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503.1 Student Conduct

Code No. 503.1




General Statement. The Board of Directors believes that there is a minimum standard of conduct which must be expected of students to maintain a favorable environment for learning. The Board also believes that students must assume the consequences for failing to meet the minimum standards of good conduct.  It is the policy of the Board of Directors of the Decorah Community School District to expect and require responsible behavior of all students in their dealings with school staff members, other students and visitors in the schools. District staff me mbers , parents and students are charged with the responsibility to cooperate in developing mature, responsible individuals capable of self-control.

Goals. The goal of the District is to ensure the right of all students to a safe and productive educational environment in which they may learn the skills and attitudes necessary to develop and to mature as responsible adults accountable for their own actions. The school environment should  encourage academic, social, emotional and physical maturation and should promote the dignity and worth of each student.

Students' Rights. Students shall be accorded  basic rights, including the right to freedom of expression, so long as it does not disrupt the school environment or infringe on the rights of others. Students have the right to be treated fairly and courteously and to expect personal information to be treated confidentially.

Scope of School Rules. Rules relating to student behavior and discipline shall apply to all students while they are on school premises or vehicles, while they are participating in or attending District events and activities, and while they are away from school if their conduct directly affects the good order and management of the District.

Expected Behavior. Students are expected to conduct them selves taking into account the rights and welfare of others. Students are expected to: a) have regular and responsible attendance; b) respect the rights and property of others; c) abide by all federal, state and local laws and the rules, regulations and directives of the District; d) refrain from possessing, using or distributing tobacco or smokeless tobacco products , including e-cigarettes, beer, wine, alcoholic beverages, controlled substances not validly prescribed, and substances which are look-alikes for such products; and (e) refrain from possessing, using or distributing guns, knives, weapons, incendiary devices, other dangerous objects and items which are look-alikes for such objects.

Rules and Regulations. The administration, with input from parents, staff, students and community members shall adopt and implement rules and regulations to implement this policy. The rules and regulations shall be communicated annually to staff, students and parents.


Disciplinary Sanctions. The Board of Directors authorizes the following types of sanctions for breach of District policies, rules, regulations and directives:


  1. Denial or withdrawal of privileges. Licensed staff members may deny or withdraw student privileges. Nonlicensed staff members may deny or withdraw privileges while students are under their supervision.


      b.    Ineligibility for participation ill co-curricular activities. This sanction may be imposed by the administration.


       c.   Temporary removal from class. A student may be temporarily removed from class while an administrator or his/her designee reviews with the student expected student behavior.


      d.    Probation. Probation is cond itional attendance during a trial period while other disciplinary sanctions are suspended. Breaches of conduct during the probationary period will result in further discipline. This sanction may be imposed by the administration.


      e.   Detention. Detention is a requirement that a student remain after school, come to school early, or come to school on Saturday. The student shall be required to do school work during a detention period. Licensed staff members may impose detentions.


     f.    In-School Suspension. In-school suspension is the temporary isolation of a student from one or more classes while under supervision. The student shall be required to do school work during an in-school suspension and shall be ineligible to participate in all school activities during the period of suspension. This sanction may be imposed by the administration.


     g.   Out-of-School Suspension. During an out-of-school suspension, the student is excluded from school and from participating in all school activities for a designated period of time. The administration may impose out-of-school suspensions for up to IO consecutive school days. The Board of Directors may impose out-of-school  suspensions for periods in excess of IO consecutive school days. Out-of-school  suspensions shall be used only for serious or repeated violations of school rules. Students shall remain enrolled in the District and shall be given an opportunity to complete course work with credit during the period of suspension.


    h.   Removal from class. A student may be removed from a class with loss of credit for the class for the balance of a semester. This sanction may be imposed by the administration for serious offenses or when other sanctions have failed to improve the student's conduct.


    i.   Expulsion. If a student is expelled, the student is excluded from school and from participating in or attending all school activities for a period of time set by the Board, which may be for longer than the balance of a school year. Only the Board shall have authority to expel a student, and the student may be readmitted only by or upon direction from the Board of Directors. Expulsions will be used only for unusually serious misconduct or after other sanctions have failed to improve the student's conduct. A student who is expelled may be offered alternative educational opportunities. Otherwise, a student who is expelled shall not be awarded credit during the period of expulsion. A student who is eligible for special education shall continue to receive a free appropriate public education.


j.    Referral to other agencies. The administration shall determine whether a matter shall be referred to other agencies. In particular, possession of weapons and the use or possession of alcoholic liquor, wine, beer, or any controlled substance on school property shall be reported to local law enforcement officials.


   k.   Restitution. Restitution for damaged or destroyed property may be required even if another sanction is also imposed.


The type and duration of the sanction shall be determined by giving consideration to the age of the student, the seriousness of the offense, extenuating circumstances, and the student's prior disciplinary record.


Corporal Punishment Prohibited. Corporal punishment is prohibited in the District. Corporal punishment is defined as the intentional physical punishment of a student, including such actions as shoving, pinching, spanking, paddling or slapping a student.


Reasonable Physical Restraint. School personnel may exercise reasonable and appropriate physical restraint to quell a disturbance or to prevent an act that threatens physical harm to any persons, to obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object within a student's control, to protect property, or to remove a disruptive student from class, from school premises or from school-sponsored activities. Reasonable force is that force and no more which a reasonable person, in like circumstances, would judge to be necessary to prevent an injury or loss. In determining the reasonableness of the force used, the following factors shall be considered:


  1. The nature of the misconduct of the student, if any.
  2. The size and physical, mental and psychological condition of the student.
  3. The instrumentality used in making physical contact.
  4. The motivation of the employee in initiating the contact.
  5. The extent and nature of injury to the student resulting from the contact.


When physical restraint is used, it shall be reported to the building principal. Incidental, minor and reasonable physical contact may be used to maintain order and control.


Appeals. Appeals of disciplinary actions may be taken by using the Student Complaint procedures. The appeal shall not stay the operation of the punishment while the appeal is pending, except for removal from a class due to unexcused absences.





Date of Last Review: July 2014


Date of Revision:                                                  Legal References:



August 11, 2014                          





20 U.S.C. §1415; 123.47B, Chapters 124 and 124A,

256B.6, 279.8, 279.8A, 279.9, 279.9A, 279.9B, 279.58,

280.3, 280.8, 280.9B, 280.14, 280.17A, 280.l 7B,

280.21, 280.21B, 280.22, 280.24, 280.25, 280.26,

282.3, 282.4, 282.5, 285.10, Chapter 287,299.1,              

299.lA, 299.1B, 299.8, 299.9, 708.1, 724.4A, 724.4B,

Code of Iowa; 281 I.A.C. Chapter 6, 12.3(6), 12.5(13),

36.14(4), 36.15(1),  41.12(2), 41.15(1), 43.40, 43.43(6),

Chapter 102, Chapter 103