School Conduct and Discipline

Safe Schools

Each student and staff member is entitled to a safe learning environment.  To ensure that safe environment, school security and the safety of students and school employees is reviewed on a regular basis.  Each building has cooperated with local law enforcement officials to establish procedures at the building level which limit building access during the school day and identify visitors and staff members.  Batavia Schools, in compliance with federal and state laws as well as local expectations, maintains a zero tolerance for drugs, weapons, violence and intimidation.  Students found in violation of district policies in any of these areas shall be disciplined on an individual basis by such measures as counseling, loss of privileges, after school detention, suspension or expulsion.

All visitors must sign a visitors’ log, provide identification, wear a visitor’s badge and receive permission to remain on school property. When leaving the school, visitors must return their badge and identification will be returned. On those occasions when large groups of visitors will be attending an event during a school day, visitors must follow school officials’ requirements for checking into the building.  Persons on school property without permission will be directed to leave and may be subject to criminal prosecution.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

PBIS is a research-based systems approach designed to enhance the capacity of schools to effectively educate all students, including students with challenging social behaviors.  Through the effective use of PBIS, schools adopt and sustain the use of effective instructional practices.  All six of the Batavia Public Schools elementary schools have developed a PBIS school-wide system that provides support to create and maintain safe learning environments where teachers can teach and students can learn.

CORE Practices of PBIS

  • Define – school-wide behavior expectations
  • Teach/Pre-correct – using cool tools (behavior lesson plans with direct instruction) and in the moment reminders
  • Model/Practice – adults model and practice expected behaviors; students practice expected behaviors
  • Acknowledge – recognition system with daily recognition and weekly, monthly, and whole school celebrations
  • Re-teach – the expected behaviors using cool tools to have students practice the behaviors.

(Illinois PBIS Network, 2008-2009)

PBIS addresses the Social Emotional Learning Standards

  • Develop self-awareness and self-management skills to achieve school and life success
  • Use social-awareness and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain positive relationships
  • Demonstrate decision-making skills and responsible behaviors in personal, school, and community contexts

(www.isbe.net)

Student Discipline  

Discipline is a means of fostering the growth of students toward maturity and responsibility.  The educational environment of the District will be such that the administration and teachers will demonstrate fair, just and flexible attitudes and disciplinary efforts toward all District students.

The primary objective of the Batavia Public School’s student discipline policy is to continue a responsible and orderly environment in which learning can be maximized.  Any disciplinary action taken must have as its aim correction, rather than punishment.

Teachers and other employees will maintain discipline in the schools. In all matters relating to the discipline in and conduct of the schools and the children, they stand in the role of parents and guardians to the pupils.  This relationship and authority will extend to all activities connected with the school program and discipline may be exercised at any time for the safety and supervision of the pupils in the absence of their parents or guardians.

In taking disciplinary action, staff members will exercise their best professional judgment and will observe all applicable laws and regulations.  Disciplinary action will be applied in a consistent and non-discriminatory manner.   Minor behavioral problems should be handled by the classroom teacher or adult supervisor.  Major behavioral problems should be referred to the building principal and, at the discretion of the principal, parental contact will be made as directed by Board of Education Policy 7:190.

Student Discipline Reform–Senate Bill 100 information regarding the disciplinary exclusion (suspension and expulsion) of students from school (Public Act 99-0456). For further information, visit SB100.

Student Removal from the Classroom

A teacher may temporarily remove a student from class for disruptive behavior generally only after first using less severe disciplinary measures to correct the behavior problem. The length of the removal from class will be determined in consultation with the principal.  Any student removed from class by a teacher must be provided supervision and the teacher must not, in removing a student from class, leave the remainder of the class unsupervised.

Isolated time out and physical restraint shall be used only as a means of maintaining discipline in schools, that is, as a means of maintaining a safe and orderly environment for learning and only to the extent that they are necessary to preserve the safety of students and others. Neither isolated time out nor physical restraint shall be used in administering discipline to individual students, i.e., as a form of punishment. The use of isolated time out and physical restraint by any staff member shall comply with the Illinois State of Education rules, Section 1.285, “Requirements for the Use of Isolated Time Out and Physical Restraint “and Board Policy 7:190. Restraint may be administered as a last resort when other methods have failed to produce the desired results or as needed for the safety of individuals.  Corporal punishment will not be utilized as a disciplinary measure.

Except in situations where it is determined that physical or emotional safety of individuals or the learning environment is an immediate concern, a student must be advised of the misconduct which may result in removal from class, suspension or other severe disciplinary action and given an opportunity to respond to the charges of misconduct and the proposed disciplinary action before a final decision is made.  If the student denies the misconduct he or she will be advised of the basis for the teacher’s or administrator’s belief that the misconduct occurred and given an additional opportunity to respond.  Parents/guardians will be actively involved in remediation of the student’s behavior(s) of concern. This includes ensuring that all parents/guardians are notified, as required by State law, whenever their child engages in aggressive behavior.

Search of School Property

To maintain order and security in the schools, school authorities are authorized to conduct reasonable searches of school property and equipment, as well as of students and their personal effects. “School authorities” includes school liaison police officers.    

School Property and Equipment

School authorities may inspect and search school property and equipment owned or controlled by the school (such as lockers, desks, and parking lots), as well as personal effects left there by a student, without notice to or the consent of the student. Students have no reasonable expectation of privacy in these places or areas or in their personal effects left there. In addition, Building Principals shall require each high school student, in return for the privilege of parking on school property, to consent in writing to school searches of his or her vehicle, and personal effects therein, without notice and without suspicion of wrongdoing.   

The Superintendent or designee may request the assistance of law enforcement officials to conduct inspections and searches of lockers, desks, parking lots, and other school property and equipment for illegal drugs, weapons, or other illegal or dangerous substances or materials, including searches conducted through the use of specially trained dogs.  

Notification of Discipline Policies and Procedures

The Superintendent has established procedures: (1) to furnish a summary of the Board’s policies on student discipline to the parent or guardian of each student within fifteen days after the beginning of the school term or within fifteen days after a transfer student starts school during the school term; and (2) to inform students of the contents of the Board’s student discipline policies.

The Superintendent will appoint a parent-teacher advisory committee composed of at least one parent representative from each level, one teacher representative from each level, a principal from each level and the Associate Superintendent, who will chair the committee. The committee will meet at least annually and submit recommendations with respect to policy guidelines on student discipline to the Board on or before the close of each school term.

Under the direction of the Superintendent, school personnel will establish, regularly review and revise, if necessary, procedures for implementing the School Board’s disciplinary policies.

Due Process Procedure

In disciplinary cases where a student is removed from school for a day or longer (out-of-school suspension), the district affords a due process appeal procedure. The student shall be informed of the charges and have the right to respond. Upon request of the parents or guardian, an appeal of the suspension may be made to the principal of the school. If the parents or guardian do not feel that a satisfactory resolution has occurred at the school building level, the parents or guardian may request a hearing at the district level. Upon receipt of this request, the School Board shall conduct a hearing or a hearing officer appointed by it to review the suspension. At the hearing, the parents or guardian of the student may appear and discuss the suspension with the Board or its hearing officer. If a hearing officer is appointed by the Board, he shall report to the Board a written summary of the evidence heard at the meeting. After its hearing or upon receipt of the report of the hearing officer, the Board may take such action as it finds appropriate.

A student whose presence poses a continuing danger to persons or property, or poses an ongoing threat or disruption to the academic process, may be immediately removed from school. In such cases, the requirements of due process proceeding will follow as soon as possible.

NOTE: The above procedures do not guarantee protection of privileges such as participating in extra-curricular activities, including athletics.

Harassment, Bullying, and Weapons

A safe school environment includes the right of students and staff to be safe from threats to their person. Therefore, the use of inappropriate language or behavior (including oral, written or electronic) that harasses, intimidates, or humiliates another person on the basis of color, race, gender, religion, creed, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation or other protected group status is absolutely forbidden.  Students who believe they have been a victim of harassment/bullying, or have witnessed an act of harassment/bullying should report the incident to their teacher, principal or school employee. That person must then report it to the school principal. Upon receiving a complaint the principal shall promptly review the incident and initiate appropriate investigations and/or referrals as needed.

No person, including a District employee or agent, or student, shall harass, intimidate, haze, or bully another student based upon a student’s sex, color, race, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, or other protected group status. The District will not tolerate harassing, intimidating conduct, or bullying whether verbal, physical, or visual, that affects tangible benefits of education, that unreasonably interferes with a student’s educational performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment. Examples of prohibited conduct include name-calling, using derogatory slurs, causing psychological harm, threatening or causing physical harm, [electronic and cyber bullying,]  or wearing or possessing items depicting or implying hatred or prejudice of one of the characteristics stated above.

Sexual Harassment Prohibited

Sexual harassment of students is prohibited. Any person, including a district employee or agent, or student, engages in sexual harassment whenever he or she makes sexual advances, requests sexual favors, and engages in other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or sex-based nature, imposed on the basis of sex, that:

  1. denies or limits the provision of educational aid, benefits, services, or treatment; or that makes such conduct a condition of a student’s academic status; or
  2. has the purpose or effect of:
    1. substantially interfering with a student’s educational environment;
    2. creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment;
    3. depriving a student of educational aid, benefits, services, or treatment; or
    4. making submission to or rejection of such conduct the basis for academic decisions affecting a student.

The terms “intimidating,” “hostile,” and “offensive” include conduct that has the effect of humiliation, embarrassment, or discomfort. Examples of sexual harassment include touching, crude jokes or pictures, discussions of sexual experiences, teasing related to sexual characteristics, and spreading rumors related to a person’s alleged sexual activities.

Students who believe they are victims of sexual harassment or have witnessed sexual harassment, are encouraged to discuss the matter with the student Nondiscrimination Coordinator, Building Principal, Assistant Building Principal, Dean of Students, or a Complaint Manager. Students may choose to report to a person of the student’s same sex. Complaints will be kept confidential to the extent possible given the need to investigate. Students who make good faith complaints will not be disciplined.

Explosives, Firearms or Other Dangerous Weapons or Instruments

Possession or use of explosives, firearms, or other dangerous weapons or instruments is prohibited on school buses, in school buildings and on school grounds at all times. Students violating these policies shall be disciplined by the building administrator on an individual basis which could include measures such as counseling, parental notification, loss of privileges, suspension or expulsion.  

Other Behavioral Infractions

Information regarding the discipline of other behavioral infractions can be found in Board Policy 7:190.