Williamston Middle School Code of Conduct
RATIONALE: The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to foster an environment that is safe andconducive to learning. Within our school, the administration and all other school personnel are
responsible for creating and supporting such an environment. To achieve this goal, faculty, staff,parents, students, and other members of the community must have a clear understanding of the school's
expectations for student behavior. The Williamston Middle School Code of Conduct provides thoseexpectations by:
* Integrating various sources of authority including state law, Board of Education policies, and
* Identifying expectations and responsibilities of WMS students,
* Defining the conduct that violates those rights and responsibilities,
* Standardizing the procedures that the school will use in responding to conduct violations,
* Assuring the rights and responsibilities of students when disciplinary action is taken.
The Code of Conduct applies to any student who is on school property, traveling on school-affiliated transportation, attending school or any school-affiliated activity, or whose conduct at any time or
place directly interferes with the operations, discipline, or general welfare of the school.
DUE PROCESS RIGHTS:
Any student whose conduct may warrant suspension or expulsion will be provided due process.
* Notice of the alleged violation
* Opportunity to present his/her side of the story
* Opportunity for a speedy and impartial conference with the principal
* Notification of the alleged violation
* Opportunity for a speedy and impartial conference with the principal, assistant principal, or principal’s designee
A student with an Individualized Education Program (“IEP”) or Section 504 Plan is also entitled toadditional rights under state and federal law if facing a potential removal from school exceeding
ten (10) school days.
SUSPENSION APPEAL PROCESS:
The principal authorized to suspend a student for up to ten (10) school days.
• A suspension may be appealed by the student’s parents or guardians in writing to the principal within two (2) school days of receipt of the suspension notification. The written
appeal must contain the reason(s) for the appeal.
• Upon receipt of a written appeal, the principal may include a parent conference, if appropriate, but this step is optional. If there is no parent conference, the letter of appeal will
represent the parent’s point of view. The principal may uphold, modify, or vacate the suspension and will notify the parent as soon as possible of the decision.
• The principal’s decision may be appealed in writing to the Superintendent within two (2) school days of the parent’s receipt of the principal’s decision. The Superintendent (or
designee) will reach a decision and inform the parent in writing within three (3) school days after the receipt of the written appeal.
• The Superintendent’s decision is final. The parent may appeal to the Board only for an alleged violation of due process by the Superintendent. In such cases, the appeal shall be made in
writing to the Board President within two (2) days after the parent’s receipt of the Superintendent’s decision and shall include a statement of the alleged violation of the policy.
The Board shall notify the parent of its decision within ten (10) school days of receipt of the written appeal.
CATEGORIES OF MISCONDUCT
To establish the best possible learning environment for the student, as well as to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of all students and school personnel, the following categories of misconduct have
been adopted. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, and includes, but is not limited to the following:
Academic Misconduct: Engaging in behavior that artificially alters academic achievement or grades that includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism is using or representing the
information of another individual or source and passing it off as your own. Cheating is a violation of the rules established by a teacher for any assignment or test. Cheating may also include attempting to
gain or gaining unauthorized access to material; or providing, using, or submitting data or answers dishonestly, by deceit, or by means other than those authorized by the teacher.
Altering Document: Forging, falsifying, or altering a document.
Arson: Setting fire to a building or other real property or the contents thereof, or doing any act which results in the starting of a fire, or aiding, counseling, inducing, persuading, or procuring another to do such
act or acts.
Bomb Threat/False Alarms/Fire Extinguisher Misuse: Making a knowingly false statement or communication of any kind of notice about the possession or location of any explosive, destructive, or
incendiary materials involving students, school personnel, or school property; falsely activating the fire alarm system; misusing a fire extinguisher; or making a false “911” call.
Breaking and Entering: Breaking into and/or entering any school building, facility, office, room, storage space, or other enclosure without authority to do so.
Bullying: Bullying is any gesture or written, verbal, graphic or physical act (including an electronically transmitted act) that is reasonably perceived as persistent, annoying, unwanted,
negative attention with the intent of humiliating or upsetting another individual. (PLEASE SEE WMS WEBSITE FOR DISTRICT ANTI-BULLYING POLICY)
Criminal Acts: A students commission of, or participation in, any act prohibited by federal or state law or local ordinance also violations of the Student Code of Conduct when such act affects the safe and orderly
operation for the school, including but not limited to an act committed on school property, on school-related transportation, or otherwise related to any school program, function, or activity. School officials may take
appropriate disciplinary action regardless of whether a criminal charge results.
Damage/Destruction of Property: Defacing or damaging school property, classroom materials, equipment, or books, which includes removing of bar codes; defacing or damaging another’s property.
Dangerous Article: Using, possessing, attempting to possess, brandishing or concealing any dangerous article, lighter, instrument, device, material, look-alike, replica, or any other item capable of causing
bodily harm. This includes, but is not limited to, knives with blades of three (3) inches or less.
Dangerous Weapon: Using, possessing, attempting to possess, brandishing or concealing any weapon capable of causing great bodily injury or death. This includes, but is not limited to, a firearm, dagger,
dirk, stiletto, and knife with a blade over three (3) inches in length, pocketknife opened by a mechanical device, iron bars, or brass knuckles. The definition of a firearm is based on federal law. The definition of
a knife includes, but is not limited to, a cutting instrument consisting of a sharp blade fastened to a handle.
Dishonesty to a Staff Member: Attempting to make a person believe as true something false which includes, but is not limited to, failing to disclose information, hiding/covering up information or
evidence regarding oneself or others, or giving a false name or identification.
Display of Affection: Physically demonstrating affection, which includes, but is not limited to, touching, petting, kissing, or any other physical contact that may be considered sexual in nature.
Disrespect: Rude, inconsiderate or disrespectful behavior.
Disruptive Conduct: Behavior which substantially interferes with the educational process.
Dress Code Violation: Dress or personal adornment which jeopardizes the health, safety, welfare and orderly conduct of the educational process.
Drugs/Alcohol: Using, selling, purchasing, distributing, possessing, or attempting to possess altering substances (including counterfeit or look-alike substances), narcotics, drugs, including
prescription (except those for which permission to use in school has been granted pursuant to Board policy), controlled substances, alcoholic beverages, inhalants, anabolic steroids, paraphernalia, other
intoxicants, or any other illegal substances so designated and prohibited by state or federal law.
Drugs (Prescriptions/Over-the-Counter Medication): Possessing a current prescription (student’s own medication) or possessing or using a non-prescription drug, natural and/or homeopathic-like substance or
dietary supplement. All medications that a student needs to take at school shall be maintained in the office and only accessed through the school staff.
Electronic Devices: Using or displaying electronic devices without prior approval from a designated school official.
Explosive Device: Using, possessing, attempting to possess, brandishing, or concealing any explosive or incendiary device, which includes, but is not limited to, fireworks and chemical reaction objects such as
fire crackers and poppers. Failure to Follow Classroom/School Rules: Not following the classroom/school rules and/or procedures as determined by a staff member.
Fighting/Physical Aggression: Engaging or attempting to engage another in a physical conflict.
Gambling: Participating in or organizing games of chance to gain money or other items of value.
Hall Pass Misuse: Abusing the privilege of a hall pass; leaving class without permission.
Harassment: Persistent, annoying, unwanted, negative attention with the intent of humiliating or upsetting another individual on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, or age.
Inappropriate Comments: Written or verbal slurs/rumors which tend to humiliate or embarrass another person.
Instigating Inappropriate Action: Instigating or encouraging acts of misconduct.
Insubordination/Defiance: Refusing or failing to obey, either verbally or non-verbally, a reasonable request or directive by a person vested with appropriate authority.
Intimidation: Intimidating others by the real or implied infliction of physical, verbal, written, electronically-transmitted, or emotional abuse, which includes posturing or attacking the property of
others for the purpose of intimidation.
Minor Physical Incident: Physical incident where there is no imbalance of power and there is no intent tocause harm. Not limited to, but may include: pushing, shoving, slapping, wrestling, and horseplay.
Obscenity/Profanity: Using words, pictures, caricatures, or gestures that are offensive to the general standards of the school and/or community; swearing.
Physical Assault Against School Personnel: Intentionally causing or attempting to cause harm through force or violence to any District employee or against a personal engaged as a volunteer or contractor of the
Sexual Harassment (Level 1): Using words, pictures, objects, gestures, or other actions of a sexual nature that cause embarrassment, discomfort, or a reluctance to participate in school activities.
Sexual Harassment (Level 2): Making unwelcome sexual advances, requesting sexual favors, or engaging in other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature may constitute sexual harassment when such
conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
Smoking/Tobacco Product: Using, selling, purchasing, distributing, possessing, or attempting to possess tobacco or products represented as tobacco in any form.
Tardiness: Not being in the classroom when class is scheduled to begin.
Technology Misuse: See District Policy
Theft: Stealing, attempting to steal, possessing, or transferring school or private property, or participating in the theft or attempted theft of school or private property.
Threat/Harassment Against School Personnel: Intentionally causing or attempting to cause intimidation to any District employee or against a personal engaged as a volunteer or contractor of the
Threat of serious bodily harm: Threatening another, either verbally or non-verbally, with death or serious physical injury. Consequences are assigned based on (a) prior infractions; (b) intent of the student; (c) actual or risk of
harm to student(s); and (d) the severity of the infraction.
DISCIPLINARY CONSEQUENCES MAY INCLUDE:
Loss of Passing Time with Peers
Removal/Suspension from Bus
Participation in Educational Component (after school)
Out-of-School Suspension (short-term)
Referral to Agency/Law Enforcement