Code of Conduct Article I: Definitions

I. Definitions

For purposes of this code, the following definitions apply.

Alcohol and other Substance Use/Abuse
Cyberbullying
Disability
Discrimination
Disruptive student
Emotional harm
Employee
Firearm
Gender
Harassment/Bullying
Hazing
Illegal-substances
Informal conference
Material incident of Harassment, Bullying and/or Discrimination
Principal
Parent
Retaliation
School bus
School function
School property
Sexual orientation
Tobacco products
Violent student
Twenty-four hours
Under the influence
Weapon


“Alcohol and other Substance Use/Abuse” means possession, distribution, consumption, being under the influence, or sale of illegal substances, look-a-likes, alcoholic beverages, drug paraphernalia, prescribed medication when authorized or unauthorized non-prescription or over-the-counter medication on school property, on a school vehicle or at a school function.

“Cyberbullying” means harassment/bullying (as defined below) through any form of electronic communication. Cyberbullying includes, but is not limited to, the following misuses of technology: harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another student or staff member by way of any technological tool, such as sending or posting inappropriate or derogatory email messages, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, or website postings (including blogs). Cyberbullying can involve, but is not limited to: sending mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images; posting sensitive, private information about another person; pretending to be  someone else in order to make that person look bad. Cyberbullying
involving district students may occur both on campus and off school grounds and may involve student use of the district internet system or student use of personal digital devices including but not limited to: cell phones, digital cameras, personal computers, electronic tools.

Cyberbullying or harassment has or could have the effect of:

  • Causing physical, social/relational, emotional or mental harm to a student;
  • Placing a student in reasonable fear of physical, emotional or mental harm;
  • Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to, or loss of, personal property; or
  • Interfering with a student’s educational performance and/or denying or limiting a student’s ability to participate in or to receive benefits, services or opportunities in the school’s programs.

“Disability” means (a) a physical, mental or medical impairment resulting from anatomical, physiological, genetic or neurological conditions which prevents the exercise of a normal bodily function or is demonstrable by medically accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques or (b) a record of such an impairment or (c) a condition regarded by others as such an impairment.

“Discrimination” means discrimination against any student by a student or students and/or employee or employees on school property or at a school function including, but not limited to, discrimination based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, sex or any other legally protected status.

“Disruptive student” means a student who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom.

“Emotional harm” that takes place in the context of “harassment or bullying” means harm to a student’s emotional well-being through creation of a hostile school environment that is so severe or pervasive as to unreasonably and substantially interfere with a student’s education.

“Employee” means any person receiving compensation from the District or employee of a contracted service provider or worker placed within the school under a public assistance employment program, pursuant to title nine-B of article five of the Social Services Law, and consistent with the provisions of such title for the provision of services to such district, its students or employees, directly or through contract, whereby such services performed by such person involve direct student contact.

A prohibited “firearm” includes:

(A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.
(B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon;
(C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or
(D) any destructive device.

Such term does not include an antique firearm.

The term “destructive device” means
(A) any explosive, incendiary or poison gas
(i) bomb,
(ii) grenade,
(iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces,
(iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce,
(v) mine, or
(vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses.

(B) any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter; and

(C) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into any destructive device described in subparagraph (A) or (B) and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled.

This definition does not apply if the firearm is for activities that are school-approved and authorized and the District has appropriate safeguards to ensure student safety.

“Gender” means actual or perceived sex and includes a person’s gender identity or expression.

“Harassment/Bullying” means the creation of a hostile environment by threats, intimidation or abuse (including cyberbullying) that: (a) has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being including conducts, threats, intimidation, or abuse that reasonably causes or would be reasonably expected to cause emotional harm; or (b) reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety; (c) places a student in reasonable fear of damage to or loss of personal property. Such conduct shall include acts of harassment and/or bullying that occur: (i) on school property; (ii) at a school function; or (iii) off school property, where such acts create or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach school property. For the purposes of this definition, the term “threats, intimidation or abuse” shall include verbal and non-verbal actions.

Acts of harassment and bullying that are prohibited include those acts based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, sex, gender (including gender identity and expression) or any other legally protected status.

Bullying may be premeditated or a sudden activity. Bullying may be subtle or easy to identify. Bullying may be done by one person or a group. Bullying may be a single act or a series of occurrences.

Bullying may also be based on any characteristic including but not limited to a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practices, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity and expression) or any other legally protected status.

Bullying includes, but is not limited to, the following types:

Verbal bullying: includes but is not limited to name calling, insulting remarks, verbal teasing, frightening phone calls, violent threats, extortion, taunting, gossip, spreading rumors, racist slurs, anonymous notes, etc.

Physical bullying: includes but is not limited to poking, slapping, hitting, tripping or causing a fall, choking, kicking, punching, biting, pinching, scratching, spitting, twisting arms or legs, damaging clothes and personal property, taking personal belongings without permission, or threatening gestures.

Social or relational bullying: includes but is not limited to excluding someone from a group, isolating, shunning, spreading rumors or gossiping, arranging public humiliation, undermining relationships, teasing about clothing, blatant or subtle offensive body language, extortion, intimidation, coercion, etc.

“Hazing” means a form of harassment among students defined as any humiliating or dangerous activity expected of a student to join a group or be accepted by a formal or informal group, regardless of their willingness to participate. Hazing produces public humiliation, physical or emotional discomfort, bodily injury or public ridicule or creates a situation where public humiliation, physical or emotional discomfort, bodily injury or public ridicule is likely to occur.

Hazing behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following general categories:

a) Humiliation: socially offensive, isolating or uncooperative behaviors

b) Substance abuse: abuse of tobacco, alcohol or illegal/legal substances

c) Dangerous hazing: hurtful, aggressive, destructive, and disruptive behaviors

“Illegal substances” include, but are not limited to inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, barbiturates, ecstasy, heroin, steroids, any substances commonly referred to as designer drugs and look-alikes (including but not limited to synthetic cannabinoids), prescription or over-the-counter drugs, or any product which, when misused, will result in an impaired or altered state, when possession is unauthorized, or such are inappropriately used or shared with others.

“Informal conference” is an open-ended discussion of a disciplinary incident to include the student/teacher/parent/principal without the requirements of tape recording or transcription and examination of witnesses associated with a Superintendent’s hearing.

“Material incident of Harassment, Bullying and/or Discrimination” means a single verified incident or a series of related verified incidents where a student is subjected to harassment, bullying and/or discrimination by a student and/or employee on school property or at a school function. In  addition, such term shall include a verified incident or series of related incidents of harassment or bullying that occur off school property, and is the subject of a written or oral complaint to the superintendent, principal, or their designee, or other school employee. Such conduct shall include, but is not limited to, threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, sex or any other legally protected status.

“Principal” within the context of teacher removal of a student from class, means either the principal of the building or any other administrator in the District acting in the principal’s absence or at the principal’s direction.

“Parent” means the biological, adoptive or foster parent, guardian, or person in parental relation to a student.

“Retaliation” means when any employee, student, or visitor mistreats any person because he/she reported in good faith, testified about, or otherwise assisted in an investigation, proceeding or hearing related to alleged harassment or bullying. It is possible that an alleged harasser may be found to have retaliated if the underlying complaint is not found to be a violation of this policy. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment and may be redressed through application of the same reporting, investigation, and enforcement procedures as for harassment.

“School bus” means every motor vehicle owned by a public or governmental agency or private school and operated for the transportation of pupils,  children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity, to or from school or school activities, or, privately owned and operated for compensation for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity to or from school or school activities.

“School function” means any school-sponsored event or activity on or off school property.

“School property” means in or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot, or land contained within the real property boundary line of a public elementary or secondary school in the school District, or in or on a school bus, as defined in this Code.

“Sexual orientation” means actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality.

“Tobacco products” means any lighted or unlighted cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff and other smokeless tobacco products, herbal tobacco products, simulated tobacco products that imitate or mimic tobacco products, e-cigarettes, vapes and other nicotine-containing devices, cloves, bidis and kreteks as well as matches and lighters.

“Violent student” means a student who:

  1. Commits an act of violence upon a school employee
  2. Commits an act of violence upon another student or any other person on school property or at a school function
  3. Possesses a weapon while on school property or at a school function
  4. Displays what appears to be a weapon while on school property or at a school function
  5. Threatens to use a weapon while on school property or at a school function
  6. Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys the personal property of any person on school property or at a school function
  7. Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys school District property

“Twenty-four hours” within the context of teacher removal of a student from class, is equal to one school day. Weekends, holidays, and vacation days are not counted as part of a twenty-four hour period.

“Under the influence” means if a student has used any quantity of an illegal substance or alcohol within a time period reasonably proximate to his/her presence on school property, on a school bus, in a school vehicle, or at a school-sponsored function and /or exhibits symptoms of such use as to lead to the reasonable conclusion of such consumption.

“Weapon” means a firearm as defined in 18 USC § 921 for purposes of the Gun Free Schools Act. It also means any other: gun; pistol; revolver; shotgun; rifle; machine gun; disguised gun; dagger; dirk; razor; stiletto knife; switchblade knife; gravity knife; brass knuckles; sling shot; metal knuckle knife; pocket knife; pen knife; or other knife; box cutters; cane sword; electronic dart gun; Kung Fu star; electronic stun gun; pepper spray or other noxious spray; explosive or incendiary bomb; look alike fake weapons or any other object, material or substance (Other Item) used to cause physical injury or death, or when such Other Item is brandished as a weapon. Excluded from this definition are items authorized by a teacher or administrator and utilized for a valid school purpose (for example, the use of an Exacto knife on a project in art class.