CODE OF CONDUCT The image a school portrays is often determined by the behavior of its students and the physical appearance of the building. A commitment to positive student behavior is essential for effective learning. Your attitudes and behaviors are directly related to your school experience and that of your classmates. We must all - students, teachers, administrators, parents and community members - show pride by doing our share to make Strough Middle School a better place in which to learn and work. The following rules apply while on school premises, school buses or any other school property during school activities at or away from school, or off the school grounds is the situation is initiated at school. Students shall be given due process before a disciplinary action is taken. Any student conduct that would constitute criminal conduct under the New York State Revised Code is also a violation of the Code of Conduct. The rules also apply to any form of student misconduct directed at a district official or employee or the property of a district official or employee, at any place, at any time. A VIOLATION OF ANY RULE MAY RESULT IN DISCIPLINARY ACTION INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO: • After-school or lunch detention • In-school suspension (ISS) • Referral to (IRT, Pre-Pins, Pins Petition, Court) • Expulsion • Compensatory payment of damages • Loss of bus privileges • Loss of credit for assigned work or tests • Assigned work related to the offense • Suspension Alternative Program (SAP) • Functional Behavior Assessment • Behavior Intervention Plan Notice to students: The use of video surveillance equipment may be used in the investigation of violations of the Code of Conduct. Students may receive discipline as a result of what is recorded. Disruption of School Students shall not, by the use of violence, force, coercion, threat or any other means, cause disruption or obstruction to the normal operation of this school or any other school or school district. Harassment Students shall not harass other students, school employees, persons that are guests of the school or persons conducting business for the school. This category also applies to remarks or actions of a sexual, racial, ethnic or religious nature that are deemed offensive. Threats
Students shall not, through verbal, written, technological or any other means, make statements that state physical or emotional harm may come to another person or to an institution. Bomb threats will result in expulsion from school. Use of Obscene Language/Materials Students shall not use obscene, vulgar or profane language, make inappropriate gestures or possess vulgar materials. Attendance No student shall fail to comply with state attendance laws including, but not limited to, truancy or tardiness from a specific class or school. No student shall leave school property or an assigned educational location once he or she has come under the supervision of a school employee, prior to specified dismissal times, without official permission. Forgery Students shall not misrepresent a signature on any document. Damage of Property Students shall not cause or attempt to cause damage of school property, including buses and bus seats, or personal property. Students shall not touch or handle another personâ€™s property without their authorization. Students must pay for any damages they cause to school equipment, materials or facilities and may be subject to additional disciplinary action. Assault Students shall not act or threaten to act in such a way as to cause physical injury to other students, any school employee or other persons. Failure to Obey Instructions/Insubordination/Disrespect No student shall fail to comply with any lawful instructions or requests of teachers, student teachers, principals or other authorized personnel during any period of time when he or she is properly under the authority of such school personnel. No student shall fail to provide information, or supply false information, when it is requested. Dangerous Weapons and Instruments Students shall not possess, handle, transmit or conceal any dangerous weapon or instrument on school property, in a school vehicle or at any school-sponsored activity. Board policy requires that building administrators recommend the expulsion of students in violation of said policy. Firearms (including starter pistols), objects that are indistinguishable from and/or represented as firearms, explosives, incendiary devices and knives (any object with a blade and a handle) are considered dangerous weapons. Other instruments/devices may also be defined as dangerous weapons depending on their use or intended use. Should a student have knowledge of a weapon or dangerous instrument on school property, in a school vehicle or at a school-sponsored activity and not report it to a school employee, the student may be held to the same disciplinary measures as that of the perpetrator. Narcotics, Alcoholic Beverages and Drugs Students shall not possess, use, transmit, conceal, make arrangements to sell or purchase, or use the aforementioned items immediately prior to or during school or at school functions. Look-alike drugs and drug paraphernalia are included and will be dealt with accordingly. No pacifiers. No fluorescent tubes. Tobacco
Tobacco, in any form, shall not be carried or used by any student on school property or at school events, home or away. Paraphernalia used for the consumption of tobacco products is prohibited. Student smoking is forbidden in the school building, on the school grounds, and on school buses. Cigarettes and matches or lighters found in possession of students will be confiscated. Discipline will be enforced according to the Code. Theft Students shall respect the personal ownership rights of others. The principal may exercise the prerogative of reporting thefts to local authorities. Cheating/Plagiarism Students shall not give or receive unauthorized information regarding class work or class activities, misrepresent the results of researched or laboratory assignments, or give or receive unauthorized assistance on assignments. Use of electronic translators without permission is a violation of this rule. Repeated violations may result in failure of academic subjects. Inappropriate Display of Affection Students shall refrain from displays of affection. Students are not to hold hands, hug, kiss or demonstrate other similar acts of affection. In unusual circumstances involving sorrow or extreme joy, hugging is natural and acceptable. Unauthorized or Unsupervised Areas Students may not be in areas for which they have not been authorized or areas that are unsupervised. Hazing (Initiations) Initiations of any sort are prohibited. Initiations and/or hazing are those activities into which students are coerced in order to become part of a group or activity or to avoid harm. Computers Computers/technology is provided for student use for teacher-assigned work in courses or programs at the middle school. (See Computer Usage policy). Violations of Bus Rules Transportation that is provided to students should be greatly respected. Responsible behavior is expected at all times, especially when it involves the safe operation of the vehicle. Unsafe actions such as throwing things, smoking, fighting, throwing things out of the window, excessive noise, standing and walking around, etc., will not be tolerated. These are things that put all other students in danger. Students must get off the bus only at his/her designated stop unless permission has been granted otherwise. Please follow all the procedures that your bus driver will request. The bus driver is always in charge of the bus, so please follow his/her request. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE AND COMMON SENSE RULES WILL RESULT IN BUS SUSPENSIONS. Misconduct on School Bus • Excessive noise • Pushing, shoving, fighting • Distracting driver • Use of vulgarity • Abusive behavior
• Stealing property of others • Defamation of individual or groups • Discrimination, harassment/bullying – ridiculing & demeaning, intimidation. Hazing (intentional or reckless) • Sell, use, possess or download obscene materials, use vulgar or abusive language, cursing, swearing, possessing. • Selling, distributing, exchanging or smoking a cigarette, cigar, pipe or using chewing or smokeless tobacco, possessing, consuming, selling, distributing or exchanging alcohol, illegal substances or being under influence [illegal = but not limited to: inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-alike drugs, designer drugs], inappropriate use or sharing prescription or over the counter drugs. • Gambling • Indecent exposure • Initiating a report of fire, bomb threat, or other catastrophe without valid cause. If a student or parent has a complaint or issue that they would like to discuss, please call the Birnie Bus Transportation Department at 336-3950. General Misconduct Students shall refrain from throwing objects, playing cards, or being abusive or excessively noisy in their behavior. Respect the rights and feelings of others. Gross Misconduct Repeated violations of the Code of Conduct. Other violations not covered in the above rules. Court Referral Referral to the Oneida County Juvenile Court may be used when other disciplinary actions have not been effective. The two most common reasons for referral are truancy and unruliness. The parents will receive a warning notice that students are going to be referred and a notice when they are referred. Dress Code Philosophy The Rome City School District is committed to providing a safe, friendly learning environment for its students. Of paramount importance in this dress code is the health and safety of the students and the avoidance of distractions to the educational process. Attire is not only a reflection of the individual student but also of the general learning environment. Therefore, students have the responsibility to wear clothing that projects a positive attitude of pride in self, school and the community. Students are required to wear appropriate, comfortable and safe clothing that is neat, clean and in good taste. Purpose The purpose of the school dress code is to establish standards for what is acceptable dress and grooming within the school setting with particular concern for the health and safety of the students. In addition, the code is designed to encourage a mode of dress and grooming which is conducive to establishing a climate for teaching and learning. No article of clothing shall be worn that distracts from the educational process. Rome City School District views the Dress Code as a serious issue and expects parents to promote the observance of this policy. Building administrators have the final decision as to the appropriateness of all clothing and attire. Following are the guidelines for the students: The following items of clothing shall not be permitted:
• Vulgar, illegal, (including alcohol, drugs, tobacco), and/or sexually oriented statements or suggestions on clothing are not permitted. Any dress or statement that may cause a hostile, intimidating, degrading, offensive, harassing or discriminatory environment is prohibited. • Hats, bandanas and other head coverings will not be permitted to be worn inside the school building unless approved by a principal, a physician and/or the school nurse. • Chains and/or studded accessories are prohibited and will be confiscated until the end of the school year. Accessories that increase a student’s risk for accidents, including key chains on book bags, are not permitted. Gang paraphernalia, jewelry, tattoos, and/or other insignia are not allowed. • Shorts and skirts will have hems and will be no shorter than middle of the thigh. Students will be asked to put their hands to their sides, and if their finger tips fall past the garment, they will be asked to change. Shirts and tops will be no lower than one inch below the collarbone, must follow the three finger wide rule at the shoulders. The shirt must be long enough to be tucked in. Low cut tops, seethrough clothing, tank tops, spaghetti straps and shorts or skirts shorter than the middle of the thigh are examples of styles that are considered unacceptable for students. Bare midriffs and bare sides should not show even when arms are extended above the head. • See-through clothing and clothing that has excessive rips, tears or holes is not permitted. All undergarments are to be covered. • Clothes shall be worn as they are designed - suspenders over the shoulders, pants secured at the waist, belts buckled, no underwear will be worn as outerwear, and no underwear will be exposed at any time. Oversized clothing, which compromises the safety of students, is not permitted. Clothing that touches the floor is not permitted. • Appropriate and safe shoes or sandals will be worn at all times. • Long or oversized coats, hats, gloves, scarves, outer garments are to be worn to and from school only and must be placed in student lockers. • All pre-approved spirit wear is acceptable on game days. • Some school programs, such as technology, laboratory activities, physical education and interscholastic athletics may require special hair care, clothing, footwear or restrictions on jewelry to ensure the health and safety of all students. • Students will not be permitted to carry book bags, backpacks, messenger bags, and other large bags that are used to carry books and supplies during the school day. These bags are to be stored in the student lockers during the school day. Miscellaneous In situations wherein health and/or safety factors become critical, temporary modifications of the dress code may be necessary and will be established before the activity by the classroom teacher and/or building administrator. NOTE: In all instances, the building administrator shall be the final arbiter of the school dress code. Failure to comply with the Dress Code guidelines is considered to be an insubordinate act and will be treated as such. Building administrators have the final decision as to the appropriateness of all clothing and related issues. Following are the procedures for violations of the Strough Middle School Dress •
First Offense: Student will be sent to the School Office. Student will change accessories will be confiscated, parent contact. Any classes or work missed cannot be made up and will be treated as an unexcused absence. • Second Offense: Same as first offense. In addition, the student will be assigned (2) two days of lunch detention, Parents will be contacted. • Third Offense: Same as first and second offense. In addition, the student will be assigned to In School Suspension, parent conference to correct behavior. • Further Offenses: The student may be suspended from school.
Suspension/Expulsion The Board of Education recognizes that circumstances will exist wherein a student must be disciplined in a manner to include suspension and/or expulsion. The provisions for such action are outlined in Board of Education Policy and are in compliance with New York Statues 3214:2-(A) (B). This policy embodies loss of privileges as part of the discipline procedures. Search and Seizure All student handbooks shall carry a note that “LOCKERS are school property and therefore subject to search by school administration” at any time. Searches conducted of students’ lockers or vehicles must be warranted by “reasonable suspicion”. “Reasonable Suspicion” shall mean suspicion based on statements of concern by staff or students, and physical condition or behavior or a suspicious nature, which includes possible substance use or possession. Search of a “cursory” nature may be conducted, including a visual inspection and request that students empty pockets, purses, and other belongings. Students refusing to cooperate in “searches” will have their parent/guardian contacted immediately to inform them of the student’s refusal to cooperate, stressing possible police involvement in the incident. Basic School Rules and Regulations Changing Classes When the bell rings at the end of each period, students are to await permission from the teacher before the assign to their next class. Hall Traffic Students are expected to pass to their classes in an orderly, safe manner. Running and/or horseplay are not permitted and such actions are subject to disciplinary consequences. Once students have reached their classroom, they are to enter the room and remain there until the start of class. No student is to be permitted out of his/her seat after final bell. Radios/CD Players/Cameras/MP3 Players/Electronics Gameboy/Cell Phones/Skateboards/ Rollerblades/ Scooters/Heelys Any and all electronic and/or music devices must be turned off and put away in lockers prior to the start of homeroom. Any devices not stored and kept in locker will be confiscated. Any and all skateboards, rollerblades, heelys, cell phones and/or scooters brought to school will be confiscated and returned only to a parent or guardian. Any other objects that interfere with classroom learning will be turned over to the Vice-Principal. Parents will need to make arrangements to pick up such items from the office. Any cell phones confiscated will only be returned to the parent/guardian unless other arrangements are made by administration. Leaving the Building without Permission Do not leave the school or any assigned area\period during the school day without permission of the teacher or principal. Leaving the building without permission is a serious violation of school rules and the code of conduct. Returning to school will not be permitted except through the principal and/or Vice Principal’s office, accompanied by one or both parents or guardian. Makeup work and/or tests missed during this time will not be allowed.
Locker Passes ARE NOT PERMITTED Textbooks Once a book is given to you, you will be responsible for it. If it’s lost, damaged or misused, you will be expected to pay for it. Remember to check lost and found for any items you may have misplaced or lost. In case of a withdrawal from school, you must return all books to the teachers who issued them. School Lockers NOTE: Lockers are supplied as a convenience to students. School officials, however, reserve the right to inspect student lockers. Students should have no expectations that their lockers will not be opened for inspection. Your locker should be locked when not in use. Do not set the lock so that turning the last number will open it. Secure it properly in its intended slot. Your locker must remain neat, organized and orderly at all times, ready for inspection. Do not force your lock or mutilate it at any time. Report any defects to staff members. Know your combination and keep it to yourself. Immediate disciplinary action will be taken against anyone caught opening another student’s locker. You will be required to remove any non-school issued lock. * Students are issued one (1) school locker and one (1) PE locker. Any student caught with any additional lockers will be handed a discipline. Students may go to their lockers before homeroom, before and after lunch periods, between bells and after school. Students found at their lockers at any other time will be subject to disciplinary actions. Teachers will not issue locker passes. It is your responsibility to be prepared for class with the proper books and homework. “Forgotten” items may not be retrieved during the class. School Property The appearance of your school grounds and corridors reflects upon the entire school, particularly the students. All waste paper is to be placed in the receptacles provided for that purpose. Marking or marring doors, walls, floors, lockers, desks or any other school property is prohibited. Students caught defacing school property will be subject to disciplinary action and parents will be held liable. (See Discipline Code) Cafeteria Privileges and Procedures Strough Middle School provides a hot and cold lunch as well as a hot breakfast program. Each student is expected to conscientiously follow each of the following rules and regulations posted throughout the cafeteria. Any violations of the rules regarding cafeteria etiquette will result in the loss of privilege of eating in the cafeteria. In order to maintain a pleasant mealtime atmosphere, it is necessary for students to conduct themselves in a quiet orderly manner. • Enter the cafeteria through designated entrances. • As you enter, please be seated and wait until your table is called. • You must remain seated at your table except when getting food or taking a tray back. • When leaving, check area for cleanliness, push in chair and wait to be released.
• NO FOOD is to be taken outside of the cafeteria. (Exception - Structured Lunch) • Students are not permitted to sell food of any kind during the hours of 7:29 am to 2:00 pm. The Discipline Code Discipline is a systematic control necessary to create a safe and healthy environment conducive to learning. Thus, the following section addresses infractions and subsequent consequences at Strough Middle School. In addition, the Code of Conduct (Save Legislation) Student Behavior Handbook regulations will be enforced. Why do we need a Code of Conduct? Project SAVE (Safe Schools against Violence in Education) is a New York State law that requires school districts to develop an expanded code of conduct in collaboration with students, parents, teachers, administrators and other school personnel. It became effective on July 24, 2000. Some highlights of Project SAVE are: • Maintaining appropriate behavior within a school is essential to the instructional process. • The District acknowledges that this is a cooperative effort that involves the student, teacher, the administrator and the parents. • Effective discipline is a student’s demonstration of, and responsibility for, socially appropriate behavior in a variety of school community real life situations. Character & civility education must become part of the K-12 curriculum; each school must have a comprehensive safety plan and a safety team; Teachers may remove a student from class for one or two days in accordance with a specific process and all prospective employees must be fingerprinted. What is the purpose of the Code of Conduct? School districts must adopt a Code of Conduct for the maintenance and enforcement of order on school property, including school functions. Who is governed by the Code of Conduct? The code governs the conduct of students, teachers, and other school personnel, as well as visitors.