Code of Conduct
Expectations for Behavior and Academics
A core value of our school community is the creation and maintenance of a peaceful and respectful learning environment. We believe that all children and adults have the right to learn in an atmosphere that is free from distraction, fear or discomfort. Furthermore, we know that for maximum learning, students and staff must know that school is a safe and orderly place. School Norms have been developed to protect these rights. Please take the time to review our Expectations for Student Behavior and Academics with your child. An effective way is to read the rules together and discuss why each one is necessary.
Plagiarism, the use of another person’s words or ideas without giving them credit, is a serious problem in the academic world. Middle school is a time for students to learn about the rules that guide the use of the thoughts and/or words of others. Plagiarism can often be traced to a lack of understanding, or practice with, these rules. When teachers find that this is the case they will treat the mistake as a learning opportunity and reduce credit according to their rubric.
Unfortunately a culture of copying the work of others is growing, primarily due to the ease of using technology to “cut and paste”. When teachers determine that a student has purposely copied the work of another author, taken the ideas of another person, or used a classmate’s work without giving credit, this is a serious offense. Teachers will consult with administration when this level of plagiarism has occurred. Credit for the assignment may be denied. The student will meet with the principal and parents will be informed.
Cell Phone Policy
Electronic devices are prohibited during academic hours. These items include, but are not limited to cell phones, iPods, speakers, and all other communication or auditory devices. Social media and picture access is not permitted. Cell phones should be off and away during the school day. Upon arrival at homeroom, students are asked to place cellphones in a designated classroom area. If a student arrives late to school, they will be asked to leave their cell phone in the front office and may pick it up during homeroom at the end of the school day.
If a student is carrying or using a cell phone or electronic device during the school day, they will be asked to turn the phone into the front office and a phone call will be placed to the parent to create a plan moving forward.
Students are permitted to wear electronic watches during the school day, however, are not permitted to use these devices for communication or games. If a student chooses to use an electronic watch for communication or games, they will be asked to follow the progressive disciplinary approach outlined above.
Use of communication devices outside of school for disruptive or illicit purposes that impacts our school learning environment is not permitted and disciplinary action may be taken. Use of cameras or cell phones with cameras is forbidden. If communication devices are used in the locker room or bathroom, the student will lose the privilege of monitoring their communication device for a period of up to one month.
Monomoy Regional Middle School supports equitable access and the primary responsibility for a student’s attire resides with the student and parents or guardians. Student attire may not interfere with the health or safety of any student and cannot contribute to a hostile or intimidating atmosphere for any student.
- Middle School students may not wear hoods on sweatshirts, hats, sunglasses over their eyes, or backpacks while in the building.
- Shirts/tops – coverage of stomach, back, and chest. Armholes should not show the chest or undergarments. Strapless items are not permitted.
- Shorts/skirts – long enough to cover undergarments/posterior region regardless of activity.
- Shoes – always required.
- Outdoor clothing – scarves, gloves, sunglasses, bandanas, and backpacks are left in locker.
- Clothing/accessories that can injure self or others (studded bracelets or collars, wallet chains, etc.) need to be left at home.
- Racially or ethnically insensitive items/remarks; violent themes; harassing terms or illustrations, or any other material that can be deemed offensive or derogatory is not allowed
- Outerwear is to be removed when requested.
- If a student’s religious beliefs run counter to the school dress code, parents/guardians will be asked to provide notification and exemptions will be made.
Students who fail to comply with appropriate dress regulations will work with school staff to remedy the issue. If the issue becomes chronic, it will be documented in Aspen and the caregiver will be notified.
Class Attendance and Tardies
Teachers take attendance at the start of each class period. Students are expected to arrive at each class on time. If a student amasses three tardies within a class in an academic quarter, it will be documented in Aspen and the student’s teachers will work with the caregivers to remedy the situation. If tardiness becomes chronic, caregivers will be notified by the administration or the student’s counselor.
It is expected that no student will be late to class as a result of going to a locker. Students are responsible for the contents of their lockers. Lockers are not to be shared. There is a school-wide expectation of trust with regards to respecting school and personal property, so there are no locks on school lockers. Students should leave any valuables at home or, if necessary, they may have their homeroom teacher secure it for the day.
Lockers are provided by and owned by the school – they are not to be decorated and may be opened and checked by the administration at any time. There should be no expectation of privacy in the use of school lockers. Items or materials which are illegal or against school rules cannot be stored in a student’s locker, and lockers will be searched when necessary. Monomoy Regional Middle School has an agreement with the police departments to have police dogs check the school on a random basis, and the entire school and parking lots fall under the supervision of school administration.
Policy on Disciplining Students with Special Needs
Federal and state special education laws govern the disciplining of students with disabilities eligible for special education and the regulations promulgated there under. These laws include the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1401 et seq,. and Section 504, its implementing regulations 34 C.F.R. 300 et seq.; and Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71B and its implementing regulations, 603 C.M.R. 28.00. Students with disabilities who violate school rules are subject to removal from their current educational placement for up to ten (10) school days per year, to the extent that such a removal would be applied to students without disabilities, without prior determination as to whether the misconduct is related to the student’s disability. School personnel may order a change in educational placement of a child with a disability to an appropriate Interim Alternative Education Setting (IAES) that provides the student with a free appropriate public education for the same amount of time that a child without a disability would be subject to discipline, but for not more than forty-five (45) calendar days if the student:
- Carries or possesses a weapon to or at school, on school premises, or to or at a school function;
- Knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs at school, a school function, or school sponsored event; or
- Sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school, a school function, or school sponsored event.
Any time school personnel seek to remove a student from his or her current educational placement for more than ten (10) school days in any school year, this constitutes a “change of placement.” A change of placement invokes certain procedural protections under IDEA, the federal special education law and Section 504. These include, but are not limited to:
- If the school did not conduct a functional behavioral assessment and implement a behavioral intervention plan for such student before the behavior that resulted in the discipline, the school shall convene an IEP meeting to develop an assessment plan to address the behavior; or if the child already has a behavioral intervention plan, the IEP Team shall review the plan and modify it, as necessary, to address the behavior.
- A review by the IEP Team of the relationship between the child’s disability and the behavior subject to the disciplinary action, which is often referred to as the Manifestation Determination.
School personnel may also seek an order from the Department of Education Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) placing a student in an IAES for up to forty-five (45) calendar days. Parent/guardians and/or students, where appropriate, may request a hearing at the Bureau of Special Education Appeals regarding a disciplinary action described above to challenge the interim alternative educational setting or the manifestation determination. For a copy of the
Massachusetts Department of Education brochure on Special Education Parent’s Rights, available in many languages, visit www.doe.mass.edu/sped/parents or contact the Director of Student Services, at (508) 945-5223.
Physical Restraint Overview
In order to insure that Monomoy Regional School District provides a safe environment for both students and staff, it is obligated to notify all parents and legal guardians that it is in compliance of 603 CMR 46.00 on Physical Restraint which has been in effect since April 2, 2001, in this notification. In order to protect student(s) or school personnel from imminent, serious, physical harm school personnel may have to physically restrain a child. Physical restraint would not be used as a method to punish students or as a response to property destruction, disruption of school order or verbal threats. Please be aware that physical restraint is a method of last resort.
Maintaining an orderly, safe environment conducive to learning is an expectation of all staff members of the Monomoy Regional School District. Further, students of the District are protected by law from the unreasonable use of physical restraint. The district has a school committee policy which complies with state law and regulations. Physical restraint shall be used only in emergency situations after other less intrusive alternatives have failed or been
deemed inappropriate, and with extreme caution. A person performing physical restraint shall discontinue such restraint as soon as reasonably possible. School personnel shall use physical restraint with two goals in mind:
- To administer a physical restraint only when needed to protect a student and/or a member of the school community from immediate, serious, physical harm; and
- To prevent or minimize any harm to the student as a result of the use of physical restraint.
The following definitions appear at 603CMR 46.02:
Extended restraint: A physical restraint the duration of which is more than twenty (20) minutes. Extended restraints increase the risk of injury and, therefore, require additional written documentation as described in 603 CMR 46.06.
Physical escort: Touching or holding a student without the use of force for the purpose of directing the student.
Physical restraint: The use of bodily force to limit a student's freedom of movement.
Restraint - Other: Limiting the physical freedom of an individual student by mechanical means or seclusion in a limited space or location, or temporarily controlling the behavior of a student by chemical means. The use of chemical or mechanical restraint is prohibited unless explicitly authorized by a physician and approved in writing by the parent or guardian. The use of seclusion restraint is prohibited in public education programs.
(a) Mechanical Restraint: The use of a physical device to restrict the movement of a student or the movement or normal function of a portion of his or her body. A protective or stabilizing device ordered by a physician shall not be considered mechanical restraint.
(b) Seclusion Restraint: Physically confining a student alone in a room or limited space without access to school staff. The use of "time out" procedures during which a staff member remains accessible to the student shall not be considered "seclusion restraint."
(c) Chemical restraint: The administration of medication for the purpose of restraint.
The use of mechanical, seclusion or chemical restraint is prohibited unless explicitly authorized by a physician and approved in writing by the parent/guardian. The use of seclusion restraint is prohibited in public education programs. Each building Principal has identified staff members to serve as a school-wide resource to assist in ensuring proper administration of physical restraint. These staff members have participated in an in-depth training program in the use of physical restraint.
Only school personnel who have received training pursuant to 603CMR 46.00 may administer physical restraint on students. Whenever possible the administration of physical restraint shall be administered in the presence of at least one adult who does not participate in the restraint. A person administering physical restraint shall only use the amount of force necessary to protect the student or others from injury or harm.
In addition, each staff member is trained regarding the school’s physical restraint policy. The Principal will arrange training to occur in the first month of each school year, or for staff hired after the beginning of the school year, within a month of their employment.
Physical restraint is prohibited as a means of discipline, or as a response to destruction of property, disruption of school order, a student’s refusal to comply with a school rule or staff directive, or verbal threats that do not constitute a threat of imminent, serious physical harm to the student or others.
A member of the School Committee or any teacher or any employees or agent of the School Committee shall not be precluded from using such reasonable force as is necessary to protect pupils, other persons or themselves from an assault by a pupil.
The program staff shall report the use of physical restraint. Reporting of incidences shall meet with local policy and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education laws and regulations. In special circumstances waivers may be sought from parents either through the Individual Education Plan (IEP) process or from parents of students who present a high risk of frequent, dangerous behavior that may frequent the use of restraint.
It is the policy of the Monomoy Regional School District to follow all applicable laws concerning discipline and to provide students facing discipline with their rights to due process pursuant to all applicable laws and regulations, including but not limited to Mass. General Laws, chapter 71, §§ 37H, 37H½, and 37H¾ and 603 CMR 53.00.
The School District does not have any so-called “zero tolerance” disciplinary policies or any required or automatic discipline for any specific conduct. Any discipline imposed will be at the discretion of the administrator responsible for making the decision, typically the principal or his/her designee. That decision-maker will consider all relevant facts, including but not limited to previous related offenses and mitigating circumstance, and these disciplinary rules will be applied equitably.
As set forth in Mass. General Laws, chapter 71, §§ 37H, 37H½, and 37H¾, students who are suspended or expelled from school shall have the right to continue to earn credits, as applicable, and make up assignments, tests, papers, and other school work as needed to make academic progress during their removal from school. Any students suspended or expelled for more than 10 days shall have an opportunity to receive educational services and make academic progress toward meeting state and local requirements through a school-wide education service plan. A copy of that plan is available in the Main Office.
A student who is suspended or expelled shall not trespass on school property during the time of his/her removal. The student must follow the admittance process as outlined in the letter of suspension. School property involves the school buildings and any area of the school grounds. A student on suspension is also excluded from participating in or attending any school-related or school-sponsored functions, activities or events, including athletics.
Suspensions and expulsions of students and the attendant due process rights are governed by G.L. c. 71, §§ 37H, 37H½, and 37H¾ and 603 CMR 53. Pursuant to Chapter 222 of the Acts of 2012 and 603 CMR 53, expulsion is available as a disciplinary measure ONLY as permitted under G.L. c. 71, §§ 37H and 37H½. All suspension and expulsion decisions will be made at the discretion of the principal or his/her designee.
Notices Of Suspension/Expulsion
For the purposes of this section, unless otherwise specified, all notices shall be written in plain language in English and the primary language spoken at home, if different than English. All written notices shall be delivered by hand-delivery, certified mail, first-class mail, email to an address provided by the parent for school communications, or by other method of delivery agreed to by the administrator and the parent.
In-school Suspension Pursuant To G.L. C. 71, § 37h ¾
An “in-school suspension” is defined as removal of a student from regular classroom activities, but not from the school premises, for no more than ten (10) consecutive school days, or no more than ten (10) school days cumulatively for multiple infractions during the school year. In-school suspension for ten (10) school days or less, consecutively or cumulatively during a school year, shall not be considered a short-term suspension under 603 CMR 53.02. If a student is placed in in-school suspension for more than ten (10) school days, consecutively or cumulatively during a school year, such suspension shall be deemed a long-term suspension for due process, appeal, and reporting purposes.
The following due process will be provided for full days of in-school suspensions of ten (10) or fewer school days, consecutively or cumulatively during a school year (see 603 CMR 53.10):
- The principal or his/her designee shall inform the student of the disciplinary offense charged and the basis for the charge and provide the student an opportunity to dispute the charges and explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident.
- If the principal or his/her designee determines that the student committed the disciplinary offense, the principal or designee shall inform the student of the length of the in-school suspension (not to exceed ten (10) school days consecutively or cumulatively in one school year).
- On the same day as the in-school suspension decision, the principal or designee shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parent/guardian orally of the offense, the reasons for his/her conclusion, and the length of the in school suspension. The principal or his/her designee shall also invite the parent/guardian to a meeting on the day of the suspension, if possible, or as soon as possible thereafter to discuss the incident, the student’s academic performance and behavior, strategies for student engagement, and possible responses to the behavior.
- The principal or his/her designee shall send written notice of the in-school suspension to the student and parent/guardian on the day of the suspension. The notice shall include the reason and length of the suspension and invite the parent/guardian to a meeting with the principal (described in paragraph 3, above), if such meeting did not already occur.
Students must follow the established procedures when placed into in-school suspension: For in-school suspensions of more than ten (10) days, please see the section discussing long-term suspensions, below.
Out-of-school Suspension Pursuant To G.L. C. 71, § 37h¾
Unless otherwise specified, “suspension” for the purposes of this section means short-term suspension and long-term suspension. Removal solely from participation in extracurricular activities or school-sponsored events, or both, does not constitute a suspension.
A student must be picked-up by a parent/guardian immediately once a suspension is imposed. Any exception to this policy will be made at the discretion of the principal or his/her designee.
A short-term suspension is defined as the removal of a student from the school premises and regular classroom activities for ten (10) consecutive days or less. When a student is disciplined with a short-term suspension, the student may not attend school and is not allowed on the school property for the duration of the suspension. A short term suspension may be served in school, in which case, the in-school suspension policies (above) apply.
A student who receives a short-term suspension for a disciplinary offense is entitled to the following due process procedures:
- The principal or his/her designee shall provide oral and written notice to the parent/guardian, offering an opportunity to meet and to discuss the violation as charged, prior to the suspension taking place. The notice shall set forth the following:
- the disciplinary offense;
- the basis for the charge;
- the potential consequences, including the potential length of the student's suspension;
- the opportunity for the student to have a hearing with the principal concerning the proposed suspension, including the opportunity to dispute the charges and to present the student's explanation of the alleged incident, and for the parent to attend the hearing;
- the date, time, and location of the hearing; and
- the right of the student and the student's parent to interpreter services at the hearing if needed to participate. The principal or his/her designee shall make reasonable efforts to orally notify the parent/guardian of the opportunity to attend the meeting. A hearing may be held without the parent/guardian once the principal or his/her designee meets his/her obligation to provide reasonable notice.
- The student shall meet with the principal regarding the alleged offense. The purpose of the meeting is to hear and consider information regarding the alleged incident for which the student may be suspended, provide the student an opportunity to dispute the charges and explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident, determine if the student committed the disciplinary offense, and if so, the consequences for the infraction. At a minimum, the principal shall discuss the disciplinary offense, the basis for the charge, and any other pertinent information. The student and parent/guardian, if present, also shall have an opportunity to present information, including mitigating facts, that the principal should consider in determining whether other remedies and consequences may be appropriate. 603 CMR 53 does not confer the right to counsel or the right cross-examine witnesses.
- Based on the available information, including mitigating circumstances, the principal shall determine whether the student committed the disciplinary offense, and, if so, what remedy or consequence will be imposed.
- The principal shall provide written notice to the student and parent/guardian of the determination and the reasons for it, and, if the student is suspended, the type and duration of suspension and the opportunity to make up assignments and such other school work as needed to make academic progress during the period of removal. Under normal circumstances, students will be expected to make up work within an agreed upon time frame.
A long-term suspension is defined as the removal of a student from the school premises and regular classroom activities for more than ten (10) consecutive school days, or for more than ten (10) school days cumulatively for multiple disciplinary offenses in any school year. The student may not attend school and is not allowed on the school property for the duration of the suspension.
Except for students who are charged with offenses under G.L. c. 71, §§ 37H or 37H½ (discussed more below) no student may be placed on long-term suspension for one or more disciplinary offenses for more than ninety (90) school days in a school year beginning with the first day the student is removed from school. Suspensions under G.L. c. 71, § 37H¾ may not extend beyond the school year in which the suspension is imposed.
A student who receives a long-term suspension for a disciplinary offense is entitled to the following due process procedures:
- The principal or his/her designee shall provide oral and written notice to the parent/guardian, offering an opportunity to meet and to discuss the violation as charged, prior to the suspension taking place. The notice shall set forth the same information as provided in the short-term suspension notice (described above), plus the following information:
- the rights afforded to the student during the long-term suspension hearing, as provided in 603 CMR 53.08(3)(b) and described below; and
- the right to appeal the principal’s decision to the superintendent. The principal or his/her designee shall make reasonable efforts to orally notify the parent/guardian of the opportunity to attend the meeting. A hearing may be held without the parent/guardian once the principal or his/her designee meets his/her obligation to provide reasonable notice.
- The student shall meet with the principal regarding the alleged offense. The purpose of the meeting shall be the same as for a short-term suspension and, in addition to all the rights afforded students in a short-term suspension meeting, students shall have the following rights in a long-term suspension hearing:
- In advance of the hearing, the opportunity to review the student's record and the documents upon which the principal may rely in making a determination to suspend the student or not;
- the right to be represented by counsel or a lay person of the student's choice, at the student's/parent's expense;
- the right to produce witnesses on his or her behalf and to present the student's explanation of the alleged incident, but the student may not be compelled to do so;
- the right to cross-examine witnesses presented by the school district; and
- the right to request that the hearing be recorded by the principal, and to receive a copy of the audio recording upon request. If the student or parent requests an audio recording, the principal shall inform all participants before the hearing that an audio record will be made and a copy will be provided to the student and parent upon request.
- Based on the available information, including mitigating circumstances, the principal shall determine whether the student committed the disciplinary offense, and, if so, what remedy or consequence will be imposed.
- The principal shall provide written notice to the student and parent/guardian of the determination and the reasons for it If the principal decides to suspend the student, the written determination shall:
- Identify the disciplinary offense, the date on which the hearing took place, and the participants at the hearing;
- Set out the key facts and conclusions reached by the principal;
- Identify the length and effective date of the suspension, as well as a date of return to school;
- Include notice of the student's opportunity to receive education services to make academic progress during the period of removal from school as provided in 603 CMR 53.13(4)(a);
- Inform the student of the right to appeal the principal's decision to the superintendent or designee, but only if the principal has imposed a long-term suspension. Notice of the right of appeal shall be in English and the primary language of the home if other than English, or other means of communication where appropriate, and shall include the following information stated in plain language:
- the process for appealing the decision, including that the student or parent must file a written notice of appeal with the superintendent within five (5) calendar days of the effective date of the long-term suspension; provided that within the five (5) calendar days, the student or parent may request and receive from the superintendent an extension of time for filing the written notice for up to seven (7) additional calendar days; and that
- the long-term suspension will remain in effect unless and until the superintendent decides to reverse the principal's determination on appeal.
- Under normal circumstances, students will be expected to make up work within an agreed upon time frame upon their return from a long-term suspension.
Appeal Of Long-term Suspension
A student placed on long-term suspension following a principal’s hearing has the right to appeal the suspension to the superintendent. The long-term suspension will remain in effect unless and until the superintendent reverses the principal’s decision on appeal. The superintendent may uphold the principal’s decision or impose a lesser penalty but may not impose a suspension greater than that imposed by the principal.
The appeal of long-term suspension must be in writing, within five (5) calendar days of the effective date of the long-term suspension. The student or parent/guardian may request an extension of up to seven (7) calendar days to submit this request for an appeal.
The superintendent or his/her designee shall hold an appeal hearing within three (3) school days of receiving the student’s request for an appeal. The student or parent/guardian may request an extension of up to seven (7) calendar days for this appeal hearing to be held. The superintendent or his/her designee shall make a good faith effort to include the parent/guardian in the meeting but may proceed without the parent if the superintendent or his/her designee made efforts to find a day and time for the hearing that would allow the parent and the superintendent/designee to attend.
The superintendent or his/her designee shall send written notice to the parent/guardian of the date, time, and location of the hearing.
The superintendent shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the student committed the disciplinary offense of which the student is accused, and if so, what the consequence shall be. At the hearing, the student has the same rights afforded him/her at the principal’s hearing for long-term suspensions. The superintendent’s meeting will be audio recorded and the student/parent may receive a copy of the recording upon request. The superintendent shall inform all participants before the hearing that an audio record will be made of the hearing and a copy will be provided to the student and parent upon request.
The superintendent will issue a written decision within five (5) calendar days of the hearing, either upholding or lessening the suspension. The notice will contain the same information as a long-term suspension notice, except for information on the right to appeal.
The superintendent’s decision will be the final decision of the school district.
School Offenses Which May Result In Suspension
The following offenses may result in an in-school, long-term, or short-term suspension. The length of the suspension and whether it will be served in-school or out-of-school will be determined by the principal in his/her discretion.
Some of the offenses listed below may also subject a student to expulsion pursuant to G.L. c. 71, §§ 37H and 37H½:
- A threat or verbal abuse toward a staff member or other school employee will not be permitted. This rule is not limited to school property or school hours. Threats toward the school (electronic or otherwise) will result in suspension.
- Setting a fire.
- Turning a false alarm.
- Involvement in the theft, willful destruction of, or vandalism of school employee’s property, or student and/or school property. In addition, the offender(s) may be billed for the cost of repairing or replacing the property and police will be involved.
- Possession or use of dangerous material(s) or items or use of firecrackers; smoke or stink bombs or similar disruptive items.
- Driving on school grounds after being told not to (e.g. as a result of reckless or dangerous driving, or causing chronic tardiness situations, etc.).
- Behavior which is a danger to any person(s) including the person(s) involved.
- Serious disruption of a classroom, lunch room, assembly, or other school activity.
- Harassment or intimidation of a staff member or fellow student.
- Refusal to follow the directions of an administrator.
- Refusal to provide (correct) name to inquiring faculty/staff member or substitute teacher.
- Any violation of national, state, or local laws on school grounds or involving the school or school personnel will make the student liable for suspension. The Police will be notified when the law has been broken.
- Repeated Honor Code violations.
Extracurricular Activities And Athletics During Suspension/Expulsion
Students may not participate in any extra-curricular activities or school-sponsored events during the period of their suspension (whether in-school or out-of-school) or expulsion.
Expulsion Pursuant To G. L. C. 71, §§ 37h & 37h½
Expulsion is defined as the removal of a student from the school premises, regular classroom activities and school activities for more than ninety (90) school days, indefinitely, or permanently as permitted under G.L. c. 71, §§ 37H or 37H½ for: a) possession of a dangerous weapon; b) possession of a controlled substance; c) assault on a member of the educational staff; or d) a felony charge or felony delinquency complaint or conviction or adjudication or admission of guilt with respect to such felony, if the principal determined that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school, as provided in G.L. c. 71, §§ 37H and 37H½.
Expulsion is not available for other offenses pursuant to G.L. c. 71, § 37H¾.
Offenses under G.L. c. 71, §§ 37H and 37H½, are not subject to the limitations of 37H¾ concerning the duration of a student’s removal from school, and may result in an expulsion or suspension longer than 90 days or that extends beyond the school year.
Expulsion Under G.L. c. 71, § 37H
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71, Section 37H, provides as follows:
(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, an 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) 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, under section 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.
Expulsion Under G.L. c. 71, § 37H½
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71, Section 37H ½, provides as follows:
(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. 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 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 guilt 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 and the process for appealing such expulsion; provided, however, that the expulsion shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the superintendent.
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, under section 21 of chapter
Emergency Removal Pursuant To G.L. c. 71, § 37H¾
A principal, in his or her discretion, may temporarily remove a student from school when the student is charged with a disciplinary offense and, in the principal’s judgment, the student’s continued presence poses a danger to persons or property, or materially and substantially disrupts the order of the school, and, in the principal’s judgment, there is no adequate alternative to alleviate the danger or disruption. The emergency removal shall not exceed two (2) school days following the day of the emergency.
The student may not be removed until adequate provisions have been made for the student’s safety and transportation.
During the emergency removal, the principal or his/her designee shall:
- Make immediate and reasonable efforts to orally notify the student and the student's parent of the emergency removal and other information required for short- or long-term suspensions, as applicable;
- Provide written notice to the student and parent that complies with the requirement for written notices for short- and long-term suspensions;
- Provide the student an opportunity for a hearing with the principal that complies with the requirements for a short- or long-term suspension hearing, as applicable, and provides the parent an opportunity to attend the hearing, before the expiration of the two (2) school days, unless an extension of time for hearing is otherwise agreed to by the principal, student, and parent.
- Render a decision orally on the same day as the hearing, and in writing no later than the following school day, which meets the requirements of notices for short- or long-term suspensions, as applicable.
Academic Progress During Suspension Or Expulsion
Any student who is serving an in-school suspension, short-term suspension, long-term suspension or expulsion under G.L. c. 71, §§ 37H, 37H½, and 37H¾ shall have the opportunity to earn credits, as applicable, make up assignments, tests, papers, and other school work as needed to make academic progress during the period of his/her removal. The principal shall inform the student and his/her parent/guardian of this opportunity in writing when the suspension or expulsion is imposed.
Students who are expelled or suspended for more than 10 consecutive days will have an opportunity to receive education services and make academic progress toward meeting state and local requirements during their removal from school pursuant to the school-wide education service plan. The plan is available at the Main Office.
The principal shall notify the student and his/her parent/guardian of the opportunity to receive education services at the time the student is expelled or placed on long-term suspension. Notice shall be provided in English and in the primary language spoken in the student's home if other than English, or other means of communication where appropriate. The notice shall include a list of the specific education services that are available to the student and contact information for
a school district staff member who can provide more detailed information.
Fighting/Assault/Aggressive Physical Contact/Conflict Resolution/Peer Mediation
All parties involved in the incident will be dealt with according to the circumstances involved. Suspension of one, both, or all parties involved may be necessary up to ten (10) days. Parents will be contacted in all cases. The police will be notified and criminal charges may result. Upon return to school, a reentry meeting will occur to ensure all students are ready to return to the learning environment in a safe and respectable manner. As applicable, administrators or counseling staff will facilitate conflict resolution with the students involved.
Stealing, Shoplifting, Defacing, Or Destruction Of Property
Anyone involved in the willful destruction, defacing or theft of school property will be subject to discipline, up to and including suspension from school for a period not exceeding ten (10) days. Anyone involved in shoplifting during a field trip or school-sponsored event will be subject to discipline, up to and including suspension from school for a period not exceeding ten (10) days.
Anyone caught stealing or vandalizing property belonging to another student will be held responsible for restitution and will be subject discipline, up to and including suspension for a period not exceeding ten (10) days.
Anyone caught stealing or vandalizing property belonging to a school employee, whether in school or away from school, will be held liable for the damage and will be subject to discipline, up to and including suspension for a period not exceeding ten (10) days.
Police will be notified in all above cases. Legal ramifications may include felony charges. Additionally, the student(s) will be held responsible for the cost of repairing or replacing the destroyed or stolen property or for repairing or cleaning the damage.
There will be no loitering in rest rooms, locker rooms, lobbies, the Nurse’s Office, parking lots, or team rooms. Anyone loitering will be subject to disciplinary consequences.
Monomoy Regional School District does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, housing status, genetic information, or traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture, hair type, hair length, and protective hairstyles (protective hairstyles includes but is not limited to braids, locks, twists, bantu knots, hair coverings, and other formations), in any of the district’s activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, families, community members, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors.
The Monomoy Regional School District expects all members of the school community, including but not limited to, administrators, teachers, staff members, students and vendors, to conduct themselves in an appropriate and professional manner and with concern for fellow members of the school community.
Paramount is the maintenance of a safe and civil environment in which adults can work and students can learn and achieve high core academic standards. All persons are to be treated with dignity and respect.
Harassment in any form will not be tolerated. Harassment is any behavior which has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or educational performance, or behavior that creates a hostile work or educational environment. It may be verbal, non-verbal, written, physical or psychological in nature. Such behaviors
may include, but are not limited to:
- Unsolicited remarks, including threats, intimidation, rumors and name-calling
- Unwelcome or intimidating gestures
- Display or circulation of written materials or pictures of a derogatory nature
- Unwelcome touching, cornering or other physical contact
- Deliberate social exclusion
- Cyber bullying, the use of electronic information and communication technologies to threaten, harass or intimidate a person or group of persons (including, but not limited to, e-mail messages, instant messaging, text messaging, cell phone communication, internet blogs, internet chat rooms, social networking websites).
Harassment may take place on school grounds, at school-sponsored activities, at an official school bus stop, or on school-provided transportation. Harassment may be overt or subtle, but regardless of what form it may take, i.e. verbal, non-verbal or physical, harassment can be insulting and demeaning to the recipient and will not be tolerated in the Monomoy Regional School District. Determinations about whether or not behavior is considered harassment will be
viewed from the perspective of a reasonable person. As such, what one person may consider acceptable behavior, may reasonably be viewed as harassment by another person. Therefore, individuals should consider how their words and actions might reasonably be viewed by other individuals.
In addition, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic advancement;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions or academic decisions;
- Such conduct interferes with an individual's job duties, education or participation in extracurricular activities; or
- The conduct creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or school environment.
Under certain circumstances, harassment (particularly sexual harassment) may constitute child abuse under Massachusetts General Law 1. Chapter 119, Section 51A. The District shall comply with state law in reporting suspected cases of child abuse.
The Superintendent of Schools shall appoint a district Title IX/Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Chapter 622 Coordinator to communicate the requirements of the law relative to harassment and the contents of this policy. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall establish a district grievance procedure for reporting and investigating allegations of harassment.
Individuals who believe that they have been subjected to harassment or discrimination may file their complaint with the Coordinator, Building Principal or Superintendent. Any teacher who receives a complaint from a student or parent is expected to immediately refer the complaint to the Coordinator, Building Principal or Superintendent. This will allow the school department to quickly investigate and resolve complaints. The right to confidentiality, both of the complainant and of the accused, will be respected consistent with the school district's legal obligations, and with the necessity to investigate allegations of harassment and to take corrective action with allegations that have been substantiated. The results of the investigation shall be made known to the complainant and the alleged harasser as soon as possible.
An individual who believes that they have been subjected to harassment or discrimination of any type may also choose to contact and/or file a formal complaint with the appropriate state and/or federal governmental agencies responsible for enforcing the laws prohibiting harassment:
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
John F. Kennedy Federal Building
475 Government Center
Boston, MA 02203
Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
The John McCormack Building
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
33 Arch Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02110-1491
Each Administrator, in conjunction with the Coordinator, shall be responsible for enforcing this policy to assure compliance with Federal and State laws and district policy governing harassment within their respective schools or areas of responsibility.
Adult members of the school community shall lead by example and enforce this policy among the student population.
Student to student harassment will not be tolerated.
Where an allegation of discrimination or harassment has been substantiated, the Monomoy Regional Schoo District shall act promptly to address the matter and with the intent to prevent any future occurrence. Any employee, student or other individual in the school community found to have engaged in harassment may be subject to discipline, including but not limited to verbal warning, written warning, reprimand, suspension, expulsion (students) or termination (employees) subject to applicable procedural requirements. The severity of the disciplinary action shall be based upon the circumstances, nature of the infraction, prior discipline, or any other factors deemed relevant by the administration.
Individuals who engage in harassing behavior should also be aware that their conduct may subject them to private legal action under state or federal law by the individual complainant.
Monomoy Regional School District also prohibits any retaliation against those who make a complaint of harassment. Any individual who retaliates against a complainant, or any person who testifies, assists or participates in the investigation, proceeding or hearing will be subject to discipline. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment.
Any individual who deliberately files an untrue complaint or knowingly provides false information in the context of an investigation, hearing or other proceeding will also be subject to disciplinary action by the school district.
Persons who have been subject to harassment will be provided with support and assistance as appropriate in meeting their needs within the school environment, and will be aided in seeking further assistance if they so desire through referral to appropriate sources.
Notice of this Policy shall be circulated to all the schools in the district and incorporated annually in staff and student handbooks. It shall be posted in the main office of each school and in all faculty lounges. Training sessions on this policy and prevention of harassment shall be held annually for all staff members and students in an age appropriate format.
Legal References: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; Title II of the ADA
M.G.L. c. 151B and c. 151C
M.G.L. c. 76, section 5
M.G.L. c. 119, section 51A
M.G.L. c. 7lB, section 1 Revised: 101712009
Harassment/Discrimination Grievance Procedure For Students
When The Offender Is An Adult
If you believe that you or someone you know has been the victim of harassment or discrimination by an adult or if you have questions or concerns about this issue, seek the help of another adult who you trust, such as a teacher, counselor, your parent or guardian, or an Assistant Principal. With the help of a trusted adult or friend you should bring the complaint to the attention of the Principal. As soon as the Principal is advised of your concern, an investigation will be conducted.
If it is determined that an adult has harassed or discriminated against a student, disciplinary action will occur from verbal warning to dismissal depending upon the circumstances and nature of the incident.
When The Offender Is A Student
If you believe you or someone you know has been the victim of harassment or discrimination by another student or if you have questions about this issue, seek the help of an adult who you trust such as a teacher, counselor, your parent or guardian. With the help of a trusted adult or friend you should bring the complaint to the attention of an Assistant Principal. The Assistant Principal will conduct an investigation and submit a written record of the investigation to the
If it is determined that a student has harassed or discriminated against another student, the offending student will be subject to discipline, up to and including extended exclusion from school.
Any individual who retaliates against any person who reports alleged harassment or discrimination, or anyone who retaliates against any person who testifies, assists, or participates in an investigation, proceeding or hearing will be subject to discipline. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment.
Intimidation, Harassment and Bullying During Sports Activities
It is our intent that the leadership values learned through the competitive and extracurricular experience will help students become more productive members of our community. It is expected that team members and members of extracurricular groups will not use their position to intimidate, harass or bully others. The consequence for such behavior will be permanent removal for the rest of the calendar year from the team or activities by the coach, athletic director, advisor and/or administration. The school’s harassment policy also applies.
Persons who have been subject to harassment or discrimination will be provided with support and assistance in meeting their needs to the extent possible within the school environment and will be aided in seeking further assistance if they so desire through referral to appropriate sources.
Complaints alleging discrimination shall be made to the appropriate compliance coordinator, or shall be referred to the coordinator if received by other persons within the institution.
Civil Rights and Equal Educational Opportunities
Director of Student Services, Melissa Maguire
Monomoy Regional School District
425 Crowell Road, Chatham, MA 02633
Monomoy Regional School District / Civil Rights Coordinator
Coordinator: Melissa Maguire, Director of Student Services, (508) 945-5130
Address: 425 Crowell Road, Chatham, MA 02633
Title VI Of The Civil Rights Act Of 1964
Statue prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color or national origin by recipients of federal financial assistance. This statute ensures that individuals are not excluded from participation in programs or activities receiving federal funds (or the benefits of) on account of their membership in one of these protected categories (42 USC S2000d). This statue has been interpreted to prohibit the denial of equal access to education because of a language minority student’s limited proficiency in English.
Title IX Of The Education Amendments Of 1972
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 provides that no individual may be discriminated against on the basis of sex in any education program or activity receiving federal assistance. Title IX requires that schools adopt and publish a policy against sex discrimination, including sexual harassment. State law requires Massachusetts’ employers to have a policy against sexual harassment. (M.G.L. Ch. 151B,53A)
Section 504 Of The Rehabilitation Act Of 1973
Section 504 provides that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. The regulations implementing Section 504 require that public schools provide a free appropriate public education to each qualified handicapped person who is in the recipient’s jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the person’s handicap.
(34 CF 104.33)
Americans With Disabilities Act Of 1990
The regulations implementing the ADA provide that: “A public entity that employs 50 or more persons shall designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under this part, including any investigation of any compliant communicated to it alleging non-compliance with this part or alleging any actions that would be prohibited by this part. The public entity must make available to all interested individuals the name, office address, and telephone number of the employee or employees designated pursuant to this paragraph. (34CFR 35.107(a)
Equal Education Opportunities Act Of 1974
This federal statute prohibits states from denying equal educational opportunities to an individual based on certain protected classifications including national origin. It specifically prohibits denying equal educational opportunities by failing to take appropriate action to overcome language barriers that impede equal participation by its students in its instructional programs. (20 USC S1203(f)
Massachusetts General Laws Ch 76,S5 (Also Known As Chapter 622)
This state law provides that “no person shall be excluded from or discriminated against in admission to a public school of any town, or in obtaining the advantages, privileges and courses of study of such public school on account of race, color, sex, religion, disability, gender identity, national origin, housing status or sexual orientation.
Mckinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
School districts must ensure that homeless children and youth are identified and have full and equal access in academic, non-academic and extracurricular school offerings. Homeless students have the right to continue their education in the school of origin when they became homeless and have rights to transportation services.
Coordinator: Mr. Marc Smith, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, (508) 945-5130
Address: 425 Crowell Road, Chatham, MA 02633
Title I Of The Elementary And Secondary Education Act Of 1965
Title I is designated to help disadvantaged children meet challenging content and student performance standards. Staff should know that special education students are not deemed ineligible for Title I services simply because they receive special education services. Also school districts must ensure that Title I funds are not being misused (e.g. referring a limited English proficient student to a Title I program in order to meet the student’s language needs.
ELE - English Learner Education
School districts have an obligation to identify, evaluate, and provide services to students with limited English.
Parents must be given every opportunity to participate in school activities and translated documents must be made available. Home Language Surveys are requested of all new students.
Bullying is a serious infraction, which will not be tolerated by the Monomoy Regional Public Schools. Bullying is defined as the repeated use by one or more students or by a member of school staff including but not limited to, an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to extracurricular or paraprofessional of a written or electronic expression or a physical or emotional harm to the victim that
- causes emotional or physical harm to the victim or victim’s property
- places the victim in reasonable fear of harm to himself or damage to his property
- creates a hostile environment at school for the victim
- infringes on the rights of the victim at school
- materially or substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
For the purposes of this section, bullying shall include cyberbullying.
The school or district expects students, parents or guardians, and others who witness or become aware of an instance of bullying or retaliation involving a student to report it to the principal or designee or to the superintendent or designee when the principal or an Assistant Principal is the alleged aggressor, or to the school committee or designee when the
superintendent is the alleged aggressor. Reports may be made anonymously, but no disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor solely on the basis of an anonymous report. A student who knowingly makes a false accusation of bullying or retaliation may be subject to disciplinary action. Students, parents or guardians, and others may request assistance from a staff member to complete a written report. Students will be provided practical, safe, private and age-appropriate ways to report and discuss an incident of bullying with a staff member, or with the principal or designee.
An overview of the various resources available to address bullying is available in the Guidance Office and may also be found in the District’s Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan, which can be viewed on each school building’s administrative landing page.
The Monomoy Regional School Committee recognizes the right of all students to participate through competition or open admission to all clubs, activities and sport programs and, therefore, prohibits the practice of “hazing.”
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts: An Act Prohibiting the Practice of Hazing Chapter 269 of the General Laws includes:
Section 17 – 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 by both such fine and imprisonment. The term “hazing” as used in this section 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 food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment of 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.
Section 18 – Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing 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. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.
Section 19 – Each secondary school and each public and private school or college shall issue to every group or organization a copy of this Act. Each group or organization shall distribute a copy of Sections 17 and 18 to each of its members annually. An officer of each such group or organization, and each individual receiving a copy of Sections 17 and 18 shall sign an acknowledgment stating that such group, organization, or individual has received a copy of these sections.
Any student who is found to be in violation of the hazing law (Mass. General Laws, Chapter269, Sections 17, 18 and 19) or found harassing another student by abusive and humiliating language or action may be subject to discipline in accordance with applicable laws.