School Board Policy 525 -
Violence Prevention [Applicable to Students and Staff]

Adopted: november 27, 1995
REVISED: august 27, 2001
revised: December 12, 2016

REVISED: July 15, 2019  

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to recognize that violence has increased and to identify measures that the school district will take in an attempt to maintain a learning and working environment that is free from violent and disruptive behavior.

The school board is committed to promoting healthy human relationships and learning environments that are physically and psychologically safe for all members of the school community. It further believes that students are the first priority and they should be protected from physical or emotional harm during school activities, and on school grounds, buses or field trips while under school district supervision.

II. General Statement of Policy

A. The policy of the school district is to strictly enforce its weapons policy (Policy 501).

B. The policy of the school district is to act promptly in investigating all acts of violence and all formal and informal complaints; of violence, and take appropriate disciplinary action against any student or staff member who is found to have violated this policy or any related policy.

C. The administration will periodically review discipline policies and procedures, prepare revisions if necessary and submit them to the school board for review and adoption.

D. The school district will implement approved violence prevention strategies to promote safe and secure learning environments, to diminish violence in our schools, and to aid in the protection of children whose health or welfare may be jeopardized through acts of violence.

III. Implementation of Policy

A. The school board will review and approve policies to prevent and address violence in our schools. The superintendent or designee will develop procedures to effectively implement the school weapons and violence prevention policies. It shall be incumbent on all students and staff to observe all policies and report violations to the school administration.

B. The school board and administration will inform staff and students annually of policies and procedures related to violence prevention and weapons.

C. The school district will act promptly to investigate all acts of violence and all formal or informal complaints of violence, and take appropriate disciplinary action against any student or staff member who is found to have violated this policy or any related policy.

D. The consequences set forth in the school weapons policy (Policy 501) will be imposed upon any student or nonstudent who possesses, uses or distributes a weapon when at a school location, on a school bus or in another school district vehicle or anywhere while attending a school district activity or conducting school district business.

E. The consequences set forth in the school hazing policy (Policy 526) will be imposed upon any student or staff member who commits an act against a student or staff member, or coerces a student or staff member into committing an act, that creates a substantial risk of harm to a person in connection with initiation into an organization or for any other purpose.

F.  Students who engage in assault or violent behavior will be removed from the classroom immediately and for a period of time deemed appropriate by the principal, in consultation with the teacher, pursuant to the student discipline policy (Policy 506).

G. Students with disabilities may be expelled for behavior unrelated to their disabilities, subject to the procedural safeguards required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act.

H. Procedures will be developed for the referral of any person in violation of this policy or the weapons policy to the local law enforcement agency in accordance with Minn. Stat. 121A.05.

I. Students who wear emblems, signs, words, objects, or pictures on clothing that communicates a message that is racist, sexist, or otherwise derogatory to a protected minority group, connotes gang membership or that approves, advances, or provokes any form of religious, racial or sexual harassment, or violence against individuals as defined in the Harassment and Violence Policy (Policy 413) will be subject to the procedures set forth in the Student Dress and Appearance Policy (Policy 504). "Gang" as used in this policy means any ongoing organization, association or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, having as one of its primary activities, the commission of one or more criminal acts, has an identifiable name or identifying sign or symbol, and whose members individually or collectively engage in or whose members engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity. A "pattern of gang activity" means the commission, attempt to commit, conspiring to commit, or solicitation of two or more criminal acts, provided the criminal acts were committed on separate dates or by two or more persons who are members of or belong to the same criminal gang.

J. This policy is not intended to abridge the rights of students to express political, religious, philosophical, or similar opinions by wearing apparel on which such messages are stated. Such messages are acceptable as long as they are not lewd, vulgar, obscene, defamatory, profane, do not denote gang affiliation, advocating harassment or violence against others, disruptive to the educational process, or causing others to react in a violent or illegal manner. (Policy 504)

IV. Prevention Strategies

The school district has adopted and will implement prevention strategies to promote safe and secure learning environments, to diminish violence in our schools, and to aid in the protection of children whose health or welfare may be jeopardized through acts of violence.

A. Establish clear school rules that prevent and deter violence.

B. Require all visitors to check in at the main office upon their arrival and state their business at the school. A visitor badge will be issued for easy identification that the visitor is authorized to be present in the school building.

V. Student Support

A. Students will have access to school-based student service professionals, when available, including counselors, nurses, social workers, and psychologists who are knowledgeable in methods to assist students with violence prevention and intervention.

B. Students will be apprised of school board policies designed to protect their personal safety.

C. Students will be provided with information about school district and building rules related to weapons and violence.

D. Students will be informed of resources for violence prevention and procedures for proper reporting violations of this policy.

VI. Personnel

A. School district personnel shall comply with the school weapons policy (Policy 501) and the school hazing policy (Policy 526).

B. School district personnel shall be knowledgeable of violence prevention policies and report any violation to school administration immediately. School district personnel will be informed annually as to school district and building rules regarding weapons and violence prevention.

C. School district personnel or agents of the school district shall not engage in emotionally abusive acts including but not limited to malicious shouting, ridicule, threats and corporal punishment.

Legal References:
Minn. Stat. § 1.43, Subd. 16 (School District or Charter School Disclosure of Violence or Inappropriate Sexual Contact)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.22 (Violence Prevention Education)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.232 (Character Development Education)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.035 (Crisis Management Policy)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.05 (Policy to Refer Firearms Possessor)
Minn. Stat. §§ 121A.40-121A.56 (Pupil Fair Dismissal Act)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.44 (Expulsion for Possession of Firearm)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.61(Discipline and Removal of Student from Class)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.64 (Notification)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.69 (Hazing Policy)
Minn. Stat. § 181.967, Subd. 5 (School District Disclosure of Violence or Inappropriate Sexual Contact)
18 U.S.C. § 921 (Definition of Firearm)
20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq. (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004)
29 U.S.C. § 794 et seq. (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, § 504)
Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503, 89 S.Ct. 733, 21
L.Ed.2d 731 (1969)
Stephenson v. Davenport Cmty. Sch. Dist., 110 F.3d 1303 (8th Cir. 1997)
McIntire v. Bethel School, 804 F.Supp. 1415, 78 Educ. L.Rep. 828 (W.D. Okla. 1992)
Olesen v. Board of Educ. of Sch. Dist. No. 228, 676 F.Supp. 820, 44 Educ. L.Rep. 205 (N.D. Ill. 1987)

Cross References:
WBLASB Policy 413 (Harassment and Violence)
WBLASB Policy 413 Addendum B: Responding to Racial and Biased Harm Protocol
WBLASB Policy 413 Addendum C: Administrative Guidelines for Transgender and Gender-Expansive Student Rights and Protections
WBLASB Policy 501 (Weapons)
WBLASB Policy 504 (Student Dress and Appearance)
WBLASB Policy 506 (Student Discipline)
WBLASB Policy 507 (Corporal Punishment)
WBLASB Policy 514 (Bullying Prevention Policy)
WBLASB Policy 526 (Hazing Prohibition)
WBLASB Policy 529 (Staff Notification of Violent Behavior By Students)