Code of Conduct Philosophy

Positive conduct is a goal for every student at Leicester Middle School. Achieving this goal requires continuing teamwork among students, staff and parents. The LMS discipline policy is based on our school’s Core Values and the expectation that ALL students are accountable for and capable of following rules of conduct and courtesy when given proper guidance, support and appropriate consequences. Leicester Middle School believes in showing Kindness, Achievement, Responsibility and Respect (KARR).  It is the responsibility of every student to help ensure that LMS maintains a safe and orderly learning environment that focuses on success for all students in their academic, physical and social development. A variety of options are available to the staff and administration to correct inappropriate behavior. School consequences have progressive levels of intervention that are based on the severity of student misconduct and/or continued poor choices and behavior.


A. Student Discipline


Please click HERE to view the School Committee Policy for Student Discipline


B. Student Code of Conduct (6-12)


Please click HERE to view the School Committee Policy for the Student Code of Conduct.  Leicester Middle School will follow the following rubric for consequences.




Classroom Managed


Behavior

Definition

1st Occurrence

2nd Occurrence

3rd Occurrence

Disrespect

Failure to respond to adult requests, refusal to follow directions or school expectations, talking back and/or socially rude interactions

Options: Verbal Re-direction; Discussion; Parent Contact; Take a Break; Apology; Work Completion at Another Time

Parent/Teacher/Student phone conference, Behavior Reflection

Parent/Teacher/Student conference, After school detention, Behavior Contract

Inappropriate Language

Inappropriate language, name calling, teasing

Options: Verbal Re-direction; Discussion; Parent Contact; Take a Break; Apology

Parent/Teacher/Student phone conference, Behavior Reflection

Parent/Teacher/Student conference, After school detention, Behavior Contract

Minor Disruption

Inappropriate behavior, noise with materials, horseplay, poking other students or roughhousing, etc.

Options: Verbal Re-direction; Discussion; Mandatory Parent Contact; Take a Break; Apology

Parent/Teacher/Student phone conference, Behavior Reflection

Parent/Teacher/Student conference, After school detention, Behavior Contract

Minor Theft

Taking and removing of personal or school property without permission (Ex: pencil, pen, paper, binder, etc.)

Options: Verbal Re-direction Discussion; Parent Contact; Take a Break; Apology; Restitution

Parent/Teacher/Student phone conference, Behavior Reflection, Restitution

Parent/Teacher/Student conference, After school detention, Behavior Contract

Violation of School Rules

Unsafe behaviors such as running in the hallways, talking during fire drills, not being prepared for class or school tools used inappropriately

Options: Verbal Re-direction Discussion; Parent Contact; Apology; Restitution

Parent/Teacher/Student phone conference, Behavior Reflection

Parent/Teacher/Student conference, After school detention, Behavior Contract



Office Managed


Behavior

Definition

1st Occurrence

2nd Occurrence

3rd Occurrence +

Open Defiance

Flagrant or hostile challenge of the authority of a school staff member, bus driver, or any other adult

Student/Administrator Conference, Mandatory Parent contact, After School Detention, Behavior Contract

Mandatory Parent conference, ½ - 1 day ISS, School Probation 1 Month, Additional options: Behavior plan Restorative practice

Mandatory Parent Conference, 1-3 days ISS, Behavior Plan, Restorative Practice, School Probation 6 Weeks

Abusive, Threatening, Sexual Language

Verbal messages that include swearing, language and use of words in an inappropriate way. Profane/disrespectful message (verbal or gestured) to another person that may include threats or intimidation

Student/Administrator Conference Mandatory parent contact Plan for making amends to those they offended, After School Detention

Mandatory Parent conference, 1 day ISS, Additional options: Behavior plan, Restorative practice, School Probation 1 Month

1-3 days ISS, Restorative Practice Possible 1-3 OSS, School Probation 6 Weeks

Escalated Disruption

Behavior causing an interruption in a class or activity; includes sustained loud talking, yelling, or screaming and/or sustained out-of-seat behavior

Student/Administrator Conference, Confer with Behavior Specialist, After school detention

Mandatory Parent conference, 1/2 - 1 day ISS, School Probation 1 Month, Additional options: Behavior plan, Restorative practice

Mandatory Parent Conference, 1-3 days ISS, Possible 1-3 OSS, School Probation 6 Weeks

Bullying

The repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a victim that causes harm, fear, or creates a hostile environment.

Complete investigation, Mandatory parent contact, Behavior contract/Plan for improvement if found no bullying but harassment. If bullying, suspension and police involvement

Complete investigation, Mandatory parent contact, Behavior contract/Plan for improvement if found no bullying but harassment.  2nd Harassment 1/2 - 1 Day ISS. If bullying, suspension and police involvement

Complete Investigation, Mandatory parent contact, Behavior contract/Plan for improvement.  If no bullying but harassment, possible ISS or OSS.  If bullying suspension and police involvement

Property Damage

Deliberate damage to personal or school property including vandalism

After School Detention with restorative practice, Mandatory parent contact, potential restitution

1 Day ISS, Parent Conference, Restorative Practice, potential restitution

1 - 3 Days OSS, Parent conference, Restorative Practice, potential restitution

Major Theft

Taking and removing of personal or school property without permission including sports equipment, personal items, electronics, items from locker, etc.

After School detention, with restorative practice, Parent conference, Mandatory parent contact

1 Day ISS, Parent conference, Restitution if needed

1 -3 Days OSS, Parent conference.  Restitution if needed

Fighting/Physical Aggression/Sexual Misconduct

Actions involving serious physical contact where injury is intended.

Mandatory parent contact, 1 Day ISS or OSS depending on severity

2 - 3 Days ISS or OSS depending on severity, Parent conference

1 - 5 Days ISS or OSS depending on severity, Parent conference, Potential Bullying Investigation, Potential CRA filed

Possession of Contraband

Possession of drugs, tobacco, weapons, lighters, etc.

Mandatory parent conference, removal of materials, after school detention through 1 - 5 Day ISS or OSS depending on severity

1 Day ISS - 1 - 5 Day OSS depending on severity, Parent Conference, Removal of Materials

1 - 5 Day OSS depending on severity, Parent conference, Removal of Materials, Potential CRA filed

Bus Behavior

Any behavior that is deemed a distraction, inappropriate behavior, physical conduct, inappropriate language, etc.

Mandatory parent contact, Behavior contract, Restitution if needed

Parent conference, 1 -3 Days Bus Suspension, Restitution if needed

Parent conference, extended period of time from bus removal, restitution if needed


Forms of unacceptable conduct cited above are only some examples and are not an all-inclusive list.


School Probation is defined as not allowing to participate in any extracurricular/school wide activities such as but not limited to Dances, Olympic Foolery, Sports, Clubs, etc.  Loss of Field Trips will be at the determination of Administration.


C. Student Conduct On School Buses


Please click HERE for the School Committee Policy for conduct on School Buses


D. Possession of Weapons


Any student who is found on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, in possession of a dangerous weapon, including, but not limited to, a gun or a knife; or of a controlled substance as defined in Ch. 94C, including but not limited to marijuana, cocaine and heroin, may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the principal. M.G.L. c.71, §37H.

Any person found in violation of this policy may be suspended or expelled and referred to law enforcement authorities for appropriate action.

Please click HERE for the School Committee Policy for Possession of Weapons


E. School Probation


The purpose of the LMS Student Probation and Intervention Program is to identify students who are exhibiting at-risk academic and behavioral patterns. Staff will work collaboratively with the student and his/her parents/guardians to attain goals of personal improvement for the student.

Upon recommendation of the student’s team or the administration, a student may be placed on probation or probation warning. Probation can be for academic reasons such as, failing more than one class at each marking period (progress reports/report cards), or disciplinary reasons, or a combination of both. Students who are on probation may not be allowed to attend extracurricular activities, field trips or after-school functions.  A student who is placed on probation may stay for extra help with a teacher, however the student must have prior written or verbal permission from that teacher..  A student who is suspended for fighting may be placed on probation.  The student probation or probation warning list will be reviewed by the administration every five (5) weeks



F. Smoking and possession of Tobacco, E-Cigarettes, Drugs and Alcohol


Please click HERE to view the School Committees' Policy of Smoking on School Premises

Please click HERE to view the School Committees' Policy of Tobacco use by students

Please click HERE to view the School Committees' Policy of Drug and Alcohol Use by Students


G. Student Discipline - Due Process


Except where circumstances require the student’s immediate removal from the school environment, prior to the imposition of any disciplinary sanction that might result in a student’s suspension from school for ten (10) consecutive school days or fewer, the student will be given oral notice of the offense with which he/she is charged and an opportunity to respond. In the event that the principal determines that the student will be suspended from school, the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) will be notified by telephone and in writing.

Prior to the imposition of any disciplinary sanction that would result in the student’s suspension for more than ten (10) consecutive school days or expulsion, the parent(s)/guardian(s) will be given written notice of a hearing at which they may be represented by an attorney (at private expense) and may examine and present witnesses and documentary evidence. Following this hearing, the hearing officer (principal/school committee) will issue a written decision. The parent(s)/guardian(s) will have the right to appeal any decision imposing a long-term exclusion from school. Where the student is excluded in accordance with M.G.L. c.71 §37H, the student shall have ten (10) days from the effective date of the exclusion to file a written appeal with the superintendent of schools. For exclusions imposed pursuant to M.G.L. c.71 §37H1/2, the student shall have five (5) days from the effective date of the exclusion to file a written appeal with the superintendent. For exclusions imposed by the school committee in accordance with M.G.L. c.76 §17, the student shall have the right to file a written request for reconsideration by the committee within ten (10) days of the effective date of the exclusion. Pending the outcome of any such appeal, the disciplinary sanction imposed shall remain in effect. M.G.L. c.76 §17;  M.G.L. c.71 §37H;  M.G.L. c.71 §37H1/2. Within five (5) school days of any disciplinary appeal hearing, the reviewing hearing officer (superintendent/school committee) will render a written decision on the student’s appeal.


H. Discipline and Students with Disabilities


Students are expected to meet the requirements for behavior as set forth in this handbook. In addition to those due process protections afforded to all students, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and related regulations require that additional provisions be made for students who have been found eligible for special education services or who the school district knows or has reason to know might be eligible for such services. Students who have been found to have a disability that substantially limits a major life activity, as defined under §504 of the Rehabilitation Act, are, generally, also entitled to increased procedural protections prior to imposing discipline that will result in the student’s removal for more than ten (10) consecutive school days or where there is a pattern of short term removals exceeding ten (10) school days in a given year. The following additional requirements apply to the discipline of students with disabilities:

  1. The IEP for every student eligible for special education or related services shall indicate whether the student can be expected to meet the regular discipline code of the school or whether the code should be modified to address the student’s individual needs.
  2. Students with disabilities may be excluded from their programs for up to ten (10) school days to the extent that such sanctions would be applied to all students. Before a student with a disability can be excluded from his/her program for more than ten (10) consecutive school days in a given school year or subjected to a pattern of removal constituting a “change of placement,” building administrators, the parent(s)/guardian(s) and relevant members of the student’s IEP or 504 Team will meet to determine the relationship between the student’s disability and behavior (Manifestation Determination). During days of disciplinary exclusions exceeding ten (10) school days in a single school year, special education students have the right to receive the services necessary to provide him/her with a free appropriate public education.
  3. If building administrators, the parent(s)/guardian(s) and relevant members of the student’s IEP or 504 Team determine that the student’s conduct was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, the school may discipline the student in accordance with the procedures and penalties applicable to all students but will continue to provide a free appropriate public education to those students with IEPs. The student’s IEP Team will identify the services necessary to provide a free appropriate public education during the period of exclusion, review any existing behavior intervention plan or, where appropriate, conduct a functional behavioral assessment.
  4. If building administrators, the parent(s)/guardian(s) and relevant members of the student’s IEP or 504 Team determine that the conduct giving rise to disciplinary action was a manifestation of the student’s disability, the student will not be subjected to further disciplinary removal or exclusion from the student’s current educational program based on that conduct (except for conduct involving weapons, drugs, or resulting in serious bodily injury to others) until the IEP or 504 Team develops, and the parent(s)/guardian(s) consent to, a new placement or unless the District obtains an order from a court or from the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) authorizing a change in the student’s placement. The student’s Team shall also review, and modify as appropriate, any existing behavior intervention plan or arrange for a functional behavioral assessment.
  5. If a special education student possesses or uses illegal drugs, sells or solicits a controlled substance, possesses a weapon, or causes serious bodily injury to another on school grounds or at a school function, the District may place the student in an interim alternative educational setting (IAES) for up to forty-five (45) school days. A court or BSEA Hearing Officer may also order the placement of a student who presents a substantial likelihood of injury to self or others in an appropriate interim setting for up to forty-five (45) school days

I.  Discipline Laws


Laws Pertaining to Student Conduct

State and federal laws governing the conduct of students in school include, but are not limited to the following:

M.G.L. c.71, 37H

The superintendent of every school district shall publish the district’s policies pertaining to the conduct of teachers and students. Said policies shall prohibit the use of any tobacco products within the school buildings, the school facilities or on the school grounds or on school buses by any individual, including school personnel. Said policies shall further restrict operators of school buses and personal motor vehicles, including students, faculty, staff and visitors, from idling such vehicles on school grounds, consistent with section 1 613 of chapter 90 and regulations adopted pursuant thereto and by the department. The policies shall also prohibit bullying as defined in section 370 and shall include the student-related sections of the bullying prevention and intervention plan required by said section 370. Copies of these policies shall be provided to any person upon request and without cost by the principal of every school within the district.

Each school district’s policies pertaining to the conduct of students shall include the following: disciplinary proceedings, including procedures assuring due process: standards and procedures for suspension and expulsion of students; procedures pertaining to discipline of students with special needs: standards and procedures to assure school building security and safety of students and school personnel; and the disciplinary measures to be taken in cases involving the possession or use of illegal substances or weapons, the use of force, vandalism, or violation of a student’s civil rights. Codes of discipline, as well as procedures used to develop such codes shall be filed with the department of education for informational purposes only.

In each school building containing the grades nine to twelve, inclusive, the principal, in consultation with the school council, shall prepare and distribute to each student a student handbook setting forth the rules pertaining to the conduct of students. The student handbook shall include an age-appropriate summary of the student-related sections of the bullying prevention and intervention plan required by section 370. The school council shall review the student handbook each spring to consider changes in disciplinary policy to take effect in September of the following school year, but may consider policy changes at any time. The annual review shall cover all areas of student conduct, including but not limited to those outlined in this section.

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, all student handbooks shall contain the following provisions:

a)      Any student who is found on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, in possession of a dangerous weapon, including, but not limited to, a gun or a knife; or a controlled substance as defined in chapter ninety-four C. including, but not limited to marijuana, cocaine, and heroin may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the principal.

b)      Any student who assaults a principal, assistant principal, teacher, teacher’s aide or other educational staff on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the principal.

c)      Any student who is charged with a violation of either paragraph (a) or (b) shall be notified in writing of an opportunity for a hearing; provided, however, that the student may have representation, along with the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses at said hearing before the principal.

After said hearing, a principal may, in his discretion, decide to suspend rather than expel a student who has been determined by the principal to have violated either paragraph (a) or (b).

d)      Any student who has been expelled from a school district pursuant to these provisions shall have the right to appeal to the superintendent. The expelled student shall have ten days from the date of the expulsion in which to notify the superintendent of his appeal. The student has the right to counsel at a hearing before the superintendent. The subject matter of the appeal shall not be limited solely to a factual determination of whether the student has violated any provisions of this section.

e)      When a student is expelled under the provisions of this section, no school or school district within the commonwealth shall be required to admit such student or to provide educational services to said student. If said student does apply for admission to another school or school district the superintendent of the school district to which the application is made may request and shall receive from the superintendent of the school expelling said student a written statement of the reasons for said expulsion.

M.G.L. c.71§37H1/2

(1) Upon the issuance of a criminal complaint charging a student with a felony or upon the issuance of a felony delinquency complaint against a student, the principal or headmaster of a school in which the student is enrolled may suspend such student for a period of time determined appropriate by said principal or headmaster if said principal or headmaster determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. The student shall receive written notification of the charges and the reasons for such suspension prior to such suspension taking effect. The student shall also receive written notification of his right to appeal and the process for appealing such suspension; provided, however, that such suspension shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the superintendent.

The student shall have the right to appeal the suspension to the superintendent in writing of his request for an appeal no later than five calendar days following the effective date of the suspension. The superintendent shall hold a hearing with the student and the student’s parent or guardian within three calendar days of the student’s request for an appeal. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony on his behalf, and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall have the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the principal or headmaster, including recommending an alternate educational program for the student. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five calendar days of the hearing. Such decision shall be the final decision of the city, town or regional school district with regard to the suspension.

(2) upon a student being convicted of a felony or upon an adjudication or admission in court of guild with respect to such a felony or felony delinquency, the principal or headmaster of a school in which the student is enrolled may expel said student if such principal or headmaster determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. The student shall receive written notification of the charges and reasons for such expulsion prior to such expulsion taking effect. The student shall also receive written notification of his right to appeal ant the process for appealing such expulsion; provided, however, that the expulsion shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the superintendent.

The student shall have the right to appeal the expulsion to the superintendent. The student shall notify the superintendent, in writing, of his request for an appeal no later than five calendar days following the effective date of the expulsion. The superintendent shall hold a hearing with the student and the student’s parent or guardian within three calendar days of the expulsion. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony on his behalf, and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall have the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the principal or headmaster, including recommending an alternate educational program for the student. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five calendar days of the hearing. Such decision shall be the final decision of the city, town or regional school district with regard to the expulsion.

Upon expulsion of such student, no school or school district shall be required to provide educational services to such students.

M.G.L. c.71§37H13/4

a) This section shall govern the suspension and expulsion of students enrolled in a public school in the commonwealth who are not charged with a violation of subsections (a) or (b) of section 37H or with a felony under section 37H1/2.

(b) Any principal, headmaster, superintendent or other person acting as a decision-maker at a student meeting or hearing, when deciding the consequences for the student, shall exercise discretion; consider ways to re-engage the student in the learning process; and avoid using expulsion as a consequence until other remedies and consequences have been employed.

(c) For any suspension or expulsion under this section, the principal or headmaster of a school in which the student is enrolled, or a designee, shall provide, to the student and to the parent or guardian of the student, notice of the charges and the reason for the suspension or expulsion in English and in the primary language spoken in the home of the student. The student shall receive the written notification and shall have the opportunity to meet with the principal or headmaster, or a designee, to discuss the charges and reasons for the suspension or expulsion prior to the suspension or expulsion taking effect. The principal or headmaster, or a designee, shall ensure that the parent or guardian of the student is included in the meeting, provided that such meeting may take place without the parent or guardian only if the principal or headmaster, or a designee, can document reasonable efforts to include the parent or guardian in that meeting. The department shall promulgate rules and regulations that address a principal’s duties under this subsection and procedures for including parents in student exclusion meetings, hearings or interviews under this subsection.

(d) If a decision is made to suspend or expel the student after the meeting, the principal or headmaster, or a designee, shall update the notification for the suspension or expulsion to reflect the meeting with the student. If a student has been suspended or expelled for more than 10 school days for a single infraction or for more than 10 school days cumulatively for multiple infractions in any school year, the student and the parent or guardian of the student shall also receive, at the time of the suspension or expulsion decision, written notification of a right to appeal and the process for appealing the suspension or expulsion in English and in the primary language spoken in the home of the student; provided, however, that the suspension or expulsion shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing. The principal or headmaster or a designee shall notify the superintendent in writing, including, but not limited to, by electronic means, of any out-of-school suspension imposed on a student enrolled in kindergarten through grade 3 prior to such suspension taking effect. That notification shall describe the student’s alleged misconduct and the reasons for suspending the student out-of-school. For the purposes of this section, the term “out-of-school suspension” shall mean a disciplinary action imposed by school officials to remove a student from participation in school activities for 1 day or more.

(e) A student who has been suspended or expelled from school for more than 10 school days for a single infraction or for more than 10 school days cumulatively for multiple infractions in any school year shall have the right to appeal the suspension or expulsion to the superintendent. The student or a parent or guardian of the student shall notify the superintendent in writing of a request for an appeal not later than 5 calendar days following the effective date of the suspension or expulsion; provided, that a student and a parent or guardian of the student may request, and if so requested, shall be granted an extension of up to 7 calendar days. The superintendent or a designee shall hold a hearing with the student and the parent or guardian of the student within 3 school days of the student’s request for an appeal; provided that a student or a parent or guardian of the student may request and, if so requested, shall be granted an extension of up to 7 calendar days; provided further, that the superintendent, or a designee, may proceed with a hearing without a parent or guardian of the student if the superintendent, or a designee, makes a good faith effort to include the parent or guardian. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony, cross-examine witnesses and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal in writing within 5 calendar days of the hearing. That decision shall be the final decision of the school district with regard to the suspension or expulsion.

(f) No student shall be suspended or expelled from a school or school district for a time period that exceeds 90 school days, beginning the first day the student is removed from an assigned school building.

 

M.G.L. c.71, §370

Bullying shall be prohibited on school grounds, property immediately adjacent to school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by a school district or school, or through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased or used by a school district or school, and at a location, activity, function or program that is not school-related, or through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased or used by a school district or school, if the bullying creates a hostile environment at school for the victim, infringes on the rights of the victim at school or materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. Nothing contained herein shall require schools to staff any non-school related activities, functions, or programs.

Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying shall be prohibited.

 Chapter 222

SECTION 1. Section 37H of chapter 71 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out subsection (e) and inserting in place thereof the following 3 subsections:- 

(e) Any school district that suspends or expels a student under this section shall continue to provide educational services to the student during the period of suspension or expulsion, under section 21 of chapter 76. If the student moves to another district during the period of suspension or expulsion, the new district of residence shall either admit the student to its schools or provide educational services to the student in an education service plan, undersection 21 of chapter 76.
(f) Districts shall report to the department of elementary and secondary education the specific reasons for all suspensions and expulsions, regardless of duration or type, in a manner and form established by the commissioner. The department of elementary and secondary education shall use its existing data collection tools to obtain this information from districts and shall modify those tools, as necessary, to obtain the information. On an annual basis, the department of elementary and secondary education shall make district level de-identified data and analysis, including the total number of days each student is excluded during the school year, available to the public online in a machine readable format. This report shall include district level data disaggregated by student status and categories established by the commissioner. 
(g) Under the regulations promulgated by the department, for each school that suspends or expels a significant number of students for more than 10 cumulative days in a school year, the commissioner shall investigate and, as appropriate, shall recommend models that incorporate intermediary steps prior to the use of suspension or expulsion. The results of the analysis shall be publicly reported at the school district level.

SECTION 2. Section 37H½ of said chapter 71, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the last paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
Any school district that suspends or expels a student under this section shall continue to provide educational services to the student during the period of suspension or expulsion, under section 21 of chapter 76. If the student moves to another district during the period of suspension or expulsion, the new district of residence shall either admit the student to its schools or provide educational services to the student under an education service plan, undersection 21 of chapter 76.

SECTION 3. Said chapter 71 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 37H½ the following section:-
Section 37H¾. (a) This section shall govern the suspension and expulsion of students enrolled in a public school in the commonwealth who are not charged with a violation of subsections (a) or (b) of section 37H or with a felony under section 37H½.
(b) Any principal, headmaster, superintendent or other person acting as a decision-maker at a student meeting or hearing, when deciding the consequences for the student, shall exercise discretion; consider ways to re-engage the student in the learning process; and avoid using expulsion as a consequence until other remedies and consequences have been employed. 
(c) For any suspension or expulsion under this section, the principal or headmaster of a school in which the student is enrolled, or a designee, shall provide, to the student and to the parent or guardian of the student, notice of the charges and the reason for the suspension or expulsion in English and in the primary language spoken in the home of the student. The student shall receive the written notification and shall have the opportunity to meet with the principal or headmaster, or a designee, to discuss the charges and reasons for the suspension or expulsion prior to the suspension or expulsion taking effect. The principal or headmaster, or a designee, shall ensure that the parent or guardian of the student is included in the meeting, provided that such meeting may take place without the parent or guardian only if the principal or headmaster, or a designee, can document reasonable efforts to include the parent or guardian in that meeting. The department shall promulgate rules and regulations that address a principal’s duties under this subsection and procedures for including parents in student exclusion meetings, hearings or interviews under this subsection.
(d) If a decision is made to suspend or expel the student after the meeting, the principal or headmaster, or a designee, shall update the notification for the suspension or expulsion to reflect the meeting with the student. If a student has been suspended or expelled for more than 10 school days for a single infraction or for more than 10 school days cumulatively for multiple infractions in any school year, the student and the parent or guardian of the student shall also receive, at the time of the suspension or expulsion decision, written notification of a right to appeal and the process for appealing the suspension or expulsion in English and in the primary language spoken in the home of the student; provided, however, that the suspension or expulsion shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing. The principal or headmaster or a designee shall notify the superintendent in writing, including, but not limited to, by electronic means, of any out-of-school suspension imposed on a student enrolled in kindergarten through grade 3 prior to such suspension taking effect. That notification shall describe the student’s alleged misconduct and the reasons for suspending the student out-of-school. For the purposes of this section, the term “out-of-school suspension” shall mean a disciplinary action imposed by school officials to remove a student from participation in school activities for 1 day or more.
(e) A student who has been suspended or expelled from school for more than 10 school days for a single infraction or for more than 10 school days cumulatively for multiple infractions in any school year shall have the right to appeal the suspension or expulsion to the superintendent. The student or a parent or guardian of the student shall notify the superintendent in writing of a request for an appeal not later than 5 calendar days following the effective date of the suspension or expulsion; provided, that a student and a parent or guardian of the student may request, and if so requested, shall be granted an extension of up to 7 calendar days. The superintendent or a designee shall hold a hearing with the student and the parent or guardian of the student within 3 school days of the student’s request for an appeal; provided that a student or a parent or guardian of the student may request and, if so requested, shall be granted an extension of up to 7 calendar days; provided further, that the superintendent, or a designee, may proceed with a hearing without a parent or guardian of the student if the superintendent, or a designee, makes a good faith effort to include the parent or guardian. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony, cross-examine witnesses and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal in writing within 5 calendar days of the hearing. That decision shall be the final decision of the school district with regard to the suspension or expulsion. 
(f) No student shall be suspended or expelled from a school or school district for a time period that exceeds 90 school days, beginning the first day the student is removed from an assigned school building.

SECTION 4. Section 1 of chapter 76 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 2 to 13, inclusive, the words “, except a child between fourteen and sixteen who meets the requirements for the completion of the sixth grade of the public school as established by said board and who holds a permit for employment in private domestic service or service on a farm, under section eighty-six of chapter one hundred and forty-nine, and is regularly employed thereunder for at least six hours per day, or a child between fourteen and sixteen who meets said requirements and has the written permission of the superintendent of schools of the town where he resides to engage in non-wage-earning employment at home, or a child over fourteen who holds a permit for employment in a cooperating employment, as provided in said section eighty-six,”.

SECTION 5. Said section 1 of said chapter 76, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 14, the words “said town” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- the town the student resides.

SECTION 6. Said section 1 of said chapter 76, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the fourth paragraph.

SECTION 7. Said chapter 76 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 1A the following section:- 
Section 1B. The school committee of each city, town or regional school district shall have a pupil absence notification program in each of its schools. The program shall be designed to ensure that each school notifies a parent or guardian of the child’s absence if the school has not received notification of the absence from the parent or guardian within 3 days of the absence. 
Each school committee shall have a policy of notifying the parent or guardian of a student who has at least 5 days in which the student has missed 2 or more periods unexcused in a school year or who has missed 5 or more school days unexcused in a school year. The notification policy shall require that the school principal or headmaster, or a designee, make a reasonable effort to meet with the parent or guardian of a student who has 5 or more unexcused absences to develop action steps for student attendance. The action steps shall be developed jointly and agreed upon by the school principal or headmaster, or a designee, the student and the student’s parent or guardian and with input from other relevant school personnel and officials from relevant public safety, health and human service, housing and nonprofit agencies.

SECTION 8. Section 18 of said chapter 76, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the first paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following 3 paragraphs:- 
No student who has not graduated from high school shall be considered to have permanently left public school unless an administrator of the school which the student last attended has sent notice within a period of 5 days from the student’s tenth consecutive absence to the student and the parent or guardian of that student in both the primary language of the parent or guardian, to the extent practicable, and English. The notice shall initially offer at least 2 dates and times for an exit interview between the superintendent, or a designee, and the student and the parent or guardian of the student to occur prior to the student permanently leaving school and shall include contact information for scheduling the exit interview. The notice shall indicate that the parties shall agree upon a date and time for the exit interview, and that interview shall occur within 10 days after the sending of the notice. The time for the exit interview may be extended at the request of the parent or guardian and no extension shall be for longer than 14 days. The superintendent, or a designee, may proceed with any such interview without a parent or guardian if the superintendent, or a designee, makes a good faith effort to include the parent or guardian. The exit interview shall be for the purpose of discussing the reasons for the student permanently leaving school and to consider alternative education or other placements.
The superintendent or a designee shall convene a team of school personnel, such as the principal, guidance counselor, teachers, attendance officer and other relevant school staff, to participate in the exit interview with the student and the parent or guardian of the student. During the exit interview, the student shall be given information about the detrimental effects of early withdrawal from school, the benefits of earning a high school diploma and the alternative education programs and services available to the student. 
The department of elementary and secondary education shall: (i) publish a model protocol for conducting exit interviews with students; and (ii) compile and maintain a list of research and information relative to the consequences of dropping out, the benefits of earning a high school diploma and a list of alternative education resources and programs available to the student, in addition to those that the district may provide, that schools shall present at the exit interview.

SECTION 9. Said chapter 76 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 20 the following section:-
Section 21. Principals and headmasters shall ensure that students who are suspended from school for 10 or fewer consecutive days, whether in or out of school, shall have an opportunity to make academic progress during the period of suspension, to make up assignments and earn credits missed including, but not limited to, homework, quizzes, exams, papers and projects missed. Principals shall develop a school-wide education service plan for all students who are expelled or suspended from school for more than 10 consecutive school days, whether in or out of school. Principals shall ensure these students have an opportunity to make academic progress during the period of suspension or expulsion, to make up assignments and earn credits missed, including, but not limited to, homework, quizzes, exams, papers and projects missed. Education service plans may include, but are not limited to, tutoring, alternative placement, Saturday school, and online or distance learning. In developing the education service plan, principals may seek the cooperation or input of relevant health and human service, housing and nonprofit agencies education collaboratives, and other service providers. Any school or school district that expels a student or suspends a student for more than 10 consecutive school days shall provide the student and the parent or guardian of the student with a list of alternative educational services. Upon selection of an alternative educational service by the student and the student’s parent or guardian, the school or school district shall facilitate and verify enrollment in the service. Students exempt from attending school under section 1 of chapter 76 shall not be subject to this section.  Instructional costs associated with providing alternative educational services under this section shall be eligible for reimbursement under section 5A of chapter 71B, subject to appropriation. The reimbursements shall be in addition to amounts distributed under chapter 70 and shall not be included in the calculation of base aid, as defined in section 2 of said chapter 70, for any subsequent fiscal year. Instructional costs eligible for reimbursement shall include only those costs directly attributable to providing alternative educational services under this section, such as salary of educational personnel, salary of related services personnel, costs for specialized books, materials or equipment, tuition costs, if the student is receiving services from other than the local public school, consultant costs if directly attributable to the student’s instructional program and instructional costs of extended day or year services if such services are a part of the education service plan. Such costs shall be prorated as appropriate to reflect group activities or costs for part-time services. Instructional costs shall not include transportation costs, administrative or overhead costs, the costs of adapting classrooms or materials that are used by more than 1 student, the costs of fringe benefits of personnel employed by the school district, nor the costs associated with the development of the education service plan or service coordination for the student. Instructional costs associated with an education service plan shall be reported to and approved by the department and shall be reimbursed according to the formula and procedures in said section 5A of said chapter 71B.

SECTION 10. The department of elementary and secondary education shall submit an annual report to the chairs of the joint committee on education on the cost of providing reimbursement for instructional costs associated with providing alternative educational services under section 21 of chapter 76 of the General Laws that would not otherwise be reimbursed under section 5A of chapter 71B of the General Laws.

SECTION 11. The department of elementary and secondary education shall issue a report on the costs of implementation of this act not later than November 30, 2013. The department of elementary and secondary education shall file a report with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, who shall forward the report to the chairs of the joint committee on education and the senate and house committees on ways and means.

SECTION 12. Sections 1 to 10, inclusive, shall take effect on July 1, 2014.


J.  Bullying Policy


Bullying is the intentional, repeated or consistent picking on or harassment of another person. Bullying can be physical (hitting, tripping, kicking), verbal (name-calling, threatening, spreading rumors) or emotional (purposely excluding someone, manipulating friendships, spreading rumors). Bullying can happen face-to-face, behind someone’s back, on-line, through text messaging, repeated phone calls or a combination of each type.

Bullying that happens outside of school can still be disciplined at school if a target feels unsafe at school or if school is disrupted due to the bullying behaviors. Bullying is strictly prohibited by the Leicester Public Schools and may result in disciplinary action including, but not limited to, suspension from school.

Please click HERE to view the School Committee Policy for Bullying


K.  Bullying Prevention and Intervention


It is the policy of the Leicester Public Schools and Leicester Middle School to maintain an educational environment that is free from bullying, cyberbullying, and retaliation. It shall be a violation of this policy for any student in the Leicester Public Schools to bully another student through conduct or communication of a bullying nature and/or to retaliate against any individual for reporting bullying or cooperating with an investigation thereof. Students who engage in bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation will be subject to a range of disciplinary sanctions including, but not limited to, reprimand, detention, suspension, expulsion or other sanctions as determined by the school administration. Except where bullying has resulted in the student’s permanent expulsion, students who engage in bullying shall also be required to participate in remedial activities designed to develop the skills and proficiencies necessary to avoid engaging in further bullying behavior(s).

Please click HERE to view the School Committee Policy for Bullying Prevention and Intervention


M.  Hazing


Please click HERE to view the School Committee's Policy for Hazing

Please click HERE to view the School Committee's Policy for Prohibition of Hazing

The Leicester Public Schools and Leicester Middle School are committed to maintaining a learning and working environment free from discrimination and harassment. In both the education and employment environments of the Leicester Public Schools, various laws prohibit discrimination and harassment. In an education context, law prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of disability, national origin, race, color, religion, sex or sexual orientation. In an employment context, law also prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of age. All such harassment and discrimination is unlawful and will not be tolerated in the Leicester Public School system.

HAZING IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.  When a student is accused of hazing at Leicester Middle School, we notify the police and the student’s parent/guardian. The accused student is suspended and must return to school accompanied by parents.

CH. 269. S. 17 Crime of Hazing – Definition.  Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing, as defined herein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment.

The term “hazing” as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person.  Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to any prosecution under this action.

CH. 269. S. 18 Duty to Report Hazing.  Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section seventeen and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. A fine of not more than one thousand dollars shall punish whoever fails to report such crime.

CH 269. S. 19 Hazing Statutes to be Provided: Statement of Compliance and Discipline Policy Required.  Each institution of secondary education and each public and private institution of post secondary education shall issue to every student group, student team or student organization which is part of such institution or is recognized by the institution or permitted by the institution to use its name or facilities or is known by the institution to exist as an unaffiliated student group, student team or student organization, a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen; provided, however, that an institution’s compliance with this section’s requirements that an institution’s recognition or endorsement of said unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations.

Each such group, team or organization shall distribute a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to each of its members, plebes, pledges or applicants for membership. It shall be the duty of each such group, team or organization, acting through its designated officer, to deliver annually, to the institution an attested acknowledgment stating that such group, team or organization has received a copy of this section and said sections seventeen and eighteen, that each of its members, plebes, pledges or applicants has received a copy of sections seventeen and eighteen, and that such group, team or organization understands and agrees to comply with the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.

Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post secondary education shall file, at least annually, a report with the regents of higher education and in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education, certifying that such institution has complied with its responsibility to inform student groups, teams or organizations and to notify each full time student enrolled by it of the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen and also certifying that said institution has adopted a disciplinary policy with regard to the organizers and participants of hazing, and that such policy has been set forth with appropriate emphasis in the student handbook or similar means of communicating the institution’s policies to its students. The board of regents and, in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education shall promulgate regulations governing the content and frequency of such reports, and shall forthwith report to the attorney general any such institution which fails to make such report.


N.  Defining Discrimination and Harassment


Discrimination – Discrimination occurs when school system actions, procedures, policy or personnel exclude an individual from, denies an individual the benefits or otherwise subjects an individual to different treatment in its programs and activities on the basis of the individual’s race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, ancestry, sexual orientation or disability. Discrimination on the basis of sex shall include, but is not limited to, sexual harassment.

Sexual Harassment – Sexual harassment is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature toward a person because of his or her gender. Sexual harassment includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, non-verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature where:

  1. submission to such advances, requests or conduct is made an implied or explicit term or condition of success in school, employment; or as a basis for employment conditions; or
  2. the advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s school or work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive learning or working environment.

Sexual harassment includes advances, requests or conduct by a student to a student, an adult to an adult or student to adult. Sexual harassment can include advances, requests or conduct directed from male to female, female to male, male to male, or female to female. Examples of actions that may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following unwelcome actions:

  • Whistling, catcalling or making offensive noises
  • Staring or making obscene gestures
  • Making suggestive remarks, telling jokes of asexual nature, or using derogatory sexual terms
  • Displaying offensive photographs, illustrations, or sex related objects
  • Touching, brushing, pinching or patting
  • Pulling or lifting of clothing
  • Pressuring a person for dates, sex or information about personal sexual experiences
  • Leaving pictures of a sexual nature on a locker or making derogatory comments of a sexual nature

Other Forms of Harassment – Harassment on the basis of race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, ancestry, sexual orientation, or disability includes any unwelcome physical or verbal conduct, whether physical or verbal in nature, that has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning or working environment. Harassment of this form includes advances, requests by a student to a student, an adult to a student, and adult to an adult, student to adult, make to female, female to male, male to male and female to female.

Examples of actions that may constitute harassment include:

  • Using racial slurs
  • Displaying swastikas
  • Making generalizations
  • Using stereotypes
  • Telling racial or ethnic jokes
  • Leaving pictures of a sexual nature on a locker; or making derogatory comments of a sexual nature

It is the obligation of each person to report any conduct which violates the courteous and considerate treatment of Leicester students and employees – whether you are the victim or not, whether the perpetrator is a teacher, student, staff member of business invitee, and regardless of the sex of the perpetrator.

The following options are available to any student or employee who believes they have been subjected to sexual harassment or harassment of any kind:

  1. The student or employee is encouraged to report the offense to his/her counselor or to any teacher or administrative staff member with whom the student or employee feels comfortable discussing the situation.
  2. The counselor, teacher, or administrator to whom the incident of harassment has been reported shall promptly notify the Principal. The Principal will initiate a prompt, objective, and thorough investigation of all reports and take appropriate steps if any investigation indicates harassment has occurred. In the event that the Principal is party to the charge harassment, the report should be made to the Administrator of Special Education Services or to the relevant District-level coordinator as identified in this handbook. Complaints of harassment and/or discrimination shall be addressed in accordance with the Leicester Public Schools’ Grievance Procedures as set forth in this handbook.
  3. School staff is expected to report possible incidents of discrimination or harassment of students and fellow employees. Parents and other adults are also encouraged to report any concerns about possible discrimination or harassment of students or employees which have allegedly occurred on school grounds, at school related events, or actions which occurred outside of school but possibly create a hostile environment for a student or employee while he/she is at school.

The Leicester Public Schools and Leicester Middle School are obligated to investigate each and every report of harassment and every attempt will be made to maintain confidentiality. Retaliation or threats of retaliation upon any individual bringing forth a complaint will not be tolerated.

Please click HERE to view the School Committees' policy on Student-To-Student Harassment,


O.  Grievance Procedure for Title VI, Title IX and Section 504


Please click HERE to view the School Committees' policy for Student Complaints and Grievances

 

Statement of Definition

A grievance is any alleged violation of the Leicester Public School Committee Policy on Non- Discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation or disability, in the operation of the educational programs, activities, or employment policies.

Grievance Procedure

Step #1: An alleged grievance must be filed with the building coordinator (principal or designee) in writing within thirty (30) days of the alleged grievance. Any grievance about an employee who holds a supervisory position shall be investigated by a person who is not subject to that supervisor’s authority. The person who is the subject of the grievance will be provided with an opportunity to be heard as part of the investigation including the opportunity to provide relevant information and identify witnesses for the investigator’s consideration. The building coordinator shall meet with and respond to the aggrieved party (in writing) within fifteen (15) days.

Step #2: If a satisfactory solution is not achieved at Step #1, the aggrieved party may within fifteen (15) days upon receiving the decision rendered at Step #1 file the alleged grievance with the Administrator of Special Education (for disability), or the assigned Administrator, by the Superintendent (for all others), who shall respond in writing and meet with the aggrieved party in an attempt to resolve the alleged grievance within fifteen (15) days.

Step #3: If a satisfactory solution is not achieved at Step #2 within the fifteen (15) day period, the alleged grievance may be filed at the next step with the Superintendent of Schools. The Superintendent shall provide an opportunity for the alleged grievance to be heard at its next regularly scheduled meeting and a decision shall be rendered in writing to the aggrieved party within fifteen (15) days.

Step #4: If a satisfactory solution is not achieved at Step #3 within the fifteen (15) day period, the alleged grievance may be filed at the next step with the school committee. The school committee shall provide an opportunity for the alleged grievance to be heard at its next regularly scheduled meeting and a decision shall be rendered in writing to the aggrieved party within fifteen (15) days.

If, at the conclusion of any of the steps listed above, the school district determines that discrimination or harassment has occurred, it shall take steps to eliminate the discriminatory or harassing environment, including but not limited to: (1) determining what disciplinary action should be taken against the person(s) who engaged in discrimination or harassment, if any; (2) determining what steps are necessary to prevent recurrence of any discriminatory behavior, including but not limited to harassment, and to correct its discriminatory effects, if appropriate; and (3) inform the aggrieved party and the person(s) who was the subject of the grievance of the results of the investigation (in accordance with applicable state and federal privacy laws) at the outcome of the grievance.

Statement

An aggrieved party, if not satisfied with the decision of the school committee, or at any time, may refer their complaint to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148, to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, One Ashburton Place, Sixth Floor, Room 601, Boston, MA 02108, and/or to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, Region I, 5 Post Office Square, Boston, MA 02109

It is the intention of this grievance procedure to render due process regarding complaints or violations of this policy at each step of this grievance procedure. Additional information regarding the District’s Grievance Procedures is available in the administrative office of each school and in the office of the Superintendent.


P.  School Dress Code


Students are expected to maintain attire that does not disrupt our school learning environment.  Thus, students should adhere to the dress code and avoid all unacceptable dress/attire.

Unacceptable Dress/Attire

  • Strapless, spaghetti, halter, and similar-style straps on dresses, blouses, or tops (no bra straps visible)
  • Tops that show the midriff
  • Low cut blouses/no cleavage
  • Mini skirts or mini dresses (shorter than 4” above knee cap)
  • Backless shirts
  • Short-shorts (shorter than 4” above the knee cap )
  • Shirts that imply or denote alcohol, drugs, smoking, sex, violence, foul language etc.
  • Hats, hoods or bandannas
  • Low riding pants (midriffs or undergarments should not be visible on either male or female students)
  • No excessive torn/holey pants, no holes above the knee
  • Chains, fused rings, studded belts, etc.
  • Pajama bottoms/flannels/slippers

 When a school administrator determines that student dress is disruptive to the school environment, the administrator will speak to the student, and may provide appropriate alternative clothes.  If the student has no suitable clothing or chooses not to borrow clothing, then the parent/guardian will be contacted so that appropriate clothing can be brought to school.  A student whose clothing is not in compliance with the dress code may not be able to return to class until the requested change has been made.  School administration reserves the right to deem certain attire to be inappropriate.

Upon entering the building, jackets and coats that are normally worn outdoors are to be placed in lockers during the school day. All students are to remove hats and other head coverings, including scarves and kerchiefs. An exception may be made by the principal under the following circumstances:

  1. The student is a member of a legally recognized religious organization that requires a head covering to be worn.
  2. The student has a medical necessity.

When there is a question about the appropriateness of a student’s dress and appearance, parents may be contacted.  Under special circumstances and/or events, exceptions to this code may be approved by building administration.

Please click HERE to view the School Committee's policy for dress code




Information on this Page
Or search the site.
A. Student Discipline
B. Code of Conduct
C. Conduct on School Buses
D. Possession of Weapons
E. School Probation
F. Smoking on School Grounds
G. Due Process - Discipline
H. Students with Disabilities
I. Discipline Laws
J. Bullying Policy
K. Bullying Prevention and Intervention
M. Hazing
N. Discrimination and Harassment
O. Grievance of Title VI,Title IX, Section 504
P. School Dress Code