Interrogations by School Personnel
School personnel have a duty to report any reasonable suspicion that a student is carrying, or has carried, a weapon or is violating, or has violated, a provision of the Tennessee Drug Control Act to the principal, the principalís designee or, if the principal and the principalís designee are unavailable and the offense was committed on school property, to the appropriate authorities.† Students may be questioned by teachers or principals about any matter pertaining to the operation of a school and/or the enforcement of its rules.† Questioning must be conducted discreetly and under circumstances which will avoid unnecessary embarrassment to the student being questioned. Any student answering falsely, evasively or refusing to answer a proper question may be subject to disciplinary action, including suspension.† If a student is suspected or accused of misconduct or infraction of the student code of conduct , the principal may interrogate the student, without the presence of parent(s)/guardian(s) or legal custodians and without giving the student constitutional warnings.
Interrogations by police (at administratorís request)- If the principal has requested assistance by the police department to investigate a crime involving his/her school, the police shall have permission to interrogate a student suspect in school during school hours.† The principal shall first attempt to notify the parent(s)/guardian(s) or legal custodians of the student of the intended interrogation unless circumstances require otherwise. The interrogation may proceed without attendance of the parent(s)/guardian(s) or legal custodians. The principal or his/her designee shall be present during the interrogation.† The use of police women or female staff members is desirable in the interrogation of female students.
Police-initiated Interrogations- If the police deem circumstances of sufficient urgency to interrogate students at school for unrelated crimes committed outside of school hours, the police department shall first contact the principal regarding the planned interrogation, inform him/her of the probable cause to investigate within the school.† The principal shall make reasonable effort to notify the parent(s)/guardian(s) or legal custodians of the interrogation unless circumstances require otherwise. The interrogation may proceed without attendance of the parent(s)/guardian(s) or legal custodians. The principal or his/her designee shall be present during the interrogation.
Searches by School Personnel- Any principal, or his/her designee, having reasonable suspicion may search any student, place or thing on school property or in the actual or constructive possession of any student during any organized school activity off campus, including buses, vehicles of students or visitors (Notice shall be posted in the school parking lot that vehicles parked on school property by students or visitors are subject to search for drugs, drug paraphernalia or dangerous weapons), and containers or packages if he/she receives information which would cause a reasonable belief that the search will lead to the discovery of:† 1. Evidence of any violation of the law; 2. Evidence of any violation of school rules or regulations or proper standards of student or faculty conduct; 3. Any object or substance which, because of its presence, presents an immediate danger of harm or illness to any person.† A student using a locker that is the property of the school system does not have the right of privacy in that locker or its contents. All lockers or other storage areas provided for student use on school premises remain the property of the school system and are provided for the use of students subject to inspection, access for maintenance and search. Notice shall be posted in each school that lockers and other storage areas are school property and are subject to search.
A student may be subject to physical search or a studentís pocket, purse or other container may be required to be emptied because of the results of a locker search, or because of information received from a teacher, staff member or other student if such action is reasonable to the principal. All of the following standards of reasonableness shall be met: 1. A particular student has violated policy; 2. The search could be expected to yield evidence of the violation of school policy or disclosure of a dangerous weapon or drug; 3. The search is in pursuit of legitimate interests of the school in maintaining order, discipline, safety, supervision and education of students; 4. The primary purpose of the search is not to collect evidence for a criminal prosecution; and 5. The search shall be reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student, as well as the nature of the infraction alleged to have been committed.
School officials may conduct hand-held or walk-through metal detector checks of a student's person or personal effects.
Use of Animals- When necessary, dogs or other animals trained to detect drugs or dangerous weapons may be used in conducting searches, but the animals shall be used only to pinpoint areas which need to be searched and shall not be used to search the persons of students or visitors.†
Use of Metal Detectors-† In view of the escalating presence of weapons in the schools, the Board of Education authorizes the use of hand-held or walk-through metal detectors to check a studentís person or personal effects as follows:† School officials or law enforcement officers may conduct metal detector checks of groups of individuals if the checks are done in a minimally-intrusive, nondiscriminatory manner (e.g., on all students in a randomly selected class; or every third individual entering an athletic event). Metal detector checks of groups of individuals may not be used to single out a particular individual or category of individuals.
If a school official or a law enforcement officer has reasonable suspicion to believe that a particular student is in possession of an illegal or unauthorized metal-containing object or weapon, s/he may conduct a metal detector check of the studentís person and personal effects.† A studentís failure to permit a metal detector check as provided in this policy will be considered grounds for disciplinary action including possible suspension.† The director of schools shall develop procedures for use of metal detectors.
Searches by Police- If public health or safety is involved, upon request of the principal who shall be present, police officers may make a general search of students' lockers and desks, or students' or nonstudents' automobiles for drugs, weapons or items of an illegal or prohibited nature.† If the principal has received reliable information which he/she believes to be true that evidence of a crime or of stolen goods, not involving school property of members of the school staff or student body, is located on school property and that any search for such evidence or goods would be unrelated to school discipline or to the health and safety of a student or the student body, he/she shall request police assistance; and procedures to obtain and execute a search warrant shall thereafter be followed.† Anything found in the course of the search conducted in accordance with this policy which is evidence of a violation of the law or a violation of student conduct standards may be:† 1. Seized and admitted as evidence in any hearing, trial, suspension or dismissal proceeding. It should be tagged for identification at the time it is seized and kept in a secure place by the principal or the principalís designee until it is presented at the hearing. At the discretion of the principal, the items seized may be returned to the parent or guardian of a student or, if it has no significant value, the item may be destroyed, but only with the express written permission of the director of schools.† 2. Any seized item may be turned over to any law enforcement officer. Any dangerous weapon or drug as defined in TCA 49-6-4202 shall be turned over to an appropriate law enforcement official after completion of an administrative proceeding at which its presence is reasonably required.
Whenever the possibility of uncovering evidence of a criminal nature exists, the principal or his/her designee may request the assistance of a law enforcement officer to:† 1. Search any area of the school premises, any student or any motor vehicle on the school premises; or 2. Identify or dispose of anything found in the course of a search conducted in accordance with this policy.† The involvement of law enforcement officials is encouraged when there is reasonable cause to suspect that criminal evidence is about to be uncovered. MCSS Policy 6.303
Emergencies and Crises
The Marshall County Board of Education has implemented procedures and guidelines for emergencies and crises.† Students will be instructed in how to react in such situations.† Fire drills, tornado drills, intruder drills, etc. will be held during the school year.† It is impossible to know whether the children will be in their class, the library, lunchroom, playground, playroom, or in the music room.† For this reason, the teacher carefully instructs the children on what to do and exactly where to go when they hear an alarm.
Procedural Due Process
†††††††††††† Before school authorities administer disciplinary measures, reasonable inquiry shall be made to determine the truth of what happened.† The nature of this inquiry will vary in degree with the seriousness of the offense and the consequence attached thereto.† For minor offenses where corrective measures are taken by the classroom teacher, no formal procedure is required.† An inquiry may be made into the incident to ensure that the offender is accurately identified, that he/she understands the nature of the offense, and that he/she knew the consequences of the offense for which he is accused.† In case of severe offenses where there is a possibility of suspension, the student shall be advised of the nature of his/her misconduct, questioned about it, and allowed to give an explanation.† If the principal determines that the offense is of such nature that the studentís continued presence would be detrimental to the school or persons within the school, he/she shall refer the case to the superintendent, who will refer the case to the Board of Education for action.
††††††††††† Floor tile containing asbestos has been identified in certain areas of Chapel Hill Elementary School.† The floor tile is being maintained under an Operation and Maintenance Program.† The management plan is available at the Central Office and in the administration office of Chapel Hill Elementary School.
Asbestos Management Plan
Is kept at:†††††† †††††††††††† Marshall County Board of Education
700 Jones Circle
Lewisburg, TN 37091
Can be viewed:†††††††††† Monday thru Friday
†††††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† 7:30a.m. to 4:00p.m.
Ask for:††††††††††† †††††††††††† Mr. Jacob Sorrells
†††††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† (931)359-1581, Ext. 2017
Student Discrimination/Harassment and Bullying/Intimidation and Cyberbullying
†††††††††††† The Marshall County Board of Education has determined that a safe, civil, and supportive environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards. In order to maintain that environment, acts of bullying, cyber-bullying, discrimination, harassment, hazing or any other victimization of students, based on any actual or perceived traits or characteristics, are prohibited. This policy shall be disseminated annually to all school staff, students, and parents. This policy shall cover employees, employees' behaviors, students and students' behaviors while on school property, at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided equipment or transportation, or at any official school bus stop. If the act takes place off school property or outside of a school-sponsored activity, this policy is in effect if the conduct is directed specifically at a student or students and has the effect of creating a hostile educational environment or otherwise creating a substantial disruption to the education environment or learning process.† Building administrators are responsible for educating and training their respective staff and students as to the definition and recognition of violations of this policy.
Definitions- Bullying/Intimidation/Harassment - An act that substantially interferes with a studentís educational benefits, opportunities, or performance, and the act has the effect of:
ē Physically harming a student or damaging a studentís property;
ē Knowingly placing a student or students in reasonable fear of physical harm to the
student or damage to the studentís property;
ē Causing emotional distress to a student or students; or
ē Creating a hostile educational environment.
Bullying, intimidation, or harassment may also be unwelcome conduct based on a protected class (race, nationality, origin, color, gender, age, disability, religion) that is severe, pervasive, or persistent and creates a hostile environment.
†††††††††††† Cyber-bullying - A form of bullying undertaken through the use of electronic devices. Electronic devices include, but are not limited to, telephones, cellular phones or other wireless telecommunication devices, text messaging, emails, social networking sites, instant messaging, videos, web sites or fake profiles.
†††††††††††† Hazing - An intentional or reckless act by a student or group of students that is directed against any other student(s) that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of the student(s) or that induces or coerces a student to endanger his/her mental or physical health or safety. Coaches and other employees of the school district shall not encourage, permit, condone or tolerate hazing activities.
†††††††††††† ďHazingĒ does not include customary athletic events or similar contest or competitions and is limit to those actions taken and situations created in connection with initiation into or affiliation with any organization.
Complaints and Investigations
†††††††††††† Alleged victims of the above-referenced offenses shall report these incidents immediately to a teacher, counselor, or building administrator.†† All school employees are required to report alleged violations of this policy to the principal/designee. All other members of the school community, including students, parents, volunteers, and visitors, are encouraged to report any act that may be a violation of this policy.† While reports may be made anonymously, an individual's need for confidentiality must be balanced with obligations to cooperate with police investigations or legal proceedings, to provide due process to the accused, to conduct a thorough investigation or to take necessary actions to resolve a complaint, and the identity of parties and witnesses may be disclosed in appropriate circumstances to individuals with a need to know.
†††††††††††† The principal/designee at each school shall be responsible for investigating and resolving complaints.† Once a complaint is received, the principal/designee shall initiate an investigation within forty-eight (48) hours of receipt of the report.† If a report is not initiated within forty-eight (48) hours, the principal/designee shall provide the director of schools with appropriate documentation detailing the reason why the investigation was not initiated within the required timeframe.
†††††††††††† The principal/designee shall notify the parent/legal guardian when a student is involved with an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying.† The principal/designee shall provide information on district counseling and support services.† Students involved in an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying shall be referred to the appropriate school counselor by the principal/designee when deemed necessary.
The principal/designee is responsible for determining whether an alleged act constitutes a violation of this policy, and such act shall be held to violate this policy when it meets one of the following conditions:
ē It places the student in reasonable fear or harm for the studentís person or property;
ē It has a substantially detrimental effect on the studentís physical or mental health;
ē It has the effect of substantially interfering with the studentís academic performance; or
ē It has the effect of substantially interfering with the studentís ability to participate in or
benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
†††††††††††† Upon the determination of a violation, the principal/designee shall conduct a prompt, thorough, and complete investigation of each alleged incident. All investigations shall be completed and appropriate intervention taken within twenty (20) calendar days from the receipt of the initial report.† If the investigation is not complete or intervention has not taken place within twenty (20) calendar days, the principal/designee shall provide the director of schools with appropriate documentation detailing the reasons why the investigation has not been completed or the appropriate intervention has not taken place.
Within the parameters of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) at 20 U.S.C. ß 1232g, a written report on the investigation will be delivered to the parents of the complainant, parents of the accused students and to the Director of Schools.
Response and Prevention
†††††††††††† School administrators shall consider the nature and circumstances of the incident, the age of the violator, the degree of harm, previous incidences or patterns of behavior, or any other factors, as appropriate to properly respond to each situation.† A substantiated charge against an employee shall result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.† A substantiated charge against a student may result in corrective or disciplinary action up to and including suspension.
†††††††††††† An employee disciplined for violation of this policy may appeal the decision by contacting the Federal Rights Coordinator or the Human Resource Coordinator. Any student disciplined for violation of this policy may appeal the decision in accordance with disciplinary policies and procedures.
†††††††††††† When a complaint is filed alleging a violation of this policy where there is physical harm or the threat of physical harm to a student or a student's property, the principal/designee of each middle school, junior high school, or high school shall report the findings and any disciplinary actions taken to the director of schools and the chair of the board of education.
†††††††††††† By July 1 of each year, the director of schools/designee shall prepare a report of all of the bullying cases brought to the attention of school officials during the prior academic year. The report shall also indicate how the cases were resolved and/or the reasons they are still pending. This report shall be presented to the board of education at its regular July meeting, and it shall be submitted to the state department of education by August 1.
†††††††††††† The director of schools shall develop forms and procedures to ensure compliance with the requirements of this policy and TCA ß 49-6-1016.
Retaliations and False Accusations
†††††††††††† Retaliation against any person who reports or assists in any investigation of an act alleged in this policy is prohibited. The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in retaliation shall be determined by the administrator after consideration of the nature, severity, and circumstances of the act.
†††††††††††† False accusations accusing another person of having committed an act prohibited under this policy are prohibited. The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person found to have falsely accused another may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension and expulsion.† MCSS Policy 6.304
Student Disciplinary Hearing Authority
†††††††††††† A Disciplinary Hearing Authority (DHA) will conduct hearings for students who have been suspended/expelled/remanded for more than ten (10) school days. The Board shall appoint members of the DHA which shall consist of nine (9) members, (maximum number must not exceed total membership of Board) at least two (2) of which shall be licensed employees of the board, appointed to one (1) year terms and subject to reappointment. Board members shall not serve on the DHA.
The director of schools shall appoint a chairman of the DHA from the members appointed by the Board.† The chairman shall perform the following duties:
1. Identify the members of the DHA assigned to hear each individual case; 2. Prepare and disseminate the minutes of each meeting; and 3. Set the time, place and date for each hearing.
At the conclusion of each hearing, the chairman shall sign and maintain a copy of the minutes of the meeting.† The DHA shall notify the parent or guardian of the student, the student, and any other appropriate person of the time, place and date of the hearing.† Each hearing shall be conducted by at least three (3) members of the DHA, one of which must be a licensed employee of the Board.† The hearing must be held, a decision must be rendered, and notification of the decision must be provided to the parents and/or student and the principal no later than ten (10) days after the beginning of the suspension/expulsion.† Notification of the decision shall include a statement of the right of either party within five (5) days after receiving the decision to request a review by the Board.
The DHA may take the following disciplinary actions:† 1. Affirm the decision of the school principal; 2. Order removal of the suspension/expulsion unconditionally; 3. Order removal of the suspension/expulsion upon such terms and conditions as it deems reasonable; 4. Remand the student to alternative placement; or 5. Suspend/Expel/Remand the student for a specified period of time.†
If the student, principal, principal-teacher or assistant principal requests a review, then the Board shall either review the record or grant a second hearing.† If the Board chooses to review the record it shall:† 1. Affirm the decision of the hearing authority; or 2. Modify the decision to a lesser penalty; or 3. Grant a hearing before the Board.
If the Board chooses to grant a hearing, it may: 1. Affirm the decision of the hearing authority; or 2. Modify the decision in any manner; or 3. Impose a more severe penalty than that of the hearing authority.
The notice of the hearing shall include a statement that, unless the student's parent or guardian requests an open hearing in writing within five (5) days of receipt of the notice, any hearing will be closed to the public. MCSS 6.317
Alternative School Programs
†††††††††††† The goal of the Alternative School Program is to provide an alternative public education setting for students whose problems have attained a level beyond the home school's ability to deal with them; said school must have exhausted all other recourses prior to recommending Alternative School Placement, or the student must have committed a major violation of school board policy. Alternative schools shall offer alternative learning environments in which students are offered a variety of educational opportunities, such as learning at different rates of time or utilizing different, but successful, learning strategies, techniques and tools. Placement will be for a minimum of twenty (20) days in attendance at Alternative School. Additional days may be assigned if deemed necessary by the principal. Each day must be successful in the student meeting all goals as established in the individual improvement plan. Unsuccessful days (days the student did not meet the goals established or days missed) will not count toward time served.
(1) The Board shall operate an alternative school program for students in grades 7-12 who have been
suspended or expelled from regular school programs.† Sixth grade students may be placed only in unusual circumstances.
(2) The alternative school shall be operated pursuant to the rules of the state board of education
pertaining to them, and instruction shall proceed as nearly as practicable in accordance with the
instructional programs at the student's home school. All course work completed and credits earned in the alternative schools shall be transferred to and recorded in the student's home school, which shall grant credit earned and progress thereon as if earned in the home school.
(3) Attendance in alternative school programs shall be mandatory and students attending an alternative school shall provide their own transportation.
(4) The student shall be subject to all rules appertaining thereto. A violation of such rules by a student may result in the student's removal from the school for the duration of the original suspension or expulsion, but shall not constitute grounds for any extension thereof. The final decision on such removal shall be made by the chief administrator of the alternative school.
(5) Teachers in alternative schools shall be certified by the state and shall be selected on the basis of interest and ability to work in alternative situations.
(6) Student-teacher ratios shall be small enough to allow for adequate instruction but shall be determined by the age, behavior and academic achievement of students in the program.
(7) Copies of school records and textbooks shall be provided by the home school.
(8) Formal transition plans for the integration of students from regular schools to alternative schools and from alternative schools to regular schools shall be developed and implemented.
(9) The principal or designee will notify the parents in writing that a student has been assigned to
Alternative Placement and shall state the reason for such placement.
(10) The principal or designee will schedule a meeting with the parent or guardian at the home school, at which time they will be informed of the incident or incidents which have determined placement.
(11) A parent or guardian must then accompany the student to the Alternative Placement Program.
(12) Students found to be eligible for special education and related services shall be placed and served in accordance with the law and rules relating to special education.
(13) Students may not attend or participate in any Marshall County School function or activity, and they are not allowed on any other school premises while placed in the Alternative School Program.
(14) The Alternative school will follow the district calendar and all attendance policies will apply. MCSS Policy 6.319
†††††††††††† Students may be detained before or after the school day as a means of disciplinary action.
The following guidelines shall be followed:† 1. The student will be given at least one (1) day of notice before detention;† 2. Attempts will be made to inform the parent(s) before detention takes place;† 3. Students in detention will be under the supervision of certified staff members;† 4. Detention will not exceed one (1) hour after the official closing of the school day but may be administered several days in succession; and† 5. Teachers must have the approval of the principal before detaining a student.† MCSS Policy 6.315
†††††††††††† Any principal, assistant principal or teacher may use corporal punishment in a reasonable manner against any student for good cause in order to maintain discipline and order within the public schools in accordance with the following guidelines:† 1. Corporal punishment shall be administered only after other less stringent measures have failed, or if the conduct of a student is of such nature that corporal punishment is the only reasonable form of punishment under the circumstances;† 2. The instrument to be used in administering corporal punishment shall be approved by the Board and the punishment shall take place in the principal's office or other such place out of the view of other students;† 3. Corporal punishment shall be reasonable and administered in the presence of another professional employee;† 4. The nature of the punishment will be such that it is in proportion to the gravity of the offense, the apparent motive and disposition of the offender, and the influence of the offenderís example and conduct on others; and† 5. The witness must be informed beforehand and in the student's presence of the reason for the punishment. A disciplinary record shall be maintained and shall contain the name of the student, the type of misconduct, the type of corporal punishment administered, the name of the person administering the punishment, the name of the witness present and the date and time of punishment.† Disciplinary records shall be filed in the school office and made available to parents or students, whichever is appropriate.† MCSS Policy 6.314
Care of School Property
†††††††††††† Students shall help maintain the school environment, preserve school property and exercise care while using school facilities.† All district employees shall report all damage or loss of school property to the principal or designee immediately after such damage or loss is discovered. The principal or designee shall make a full and complete investigation of any instance of damage or loss of school property. The investigation shall be carried out in cooperation with law enforcement officials when appropriate.
School property is defined as buildings, buses, books, equipment, records, instructional materials or any other item under the jurisdiction of the Board.† When the person causing damage or loss has been identified and the costs of repair or replacement have been determined, the director of schools shall take steps to recover these costs. This may include recommending the filing of a civil complaint in court to recover damages. If the responsible person is a minor, recovery will be sought from the minorís parent or guardian.
In addition, the district may withhold the grades, diploma, and/or transcript of the student responsible for vandalism or theft or otherwise incurring any debt to a school until the student or the studentís parent/guardian has paid for the damages.1 When the minor and parent are unable to pay for the damages, the district shall provide a program of voluntary work for the minor. Upon completion of the work, the studentís grades, diploma, and/or transcripts shall be released. Such sanctions shall not be imposed if the student is not at fault. MCSS Policy 6.311
Use of Personal Communication Devices by Students
†††††††††††† Students may possess cell phones on school property so long as such devices are turned off and stored in backpacks, purses, or personal carry-alls during class time and programs.† Such devices include, but are not limited to, wearable technology such as eye glasses, rings, or watches that have the capability to record, live stream, or interact with wireless technology; cell phones; laptops; tablets; and mp3 players. However, a teacher may grant permission for the use of cell phones to assist with instruction in his/her classroom, and teachers are encouraged to integrate the devices into their course work; however, all approved devices must allow access to the Internet through a fully functional web browser and be capable of accessing the Marshall County School Systemís (MCSS) guest network. The principal or his/her designee may also grant a student permission to use such a device at his/her discretion.† MCSS Policy 6.312
†††††††††††† The Marshall County School System/Marshall County Board of Education will not be responsible for damaged, lost, or stolen cell phones.