Written by Wendy Kreitzman Saturday, 27 April 2013 00:00
In conjunction with new laws and changes in the Great Neck Public Schools, the Board of Education recently adopted two proposals to revise two Code of Conduct policies: Code of Conduct: Prohibited Student Conduct and Code of Conduct: Public Conduct on School Property.
Both of these policies were revised to expand their lists of classes protected from discrimination as identified by the New York State Dignity for All Students Act (DASA). These two policy revisions address recent state and federal laws regarding synthetic substances designed to “mimic” the effects and usages of illegal drugs.
The revisions expand the list of classes protected from discrimination as identified by the New York State Dignity for All Students Act (DASA). They also address New York State laws and federal laws regarding synthetic substances designed to mimic the effects and usages of illegal drugs.
The Code of Conduct: Prohibited Student Conduct introduces the policy stating: “The Board of Education expects all students to conduct themselves in an appropriate and civil manner, with proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students, district personnel and other members of the school community and for the care of district facilities, equipment and property. The best discipline is self-imposed and students must learn to assume and accept responsibility for their own behavior, as well as the consequences of their misbehavior. District personnel who interact with students are expected to use disciplinary action only when necessary and to place emphasis on the students’ ability to grown in self-discipline. The board recognizes the need to make its expectations for student conduct while on district property or engaged in a district function specific and clear. The rules of conduct listed are intended to do that and focus on safety and respect for the rights and property of others. Students who will not accept responsibility of their own behavior and who violate these district rules will be required to accept the penalties for their conduct.”
Students may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from school when they: engage in conduct that is disorderly and/or disrupts the normal operation of the school community; engage in conduct that is insubordinate; engage in conduct that is violent; engage in any conduct that endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others; engage in misconduct while on a school bus or at a designated school bus stop; or engage in any form of academic misconduct.
The Conduct: Public Conduct on School Property introduces the policy stating: “The district is committed to providing an orderly, respectful environment that is conducive to learning to create and maintain this kind of an environment it is necessary to regulate pubic conduct on district property and at district functions. For the purposes of this section of the code, ‘public’ shall mean all persons when on district property or attending a district function including students, teachers and district personnel. The restrictions on public conduct on district property and at district functions contained in this code are not intended to limit freedom of speech or peaceful assembly. The district recognizes that free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the objective of the district. The purpose of this code is to maintain public order and prevent abuse of the rights of others. Any persons on district property or attending a district function shall conduct themselves in a respectful and orderly manner. In addition, all persons on district property or attending a district function are expected to be properly attired for the purpose they are on district property.”
Points addressed in the policy include: prohibited conduct, penalties and enforcement.
These policies were introduced in January, submitted for a second reading in March and approved by school board vote in April.
In addition, also at an April school board public hearing, the board proposed a revision for another code of conduct policy, the Code of Conduct: Visitors to the Schools. This proposed revision addresses a “more cautious approach” to visitors in the schools. No action was taken as this policy revision must appear before the board of education for at least three public hearings.