under the law and in accordance with district policy, 0100, Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination and district policies 0110 Sexual Harassment and 0110-R, Sexual Harassment Regulation.

For the purposes of this policy, “bullying” (which is subsumed under the term “harassment”), is understood to be a hostile activity which harms or induces fear through the threat of further aggression and/or creates terror. Bullying may be premeditated or a sudden activity. It may be subtle or easy to identify, done by one person or a group. Bullying is characterized by:

1.Power imbalance - occurs when a bully uses his/her physical or social power over a target.
2.Intent to harm - the bully seeks to inflict physical or emotional harm and/or takes pleasure in this activity.2
3.Threat of further aggression - the bully and the target believe the bullying will continue.
4.Terror - when any bullying increases, it becomes a “systematic violence or harassment used to intimidate and maintain dominance.”

There are at least three kinds of bullying: verbal, physical and social/relational.
• Verbal bullying includes name calling, insulting remarks, verbal teasing, frightening phone calls, violent threats, extortion, taunting, gossip, spreading rumors, racist slurs, threatening electronic communications, anonymous notes, etc.
• Physical bullying includes poking, slapping, hitting, tripping or causing a fall, choking, kicking, punching, biting, pinching, scratching, spitting, twisting arms or legs, damaging clothes and personal property, or threatening gestures.
• Social or relational bullying includes excluding someone from a group, isolating, shunning, spreading rumors or gossiping, arranging public humiliation, undermining relationships, teasing about clothing, looks, giving dirty looks, aggressive stares, etc.
These acts can occur in a school setting and/or outside a school setting, that is severe, persistent or pervasive and has the effect of doing any of the following:
• Substantial interference with a student’s education
• Creation of a threatening environment
• Substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school

In the remainder of this policy and associated regulation the term “bullying” will be used to refer to harassing or hazing behaviors because that is the term most commonly used by students and parents.

Prevention 
The school setting provides an opportunity to teach children, and emphasize among staff, that cooperation with and respect for others is a key district value. A program geared to prevention is designed to not only decrease incidents of bullying, but to help students build more supportive relationships with one another by integrating the bullying prevention program into classroom instruction. Staff members and students will be sensitized, through district-wide professional development and instruction, to the warning signs of bullying, as well as to their responsibility to become actively involved in the prevention of bullying before overt acts occur. The components of such an effort involve the following:

• Learning about and identifying the early warning signs and precursor behaviors that may lead to bullying.
• Gathering information about bullying at school directly from students.
• Establishing clear school wide and classroom rules about bullying.
• Training adults in the school to respond sensitively and consistently to bullying.
• Providing adequate adult supervision, particularly in less structured areas such as in the hallways, cafeteria and playground.
• Raising parental awareness and involvement in addressing problems.
• Providing instruction in civility, citizenship and character education that emphasizes tolerance and respect for others.

In order to implement this program the Superintendent will establish a district wide Task Force on Bullying Prevention. The district-wide task force will assist the administration in developing and implementing specific procedures on early identification of bullying and other preventive strategies. In addition, the program will include reporting, investigating, remedying and tracking allegations of bullying.

Intervention 
Intervention by adults and bystanders is an important step in preventing escalation and resolving issues at the earliest stages. Intervention will emphasize education and skill-building. In addition, intervention will focus upon the safety of the target/victim. Staff is expected, when made aware of bullying, to either refer the student to designated resources for assistance, or to intervene in accordance with this policy and regulation.

Training 
The Board recognizes that in order to implement an effective bullying prevention and intervention program, professional development is needed. The Superintendent and the district Professional Development Team will incorporate training to support this program in the annual professional development plan, as needed. Training opportunities will be provided for all staff, including but not limited to bus drivers, cafeteria and hall monitors and all staff who have contact with students. In accordance with state law, the Superintendent shall ensure that at least one staff member is thoroughly trained in human relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender and sex.

Reporting and Investigation 
Students who have been bullied, parents whose children have been bullied, or other students who observe bullying behavior are encouraged to make a verbal and/or written complaint to a teacher, coach, bus driver, social worker, counselor, supervisor, or administrator in accordance with the training and guidelines provided. At all times, complaints will be documented, tracked and handled in accordance with the regulations and procedures accompanying this policy, or, if applicable, district policy 0100, Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination or 0110, Sexual Harassment, and the district’s Code of Conduct. Incidents will be included in the Violent and Disruptive Incident Reporting (VADIR) system, when applicable.

Disciplinary Consequences 
While the focus of this policy is on prevention, bullying acts may still occur. In these cases, offenders will be given the clear message that their actions
are wrong and the behavior must improve. Offenders will receive in-school guidance in making positive choices in their relationships with others. If appropriate, disciplinary action will be taken by the administration in accordance with the district’s Code of Conduct, as applicable. If the behavior rises to the level of criminal activity, law enforcement will be contacted.

Non Retaliation 
All complainants and those who participate in the investigation of a complaint in conformity with state law and district policies, who have acted reasonably and in good faith, have the right to be free from retaliation of any kind.

Dissemination, Monitoring and Review 
This policy, or a plain language summary, shall be published in student registration materials, student, parent and employee handbooks, and posted on the district’s website.
Each year, as part of the annual review of the Code of Conduct, this policy will be reviewed to assess its effectiveness and compliance with state and federal law. If changes are needed, revisions will be recommended to the Board for its consideration.
In addition, the Board will receive the annual VADIR data report with particular attention to the trends in the incidence of bullying. Based on the review of the data, the Board may consider further action, including but not limited to modification of this policy and additional training.

Bullying Prevention and Inteverntion Procedures:

Reporting and Investigation

In order for the Board to effectively enforce this policy and to take prompt corrective measures, it is essential that all victims and persons with knowledge of bullying report such behavior immediately to the Principal or the Guidance Counselor as soon as possible after the incident so that it may be effectively investigated and resolved. The school district will promptly investigate all complaints, either formal or informal, verbal or written. To the extent possible, all complaints will be treated in a confidential manner, although limited disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation.

In order to assist investigators, individuals should document the harassment, hazing, bullying as soon as it occurs and with as much detail as possible including: the nature of the incident(s); dates, times, places it has occurred; name of perpetrator(s); witnesses to the incident(s); and the victim's response to the incident.

If, after appropriate investigation, the district finds that a student, an employee or a third party has violated this policy, prompt corrective action will be taken in accordance with the code of conduct, applicable collective bargaining agreement, district policy and state law. If the reported behavior constitutes a civil rights violation, the complaint procedure associated with either policy 0100 or 0110 will be followed, as applicable.

Confidentiality 
It is school procedure to respect the privacy of all parties and witnesses to complaints of bullying. To the extent possible, the school will not release the details of a complaint or the identity of the complainant or the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed to any third parties who do not need to know such information. However, because an individual's need for confidentiality must be balanced with the district's legal obligation to provide due process to the accused, to conduct a thorough investigation, or to take necessary action to resolve the complaint, the district retains the right to disclose the identity of parties and witnesses to complaints in appropriate circumstances to individuals with a need to know. The staff member responsible for investigating complaints will discuss confidentiality standards and concerns with all complainants.

If a complainant requests that his/her name not be revealed to the individual(s) against whom a complaint is filed, the staff member responsible for conducting the investigation shall inform the complainant that:

1. The request may limit the school's ability to respond to his/her complaint;
2. district policy and federal law prohibit retaliation against complainants and witnesses;
3. the school will attempt to prevent any retaliation; and
4. the school will take strong responsive action if retaliation occurs.

If the complainant still requests confidentiality after being given the notice above, the investigator will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request as long as doing so does not preclude the district from responding effectively to the bullying and preventing the bullying of other students.

Investigation and Resolution Procedure 
A. Initial (Building-level) Procedure
Whenever a complaint of bullying is received whether verbal or written, it will be subject to a preliminary review and investigation. Except in the case of severe or criminal conduct, the Principal or Guidance Counselor should make all reasonable efforts to resolve complaints informally at the school level. The goal of informal procedures is to end the bullying and obtain a prompt and equitable resolution to a complaint.
As soon as possible but no later than three working days following receipt of a complaint, the Principal or Superintendent should begin an investigation of the complaint by:

• Reviewing any written documentation provided by the victim(s).
• Conducting separate interviews of the victim(s), alleged perpetrator(s), and witnesses, if any, and documenting the conversations.
• Providing the alleged perpetrator(s) a chance to respond and notify him/her that if objectionable behavior has occurred, it must cease immediately and that the individual may be subject to discipline.

Parents of student victims and accused students should be notified within one school day of allegations that are serious or involve repeated conduct.

Where appropriate, informal methods may be used to resolve the complaint, including but not limited to:
a. discussion with the accused, informing him or her of the district's policies and indicating that the behavior must stop;
b. suggesting counseling, skill building activities and/or sensitivity training;
c. conducting training for the department or school in which the behavior occurred, calling attention to the consequences of engaging in such behavior;
d. requesting a letter of apology to the victim;
e. writing letters of caution or reprimand; and/or
f. separating the parties.

Appropriate disciplinary action shall be recommended and imposed in accordance with district policy, the applicable collective bargaining agreement or state law.
The Principal or the Superintendent shall report back to both the victim and the accused, notifying them in writing, and also in person, as appropriate, regarding the outcome of the investigation and the action taken to resolve the complaint. The victim shall report immediately if the objectionable behavior occurs again or if the alleged perpetrator retaliates against him/her.

If a complaint contains evidence or allegations of serious or extreme bullying, the complaint shall be referred promptly to the Superintendent. In addition, where the Principal or the Superintendent has a reasonable suspicion that the alleged bullying incident involves criminal activity, he/she should immediately notify the Superintendent, who shall then contact the school attorney, appropriate child protection and law enforcement authorities.

Any party who is not satisfied with the outcome of the initial investigation by the Principal or the Superintendent may request a district-level investigation by submitting a written complaint to the Superintendent within 30 days.

B. District-level Procedure
The Superintendent or his/her designee shall promptly investigate and resolve all bullying complaints that are referred to him/her, as well as those appealed to the Superintendent following an initial investigation by the Principal. In the event the complaint involves the Superintendent, the complaint shall be filed with or referred to the Board President, who shall refer the complaint to an appropriate individual for investigation.
The district level investigation should begin as soon as possible but not later than three working days following receipt of the complaint by the Superintendent or Board President. Policy Regulation 0115-R 4
In conducting the formal district level investigation, the district will endeavor to use individuals who have received formal training regarding such investigations or that have previous experience investigating such complaints.
If a district investigation results in a determination that bullying did occur, prompt corrective action will be taken to end the misbehavior.
No later than 30 days following receipt of the complaint, the Superintendent (or in cases involving the Superintendent, the Board-appointed investigator) will notify the victim and alleged perpetrator, in writing, of the outcome of the investigation. If additional time is needed to complete the investigation or take appropriate action, the Superintendent or Board-appointed investigator will provide all parties with a written status report within 30 days following receipt of the complaint.

Retaliation Prohibited 
Any act of retaliation against any person who opposes bullying behavior, or who has filed a complaint, is prohibited and illegal, and therefore subject to disciplinary action. Likewise, retaliation against any person who has testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing of a bullying complaint is prohibited. For purposes of this policy, retaliation includes but is not limited to: verbal or physical threats, intimidation, ridicule, bribes, destruction of property, spreading rumors, stalking, harassing phone calls, and any other form of harassment. Any person who retaliates is subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or termination.

Discipline/Penalties 
Any individual who violates this policy by engaging in prohibited bullying will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Disciplinary measures available to school authorities include, but are not limited to the following:

Students: Discipline may range from a reprimand up to and including suspension from school, to be imposed consistent with the student conduct and discipline policy and applicable law.

Employees: Discipline may range from a warning up to and including termination, to be imposed consistent with all applicable contractual and statutory rights.

Volunteers: Penalties may range from a warning up to and including loss of volunteer assignment.Policy Regulation 0115-R 5

Vendors: Penalties may range from a warning up to and including loss of district business.

Other individuals: Penalties may range from a warning up to and including denial of future access to school property.

Training
All students and employees shall be informed of this policy in student and employee handbooks, on the district website and student registration materials. A poster summarizing the policy shall also be posted in a prominent location at each school.

All employees shall receive information about this policy and regulation at least once a year. Administrative employees and other staff, such as counselors or social workers, who have specific responsibilities for investigating and/or resolving complaints of bullying shall receive yearly training to support implementation of this policy, regulation and on related legal developments.

Principals in each school shall be responsible for informing students and staff on a yearly basis of the terms of this policy, including the procedures for filing a complaint and the impact of bullying on the victim and bystanders.
The school Guidance Counselor and/or Social Worker will be trained in non-discriminatory instructional and counseling methods and handling human relations.

Training needs in support of this bullying prevention and intervention program will be reflected in the district’s annual professional development plan, in curriculum and will be considered in the budget process.