Board Policy 5365
The goals and objectives of this policy are to provide effective discipline practices that: (1) ensure the safety and dignity of students and staff; (2) maintain a positive, weapons-free, and drug-free learning environment; (3) keep school property and the property of others secure; (4) address the causes of a student’s misbehavior and provide opportunities for all individuals involved in an incident to participate in its resolution; and (5) teach students positive behavioral skills to become independent, self-disciplined citizens in the school community and society.
When and Where Conduct Rules Apply
The grounds for disciplinary action, including those described more thoroughly below in this policy, apply whenever the student’s conduct is reasonably related to school or school activities, including, but not limited to:
- On, or within sight of, school grounds before, during, or after school hours or at any other time;
- Off school grounds at a school-sponsored activity or event, or any activity or event that bears a reasonable relationship to school;
- Traveling to or from school or a school activity, function, or event; or
- Anywhere, if the conduct interferes with, disrupts, or adversely affects the school environment, school operations, or an educational function, including, but not limited to, conduct that may reasonably be considered to: (a) be a threat or an attempted intimidation of a staff member; or (b) endanger the health or safety of students, staff, or school property.
Prohibited Student Conduct
The school administration is authorized to discipline students for gross disobedience or misconduct, including but not limited to:
- Using, possessing, distributing, purchasing, or selling tobacco materials or electronic cigarettes in any form.
- Using, possessing, distributing, purchasing, or selling alcoholic beverages. Students who are under the influence of an alcoholic beverage are not permitted to attend school or school functions and are treated as though they had alcohol in their possession.
- Using, possessing, distributing, purchasing, or selling:
- Any illegal drug, controlled substance, or cannabis (including marijuana and hashish and medical cannabis unless the student is authorized to be administered a medical cannabis infused product under Ashley’s Law).
- Any anabolic steroid unless being administered in accordance with a physician’s or licensed practitioner’s prescription.
- Any performance-enhancing substance on the Illinois High School Association’s most current banned substance list unless administered in accordance with a physician’s or licensed practitioner’s prescription.
- Any prescription or non-prescription drug when not prescribed for the student by a physician or licensed practitioner, or when used in a manner inconsistent with the prescription or prescribing physician’s or licensed practitioner’s instructions. The use or possession of medical cannabis, even by a student for whom medical cannabis has been prescribed, is prohibited unless the student is authorized to be administered a medical cannabis infused product under Ashley’s Law.
- Any inhalant, regardless of whether it contains an illegal drug or controlled substance: (a) that a student believes is, or represents to be capable of, causing intoxication, hallucination, excitement, or dulling of the brain or nervous system; or (b) about which the student engaged in behavior that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the student intended the inhalant to cause intoxication, hallucination, excitement, or dulling of the brain or nervous system. The prohibition in this section does not apply to a student’s use of asthma or other legally prescribed inhalant medications.
- Any substance inhaled, injected, smoked, consumed, or otherwise ingested or absorbed with the intention of causing a physiological or psychological change in the body, including without limitation, pure caffeine in tablet or powdered form.
- “Look-alike” or counterfeit drugs, including a substance not containing an illegal drug or controlled substance, but one: (a) that a student believes to be, or represents to be, an illegal drug or controlled substance; or (b) about which a student engaged in behavior that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the student expressly or impliedly represented to be an illegal drug or controlled substance.
- Drug paraphernalia, including devices that are or can be used to: (a) ingest, inhale, or inject cannabis or controlled substances into the body; and (b) grow, process, store, or conceal cannabis or controlled substances.
- Students who are under the influence of any prohibited substance are not permitted to attend school or school functions and are treated as though they had the prohibited substance, as applicable, in their possession.
- Using, possessing, controlling, or transferring a “weapon” as that term is defined in the Weapons section of this policy, or violating the Weapons section of this policy.
- Using or possessing an electronic paging device. Using a cellular telephone, video recording device, personal digital assistant (PDA), or other electronic device in any manner that disrupts the educational environment or violates the rights of others, including using the device to take photographs in locker rooms or bathrooms, cheat, or otherwise violate student conduct rules. Prohibited conduct specifically includes, without limitation, creating, sending, sharing, viewing, receiving, or possessing an indecent visual depiction of oneself or another person through the use of a computer, electronic communication device, or cellular phone. Unless otherwise banned under this policy or by the Building Principal, all electronic devices must be kept powered-off and out-of-sight during the regular school day unless: (a) the supervising teacher grants permission; (b) use of the device is provided in a student’s individualized education program (IEP); or (c) it is needed in an emergency that threatens the safety of students, staff, or other individuals.
- Using or possessing a laser pointer unless under a staff member’s direct supervision and in the context of instruction.
- Disobeying rules of student conduct or directives from staff members or school officials. Examples of disobeying staff directives include refusing a District staff member’s request to stop, present school identification, or submit to a search.
- Engaging in academic dishonesty, including cheating, intentionally plagiarizing, wrongfully giving or receiving help during an academic examination, and wrongfully obtaining test copies or scores.
- Engaging in hazing or any kind of bullying or aggressive behavior that does physical or psychological harm to a staff person or another student, or urging other students to engage in such conduct. Prohibited conduct specifically includes, without limitation, any use of violence, intimidation, force, noise, coercion, threats, stalking, harassment, sexual harassment, public humiliation, theft or destruction of property, retaliation, hazing, bullying, bullying using a school computer or a school computer network, or other comparable conduct.
- Engaging in any sexual activity, including without limitation, offensive touching, sexual harassment, indecent exposure (including mooning), and sexual assault. This does not include the non-disruptive: (a) expression of gender or sexual orientation or preference, or (b) display of affection during non-instructional time.
- Teen dating violence, as described in Board Policy 5470.
- Causing or attempting to cause damage to, or stealing or attempting to steal, school property or another person’s personal property.
- Entering school property or a school facility without proper authorization.
- In the absence of a reasonable belief that an emergency exists, calling emergency responders (such as calling 911); signaling or setting off alarms or signals indicating the presence of an emergency; or indicating the presence of a bomb or explosive device on school grounds, school bus, or at any school activity.
- Being absent without a recognized excuse; State law and School Board policy regarding truancy control will be used with chronic and habitual truants.
- Being involved with any public school fraternity, sorority, or secret society, by: (a) being a member; (b) promising to join; (c) pledging to become a member; or (d) soliciting any other person to join, promise to join, or be pledged to become a member.
- Being involved in gangs or gang-related activities, including displaying gang symbols or paraphernalia.
- Violating any criminal law, including but not limited to, assault, battery, arson, theft, gambling, eavesdropping, and hazing.
- Making an explicit threat on an Internet website against a school employee, a student, or any school-related personnel under circumstances described in Section 10-22.6(d-5) of the School Code.
- Operating an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) or drone for any purpose on school grounds or at any school event unless granted permission by the Superintendent or designee.
- Engaging in any activity, on or off campus, that interferes with, disrupts, or adversely affects the school environment, school operations, or an educational function, including but not limited to, conduct that may reasonably be considered to: (a) be a threat or an attempted intimidation of a staff member; or (b) endanger the health or safety of students, staff, or school property.
For purposes of this policy, the term “possession” includes having control, custody, or care, currently or in the past, of an object or substance, including situations in which the item is: (a) on the student’s person; (b) contained in another item belonging to, or under the control of, the student, such as in the student’s clothing, backpack, or automobile; (c) in a school’s student locker, desk, or other school property; or (d) at any location on school property or at a school-sponsored event.
Efforts, including the use of early intervention and discipline, shall be made to deter students, while at school or a school-related event, from engaging in aggressive behavior that may reasonably produce physical or psychological harm to someone else. The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that the parent/guardian of a student who engages in aggressive behavior is notified of the incident. The failure to provide such notification does not limit the Board’s authority to impose discipline, including suspension or expulsion, for such behavior.
No disciplinary action shall be taken against any student that is based totally or in part on the refusal of the student’s parent/guardian to administer or consent to the administration of psychotropic or psychostimulant medication to the student.
School officials shall limit the number and duration of expulsions and out-of-school suspensions to the greatest extent practicable, and, where practicable and reasonable, shall consider forms of non-exclusionary discipline before using out-of-school suspensions or expulsions. School personnel shall not advise or encourage students to drop out voluntarily due to behavioral or academic difficulties. Potential disciplinary measures include, without limitation, any of the following:
- Disciplinary conference.
- Notifying parent(s)/guardian(s).
- Temporary removal from the classroom.
- Withholding of privileges.
- Seizure of contraband; confiscation and temporary retention of personal property that was used to violate this policy or school disciplinary rules.
- Suspension from school and all school activities for up to 10 days, provided that appropriate procedures are followed. A suspended student is prohibited from being on school grounds.
- Suspension of bus riding privileges, provided that appropriate procedures are followed.
- Expulsion from school and all school-sponsored activities and events for a definite time period not to exceed 2 calendar years, provided that the appropriate procedures are followed. An expelled student is prohibited from being on school grounds.
- Return of property or restitution for lost, stolen, or damaged property.
- In-school suspension. The Building Principal or designee shall ensure that the student is properly supervised.
- After-school study or Saturday study provided the student’s parent/guardian has been notified. If transportation arrangements cannot be agreed upon, an alternative disciplinary measure must be used. The student must be supervised by the detaining teacher or the Building Principal or designee.
- Transfer to an alternative program if the student is expelled or otherwise qualifies for the transfer under State law. The transfer shall be in the manner provided in Article 13A or 13B of the School Code.
- Notifying juvenile authorities or other law enforcement whenever the conduct involves criminal activity, including but not limited to, illegal drugs (controlled substances), “look-alikes,” alcohol, or weapons or in other circumstances as authorized by the reciprocal reporting agreement between the District and local law enforcement agencies.
- Community service with local public and nonprofit agencies that enhances community efforts to meet human, educational, environmental, or public safety needs. The District will not provide transportation. School administration shall use this option only as an alternative to another disciplinary measure giving the student and/or parent/guardian the choice.
The above list of disciplinary measures is a range of options that will not always be applicable in every case. In some circumstances, it may not be possible to avoid suspending or expelling a student because behavioral interventions, other than a suspension and expulsion, will not be appropriate and available, and the only reasonable and practical way to resolve the threat and/or address the disruption is a suspension or expulsion.
Corporal punishment is prohibited. Corporal punishment is defined as slapping, paddling, or prolonged maintenance of students in physically painful positions, or intentional infliction of bodily harm. Corporal punishment does not include reasonable force as needed to maintain safety for students, staff, or other persons, or for the purpose of self-defense or defense of property.
School staff members shall not use time out or physical restraints other than as permitted in 105 ILCS 5/10-20.33, State Board of Education rules, and procedures developed by the Superintendent. Time out and physical restraints shall not be used to discipline or punish a student.
A student who is determined to have brought one of the following objects to school, any school-sponsored activity or event, or any activity or event that bears a reasonable relationship to school shall be expelled for a period of at least one calendar year but not more than 2 calendar years:
- A firearm, meaning any gun, rifle, shotgun, or weapon as defined by Section 921 of Title 18 of the United States Code (18 U.S.C. § 921), firearm as defined in Section 1.1 of the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act (430 ILCS 65/), or firearm as defined in Section 24-1 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (720 ILCS 5/24‑1).
- A knife, brass knuckles, or other knuckle weapon regardless of its composition, a billy club, or any other object if used or attempted to be used to cause bodily harm, including “look alikes” of any firearm as defined above.
The expulsion requirement under either paragraph 1 or 2 above may be modified by the Superintendent, and the Superintendent’s determination may be modified by the Board on a case-by-case basis. The Superintendent or designee may grant an exception to this policy, upon the prior request of an adult supervisor, for students in theatre, cooking, ROTC, martial arts, and similar programs, whether or not school-sponsored, provided the item is not equipped, nor intended, to do bodily harm.
This policy’s prohibitions concerning weapons apply regardless of whether: (1) a student is licensed to carry a concealed firearm, or (2) the Board permits visitors, who are licensed to carry a concealed firearm, to store a firearm in a locked vehicle in a school parking area.
Re-Engagement of Returning Students
The Superintendent or designee shall maintain a process to facilitate the re-engagement of students who are returning from an out-of-school suspension, expulsion, or an alternative school setting. The goal of re-engagement shall be to support the student’s ability to be successful in school following a period of exclusionary discipline and shall include the opportunity for students who have been suspended to complete or make up work for equivalent academic credit.
A school staff member shall immediately notify the office of the Building Principal in the event that he or she: (1) observes any person in possession of a firearm on or around school grounds; however, such action may be delayed if immediate notice would endanger students under his or her supervision,
(2) observes or has reason to suspect that any person on school grounds is or was involved in a drug-related incident, or (3) observes a battery committed against any staff member. Upon receiving such a report, the Building Principal or designee shall immediately notify the local law enforcement agency, State Police, and any involved student’s parent/guardian. “School grounds” includes modes of transportation to school activities and any public way within 1000 feet of the school, as well as school property itself.
Delegation of Authority
Each teacher, and any other school personnel when students are under his or her charge, is authorized to impose any disciplinary measure, other than suspension, expulsion, corporal punishment, or in-school suspension, that is appropriate and in accordance with the policies and rules on student discipline. Teachers, other certificated educational employees, and other persons providing a related service for or with respect to a student, may use reasonable force as needed to maintain safety for other students, school personnel, or other persons, or for the purpose of self-defense or defense of property. Teachers may temporarily remove students from a classroom for disruptive behavior.
The Superintendent, Building Principal, Assistant Building Principal, or Dean of Students is authorized to impose the same disciplinary measures as teachers and may suspend students guilty of gross disobedience or misconduct from school (including all school functions) and from riding the school bus, up to 10 consecutive school days, provided the appropriate procedures are followed. The Board may suspend a student from riding the bus in excess of 10 school days for safety reasons.
The Superintendent, with input from the parent-teacher advisory committee, shall prepare disciplinary rules implementing the District’s disciplinary policies. These disciplinary rules shall be presented annually to the Board for its review and approval.
A student handbook, including the District disciplinary policies and rules, shall be distributed to the students’ parents/guardians within 15 days of the beginning of the school year or a student’s enrollment.