FO(LOCAL) - STUDENT DISCIPLINE

Student Code of Conduct

The District's rules of discipline are maintained in the Board-adopted Student Code of Conduct and are established to support an environment conducive to teaching and learning.

Rules of conduct and discipline shall not have the effect of discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, immigration status, or any other basis prohibited by law.

At the beginning of the school year and throughout the school year as necessary, the Student Code of Conduct shall be:

  1. Posted and prominently displayed at each campus or made available for review in the principal's office, as required by law; and
  2. Made available on the District's website and/or as a hard copy to students, parents, teachers, administrators, and others on request.

Revisions

Revisions to the Student Code of Conduct approved by the Board during the year shall be made available promptly to students and parents, teachers, administrators, and others.

Extracurricular Standards of Behavior

With the approval of the principal and Superintendent, sponsors and coaches of extracurricular activities may develop and enforce standards of behavior that are higher than the District-developed Student Code of Conduct and may condition membership or participation in the activity on adherence to those standards. Extracurricular standards of behavior may take into consideration conduct that occurs at any time, on or off school property.

A student shall be informed of any extracurricular behavior standards at the beginning of each school year or when the student first begins participation in the activity. A student and his or her parent shall sign and return to the sponsor or coach a statement that they have read the extracurricular behavior standards and consent to them as a condition of participation in the activity.

Standards of behavior for an extracurricular activity are independent of the Student Code of Conduct. Violations of these standards of behavior that are also violations of the Student Code of Conduct may result in independent disciplinary actions.

A student may be removed from participation in extracurricular activities or may be excluded from school honors for violation of extracurricular standards of behavior for an activity or for violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

"Parent" Defined

Throughout the Student Code of Conduct and discipline policies, the term "parent" includes a parent, legal guardian, or other person having lawful control of the child.

General Discipline Guidelines

The District utilizes restorative, rather than punitive, discipline practices and seeks to work with students and their families to facilitate behavioral skill development. The District views behavior as a skill to be learned, rather than a fixed, inherent component of a student. As educators, we have the ability to work with students to help them flourish, even in difficult situations.

Suspending young children can have negative repercussions on those students' life outcomes and academic experiences. It is vital we acknowledge that implicit bias can impact discipline practices.

A District employee shall adhere to the following general guidelines when imposing discipline:

  1. Discipline is viewed as teaching students skill development to address challenges that may arise. Students may need additional support to address behavior skill development. Supports should be exhausted prior to the use of punitive discipline measures, except as required by law. Additionally, parents and/or guardians should be utilized as collaborative problem-solvers as part of the students' skill development.
  2. No elementary student prior to grade 3 shall be home-suspended, placed into a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP), or expelled, except as prescribed by the Texas Education Code Chapter 37, which requires a DAEP removal of a student if the student engages in conduct regarding false alarm or reporting; terroristic threats; felony acts; assault offenses; and the use of drugs and/or alcohol on or within 300 feet of school property or for behaviors that present a clear and present danger of physical injury to the student, other students, or school personnel.
  3. A student shall be treated fairly and equitably. Discipline shall be based on an assessment of the circumstances of each case. Factors to consider shall include:
    1. The seriousness of the offense;
    2. The student's age;
    3. The frequency of misconduct;
    4. The student's attitude;
    5. The potential effect of the misconduct on the school environment;
    6. Requirements of Chapter 37 of the Education Code; and
    7. The Student Code of Conduct adopted by the Board.
  4. Before a student under 18 is assigned to detention outside regular school hours, notice shall be given to the student's parent to inform him or her of the reason for the detention and permit arrangements for necessary transportation.

Corporal Punishment

The Board prohibits the use of corporal punishment in the District. Students shall not be spanked, paddled, or subjected to other physical force as a means of discipline for violations of the Student Code of Conduct.

Physical Restraint

Within the scope of an employee's duties, a District employee may physically restrain a student if the employee reasonably believes restraint is necessary in order to:

  1. Protect a person, including the person using physical restraint, from physical injury;
  2. Obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object;
  3. Remove a student refusing a lawful command of a school employee from a specific location, including a classroom or other school property, in order to restore order or to impose disciplinary measures;
  4. Control an irrational student;or
  5. Protect property from serious damage.

A District employee may restrain a student with a disability who receives special education services only in accordance with law. [See FOF(LEGAL)]

Video and Audio Monitoring

Video and audio recording equipment shall be used for safety purposes to monitor student behavior on District property.

The District shall post signs notifying students and parents about the District's use of video and audio recording equipment. Students shall not be notified when the equipment is turned on.

Use of Recordings

The principal shall review recordings as needed, and evidence of student misconduct shall be documented. A student found to be in violation of the District's Student Code of Conduct shall be subject to appropriate discipline.

Access to Recordings

Recordings shall remain in the custody of the campus principal and shall be maintained as required by law. A parent or student who wishes to view a recording in response to disciplinary action taken against the student may request such access under the procedures set out by law. [See FL(LEGAL)]

Preservation of Records

Unless required for the preservation of records related to litigation or otherwise, all recordings shall be maintained for a period of two weeks.

Austin ISD

FO(LOCAL)-X

LDU 2018.08

DATE ISSUED: 7/5/2018