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 DISTRICT WIDE CODE OF CONDUCT

The Code of Conduct defines specific acts that are considered violations of the expected standards of student behavior. The Code of Conduct is based on Board policy, District guidelines, and applicable law. These violations are examples of those acts that disrupt the school environment and the teaching and learning in the Rocky River City School District and are not an exhaustive list of acts of misconduct that may lead to disciplinary action. The goal of the Code of Conduct is to provide school staff, students, parents, and community members with a clear understanding of student conduct that is unacceptable and grounds for disciplinary action. A student committing an act of misconduct not listed below shall nonetheless be subject to the disciplinary authority of a building administrator or other school administrator. Each of the behaviors and/or types of misconduct described below is prohibited and may subject a student to disciplinary action. Furthermore, any criminal misconduct by a student shall be reported to law enforcement authorities. Certain criminal acts may result in permanent exclusion from school. When a student is subject to criminal proceedings and is otherwise unavailable (or fails) to report to school, the District may delay adjudication of any school disciplinary matter until the student returns or intends to return to school. This provision shall also apply when a student is withdrawn from school and later re-enrolled.

a.        Arson: causing a fire;

b.        Abusive Language or Gestures: using or threatening to use any form of communication, gestures, images, photos or other such means which are offensive, obscene, abusive, threatening, and/or vulgar;

c.        Assault (non-sexual or sexual): physical attack on another with or without a weapon;

d.        Absence (unexcused) from school;

e.        Absence (unexcused) from class;

f.         Absence (unexcused) tardy to class or school;

g.        Audio/Video Recording (Unauthorized): recording or attempting to record without authorization from school staff any image or other record (audio or video) of a student or staff member;

h.        Battery: threatening a physical attack on another with or without a weapon;

i.         Bullying: harassment, intimidation, or bullying means any intentional written, verbal, graphic, or physical act that a student or group of students exhibits toward another particular student(s) more than once and the behavior both causes mental or physical harm to the other student(s) and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student(s); or violence within a dating relationship;

j.         Burglary: unauthorized or illegal entry;

k.        Cheating: cheating on any school assignment, test or other work, or attempting to do so;

l.         Criminal Mischief: damaging or defacing school property or the property of another or tampers with such property so as to endanger person or property;

m.      Dangerous Instruments/Look-alike Instruments—Possession and/or Use:  possessing and/or concealing potential dangerous instruments, tools, and/or debilitating sprays (such as knives, razor blades, sharp instruments, penknives, mace, pepper spray, slingshots, or any weapon or equipment which will, is designed to, or may be readily converted to expel a projectile by action of air pressure, carbon dioxide, or mechanical means including but not limited to pellet gas, BB guns, CO2, or air guns). Look-alike instruments are also prohibited;

n.        Defiance of Authority/Insubordination: using defiant verbal or non-verbal behavior directed toward any school personnel;

o.        Disruption of Educational Process or Activities: individual or group behavior that interferes with teaching and/or learning or school activities; Students shall not use violence, force, noise, coercion, threat, harassment, intimidation, fear, passive resistance, or any other conduct, cause, attempt, or threaten to cause the disruption or obstruction of any lawful mission, process, activity, or function of the school. Student shall not urge other students to engage in such conduct for the purpose of causing, attempting, or threatening to cause the disruption or obstruction of any lawful mission, process, activity, or function of the school; Preventing or attempting to prevent by physical act or verbal utterance the functioning of any school, class, or activity of any lawful meeting or assembly on or off the school property; Preventing or attempting to prevent students from attending class or any school-sponsored or related activity or event; Except under the direct instruction of the building administrator or other authorized school personnel, blocking pedestrian or vehicular traffic on school property or at the site of any school-sponsored or related activity or event; Continuously making noise or acting in a manner so as to interfere with a teacher’s ability to conduct a class or co-curricular activity;

p.        Disruption of the School Bus: any misconduct on a school bus; disrespectful conduct toward the operator or other school personnel on the bus; and/or vandalism to the school bus;

q.        Unauthorized Publication or Distribution of Materials: publishing or distributing materials at a time, place, or in a manner not authorized by a building administrator or other school personnel;

r.         Dress Code Violation;

s.        Driving—Unsafe: operating any vehicle on school grounds or at a school-sponsored event recklessly or without regard for the safety of persons and/or property;

t.         Drug, Chemical Abuse & Alcohol Policy Violation;

u.        Electronic Devices—Unauthorized use or possession;

v.        Explosives or Fireworks—Possession or Use: possessing, concealing, or using any article which could explode, burn, detonate, cause bodily harm or have the appearance to do so;

w.      Extortion: obtaining or attempting to obtain money, goods, or information from another person by threat or force;

x.        False Documentation/Forgery: falsifying, misrepresenting, and/or replicating school or student-related documents or signatures;

y.        Fighting: being involved in or instigating aggressive physical contact;

z.        Firearms or Other Weapons: possessing, concealing or using any weapon capable of expelling or propelling one or more projectiles by the action of an explosive or combustible propellant or compressed air or spring including any unloaded or inoperative firearm, or any simulated or “look alike” firearm. Also, a knife is defined as any device consisting of a sharp blade whether or not fastened to a handle, designed or intended for use as a cutting instrument, regardless of the length of the blade. A weapon is any device or object, which is or may be used to harm another person, including but not limited to a firearm, a knife, a club, a chain, razor, metal knuckles, noxious irritants, chemicals, or explosive or incendiary device. Because the Board believes that students, staff members, and visitors are entitled to function in a safe school environment, students are required to report knowledge of dangerous weapons or threats of violence to the Principal or other school officials. Failure to report such knowledge may subject the student to disciplinary action;

aa.     Gambling: participating or instigating the participation of others in games of chance;

bb.     Hazing/Harassment: harassment, intimidation, or bullying means any intentional written, verbal, graphic, or physical act that a student or group of students exhibits toward another particular student(s) or staff member(s) more than once and the behavior both causes mental or physical harm to the other student(s) or staff member(s) and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student(s); or violence within a dating relationship;

cc.     Intimidation: harassment, intimidation, or bullying means any intentional written, verbal, graphic, or physical act that a student or group of students exhibits toward another particular student(s) or staff member(s) more than once and the behavior both causes mental or physical harm to the other student(s) or staff member(s) and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student(s); or violence within a dating relationship;

dd.     Inflammatory Action: using or threatening to use written, verbal or electronic language, gestures, photos, images, or other actions to create fear, alarm, and/or disturbance;

ee.     Leaving School without Permission;

ff.       Loitering/Trespassing: being present in any school area or school bus without authorization;

gg.     Lying: students shall not lie about, fabricate, distort, or change information given to school staff or administration or any individual;

hh.     Offensive Touching or Contact: touching another person with part of one’s body or with any instrument to cause harm, alarm, fear, or intimidation;

ii.       Plagiarism: use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work. In addition, falsifying signatures or data or refusing to provide proper identification or giving false information to a staff member is prohibited and may subject a student to disciplinary action;

jj.       Pulling/Sounding (or Causing to be Pulled/Sounded) an Alarm without Authorization or Necessity; this infraction may relate to any school fire alarm, the Multi-Agency Radio Communication System (MARCS), and any other school safety or notification/warning system;

kk.     Reckless Endangerment: engaging in reckless conduct that creates a risk of physical or emotional harm to another person;

ll.       Robbery: taking the property of another person or entity;

mm. Sexual Behavior: indecent propositioning, proposal, contact, touching, and/or exposure of a sexual nature or intent;

nn.     Sexual Contact: making contact with another person with or without the consent of the other person;

oo.     Technology—Unauthorized Access, Possession, Disruption, or Use: accessing or causing to be accessed a computer or other District technology system or equipment without authorization; obtaining unauthorized technologies or attempt to do so; altering, deleting, tampering, destroying, or stealing any technology, data, or electronic information or equipment;

pp.     Theft/Possession of Stolen Property: taking, exercising control over, and/or obtaining the property of another person or entity; receiving, retaining, or disposing of property of another person or entity;

qq.     Tobacco-Free Schools Policy Violation;

rr.       Vandalism: intentionally, purposely, recklessly, or negligently damaging school property or attempting to do so;

ss.      Repeated Code of Conduct Violations;

tt.       Making a fictitious bomb or other destructive threat that causes panic or making any false report;

uu.     Failure to accept discipline or punishment;

vv.     Threatening, directly or indirectly, to commit a crime of violence with the purpose to terrorize another or with reckless disregard of the risk of causing terror in another;

ww. Violation of bus and other transportation rules; and

xx.     Violation of classroom rules.

The Board will vigorously enforce its prohibition against discriminatory harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and transgender identity), disability, age (except as authorized by law), religion, ancestry, or genetic information (collectively, “Protected Classes”) that are protected by Federal civil rights laws (hereinafter referred to as unlawful harassment), and encourages those within the Rocky River City School District community as well as third parties, who feel aggrieved to seek assistance to rectify such problems. In particular, sexual harassment is any activity of sexual nature that is unwanted or unwelcome including but not limited to touching, pinching, patting, verbal comments of a sexual nature, sexual name-calling, or pressure to engage in sexual activity. The Board will investigate all allegations of harassment and in those cases where unlawful harassment is substantiated; the Board will take immediate steps to end the harassment. The school’s disciplinary procedures will be followed in determining the appropriate consequence for any harassment, including suspension or expulsion as appropriate. The Board will also take immediate steps to impose disciplinary action on individuals engaging in any of the following prohibited acts: retaliating against a person who has made a report or filed a complaint alleging harassment or who has participated as a witness in a harassment investigation; and/or filing a malicious or knowingly false report or complaint of harassment. Any student who believes he or she is a victim of harassment in violation of this policy should immediately notify the superintendent/designee, who is the Title IX coordinator, or the student’s building principal or other administrator with whom the student feels comfortable. A complete copy of the district’s anti-harassment policy may be obtained by contacting the building principal.

The administration reserves the right to confiscate any items in connection with an alleged violation of the Code of Conduct or otherwise considered inappropriate for a school setting.

Aggressive behavior toward a student, whether by other students, staff, or third parties, is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. This prohibition includes physical, verbal, and psychological abuse, including any gestures, comments, threats, or actions, which cause or threaten to cause bodily harm or personal degradation. This also includes intimidation and harassment based on any of the legally protected characteristics such as sex, race, color, national origin, marital status, or disability, stalking, bullying/cyber-bullying, intimidating, menacing, coercion, name-calling, taunting, making threats, and hazing. Any student who believes he/she has been or is the victim of aggressive behavior should immediately report the situation to the building principal. See Board Policy 5517.01 for details.

Desks and lockers are the property of the Board (Policy 5611) and remain at all times under the control of school officials. Students are granted non-exclusive use of desks and lockers and should not expect privacy with respect to items stored in desks or lockers. Desks and lockers and the contents of all desks and lockers are subject to random search at any time without regard to whether there is a reasonable suspicion that any desk or locker, or its contents, contains evidence of a violation of a criminal statute or a school rule. Building principals or their designees may inspect a student’s vehicle parked on school premises if there is reasonable cause to believe that prohibited articles are kept there, or that school rules and regulations have been violated. If such an inspection takes place, the student or another adult will be present. An inspection of a vehicle from the exterior is not a search. This policy will not intend to limit or prevent a school official from investigating incidents and determining a basis for decisions affecting the operation of the schools, conduct of students, or services of employees.

There are situations where severe disciplinary action is required regardless of any behavior history. Out of school suspensions may also be assigned as a first time offense for serious or extreme violations of any rules listed. This decision will be made by the administration depending upon the circumstances involved.