Parents » Student Discipline and Due Process

Student Discipline and Due Process

The purpose of the school corporation’s rules and policies for student conduct shall be to promote and maintain an atmosphere which is conducive to learning and which is conducive to carrying out the educational function and school purposes of the school corporation.

The Board of School Trustees recognizes the importance of safeguarding a student's constitutional rights, particularly when subject to the Corporation's disciplinary procedures. You may refer to the Student Handbook available in each school building.

Student supervision and the desirable behavior of students are responsibilities shared by students, parents and teachers subject to the control of the principal of each school and the supervisory authority of the school corporation administrative staff.  Standards of conduct apply in general to behavior in the classroom, on the school grounds, to all school sponsored functions and to any behavior outside of school which causes a substantial and material disruption of an educational function or school purposes.  Rules or guidelines pertaining to student conduct are intended as a basis for the development of positive attitudes and appropriate behavior on the part of students interacting with parents, teachers, administrators and others and are not meant to be punitive measures.

1. Delegation of Authority

In all matters relating to the discipline and conduct of students, school corporation personnel stand in the relation of parents and guardians to the students of the school corporation.  Students must follow responsible directions of school personnel in all educational settings and refrain from disruptive behavior that interferes with the educational environment.  In carrying out the educational function and school purposes of the school corporation the following grants of authority are hereby made:

A. Each teacher and any of the other school personnel shall, when students are under his charge, have the right to take any action which is then reasonably necessary to carry out, or to prevent an interference with the educational function of which he is then in charge.  Teachers may not suspend students from school.  Removal of a student from any educational function within the supervision of a teacher or any of the other school personnel may not extend for a period of more than five (5) days unless the removal is treated as a suspension.

B. Each principal may take any action concerning his/her school or any school activity within his jurisdiction which is reasonably necessary to carry out or prevent interference with an educational function or school purposes.  Such action may include establishing written rules and standards to govern student conduct.  Similarly, the superintendent, or his administrative staff with his approval, may take any action with respect to all schools within the school corporation which is reasonably necessary to carry out or prevent interference with an educational function or school purposes.

C. The superintendent and the principal within each school are authorized to adopt formal policies establishing lines of responsibility and related guidelines and regulations pertinent to student discipline.

D. The terms “superintendent” and “principal” shall include their respective designees, which shall include, but not be limited to, the assistant principal, athletic director, guidance counselors and administrative assistants.

2. Limitation of Authority

Delegation of authority shall be subject to the following limitations:

A. Delegated authority shall be in conformance with applicable statutes of the State of Indiana and with the Constitution of Indiana and of the United States.  Rules, standards, or actions shall not discriminate against any student or class of students, but the number of schools or students to which they apply shall not be determinative of whether they discriminate.

B. Any handbook or other written rule applying to students generally, or to any group of students shall not be effective until it is reviewed and approved by the superintendent and until it shall be presented to and approved by the School Board.

C. Revisions or additions to the Student Discipline and Due Process policy shall not be effective until they are reviewed and approved by the superintendent and until it shall be presented to and approved by the school board.

D. Rules and standards of conduct shall not apply to students generally, to any individual student until a written copy is made available to the student or his parent, or is otherwise given general publicity within any school to which it applies.  This limitation shall be satisfied in any case where a good faith effort has been made to disseminate such rules and standards of conduct to students or parent.

3. Conduct Constituting an Interference with School Purposes or Educational Functions

Conduct constituting an interference with school purposes or educational functions shall mean any conduct which causes, or which can reasonably be foreseen to cause, a substantial disruption or distraction from, or material interference in the carrying out of a school purpose or an educational function.  Undifferentiated fear or apprehension of disturbance, disruption, and interference do not alone constitute grounds to support a determination that such conduct exists.

4. Expulsion or In-School Suspension

A. Expulsion shall mean a disciplinary action whereby a student:

1. Is separated from school attendance for a period in excess of ten (10) days.

2. Is separated from school attendance for the balance of the current semester or current year unless said student is permitted to complete required examinations in order to receive credit for courses taken in the current semester or current year.  Expulsion may result in the loss of all credits for the current semester. If the misconduct occurs during the first semester, the expulsion must terminate by the end of the current year; however, when it takes place during the summer school it remains in effect for the first semester of the following school year unless terminated by the governing body.

3. Is separated from school attendance for the period prescribed in number two above which may include an assignment to attend an alternative school, an alternative education program, or a homebound education program.

B. In-School Suspension shall mean any disciplinary action whereby a student is separated from school attendance for a period of ten (10) days or less which does not constitute an expulsion.  Suspension shall not include situations in which a student is removed from school for failure to comply with immunization requirements.

Students suspended or recommended for expulsion from school have the right of due process including but not limited to the right to be informed of the charges leading to the suspension or the recommendation for expulsion.  The student also has the right to be informed of the charges to be provided, a summary of evidence against the student, and to be provided the opportunity to explain his or her conduct.

5. Grounds for Expulsion or In-School Suspension

Grounds for expulsion or in-school suspension apply when a student is:

1. On school grounds immediately before, during and immediately after school hours and at any time when the school is being used by a school group;

2. Off school grounds at a school activity, function, or event; or

3. Traveling to or from school or a school activity, function or event.

Grounds for in-school suspension or expulsion are student misconduct or substantial disobedience.  The following include examples of student misconduct or substantial disobedience but are not limited to:

1. Using or possessing tobacco products.

2. Using or possessing lighters or other incendiary devices.

3. Profane or lewd language or gestures.

4. Interference with school purposes.

5. Interference with safety procedures.

6. Theft of school or personal property.

7. Damage of school or personal property.

8. Fighting

9. Unprovoked physical attack.

10. Harassment  / intimidation.

11. Insubordination

12. Unlawful activity on or off school property

13. Engaging in sexual activity on or off school property.

14. Using cell phones or pagers during school hours.

15. A student may be expelled if it is determined that the student does not have legal settlement in the school district.

16. Falsely accusing any person of sexual harassment or violation of school rule and/or state or federal law.

17. Failing to report to school officials actions or plans that could result in physical harm or damage or loss of property.

18. Possessing or handling a firearm or deadly weapon as defined in IC 20-8.1-5.1-10*.

19. Selling controlled substances.

20. Possession of contraband.

21. Possessing, using, consuming, transmitting or being under the influence of any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, alcoholic beverage, stimulants, depressants, caffeine-based pills, non-alcoholic beer, or intoxicant of any kind, or any item that closely resembles or is represented to be any of these items.

*A student identified as bringing a deadly weapon to school or on school property; or in possession of a deadly weapon on school property; may be expelled for a period of not more than one calendar year.  The superintendent shall notify the county prosecuting attorney’s office when a student is expelled under this rule.

Should the action requested by the principal for violation of this section result in expulsion, the student may be offered the opportunity to enroll in an established and approved treatment program.  The program must be approved by the principal and started before the student will be admitted back into the school.  No student will have the opportunity to exercise this option more than once during attendance in the Zionsville Community Schools. If the student does not complete the program expulsion procedures will continue.

6. Other Remedies

A reciprocal agreement in regard to expulsion or suspension shall be in effect with all extension schools and/or cooperative programs which enroll students from the school corporation.  A member of the administration, a teacher, or other school staff members having students under their charge may take disciplinary action in addition to suspension and expulsion that is necessary to ensure a safe, orderly, and effective educational environment.  Disciplinary action may include the following:

A. Counseling with a student or group of students.

B. Conferences with parent or groups of parents.

C. Assigning additional school work.

D. Rearranging class schedules.

E. Requiring a student to remain in school after regular school hours to do additional school work or for counseling.

F. Restricting extracurricular activities.

G. Removal of a student by a teacher from that teacher’s class for a period not to exceed 5 class periods if the student is assigned regular or additional school work to complete in another school setting.

H. Assignment by the principal of:

1. A special course of study.

2. An alternative education program.

3. An alternative school.

4. Removal of a student from school sponsored transportation.

7. It is the policy of Zionsville Community Schools that a notation will be made on the student’s permanent record and transcript when a student is expelled from school.

8. The principal may require that a student who is at least 16 years of age and wishes to re-enroll after an expulsion attend one or more of the following:

A. An alternative school or an alternative education program.

B. Evening classes.

C. Classes established for students who are at least 16 years of age.

All of the discipline procedures are subject to rights and procedures accorded to students and their parents under the IDEA.  Copies of the school’s procedures for actions to be taken pursuant to the IDEA may be obtained from the Special Education Director, ESC.

BULLYING / Harassment

Bullying or harassment means overt, repeated acts or gestures, including:

   1. Verbal or written communications transmitted;
   2. Physical acts committed; or
   3. Any other behaviors committed;

by a student or group of students against another student with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate, or harm the other student.  Such conduct is detrimental to the educational process and is prohibited in Zionsville Community Schools.

Acts of bullying or harassment shall be reported to the school administration.  The administration will promptly investigate the allegation and communicate with the students and their parents.  Students determined to have bullied will face disciplinary action up to and including suspension or expulsion.  The administration has the latitude to also include an educational component as part of the discipline.