Student Conduct / Discipline
It is the belief of the Midfield City School System that a uniform code of conduct for students is important to the pursuit of academic excellence in order that the students may have meaningful learning experiences. This can only be accomplished in schools where the environment is free from distraction caused by disruptive behavior. Creating such an environment requires the cooperation of the parents/guardians, students, Board of Education and all employees of the school system. It is important that each person connected with the school understands the importance of a consistent set of behavior standards in order that a positive environment can be established and maintained. As students’ progress in our school system, it is reasonable to assume that an increase in age and maturity will result in the students assuming greater responsibilities for their actions. It is recognized differences in age and maturity require different types of disciplinary action; however, the procedures identified shall apply to all students in grades K-12. For effective instruction to occur, there must be a cooperative relationship among student, parent/guardian and educator.
Parents'/Guardians' Responsibility for Their Children's Conduct
The Board hereby advises parents/guardians of their responsibility for the conduct of their children based on Legislative Act 93-672 which amends Section 16-28-12, Code of Alabama. The Act has important implications for parents and students of the school system. Section I Title 16, Code of Alabama, 1975 is amended to read:
(A) Each parent, guardian, or other person having control or custody of any child required to attend school or receive regular instruction by a private tutor who fails to send the child to school, or to have him or her instructed by a private tutor during the time the child is required to attend a public school, private school, denominational school, or parochial school or be instructed by a private tutor, or fails to require the child to regularly attend the school or tutor, or fails to compel the child to properly conduct himself or herself as a pupil in accordance with a written policy on school behavior adopted by the local Board of Education and documented by the appropriate school official which conduct may result in the suspension of the pupil, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars ($100) and may also be sentenced to hard labor for the county for not more than 90 days. The absence of a child without the consent of the principal teacher of the school he or she attends or should attend, or of the tutor who instructs or should instruct the child, shall be prima facie evidence of the violation of this section.
(B) Any parent, guardian, or other person having control or custody of any child enrolled in public school who fails to require the child to regularly attend the school or tutor, or fails to compel the child to properly conduct himself or herself as a pupil in accordance with a written policy on school behavior adopted by the local Board and documented by the appropriate school official which conduct may result in the suspension of the pupil, shall be reported by the Principal to the Superintendent of the school system in which the suspected violation occurred. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall report such suspected violations to the district attorney within 10 days. Any Principal or Superintendent or his/her designee intentionally failing to report such a suspected violation shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor. The district attorney shall vigorously enforce this section to ensure proper conduct and required attendance by any child enrolled in the public schools.
- must enroll their child in school (i.e., all children between the ages of 6 and 17 shall be required to attend school);
- are responsible for the regular attendance of their child;
- are to compel their child to properly conduct himself or herself in accordance with the policies of the Board related to student behavior;
- should be informed that inappropriate conduct or behavior on the part of their child may result in suspension from school and such suspensions will be reported to the Superintendent and District Attorney by school administrators;
- will be subject to prosecution by the District Attorney on the third suspension of their child pursuant to Section 16-28-12, Code of Alabama;
- may be referred to the District Attorney's office on the first or second suspension if, in the opinion of the Principal, the offense committed by their child warrants such action.
Students' Responsibilities for Their Conduct
Students enrolled in the Tuscaloosa County School System are to:
- obey all school policies, rules, and regulations;
- become familiar with the contents of the Student-Parent Information Guide.
Intervention, Mediation, Parent Involvement, Achievement, Changing Tomorrow A collaboration between the Midfield City School System, the Midfield City Police Department and the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office has been formed to establish an early warning disciplinary program for the school system. Members of these three agencies will collectively attempt to foster a positive, nurturing environment for the students and parents/guardians of this school system. The intent of the new early warning program will be to help decrease the number of disciplinary infractions and make a positive impact on the number of students dropping out of school. The following explains how the program will be implemented:
- The Principal will send a letter home to the parents when a student is suspended from school the first time.
- The Superintendent will send a letter home to the parent/guardian when a student is suspended from school for the second time.
- When a student is suspended for the third time, an officer from the Midfield City Police Department will deliver a letter to the parent/guardian scheduling the student for IMPACT.
State law, Code of Alabama 1975, Section 16-28-12-7 and 22, requires parents to ensure that their children are enrolled in school, attend school on a regular basis and conduct themselves appropriately while in attendance. The law hold parents accountable for their child's behavior in the school setting. A violation of this law is a Class C Misdemeanor and punishable by up to 90 days in the Jefferson County Jail.
Anti-Harassment of Students
It is the policy of the Board that no student shall engage in or be subjected to harassment, violence, threats of violence, humiliation, ridicule or intimidation by any other student or group of students that is based on any of the specific characteristics that have been identified by the Board in this policy. The Board is committed to providing an academic environment that is free of any kind of harassment. Students who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary sanctions.
The term "harassment" as used in this policy means a continuous pattern of intentional behavior that takes place on school property, on a school bus, at a school-sponsored function or results in the creation of a hostile environment at school, including, but not limited to, written, electronic, verbal or physical acts that are reasonably perceived as being motivated by any characteristic of a student or by association of a student with an individual who has a particular characteristic, and which has the intended effect or otherwise results in any of the following:
- places a student in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property;
- has the effect of substantially interfering with the educational performance, opportunities or benefits of a student;
- has the effect of substantially disrupting or interfering with the orderly operation of the school;
- has the effect of creating a hostile environment in the school, on school property, on a school or at a school-sponsored function;
- has the effect of being sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment for a student; or
- has the effect of subjecting the target student to humiliation and/or ridicule by other students in the school setting.
Complaints alleging violations of this policy should be made on Board approved complaint forms available at the Principal's and/or counselor's office.
- The complaint must be signed by the student alleging the violation or by the student's parent or legal guardian and delivered to the Principal or the Principal's designee either by mail or personal delivery.
- In the sole discretion of the Principal or the Principal's designee, or at the request of the complaining student or the student's parent or legal guardian, incidental or minor violations of the policy may be presented and resolved informally.
- If the Principal or the Principal's designee determines that the complaint alleges a serious violation, an investigation will be made.
- If the investigation establishes a violation, appropriate disciplinary sanctions will be imposed on the offending student(s).
- Other measures that are reasonably calculated to prevent a recurrence of the violations(s) may also be imposed by the Principal or the school system.
- Acts of reprisal or retaliation against any student who has reported a violation of this policy or sought relief provided by this policy are prohibited, and are themselves a violation of this policy.
- Any confirmed acts of reprisal or retaliation will be subject to disciplinary sanctions.
- A student who deliberately, recklessly and falsely accused another student of a violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary sanctions as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.
- If a threat of suicide is reported, the Principal or the Principal's designee will inform the student's parent or guardian of the report.