School Board Policy 506 -
Student Discipline Policy
Adopted: august 26, 1996
REVISED: august 18, 1997
revised: september 9, 2002
revised: june 8, 2015
revised: january 10, 2005
revised: june 13, 2016
revised: march 9, 2009
Revised: march 28, 2010
revised: april 10, 2017
Revised: october 8, 2018
REVISED: JULY 15, 2019
Revised: October 10, 2022
Revised: September 11, 2023
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that students, families and staff understand and follow the school district's discipline policy. The school district understands that behavior and actions of students are part of child development and learning. The intent of this policy is to establish guidelines to assist in maintaining a supportive, safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment. It is the responsibility of the school district to take action when the guidelines established in this policy are not followed, impacting individuals and the school environment.
II. General Statement of Policy
The School Board recognizes that social emotional learning and growth are essential components of the educational process. The School Board further recognizes that providing this learning has a direct impact on student behavior and overall success. The school district will support students in continually learning social emotional skills and understanding school expectations.
All students are entitled to learn and develop in a setting which promotes respect of self, others, and property. Learning best takes place when students feel safe and connected in their environment which provides options and stresses student self-direction, decision-making, and responsibility. When students act in a manner inconsistent with school policies, the school district needs to assist the student in repairing harm caused and engaging in relearning practices.
The school district recognizes that despite efforts to build a safe, welcoming, and inclusive climate for all students, there will be times when the policies will be broken resulting in harm to the learning community. When harm is caused, rebuilding of the community is essential and student actions may result in a variety of interventions. The position of the school district is that a fair and equitable district-wide student discipline policy will contribute to the quality of the student’s educational experience. This discipline policy is adopted in accordance with and subject to the Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, Minnesota Statutes, sections 121A.40-121A.56.
In view of the foregoing and in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.55, the School Board, with the participation of school district administrators, teachers, employees, students, parents/guardians, community members and such other individuals and organizations as appropriate, has developed this policy which governs student conduct and applies to all students of the school district.
A. "Nonexclusionary disciplinary policies and practices" means policies and practices that are alternatives to dismissing a pupil from school, including but not limited to evidence-based positive behavior interventions and supports, social and emotional services, school-linked mental health services, counseling services, social work services, academic screening for Title 1 services or reading interventions, and alternative education services. Nonexclusionary disciplinary policies and practices include but are not limited to the policies and practices under Minnesota Statutes sections 120B.12; 121A.575, clauses (1) and (2); 121A.031, subdivision 4, paragraph (a), clause (1); 121A.61, subdivision 3, paragraph (r); and 122A.627, clause (3).
B. "Pupil withdrawal agreement" means a verbal or written agreement between a school administrator or district administrator and a pupil's parent to withdraw a student from the school district to avoid expulsion or exclusion dismissal proceedings. The duration of the withdrawal agreement cannot be for more than a 12-month period.
A. The School Board must establish uniform criteria for dismissal and adopt written policies and rules to effectuate the purposes of the Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal Act. The policies must include nonexclusionary disciplinary policies and practices consistent with Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.41, subdivision 12, and must emphasize preventing dismissals through early detection of problems. The policies must be designed to address students' inappropriate behavior from recurring.
B. The policies must recognize the continuing responsibility of the school for the education of the pupil during the dismissal period.
C. The school is responsible for ensuring that alternative educational services, if the pupil wishes to take advantage of them, must be adequate to allow the pupil to make progress toward meeting the graduation standards adopted under Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.02 and help prepare the pupil for readmission in accordance with section Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.46, subdivision 5.
D. For expulsion and exclusion dismissals and pupil withdrawal agreements as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.41, subdivision 13:
1. for a pupil who remains enrolled in the school district or is awaiting enrollment in a new district, the school district's continuing responsibility includes reviewing the pupil's schoolwork and grades on a quarterly basis to ensure the pupil is on track for readmission with the pupil's peers. The school district must communicate on a regular basis with the pupil's parent or guardian to ensure that the pupil is completing the work assigned through the alternative educational services as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.41, subdivision 11. These services are required until the pupil enrolls in another school or returns to the same school;
2. a pupil receiving school-based or school-linked mental health services in the school district under Minnesota Statutes, section 245.4889 continues to be eligible for those services until the pupil is enrolled in a new district; and
3. the school district must provide to the pupil's parent or guardian information on accessing mental health services, including any free or sliding fee providers in the community. The information must also be posted on the school district website.
V. Areas of Responsibility
A. School Board: The School Board holds all school personnel responsible for the maintenance of order within the school district and supports all personnel acting within the framework of this discipline policy.
B. Superintendent: The Superintendent shall establish guidelines and directives to carry out this policy, hold all school personnel, students and parents/guardians responsible for following this policy, and support all school personnel in performing their duties within the framework of this policy. The Superintendent shall also establish guidelines and directives for using the services of appropriate agencies for assisting students and parents/guardians in upholding this policy. Any guidelines or directives established to implement this policy shall be attached as an addendum to this policy.
C. Building Administrator: The building administrator is given the responsibility and authority to formulate building rules and regulations necessary to uphold this policy. The building administrator is responsible for ensuring staff understand this policy as well as ensuring that all students are taught this policy and other relevant policies. The building administrator shall give direction and support to all school personnel performing their duties within the framework of this policy. The building administrator shall consult with parents/guardians of students conducting themselves in a manner contrary to the policy. The building administrator shall also involve other professional employees in the disposition of behavior referrals and shall make use of those agencies appropriate for assisting students and parents/guardians. A building administrator, in exercising their lawful authority, may use reasonable force only when it is necessary under the circumstances to restrain a student to prevent imminent bodily harm or death to the student or another.
D. Teachers: It is recognized that teachers have a direct impact on the culture and climate of their classroom and the school environment as a whole. Teachers are responsible for providing a well-planned teaching/learning environment focused on student needs, teaching and reteaching both academic and social emotional skills. Teaching student expectations, with appropriate assistance from the administration, is a primary task for teachers. When school rules are not followed, teachers must support students relearning of school rules and assist in repairing any harm caused within the community as prescribed by district or individual school/site procedures. In exercising the teacher’s lawful authority, a teacher may use reasonable force only when it is necessary under the circumstances to restrain a student to prevent imminent bodily harm or death to the student or another.
E. Other School District Personnel: All school district personnel are responsible for contributing to the culture and climate of the school district. All district personnel support efforts to establish a safe, welcoming and inclusive school environment by following district procedures when responding to situations in which school rules are not followed. All staff support students relearning of school rules and assist in repairing any harm caused within the community. School district personnel should only act in ways authorized and directed by the Superintendent. A school employee, school bus driver, or other agent of a school district, in exercising their lawful authority, may only use reasonable force when it is necessary under the circumstances to restrain a student to prevent imminent bodily harm or death to the student or another.
F. Parents and Legal Guardians: Parents/guardians shall be held responsible for the actions of their children as determined by law and community practice. They are expected to cooperate with school authorities and to participate regarding the actions of their children.
G. Students: All students shall be held individually responsible for their actions and for knowing and following the Code of Student Conduct and this policy.
H. Community Members: Members of the community are expected to contribute to the establishment of an atmosphere in which rights and duties are effectively acknowledged and fulfilled.
I. Reasonable Force Reports
1. The school district must report data on its use of any reasonable force used on a student with a disability to correct or restrain the student to prevent imminent bodily harm or death to the student or another that is consistent with the definition of physical holding under Minnesota Statutes, section 125A.0941, paragraph (c), as outlined in section 125A.0942, subdivision 3, paragraph (b).
2. Beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, the school district must report annually by July 15, in a form and manner determined by the MDE Commissioner, data from the prior school year about any reasonable force used on a general education student to correct or restrain the student to prevent imminent bodily harm or death to the student or another that is consistent with the definition of physical holding under Minnesota Statutes, section 125A.0941, paragraph (c).
3. Any reasonable force used under Minnesota Statutes, sections 121A.582; 609.06, subdivision 1; and 609.379 which intends to hold a child immobile or limit a child's movement where body contact is the only source of physical restraint or confines a child alone in a room from which egress is barred shall be reported to the Minnesota Department of Education as a restrictive procedure, including physical holding or seclusion used by an unauthorized or untrained staff person.
VI. Student Rights
All students have a right to an education and the right to learn in an environment in which they are supported, valued, respected, and safe.
VII. Student Responsibilities
All students have the responsibility:
A. To assist in building a school culture and climate where all students are supported, valued, respected and safe;
B. When rules are not followed, students are to support and engage in repairing any harm caused to others, the community, or the environment;
C. For their actions and for learning and following all school rules, regulations, policies and procedures;
D. To attend school daily, except when excused, and to be on time to all classes and other school functions;
E. To pursue and attempt to complete the courses of study prescribed by the state and local school authorities;
F. To make necessary arrangements for making up work when absent from school;
G. To assume that until a rule or policy is waived, altered, or repealed, it is in full force and effect;
H. To be aware of and follow federal, state and local laws;
I. To volunteer information in disciplinary cases should they have any knowledge relating to such cases and to cooperate with school staff as appropriate;
J. To respect and maintain the school’s property and the property of others;
K. To dress and groom in a manner which meets standards of safety and health;
L. To avoid inaccuracies in student newspapers, school-sponsored social media accounts, shared virtual spaces, or publications and refrain from indecent or obscene language; and
M. To recognize and respect the rights of others.
VIII. Code of Student Conduct
A. The following are examples of unacceptable actions subject to intervention by the school district. These examples are not intended to be an exclusive list. Any student who engages in any of these activities shall be responded to and supported in repairing and restoring harm caused in accordance with this policy. This policy applies to all school buildings, school grounds, and school property or property immediately adjacent to school grounds; school-sponsored activities or trips; school bus stops; school buses, school vehicles, school contracted vehicles or any other vehicles approved for school district purposes; the area of entrance or departure from school premises or events; and all school-related functions, school-sponsored activities, events, trips, virtual learning spaces, and school-sponsored social media platforms. School district property also may mean a student’s walking route to and from school for purposes of attending school or school-related functions, activities, or events. While the school district will provide interventions when students do not follow school rules and policies in this policy and others alike in these locations, settings, and events, the school district does not represent that it will provide supervision or assume liability at these locations and events. This policy also applies to any student whose actions at any time or in any place, including online, interfere with or obstruct the mission or operations of the school district or the safety or welfare of the student, other students, or employees.
1. Violations against property including, but not limited to, damage to or destruction of school property or the property of others, failure to compensate for damage or destruction of such property, arson, breaking and entering, theft, robbery, possession of stolen property, extortion, trespassing, unauthorized usage, or vandalism;
2. The use of profanity or obscene language or materials, or the possession of obscene materials;
3. Gambling, including, but not limited to, playing a game of chance for stakes;
4. Violation of the school district’s Hazing Prohibition Policy;
5. Violation of the school district’s Student Attendance Policy;
6. Opposition to authority using physical force or violence;
7. Using, possessing, or distributing tobacco, tobacco-related devices, electronic cigarettes, or tobacco paraphernalia in violation of the school district’s Tobacco- Free Environment: Possession and Use of Tobacco, Tobacco-Related Devices and Electronic Devices; Vaping Awareness and Prevention Instructions Policy;
8. Using, possessing, distributing, intending to distribute, making a request to another person for (solicitation), or being under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances or look-alike substances;
9. Using, possessing, distributing, intending to distribute, making a request to another person for (solicitation), or being under the influence of narcotics, drugs, or other controlled substances (except as prescribed by a physician), or look-alike substances (these prohibitions include medical marijuana or medical cannabis, even when prescribed by a physician, and one student sharing prescription medication with another student);
10. Using, possessing, or distributing items or articles that are illegal or harmful to persons or property including, but not limited to, drug paraphernalia;
11. Using, possessing, or distributing weapons, or look-alike weapons or other dangerous objects;
12. Violation of the school district’s Weapons Policy;
13. Violation of the school district’s Violence Prevention Policy;
14. Possession of ammunition including, but not limited to, bullets or other projectiles designed to be used in or as a weapon;
15. Possession, use, or distribution of explosives or any compound or mixture, the primary or common purpose or intended use of which is to function as an explosive;
16. Possession, use, or distribution of fireworks or any substance or combination of substances or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation;
17. Using an ignition device, including a butane or disposable lighter or matches, inside an educational building and under circumstances where there is a risk of fire, except where the device is used in a manner authorized by the school;
18. Violation of any local, state, or federal law as appropriate;
19. Acts disruptive of the educational process, including, but not limited to, verbal and physical assault, disruptions in the classroom leading to interruptions in teaching and learning, cheating, failure to identify oneself, improper activation of fire alarms, or bomb threats;
20. Violation of the school district’s Electronic Technologies Acceptable Use Policy;
21. Violation of school bus or transportation rules or the school district’s Student Transportation Safety Policy;
22. Violation of parking or school traffic rules and regulations, including, but not limited to, driving on school property in such a manner as to endanger persons or property;
23. Violation of directives or guidelines relating to lockers or improperly gaining access to a school locker;
24. Violation of the school district’s Search of Student Lockers, Desks, Personal Possessions, and Student’s Person Policy;
25. Violation of the school district’s Student Use and Parking of Motor Vehicles; Patrols, Inspections, and Searches Policy;
26. Possession or distribution of slanderous, libelous, or pornographic materials;
27. Violation of the school district’s Bullying Prevention Policy;
28. Student attire or personal grooming which creates a danger to health or safety or creates a disruption to the educational process, including clothing which bears a message which is lewd, vulgar, or obscene, apparel promoting products or activities that are illegal for use by minors, or clothing containing objectionable emblems, signs, words, objects, or pictures communicating a message that is racist, sexist, or otherwise derogatory to a protected minority group;
29. Criminal activity;
30. Falsification of any records, documents, notes, or signatures;
31. Tampering with, changing, or altering records or documents of the school district by any method including, but not limited to, computer access or other electronic means;
32. Scholastic dishonesty which includes, but is not limited to, cheating on a school assignment or test, plagiarism, or collusion, including the use of picture phones or other technology to accomplish this end;
33. Impertinent or disrespectful words, symbols, acronyms, or language, whether oral or written, related to teachers or other school district personnel;
34. Violation of the school district’s Harassment and Violence Policy;
35. Actions, including fighting or any other assaultive actions, which causes or could cause injury to the student or other persons or which otherwise endangers the health, safety, or welfare of teachers, students, other school district personnel, or other persons;
36. Committing an act which inflicts great bodily harm upon another person, even though accidental or a result of poor judgment;
37. Violations against persons, including, but not limited to, assault or threatened assault, fighting, harassment, interference or obstruction, attack with a weapon, or look-alike weapon, sexual assault, illegal or inappropriate sexual conduct, or indecent exposure;
38. Verbal assaults or verbally abusive actions including, but not limited to, use of words, symbols, acronyms, or language, whether oral or written, that are discriminatory, abusive, obscene, threatening, intimidating, degrading to other people, or threatening to school property;
39. Physical or verbal threats including, but not limited to, the staging or reporting of dangerous or hazardous situations that do not exist;
40. Inappropriate, abusive, threatening, or demeaning actions based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, disability, national origin, or sexual orientation;
41. Violation of the school district’s Distribution of Non-School-Sponsored Materials on School Premises by Students and Employees Policy;
42. Violation of the school district’s one-to-one device rules and regulations;
43. Violation of school rules, regulations, policies, or procedures, including, but not limited to, those policies specifically enumerated in this policy;
44. Other acts, as determined by the school district, which are disruptive of the educational process or dangerous or detrimental to the student or other students, school district personnel or surrounding persons, or which violate the rights of others or which damage or endanger the property of the school, or which otherwise interferes with or obstruct the mission or operations of the school district or the safety or welfare of students or employees.
IX. Recess and Other Breaks
A. "Recess detention" means excluding or excessively delaying a student from participating in a scheduled recess period as a consequence for student behavior. Recess detention does not include, among other things, providing alternative recess at the student's choice.
B. The school district is encouraged to ensure student access to structured breaks from the demands of school and to support teachers, principals, and other school staff in their efforts to use evidence-based approaches to reduce exclusionary forms of discipline.
C. The school district must not use recess detention unless:
1. a student causes or is likely to cause serious physical harm to other students or staff;
2. the student's parent or guardian specifically consents to the use of recess detention; or
3. for students receiving special education services, the student's individualized education program team has determined that withholding recess is appropriate based on the individualized needs of the student.
D. The school district must not withhold recess from a student based on incomplete schoolwork.
E. The school district must require school staff to make a reasonable attempt to notify a parent or guardian within 24 hours of using recess detention.
F. The school district must compile information on each recess detention at the end of each school year, including the student's age, grade, gender, race or ethnicity, and special education status. This information must be available to the public upon request. The school district is encouraged to use the data in professional development promoting the use of nonexclusionary discipline.
G. The school district must not withhold or excessively delay a student's participation in scheduled mealtimes. This section does not alter a district or school's existing responsibilities under Minnesota Statutes, section, 124D.111 or other state or federal law.
X. Disciplinary Actions Options
The general policy of the school district is to utilize progressive levels of discipline focused on student learning and repairing relationships and the school environment to the extent reasonable and appropriate based upon the specific facts and circumstances of the incident. The specific form of discipline chosen in a particular case is solely within the discretion of the school district. At a minimum, violation of school district code of conduct, rules, regulations, policies or procedures will result in a restorative discussion. The school district has authority to impose more severe disciplinary responses for any violation, including exclusion or expulsion, if warranted by the student’s actions. Disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:
A. Teaching and/or reteaching of school policies and expectations;
B. Engaging with the students in social emotional learning through tiered levels of support based on student need;
C. Engaging in restorative conversation with students and others involved, which may include staff members. Restorative practices in classrooms or with a targeted group of students are appropriate when others involved consent to participating;
D. Student conference with the teacher, building administrator, counselor, or other school district personnel to discuss with the student the cause of the student's actions and alternative actions the student could take in the future when faced with a similar situation. In addition, the staff member facilitating this discussion will determine with the student what supports the student may need in order to be able to engage in those alternative actions in the future. This conversation may also include a review of the Code of Student Conduct and potential responses to future actions;
E. Confiscation by school district personnel and/or by law enforcement of any item, article, object, or thing, prohibited by, or used in the violation of, any school district policy, rule, regulation, procedure, or state or federal law. If confiscated by the school district, the confiscated item, article, object, or things will be released only to the parent/guardian following the completion of any investigation or disciplinary action instituted or taken related to the violation.
F. Parent/guardian contact;
G. Parent/guardian conference;
H. Removal from class;
I. In-school suspension;
J. Suspension from extracurricular activities;
K. Detention or restriction of privileges;
L. Loss of school privileges;
M. In-school monitoring or revised class schedule;
N. Referral to in-school support services;
O. Referral to community resources or outside agency services;
P. Financial restitution;
Q. Referral to police, other law enforcement agencies, or other appropriate authorities;
R. Out-of-school suspension under The Pupil Fair Dismissal Act;
S. Preparation of an admission or re-admission plan;
T. Expulsion under The Pupil Fair Dismissal Act;
U. Exclusion under The Pupil Fair Dismissal Act; and/or
V. Other responses as deemed appropriate by the school district.
XI. Removal of Students From Class
A. Teachers have the responsibility of teaching school expectations to students, while also maintaining a safe, welcoming and inclusive learning environment for all students. When incidents occur that disrupt the environment, it is the responsibility of the teacher to attempt to redirect actions and restore relationships in the environment within the guidelines established by the school district or school. Teachers may accomplish this by engaging in coaching and listening conversations with the student, using positive reinforcement, providing alternatives in learning practices or the environment to meet students needs, consulting with a student support team or other resources when interfering actions persist, or contacting the student’s parents/guardians when ongoing needs arise. The teacher shall have the authority to remove the student from class pursuant to the procedures established by this discipline policy. “Removal from class” and “removal” mean any actions taken by a teacher, building administrator, or other school district employee to prohibit a student from attending a class or activity for a period of time not to exceed five (5) days, pursuant to this discipline policy.
B. Grounds for removal from class shall include any of the following:
1. Willful conduct that significantly disrupts the rights of others to an education, including conduct that interferes with a teacher’s ability to teach or communicate effectively with students in a class or with the ability of other students to learn;
2. Willful conduct that endangers surrounding persons, including school district employees, the student or other students, or the property of the school;
3. Willful violation of any school rules, regulations, policies, or procedures, including the Code of Student Conduct in this policy; or
4. Other conduct, which at the discretion of the teacher or administration, requires removal of the student from class.
Such removal will be for at least one (1) activity period or class period of instruction for a given course of study and shall not exceed five (5) such periods.
A student must be removed from class immediately if the student engages in assault or violent behavior. “Assault” is an act done with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death; or the intentional infliction of, or attempt to inflict, bodily harm upon another. The removal from class shall be for a period of time deemed appropriate by the principal, in consultation with the teacher.
C. Removal from class is the short-term exclusion of a student from class during which the school retains custody of the student. Students violating the Code of Student Conduct may be removed from class at the discretion of the classroom teacher for the duration of the class or activity period. If the student is to be removed for additional time, the duration and the conditions for return to class will be determined at a conference between the principal/designee and the teacher. The principal/designee will have the responsibility, if necessary, to consult with the student’s case manager. Students removed from class shall be the responsibility of the principal or designee. The principal or designee shall inform the student and the student’s parent/guardian of the condition for returning to class.
D. If a student is frequently removed from class for recurring behaviors, the school district shall notify the parent/guardian and make reasonable attempts to convene a meeting with the student’s parent/guardian to discuss the problem that is causing the student to be removed from class.
A. "Dismissal" means the denial of the current educational program to any student, including exclusion, expulsion, and suspension. Dismissal does not include removal from class.
The school district shall not deny due process of equal protection of the law to any student involved in a dismissal proceeding which may result in suspension, exclusion or expulsion.
The school district shall not dismiss any student without attempting to use nonexclusionary disciplinary policies and procedures before dismissal proceedings or pupil withdrawal agreements, except where it appears that the student will create an immediate and substantial danger to self or to surrounding persons or property.
B. Violations leading to suspension, based upon severity, may also be grounds for actions leading to expulsion and/or exclusion. A student may be dismissed on any of the following grounds:
1. Willful violation of any reasonable School Board regulation, including those found in this policy;
2. Willful conduct that significantly disrupts the rights of others to an education, or the ability of school personnel to perform their duties, or school sponsored extracurricular activities; or
3. Willful conduct that endangers the student or other students, or surrounding persons, including school district employees, or property of the school.
C. Disciplinary Dismissals Prohibited
1. A pupil enrolled in the following is not subject to dismissals under the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act:
a. a preschool or prekindergarten program, including an early childhood family education, school readiness, school readiness plus, voluntary prekindergarten, Head Start, or other school-based preschool or prekindergarten program; or
b. kindergarten through Grade 3.
2. This section does not apply to a dismissal from school for less than one school day, except as provided under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 125A and federal law for a student receiving special education services.
3. Notwithstanding this section, expulsions and exclusions may be used only after resources outlined under Nonexclusionary discipline have been exhausted, and only in circumstances where there is an ongoing serious safety threat to the child or others.
D. Suspension Procedures
1. "Suspension" means an action taken by the school administration prohibiting a student from attending school for a period of no more than ten (10) school days; provided, however, if a suspension is longer than five (5) school days, the suspending administrator shall provide the Superintendent or designee with a reason for the longer term of suspension. This definition does not apply to dismissal for one (1) school day or less, except as may be provided in federal law for a student with a disability.
2. School administration must allow a suspended pupil the opportunity to complete all school work assigned during the period of the pupil's suspension and to receive full credit for satisfactorily completing the assignments. The school principal or other person having administrative control of the school building or program is encouraged to designate a district or school employee as a liaison to work with the pupil's teachers to allow the suspended pupil to (1) receive timely course materials and other information, and (2) complete daily and weekly assignments and receive teachers' feedback.
3. If a student’s total days of removal from school exceeds ten (10) cumulative days in a school year, the school district shall make reasonable attempts to convene a meeting with the student and the student’s parent/guardian before subsequently removing the student from school and, with the permission of the parent/guardian, arrange for a mental health screening for the student at the parent/guardian expense. The purpose of this meeting is to attempt to determine the pupil’s need for assessment or other services or whether the parent/guardian should have the student assessed or diagnosed to determine whether the student needs treatment for a mental health disorder.
4. The definition of suspension under Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.41, subdivision 10, does not apply to a student's dismissal from school for one school day or less, except as provided under federal law for a student with a disability. Each suspension action shall include a readmission plan. The plan shall include, where appropriate, a provision for implementing alternative educational services upon readmission which must not be used to extend the current suspension. A readmission plan must not obligate a parent/guardian to provide psychotropic drugs to their student as a condition of readmission. School administration must not use the refusal of a parent/guardian to consent to the administration of psychotropic drugs to their student or to consent to a psychiatric evaluation, screening, or examination of the student as a ground, by itself, to prohibit the student from attending class or participating in a school-related activity, or as a basis of a charge of child abuse, child neglect, or medical or educational neglect. The school administration may not impose consecutive suspensions against the same student for the same course of conduct, or incident of misconduct, except where the student will create an immediate and substantial danger to self or surrounding persons or property or where the school district is in the process of initiating an expulsion, in which case the school administration may extend the suspension to a total of fifteen (15) days.
5. A child with a disability may be suspended. When a child with a disability has been suspended for more than five (5) consecutive days or ten (10) cumulative school days in the same year, and that suspension does not involve a recommendation for expulsion or exclusion or other change in placement under federal law, relevant members of the child’s IEP team, including at least one of the child’s teachers, shall meet and determine the extent to which the child needs services in order to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress towards meeting the goals in the child’s IEP. That meeting must occur as soon as possible, but no more than ten (10) days after the sixth (6th) consecutive day of suspension or the tenth (10th) cumulative day of suspension has elapsed.
6. Alternative education services must be provided to a pupil who is suspended for more than five (5) consecutive school days. Alternative educational services may include, but are not limited to, special tutoring, modified curriculum, modified instruction, other modifications or adaptations, instruction through electronic media, special education services as indicated by appropriate assessments, homebound instruction, supervised homework, or enrollment in another district or in an alternative learning center under Minnesota Statutes, section123A.05 selected to allow the pupil to progress toward meeting graduation standards under Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.02, although in a different setting.
7. The school administration shall not suspend a student from school without an informal administrative conference with the student. The informal administrative conference shall take place before the suspension, except where it appears that the student will create an immediate and substantial danger to self or to surrounding persons or property, in which case the conference shall take place as soon as practicable following the suspension. At the informal administrative conference, a school administrator shall notify the student of the grounds for the suspension, provide an explanation of the evidence the authorities have, and the student may present the student’s version of the facts. A separate administrative conference is required for each period of suspension.
8. The school district recognizes that exclusionary practices impact student's achievement and learning. Therefore, after school administration notifies a student of the grounds for suspension, school administration may provide alternative options when possible.
9. A written notice containing the grounds for suspension, a brief statement of the facts, a description of the testimony, a readmission plan, and a copy of the Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, Minnesota Statutes, sections 121A.40 - 121A.56, shall be personally served upon the student at or before the time of suspension is to take effect, and upon the student’s parent/guardian by mail within forty-eight (48) hours of the conference.
10. The school administration shall make reasonable efforts to notify the student’s parent/guardian of the suspension by telephone as soon as possible following suspension.
11. In the event a student is suspended without an informal administrative conference on the grounds that the student will create an immediate and substantial danger to surrounding persons or property, the written notice shall be served upon the student and the student’s parent/guardian within forty- eight (48) hours of the suspension. Service by mail shall be complete upon mailing.
12. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, the student may be suspended pending the School Board’s decision in an expulsion or exclusion proceeding, provided that an alternative educational services are implemented to the extent that suspension exceeds five (5) consecutive school days.
E. Expulsion and Exclusion Procedures
1. "Expulsion" means a School Board action to prohibit an enrolled student from further attendance for up to twelve (12) months from the date the student is expelled. The authority to expel rests with the School Board.
2. "Exclusion" means an action taken by the School Board to prevent enrollment or re-enrollment of a student for a period that shall not extend beyond the school year. The authority to exclude rests with the School Board.
3. All expulsion and exclusion proceedings will be held pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of the Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, Minnesota Statutes, sections 121A.40 - 121A.56.
4. No expulsion or exclusion shall be imposed without a hearing, unless the right to a hearing is waived in writing by the student and parent/guardian.
5. The student and parent/guardian shall be provided written notice of the school district’s intent to initiate expulsion or exclusion proceedings. This notice shall be served upon the student and their parent/guardian personally or by mail, and shall contain: a complete statement of the facts; a list of the witnesses and a description of their testimony; state the date, time and place of the hearing; be accompanied by a copy of the Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, Minnesota Statutes, sections 121A.40 - 121A.56; describe the nonexclusionary disciplinary practices accorded the student in an attempt to avoid the expulsion proceedings; and informing the student and parent/guardian of their right to: (1) have a representative of the student’s own choosing, including legal counsel at the hearing; (2) examine the student’s records before the hearing; (3) present evidence; and (4) confront and cross-examine witnesses. The school district must advise the student’s parent/guardian that free or low-cost legal assistance may be available and that a legal assistance resource list is available from the Minnesota Department Education (MDE) and is posted on its website.
6. The hearing shall be scheduled within ten (10) days of the service of the written notice unless an extension, not to exceed five (5) days, is requested for good cause by the school district, student, parent/guardian.
7. All hearings shall be held at a time and place reasonably convenient to the student and the parent/guardian and shall be closed, unless the student or the parent/guardian requests an open hearing.
8. The school district shall record the hearing proceedings at district expense, and a party may obtain a transcript at its own expense.
9. The student shall have a right to a representative of the student’s own choosing, including legal counsel, at the student’s sole expense. The school district shall advise the student’s parent/guardian that free or low-cost legal assistance may be available and that a legal assistance resource list is available from MDE. The School Board may appoint an attorney to represent the school district in any proceedings.
10. If the student designates a representative other than the parent/guardian, the representative must have a written authorization from the student and the parent/guardian providing them with access to and/or copies of the student’s records.
11. All expulsion or exclusion hearings shall take place before and be conducted by an independent hearing officer designated by the school district. The hearing shall be conducted in a fair and impartial manner. Testimony shall be given under oath and the hearing officer shall have the power to issue subpoenas and administer oaths.
12. At a reasonable time prior to the hearing, the student, parent/guardian, or authorized representative shall be given access to all school district records pertaining to the student, including any tests or reports upon which the proposed dismissal action may be based.
13. The student, parent/guardian, or authorized representative, shall have the right to compel the presence of any school district employee or agent or any other person who may have evidence upon which the proposed dismissal action may be based, and to confront and cross-examine any witnesses testifying for the school district.
14. The student, parent(s)/guardian(s), or authorized representative, shall have the right to present evidence and testimony, including expert psychological or educational testimony.
15. The student cannot be compelled to testify in the dismissal proceedings.
16. The hearing officer shall prepare findings and a recommendation based solely upon substantial evidence presented at the hearing, which will be made to the school district and served upon the parties within two (2) days after closing of the hearing.
17. The School Board shall base its decision upon the findings and recommendation of the hearing officer and shall render its decision at a meeting held within five (5) days after receiving the findings and recommendation. The School Board may provide the parties with the opportunity to present exceptions and comments to the hearing officer’s findings and recommendation provided that neither party presents any evidence not admitted at the hearing. The decision by the School Board must be based on the record, must be in writing, and must state the controlling facts on which the decision is made in sufficient detail to apprise the parties and the Commissioner of Education (Commissioner) of the basis and reason for the decision.
18. A party to an expulsion or exclusion decision made by the School Board may appeal the decision to the Commissioner within twenty-one (21) calendar days of School Board action pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.49. The decision of the School Board shall be implemented during the appeal to the Commissioner.
19. The school district shall report any suspension, expulsion, or exclusion action taken to the appropriate public service agency, when the student is under the supervision of such agency.
20. The school district must report, through the MDE electronic reporting system, each expulsion or exclusion within thirty (30) days of the effective date of the action to the Commissioner. This report must include a statement of alternative educational services given the student and the reason for, the effective date, and the duration of the exclusion or expulsion. The report must also include the student’s age, grade, gender, race, and special education status. The dismissal report must include state student identification numbers of affected students.
21. Whenever a student fails to return to school within ten (10) school days of the termination of dismissal, a school administrator shall inform the student and their parent/guardian by mail of the student’s right to attend and to be reinstated in the school district.
XIII. Admission or Readmission Plan
A school administrator must prepare and enforce an admission or readmission plan for any student who is excluded or expelled from school. The plan must include preventative strategies and skill building. The School Board recognizes that parent/guardian involvement is important for student success. School administrators are expected to involve the parent/guardian in the admission and readmission process. School administrators will review the Code of Student Conduct an potential response to future actions. The readmission plan must not obligate the parent/guardian to provide mental health or related medication for their child as a condition of readmission.
XIV. Notification of Policy Violations
Notification of any violation of this policy and resulting disciplinary action shall be as provided herein, or as otherwise provided by The Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, or other applicable law. The teacher, building administrator, or other school district officials may provide additional notification as deemed appropriate.
In addition, the school district must report, through the MDE electronic reporting system, each exclusion or expulsion, each physical assault of a school district employee by a student, and each pupil withdrawal agreement within thirty (30) days of the effective date of the dismissal action, pupil withdrawal, or assault, to the MDE Commissioner. This report must include a statement of the nonexclusionary disciplinary practices, or other sanction, intervention, or resolution in response to the assault given to the student and the reason for, the effective date, and the duration of the exclusion or expulsion or other sanction, intervention, or resolution. The report must also include the student’s age, grade, gender, race, and special education status.
XV. Student Discipline Records
The policy of the school district is that complete and accurate student discipline records be maintained. The collection, dissemination and maintenance of student discipline records shall be consistent with applicable school district policies and federal and state law, including the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minnesota Statutes Chapter 13.
XVI. Students with Disabilities
Students who are currently identified as eligible under the IDEA or Section 504 will be subject to the provisions of this policy, unless the student’s IEP or 504 plan specifies a necessary modification.
Before initiating an expulsion or exclusion of a student with a disability, relevant members of the student’s IEP team and the student’s parent/guardian shall, consistent with federal law, conduct a manifestation determination and determine whether the student’s behavior were (i) caused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to the student’s disability and (ii) whether the student’s conduct was a direct result of a failure to implement the student’s IEP. If the student’s educational program is appropriate and the behavior were not a manifestation of the student’s disability, the school district will proceed with discipline – up to and including expulsion – as if the student did not have a disability, unless the student’s educational program provides otherwise. If the team determines that the behavior subject to discipline is a manifestation of the student’s disability, the team shall conduct a functional behavioral assessment and implement a behavioral intervention plan for such student provided that the school district had not conducted such assessment prior to the manifestation determination before the behavior that resulted in a change of placement. Where a behavioral intervention plan previously has been developed, the team will review the behavioral intervention plan and modify it as necessary to address the behavior.
When a student who has an IEP is excluded or expelled for behavior that is not a manifestation of the student’s disability, the school district shall continue to provide special education and related services during the period of expulsion or exclusion.
XVII. Open Enrolled Students
The school district may terminate the enrollment of a nonresident student enrolled under an Enrollment Option Program (Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.03) or Enrollment in Nonresident District (Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.08) at the end of the school year if the student meets the definition of a habitual truant, the student has been provided appropriate services for truancy (Minnesota Statutes, chapter 260A), and the student’s case has been referred to juvenile court. The school district may also terminate the enrollment of a nonresident student over the age of seventeen (17) enrolled under an Enrollment Option Program if the student is absent without lawful excuse for one or more periods of fifteen (15) school days and has not lawfully withdrawn from school.
XVIII. Discipline Complaint Procedure
Students, parents and other guardians, and school staff may file a complaint and seek corrective action when the requirements of the Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, including the implementation of the local behavior and discipline policies, are not being implemented appropriately or are being discriminately applied.
A. The Discipline Complaint Procedure must, at a minimum:
1. provide procedures for communicating this policy including the ability for a parent to appeal a decision under Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.49 that contains explicit instructions for filing the complaint;
2. provide an opportunity for involved parties to submit additional information related to the complaint;
3. provide a procedure to begin to investigate complaints within three school days of receipt, and identify personnel who will manage the investigation and any resulting record and are responsible for keeping and regulating access to any record;
4. provide procedures for issuing a written determination to the complainant that addresses each allegation and contains findings and conclusions;
5. if the investigation finds the requirements of Minnesota Statutes, sections 121A.40 to 121A.61, including any local policies that were not implemented appropriately, contain procedures that require a corrective action plan to correct a student's record and provide relevant staff with training, coaching, or other accountability practices to ensure appropriate compliance with policies in the future; and
6. prohibit reprisals or retaliation against any person who asserts, alleges, or reports a complaint, and provide procedures for applying appropriate consequences for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation.
XIX. Distribution of Policy
The school district will notify students and parent/guardian of the existence and contents of this policy in such manner as it deems appropriate. Copies of this discipline policy shall be made available to all students and parent/guardian at the commencement of each school year and to all new students and parent/guardian upon enrollment. This policy will also be available upon request in each building administrator’s office.
XX. Review of Policy
The building administrator and representatives of parent/guardian, students and staff in each school building shall confer at least annually to review this discipline policy, determine if the policy is working as intended, and to assess whether the discipline policy has been enforced. Any recommended changes will be submitted to the Superintendent for consideration by the School Board, which shall conduct an annual review of this policy.
Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.02 (Educational Expectations and Graduation Requirements for Minnesota’s Students)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.232 (Character Development Education)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.26 (School Preassessment Teams)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.29 (Reporting; Chemical Abuse)
Minn. Stat. §§ 121A.40 - 121A.56 (Pupil Fair Dismissal Act)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.575 (Alternatives to Pupil Suspension)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.582 (Student Discipline; Reasonable Force)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.60 (Definitions)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.61 (Discipline and Removal of Students From Class)
Minn. Stat. § 122A.42 (General Control of Schools)
Minn. Stat. § 123A.05 (State-Approved Alternative Program Organization)
Minn. Stat. § 124D.03 (Enrollment Options Program)
Minn. Stat. § 124D.08 (School Boards' approval to Enroll in Nonresident District; Exceptions)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 125A (Special Education and Special Programs)
Minn. Stat. § 152.22, Subd. 6 (Definitions)
Minn. Stat. § 152.23 (Limitations)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 260A (Truancy)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 260C (Juvenile Safety and Placement)
20 U.S.C. §§ 1400-1487 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
29 U.S.C. § 794 et seq. (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, § 504)
34 C.F.R. § 300.530(e)(1) (Manifestation Determination)
WBLASB Policy 413 (Harassment and Violence)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 419 (Tobacco-Free Environment; Possession and Use of Tobacco, Tobacco-Related Devices, and Electronic Delivery Devices)
WBLASB Policy 501 (School Weapons Policy)
WBLASB Policy 502 (Search of Student Lockers, Desks, Personal Possessions, and Student’s Person)
WBLASB Policy 503 (Student Attendance)
WBLASB Policy 505 (Distribution of Non-School-Sponsored Materials on School Premises by Students and Employees)
WBLASB Policy 514 (Bullying Prevention Policy)
WBLASB Policy 524 (Electronic Technologies Acceptable Use Policy)
WBLASB Policy 525 (Violence Prevention)
WBLASB Policy 526 (Hazing Prohibition)
WBLASB Policy 527 (Student Use and Parking of Motor Vehicles; Patrols, Inspections, and Searches)
WBLASB Policy 610 (Student Field Trips, Fees and Fines)
WBLASB Policy 709 (Student Transportation Safety Policy)
WBLASB Policy 711 (Video Recording on School Buses)
WBLASB Policy 712 (Video Surveillance Other Than on Buses)