Appropriate behavior in public settings is a requirement of life for members of any society. Public schools are instruments of society and, therefore, the community that supports a public school district has the right to expect school officials to maintain a safe and secure environment and ensure that students, school personnel, and visitors to a school campus conduct themselves in an orderly, courteous, dignified, and respectful manner.
It is the responsibility of the Clarence Board of Education to establish an operational framework consistent with the values and standards of the community it serves. The Clarence Board of Education acknowledges its responsibility to protect the educational climate of the District and to promote responsible student behavior. To that end, Clarence Board of Education Policies #3410 and #7310 provide guidelines for District personnel, under the supervision of the Superintendent of Schools, to develop and implement procedures that clarify and encourage appropriate behavior, help insure the safety and security of all members of the school community, and promote an educational climate that advances teaching and learning.
Board of Education Policy #3420 prohibits and condemns all forms of harassment and intimidation on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, military status, veteran status, or disability by employees, school volunteers, students, and non-employees such as contractors and vendors as well as any third parties who are participating in, observing, or otherwise engaging in activities subject to the supervision and control of the District.
The Clarence Code of Conduct, developed within the parameters set by the Clarence Board of Education, was adopted by the Board on June 11, 2001 and was further amended and approved in June, 2010.
The Clarence School District Code of Conduct is intended to:
The Code governs the conduct of students, school personnel, parents, and other visitors while on school property or attending school functions. It includes the range of penalties that may be imposed for code violations and defines the roles of essential partners (teachers, administrators, other school personnel, the board of education, and parents) in maintaining safe, orderly schools. The Code is reviewed annually and revised as needed.
Students are expected to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to dress appropriately. The responsibility for student dress and appearance rests with individual students and his or her parents or guardians. However, the Board of Education will establish the parameters for appropriate attire for students while at school or attending school functions. The Dress Code is based on the belief that appropriate dress and grooming contributes to a confident and productive learning environment. It is designed to ensure that students dress in a manner that is appropriate for the school setting, helps them achieve success, and respects and values their fellow students. Items that are deemed inappropriate include, but are not limited to, apparel or accessories that display obscene, threatening or suggestive messages, clothing that reveals undergarments or midriffs, and very brief skirts, shorts or dresses. Students who violate the dress code shall be required to modify his/her appearance by covering or removing the offending item and, if necessary or practical, replacing it with an acceptable item. Any student who refuses to do so shall be subjected to discipline up to and including school suspension. Any student who repeatedly fails to comply with the dress code shall be subjected to further disciplinary action.
Behavior that is disorderly, insubordinate, disruptive, violent, or endangers others is prohibited. Plagiarism, cheating, copying, altering records, or assisting students in such actions is considered academic misconduct and, therefore, prohibited.
All students are expected to report violations of the Code of Conduct to those in authority. District staff not authorized to impose disciplinary actions are expected to report violations to their supervisor. Any weapon, alcohol, or other illegal substance will be confiscated immediately. Code violations that constitute a crime may be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Disciplinary action, when necessary, will be firm, fair, and consistent. As a general rule, discipline will be progressive. That is, a student’s first offense will usually merit a lesser penalty than subsequent violations. The Code of Conduct contains levels of discipline ranging from oral warning to permanent suspension from school. Regardless of the penalty imposed, school personnel authorized to impose a disciplinary procedure must inform the student of the alleged misconduct. Students subject to more severe penalties have additional rights as spelled out in the Code of Conduct.
When a student under the age of 16 is removed from class or is suspended from school, the District will take immediate steps to provide alternative means of instruction for the student. When a student over the age of 16 is removed from class or suspended from school, the District will provide instruction in a practical manner.
While all students are subject to the same Code of Conduct, the Board of Education recognizes that students with disabilities are entitled to additional procedural protections. The Code of Conduct affords students with disabilities subject to disciplinary action no greater or lesser rights than those expressly afforded by applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
Corporal punishment is defined as an act of physical force upon a student and is forbidden except in cases where persons or property are placed in danger.
Authorized school officials may question a student about an alleged violation of law or the District Code of Conduct. Students are not entitled to a “Miranda” type warning, nor are school officials obligated to contact a student’s parents before questioning. School officials, however, will tell students why they are being questioned. In addition, the Board authorizes certain school officials to conduct searches of students and their belongings if there is reasonable suspicion that such a search will result in evidence that the student violated a law or the District Code of Conduct. Searches will be limited to the extent necessary to locate the evidence sought. The rules regarding searches of students and their belongings do not apply to student lockers, desks, and other school storage places. Students should have no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to areas considered school property. 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.
All school buildings are locked throughout the school day. Visitors must buzz to a school must report to the office of the principal upon arrival and register. Visitors attending school functions that are open to the public such as PTO meetings or public gatherings are not required to register. Any unauthorized person on school property will be reported to the principal or designee. Unauthorized persons will be asked to leave. All visitors are expected to abide by the rules of public conduct on school property as contained in the Code of Conduct.
All persons on school property or attending a school function, including athletic events, shall conduct themselves in a respectful and orderly manner. In addition, all persons on school property or attending a school function should be properly attired. The District may rescind authorization to be on school property or attend school functions for any visitor who violates the rules of public conduct.