BLMS strives to create a safe school that is based on mutual respect and tolerance for individual differences. In accordance with this goal, bullying is considered a very serious offense at our school. The staff and administration will address incidents regarding bullying and disciplinary action will be applied accordingly.
The consequences for bullying include but are not limited to:
The consequence will be based on the nature and frequency of the behavior and on the student’s disciplinary record.
Academic integrity can be defined as a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, truthfulness, fairness, respect and responsibility (Center of academic integrity, 1999). Academic honesty is required at all times as it promotes learning; dishonesty impairs it. Students must avoid all forms of academic dishonesty including cheating, copying, giving answers, plagiarism (taking credit for the work of others), false authorship, misuse of technology and theft or pre-examination of assessments.
Please see the Academic Honesty page (second from the last page of the student agenda) for the statement of understanding.
BLMS is a smoke free environment. Students are not permitted to smoke on school grounds or at school sponsored functions. Adults who work or visit the campus are expected to refrain from smoking while on school grounds.
Students using the school food service are expected to wait their turn in line, eat/use cafeteria by remaining seated and following staff instructions, enter the cafeteria for lunch during their designated lunch period only, pick up after themselves, and ensure tables/floors are clean for the other students.
Students transported by bus to and from school, and on field trips and sports events, are expected to behave on the bus in the same manner as in the classroom. If a student is reported to the office by the driver for misconduct, the referral will be treated as if the misconduct had occurred in school.
According to the student code of conduct, a responsible student should strive to provide a clean and healthy environment by conserving our natural resources. In order to achieve this, students should be aware of and participate in recycling programs, both at school and in the community.
Electronic devices (such as cell phones and portable music players) are not allowed to be used except for educational purposes when directed by teachers for a specific activity. Listening to music in class does not qualify as an "educational" purpose. Cameras and cell phone cameras are prohibited in all locker rooms, bathrooms and other areas with an expectation of privacy. If misused, electronic devices will be confiscated:
1st offense: confiscated and secured for 1 day, rule outlined for student, item released the following day.
2nd offense: confiscated and secured for 3 days, rule outlined for student and parent contact made by teacher confiscating item, item released after 3 school days.
3rd and subsequent offense: item confiscated and forwarded to administration. Office referral completed, item returned via parent conference.
The administration may suspend a student for the commission of any crime, gross immorality, gross misbehavior, persistent disobedience, or the violation of district or State Board of Education policies, rules, or regulations. The administration may also suspend a student when the presence of the student is detrimental to the best interest of the district or one of its schools.
For a vast majority of students, a focus on our Mustang Path, our SABE pledge, our Student Code of Conduct, and our Safe School information will be enough to ensure proper behavior. However, students must also know that reasonable but effective consequences will be waiting if they choose not to follow the BLMS expectations.
The following behaviors are considered a serious violation of school rules and will be dealt with according to the BLMS progressive discipline code (listed below). Obviously, any severe situation could be dealt with as a fourth offense, bypassing steps 1-3.
1) Possession or use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs on school property or during a school activity
2) Possession or use on school property of any item that could endanger the welfare of others
3) Vandalism of property belonging to the school, staff, students, parents, and/or members of the BLMS community
4) Physical or verbal abuse directed at a staff member, fellow student, or member of the BLMS community (including bullying)
5) Engaging or encouraging any form of harassment or violence against a staff member, fellow student or member of the BLMS community
6) Theft of private property or property belonging to the school, staff members, fellow students or member of the BLMS community
7) Academic Dishonesty (2nd or subsequent offense, including plagiarism and cheating)
8) Possession or distribution on school property of any literature, illustrations or images which are obscene
9) Possession or distribution of any electronic images which show fighting, bullying, obscene images, or other anti-social behaviors of BLMS students (including cyber bullying)
10) Continued misconduct
The first offense will result in a one to three day suspension.
The second offense will result in a Discipline Committee meeting with the student, a one to five day suspension, and the student and parent/guardian will enter into a Behavior Contract.
The third offense will result in a Discipline Committee and the Principal meeting with the student, a three to five day suspension, and it will be made clear to the parents and student that a fourth offense could lead to expulsion from BLMS.
The fourth and subsequent offenses will result in a five to ten day suspension and a Disciplinary Committee review will make a recommendation if further disciplinary measures seem warranted. It is to be understood that a fourth or subsequent offense may be grounds for expulsion.
LEVEL IV OFFENSES
Acts considered as LEVEL IV Offenses include, but are not limited to, the following:
401. Possession, transfer or use of a firearm. (See Glossary), (PS Code 781-handguns, 782-rifles/shotguns, 783-other firearms)
402. Possession, transfer or use of a prohibited weapon other than a firearm including a knife with a blade over two inches, BB gun, paint ball gun, pellet gun, air-soft pistol, razor, razor blade, martial arts throwing star and metal knuckles. Box cutters and utility or X-Acto knives containing any size blades are also considered a violation of this section. (SC 16-23-430), (See Glossary), (PS Code 780-Weapons- Type 0)
403. Possession, transfer, distribution, use in any amount, or being under the influence of alcohol, marijuana (including marijuana seeds), hallucinogenic drugs, inhalants, or any other controlled or illegal substance. Since alcohol consumption is illegal by minors, consumption of any amount of alcohol will constitute a violation of this section. This includes being present on District/school property or at any school-sponsored event after using any amount of these substances (See Note 2), (See Glossary), (PS Code 580 – drug possession, 570-drug distribution 7-Intoxicated)
Note 1: In determining whether a student is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the student's appearance, /manner, behavior and or the presence of an alcohol odor, as well as statements made by the student as to consumption of alcohol or drugs will be considered. (PS Code 570 – Drug distribution/ 580- Drug possession, 680- Liquor law violation)
404. Sexual assault. (See Glossary), (PS Code 610- Forced sex offense, 690 Non-forced sex offenses)
405. Assault of a staff member or any other adult designated by the school to supervise students, including volunteers. (See Glossary) (PS Code 510 Aggravated Assault, 520-Simple Assault)
406. Arson, which is the intentional damage of school property, or attempted arson of school property. (See Glossary) (PS Code 500-Arson)
407. Communicating, writing, threatening, or transmitting to a person or school facility that there is, or will be, a destructive device, bomb, shooting, or dangerous event, with the intent of intimidating, threatening, or interfering with government functions or school activities; or, harboring one who is guilty of this offense. (PS Code 260 – Bomb Threat)
408. Possession or transfer of dangerous explosives, plastic explosives, or chemical reaction-type and pipe bomb materials including, but not limited to, Molotov cocktails and dynamite. (PS Code 390-Unauthorized Device, 700-Other Offenses, 780-Weapons- Type 0)
409. Active participation in an act of mob violence, to include lynching. A mob is described as two or more people. (See Glossary), (PS Code 510- Aggravated Assault, 1-Fighting)
410. Unauthorized tampering with security, fire, access control or surveillance system or alarms. (PS Code 350-Fire Alarm)
411. Participating in sexual conduct/activity, which also includes compromising situations and circumstances. Such conduct may involve only the individual student or may involve other people. (PS Code 690 Non-forced sex offenses, 610-Forced sex offense, 720-Prostitution)
CONSEQUENCES FOR STUDENTS WHO COMMIT A LEVEL IV OFFENSE WILL BE AS FOLLOWS:
A. Student will be suspended from school immediately with a recommendation for expulsion from school.
B. Whenever these offenses are committed, law enforcement will be called and charges (juvenile petition or warrant) will be filed against the perpetrator. Although in some cases, law enforcement’s decision whether to press criminal charges for weapons or drugs may require possession of that item on the person, in all such cases the school administrator will still contact law enforcement and file an incident report.
C. When these offenses are committed on a school bus or other school vehicle, the Transportation Department will conduct a preliminary investigation and report their findings to the appropriate school administrator for action. Students who are suspended out-of-school immediately forfeit the opportunity to ride the school bus or other District vehicle for the duration of the suspension or until a decision is made otherwise by the principal or the Hearing Officer.
D. Restitution of property and damages where appropriate will be sought by the school or District.
E. High school students who commit alcohol, drug, or sexually related violations will be referred to an appropriate counseling program. Failure to successfully complete an approved counseling program may result in additional disciplinary action. Alternative 8-10 week alcohol and other drug programs must be approved by the District Hearing Officer.
F. Students who are expelled for possession of a firearm will be subject to the 1995 Federal and State laws that mandate a one year (365 days) expulsion term, unless the Superintendent determines to reduce the term of expulsion. (See 59-63-235).
LAW ENFORCEMENT INVOLVEMENT
All Level IV Offenses will involve law enforcement.
CONSEQUENCES FOR STUDENTS WHO COMMIT A LEVEL IV OFFENSE ON THE BUS OR IN A SCHOOL VEHICLE WILL BE AS FOLLOWS:
Immediate and indefinite suspension from the school bus or other school vehicles including activity buses.
No student will be suspended or expelled without due process of law.
Investigation of Misbehavior
When it appears a student has engaged in misbehavior that warrants suspension, an administrator will investigate the matter and interview those who have knowledge of what occurred. The student will be advised, verbally or in writing, of the accusations against him or her, and the administration will provide the student with an opportunity to tell his or her side of the story. If the student requests the administrator to speak to other witnesses, the administrator will do so as practicable. After completing the investigation, the administrator will determine if a suspension is in order and the number of school days (from one to 10) the suspension should last.
Suspension is a temporary removal of a student from school property and school-sponsored or school-related activities for a violation of rules. A student may be suspended for up to 10 days for a single offense.
Limits on Suspension
A student may not be suspended for more than a total of 30 school days in one school year. An administrator may not suspend a student from school during the last 10 school days of the school year if the suspension would result in the loss of course credits unless:
• the Board approves,
• or if the student is an actual threat to the class or the school,
• or a hearing before the Hearing Officer is granted by the end of the next school day following the suspension.
Notification to Parent/Legal Guardian
By the end of the next school day following any suspension, the administrator must notify the parent/legal guardian in writing of (1) the acts committed by the student; (2) the rule(s) violated; (3) the length of the suspension; and (4) the time and place where he or she will be available to meet with the parent/legal guardian for a conference. The conference shall be set within 3 school days of the date of suspension. If the parent/legal guardian is unable to meet at the scheduled time, and upon request, the administrator will establish a mutually agreeable time for the conference.
Sending a Suspended Student Home during the School Day
When a student is suspended, the administrator will attempt to contact the parent/guardian to request he or she pick up the student from school. If a parent/legal guardian cannot come for the student, the school may take the student home, so long as the parent is at home to take charge of the student. If the administrator cannot reach the parent/legal guardian, the student must stay at school until the end of the school day. If the student is summarily suspended, she or he may be removed from the school grounds immediately. Depending upon his or her age, however, it may be necessary to keep him or her at school until the parent or legal guardian can be reached.
If, after the conference with the administrator, the parent/legal guardian believes the student’s suspension was unjustified, an appeal of the suspension may be made to the Student Services Officer. To request a suspension appeal, the parent/legal guardian must contact the Student Services Officer within 5 days after the conference with the school administrator, advising the Superintendent why it is believed the suspension was unfair. The appeal will be conducted as an informal hearing before the Superintendent or his/her designee. The administrator, parent/legal guardian and student may be present. If the Superintendent (or his/her designee) and the parent/legal guardian agree, the student may be dismissed during portions of the hearing. The parent/legal guardian, student and administrator will be allowed to address the Superintendent or his/her designee. Within 10 days of the hearing, the Superintendent or designee shall render a decision as to whether the suspension was proper. The decision will be provided in writing to the parent/legal guardian and the school. If the Superintendent/designee decides that the suspension was not proper, all absences resulting from the suspension shall be excused and the record cleared. The student will be allowed to make up all missed work. The decision of the Superintendent or his/her designee ends the appeals process for suspensions.
Missed School Work
Students who have been suspended shall be allowed to make up school work missed. In such cases, it shall be the responsibility of the student to make up the missed work within a reasonable time as specified by the school administrator.
SUSPENSION OF STUDENTS
It is the policy of this district to provide due process of law to students, parents/legal guardians and school personnel through procedures for the suspension of students pursuant to the requirements of federal law, state law and regulations and district administrative rules.
The Superintendent delegates the power of suspension to the district office administration and to the principal or his/her designee. The administration may suspend a student for the commission of any crime, gross immorality, gross misbehavior, persistent disobedience or the violation of district or state board of education policies, rules or regulations. The administration may also suspend a student when the presence of the student is detrimental to the best interest of the district or one of its schools.
A student may be suspended for any reasons listed in the student code of conduct for up to 10 school days for any one offense. Suspension means the student cannot attend school or be on district or school property cannot attend any school-related events or activities on or off campus and cannot ride a school bus.
When a student is suspended, the parents/legal guardians of the student will be notified, in writing, of the reasons for such suspension and of a time and place when the administrator who initiated the suspension is available for a conference with the parents/legal guardians. The conference will be set for within three days of the date of the suspension. After the conference, the parents/legal guardians may appeal the suspension to the Superintendent or his/her designee.
The Student Services Officer will review any suspensions that occur within the last 10 days of the school year when the suspension would make a student ineligible to receive credit for the school year, unless the presence of the student constitutes an actual threat to a class or school or unless a hearing by the District Hearing Officer is granted within 24 hours of the suspension.
SUSPENSION/ EXPULSION PROCEDURES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
“Students with Disabilities” means any student accepted into the system’s special education program under the requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
All preceding sections apply to students with disabilities with the following exceptions:
• Procedures required under the IDEA must be followed and parents must be informed of their due process rights.
• Any student identified as disabled under the IDEA can be suspended for up to ten (10) school days in a school year without requiring an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) meeting. Immediate notification of any suspensions shall be sent to the program manager.
• Suspension for more than ten (10) school days must follow specified procedures including: immediate notification to parents; an I.E.P review with a functional assessment; development of a behavior management plan; and, a Manifestation Determination Review (MDR). Students receiving special education services MUST receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). If as a direct result of disciplinary action, a special education student has not received educational services for ten (10) school days in a school year, the System will make appropriate educational services available to that student for all remaining school days that school year.
a) If the Manifestation Team determines that the student’s conduct at issue WAS NOT caused by or WAS NOT directly and substantially related to the student’s disability AND if the IEP Team finds the conduct in question WAS NOT the direct result of failure by the schools to implement the IEP then the student will be subjected to the same disciplinary actions as a non-disabled student. Special Education records including discipline records must be made available to the Disciplinary Hearing Officer. Services required under the IEP, which now includes access to the general curriculum, must continue.
b) If the Manifestation Team determines that the student’s conduct at issue WAS caused by or WAS directly and substantially related to the student’s disability OR if the IEP Team finds that the conduct in question WAS the direct result of a failure by the school to implement the IEP, the disciplinary process will continue; however, the student may not be subjected to the same discipline as non-disabled students. An IEP meeting must be held to review the current placement and discuss program changes or modifications.
ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Even if a Manifestation Team determines that the student’s conduct at issue was caused by; or was directly and substantially related to the student’s disability; or, if the IEP Team finds that the conduct in question was the direct result of a failure by the school to implement the IEP, the student may be placed in a temporary alternative educational setting for up to 45 school days if the student receiving special education services:
a) brings a weapon to school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the School District.
b) possesses, uses or sells controlled substances or illegal drugs at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the School District.
c) has caused serious bodily injury at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the School District.
The School District obtains an order from an administrative hearing officer or district court judge that provides for appropriate interim placement of the student due to a finding that maintaining the student’s current educational placement is substantially likely to result in an injury to the child or to others.
Any 45 school day alternative educational placement may be applied in addition to a preliminary placement of up to ten (10) days.
All appeals in the case of disagreement by the parent/legal guardian must comply with due process requirements of the IDEA and the state and local plan for Special Education. Students subject to a Section 504 plan will be processed as appropriate to their particular situation. All complaints under Section 504 must be directed to the School System’s 504 Coordinator.
Investigation and Action Taken by the Administrator
If a school principal or his or her designee or a District administrator investigates a report of student misbehavior and decides to recommend expulsion, the administrator will:
• suspend the student and
• notify the student’s parent/legal guardian of his or her right to meet with the administrator within 3 school days of the date of suspension.
Notice of Expulsion Recommendation
By the end of the third school day following receipt of an expulsion recommendation, the Hearing Officer or his or her designee shall notify the student and parents/legal guardian in writing of the:
1. rule(s) infraction alleged to have occurred;
2. right of the student to review his or her record, including the investigative documents the administration intends to present at the expulsion hearing;
3. right of the student to a hearing on the evidence;
4. time and place of the hearing, which must be held within 10 days of the date of notification (unless the parent/legal guardian or his/her representative agrees otherwise); and
5. procedure to be followed at the hearing, including the right to be represented by legal counsel at the students’ or parent(s)’ own expense.
Safe Schools Act - Violations must be recommended for expulsion. If, after meeting with the parent/legal guardian (or if the parent/legal guardian has not come in for a meeting by the third school day), the administrator still intends to recommend expulsion, the matter will be referred directly to the Hearing Officer or to other persons designated by the Superintendent. This procedure will be followed in all cases regardless of the offense.