Code of Student Conduct
All students attending Fort Payne City Schools are charged with the responsibility of conducting themselves in a manner appropriate to good citizenship, whether on campus, in the classroom, on the school bus or while attending a school-sponsored event. Student conduct shall be founded on the basic idea of respect and consideration for the rights of others. The Code of Conduct shall guarantee due process. Due process means that a person must be given notice that he/she is about to be deprived of life, liberty, or property; that a person be given an opportunity to tell his/her side of the story. However, the concept of due process is a flexible one, and its specific definition in a given situation varies with the nature of the threatened deprivation and the other factors involved. In the case of short-term suspensions, the Supreme Court recognized that a student is not being seriously deprived and that the school has the right to maintain an orderly school environment in order to protect other students.
Jurisdiction of the School Board
Students enrolled in Fort Payne City Schools are subject to the policies of the Fort Payne City Board of Education and to the rules and regulations of the school. This authority applies to all school sponsored activities including but not necessarily limited to the following:
1. Regular school activities
2. Transportation on school buses
3. Field trips
4. Athletic functions
5. Activities where appropriate school personnel have jurisdiction over studies
All school regulations and prohibitions pertain to automobiles driven or parked on school property. In addition to the foregoing, jurisdictional control over the student may be extended to the immediate vicinity of the school when the conduct of the student is deemed to have a detrimental effect on health, safety and welfare of the school.
The Fort Payne City Board believes that good grooming and personal appearance are essential elements in the teaching and learning process. Students are expected to dress in such a manner to ensure their health and safety. Grooming and dress must not constitute a distraction or interfere with the education opportunity of other students.
Dress suggestive of potential violence, disruptive behavior, physical harm to school employees, students, or visitors, is prohibited. School administrators have the authority to use discretionary judgment to prohibit such dress based on past and current circumstances. If the principal or his designee determines that the student’s dress is inappropriate, the student will be asked to make proper adjustment and/or corrections (change into clean sweats or have a change of clothing brought to school).
Rules and regulations of the dress code apply to all students, unless exceptions are granted due to a student’s disability, medical condition, or other exceptions approved by the principal.
Please refer to the following dress code guidelines. If there is a question as to the appropriateness of a garment, please call the principal or assistant principal.
- No sleeveless shirts/garments (no spaghetti straps, no tank tops, no string straps, no backless, no one-shoulder straps, no sundresses, sheer or see-through clothing, etc.)
- No skin showing on the mid-section or on the back when standing or seated
- No cleavage visible (young ladies)
- No holes in blouses/shirts
- No cutoff or fringed shirts
- Shirt tails may not be excessive in length
- Shorts, Skirts, and Pants
- Shorts/skirts/dresses must come to the kneecap (No slits above the knee)
- All pants must be worn above the hips
- No cutoff or fringed hems
- No holes in pants
- Pants should not drag the ground
- No pajama pants or dorm pants
- Clothing must not include pictures, writings, symbols, etc., promoting, acknowledging, or suggesting drugs, tobacco products, alcohol, sexual activities, gangs, groups, individuals, or activities that would be considered potentially dangerous, disruptive, or hazardous to the student, to other students, or to the school environment.
- In summary clothing must not be too tight, too short, or bare at the midriff or sides.
- Shoes or sandals must be worn (No house shoes
- Shoes with wheels may not be worn (No Heelys)
Jewelry and Body Piercing
- No body piercing or decorative jewelry may be worn in any location other than in the ear.
- Wallet chains and/or oversized chains are not allowed at school or on school buses.
- Hair color that draws unnecessary attention will not be permitted.
- Hats, caps, bandanas, and other head coverings are not permitted in the school during regular school hours or on school buses.
- Sunglasses are not to be worn in the school.
- Students must be neatly dressed, clean, and well groomed.
- Hair must be worn in such a way that it does not impair vision.
- With the approval of the principal, students in school sponsored activities, such as dance team, cheerleaders, etc., may dress in the manner that does not conform to the dress code only for the purpose of the activity.
- Note: Any other attire that the principal or his/her designee considers inappropriate cannot be worn.
Bus Rules and Regulations
Bus Rules and Regulations
The first and most important role of the bus driver is to safely transport students to and from school. Driving a school bus is a tremendous responsibility and requires the combined cooperation of parents, students, drivers and school officials. Students are under the authority of their school principal when riding on a school bus for any reason. Trip permission forms are necessary for any school trip. These forms release school officials and the City Board of Education of any liability in case of an accident. The bus driver is responsible to the school principal for student behavior. Therefore, the principal must enforce the following procedures:
1. Students are responsible
tothe bus driver while they are on the bus.
2. Students shall be required to get on and off buses at stops approved for them.
3. Students should be courteous and friendly to all along the bus route.
4. Students should give their cooperation in the protection of buses against any vandalism. Damage caused by careless acts shall be paid for by parents or guardians of offending pupils.
5. Tobacco, drugs, vapor or E-cigarettes, etc., shall not be used in any way on the bus.
6. Emergency doors are not to be used unless there is an emergency.
7. Fighting on the bus will be treated the same as fighting in school.
8. Students may be sent to the office by the bus driver for misconduct on the bus.
9. Students may not eat or drink on the bus.
10. Students may not bring balloons or other objects on the bus that may obstruct the bus
11. Students must follow the cell phone and electronic device policy while on the bus.
12. Students may not walk home if they miss their designated bus.
13. Students must have a written, signed note from a parent if the student needs to ride an
14. Students will participate in two (2) emergency bus evacuations per year.
15. A visit to the office may result in the parents being called, corporal punishment, a bus suspension, permanent bus suspension if the problem continues, or other appropriate action determined by the
principal,or his designee. (Detention, ISS, A-School or out of school suspension.)
Travel Guidelines for Student Athletic, Academic Teams, or any other Activity that Involves Student Transportation
1. It is the position of the Fort Payne City School System that students be transported to and from school and
school relatedevents in the safest manner possible. Situations where students will not be transported in school buseswill be strictly limited and must be approved by the Superintendent of Education.
2. Transportation regulations for Fort Payne City Schools require that student-athletes or academic team members travel to and from contests/competitions with their team when transportation is provided or arranged by the school. Exception: Parents may only transport their own
student athleteor academic team member to an athletic contest/academic competition or practice when they have permissionof the Coach/Sponsor and Principal/Athletic Director. Parents cannot transport student athletesor academic team members of which they are not the custodial parents.
3. All members of athletic or academic teams are expected to travel to out of town games on
school providedtransportation (Fort Payne City School buses or approved Charter Bus Agencies). This includes games or competitions involving other area schools on days when school is in session, regardless of the time of departure.
4. A student-athlete will not be permitted to drive his/her own vehicle or to transport other students to and from his/her athletic contest.
5. Outside the school day, when playing a local school, the coach may elect for the team to meet at a designated time at the away school. It is the individual parents’ responsibility to ensure safe transportation to and from the site for their child when school arranged transportation is not provided. Parents may only transport their own children to such events. If this method of transportation is used, permission of the Superintendent and Building Principal must be requested in writing and have their signed approval. This method of transportation should always be viewed as the exception and never the rule!
6. Sponsors and/or Coaches that are certified employees of the Fort Payne Board of Education can transport students if the following criteria
a. Hold a valid Alabama Teaching Certificate and are employed by the Board of Education as a Teacher and Coach/Sponsor of the specific team
b. Have a valid Alabama Driver’s License (Copy must accompany the trip application)
c. Provide a copy of their comprehensive and liability automobile insurance to the Principal/Athletic Director to be kept on
file d. The Driver’s name, vehicle identification information, and insurance cards must all match
e. There must be a seat belt for every passenger
f. Have signed consent forms from the parents of the involved students
g. Have signed permission to travel in a Sponsor/Coach’s vehicle by the Building Principal and the Superintendent
Substance Abuse Policy
Substance Abuse Policy
Extracurricular Activity/Student Parking Privilege Substance Abuse Policy
The Fort Payne City Board of Education (the Board) recognizes its students as
presentand future assets to the educational process. Students who participate in extracurricular activities serve as role models for other students and are keys to the goal of providing the best possible education for all students. To achieve that goal and to maximize the skills and talents of all students, it is important that every student, as well as employees of the school system, understand the dangers of drug use.
Substance abuse is a serious threat to the school system, students, visitors, and its employees. Use of drugs by students significantly affects the health and safety of the using student, the student’s classmates, and the school community, as well as undermining the educational process. Practical experience and research indicate that appropriate precautions are necessary to safeguard students and participants in the school community from the dangers of illegal drug use and misuse. The Board has decided that a drug-testing program is one such appropriate precaution.
Two groups of students have been selected for inclusion in this testing program – those who choose to participate in competitive extra-curricular activities and those who choose to obtain a parking permit for the purpose of parking their vehicle on school property. Students who participate in competitive extracurricular activities serve as role models for other students and are expected to adhere to high standards of leadership and conduct. Extracurricular programs all involve some degree of interdependence among members and students participating in those programs. Participating students represent not only
themselves ,but their teammates, the school andtheir community. Significant time, effort and funds are expended by students, sponsors, parents andvolunteers to make the programs successful, and the expectation is that all participating students be at their best while participating. Moreover, many extracurricular activities involve physical contact, athletic performance and demanding decision-making that are essential to success in the activity and safety of the participants. The dangers posed by drug use can be immediate and tragic in those activities or can be more subtle but nonetheless detrimental.
Likewise, students who drive automobiles or other motorized vehicles on campus have safety responsibilities beyond those of the average student. Students who wish to take advantage of driving a vehicle on school property and parking a vehicle on school property should be allowed to do so in a safe, drug-free environment. The dangers posed by drivers who are not attentive, not alert, not cautious and not focused are well established. These dangers are even more prevalent among those who have just begun driving, who lack experience and who are expected to exercise care, caution, and concern among numerous other drivers who are similarly inexperienced. The impact of drug use (or the secondary effects of that use) by driving students may have immediate, tragic and devastating consequences, not only for the student involved in drug use but also for other members of the school community.
It is the belief of the Board and the Fort Payne community that the benefits derived from a drug-testing program that requires testing of students involved in extracurricular activities and students with parking privileges outweigh the potential inconvenience to students. The Board earnestly solicits the understanding and cooperation of all students and parents in implementing this program. The Board already requires that all students report to school, practices, and competitive events without prohibited substances in their system. The Student Code of Conduct provides prohibitions against drug use, distribution, dispensation
andpossession and prescribes consequences for violating those prohibitions. The Board has elected to implement this testing program as an additional and complementary measure to prevent and deter drug use.
In order to enforce these rules, the Board reserves the right to require all students who desire to participate in extracurricular activities or who wish to park on Board property at any time while under the supervision or care of the school system to submit to drug testing to determine the presence of prohibited substances.
Students applying to participate in extracurricular activities or to obtain parking privileges may be tested for drugs as a condition to participation in the activity of their choice or to the issuance of a parking permit. Students may also be required to undergo screening in conjunction with any scheduled physical examinations, on a random basis, without advance notice, and as a part of follow-up testing in the event of a violation of the program. Violations of these rules (including testing positive and/or refusal to undergo screening) have consequences, including suspension from competitive extracurricular activities or parking privileges, in accordance with the provisions set forth herein. No student testing positive, refusing to test, refusing to cooperate with testing, or being in violation of this program will be penalized academically. The Board reserves the right to depart from these policies and procedures where it deems appropriate. This policy addresses drug testing only, and the guidelines herein apply when a drug test shows the presence of drugs. Additionally, whenever this occurs, the consequences prescribed by this program shall be imposed. However, when Board rules in the Student Code of Conduct regarding rules are broken, disciplinary action will be imposed, and the authority of the Board shall not be limited by anything in this program.
This policy (JCDA), in its entirety, may be obtained at the Fort Payne City Board of Education Administrative Offices or any of the four schools upon request by the parent/guardian or student.
Notification Regarding Drugs, Alcohol, Weapons, Physical Harm, or Threatened Harm
The school principal shall notify appropriate law enforcement officials when a person violates Fort Payne City School Board Policies concerning drugs, alcohol, weapons, physical harm to a person, or threatened physical harm to a person. If any criminal charge is warranted, the Principal is authorized to sign the appropriate warrant. If that person is a student, the student shall be immediately suspended from attending regular classes and a hearing will be scheduled within 5 school days.
If a student is found to have violated a Fort Payne City Board of Education policy concerning drugs, alcohol, weapons, physical harm to a person or threatened physical harm to a person, the student may not be readmitted to the school until criminal charges, if any, have been disposed of by appropriate authorities and the student has satisfied all other requirements imposed by the Fort Payne City Board of Education as a condition for readmission.
Search and Seizure
The principal or his/her approved designee may search the person of suspected students and their attendant personal belongings if there is reasonable cause to believe that the students are carrying articles that may endanger the individuals in the school or that such article possessed are contrary to law or the regulations of the school or the Board. If suspected students are searched, it shall be conducted on an individual basis in private by a school official of the same sex with a certified staff member of the same sex present.
It shall be the policy of the Fort Payne City Schools that a reasonably cooperative effort is maintained between the school administration and law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement officials may be summoned to conduct an investigation of alleged criminal conduct on the school premises or during a school-sponsored activity or to maintain or restore order when the presence of such officers is necessary to prevent injury to persons or property. Administrators have the responsibility and the authority to determine when the assistance of law enforcement officers is necessary within their respective jurisdictions. The school administrators shall at all times act in a manner that protects and guarantees the rights of students and parents.
Searches will be conducted on a random basis in cooperation with the Fort Payne City Police Department. These searches may include the use of drug dogs. Lockers, cars, book bags, or other school and student property may be searched. The purpose of a search could be to detect illegal drugs, health or safety problems, or violations of school rules.
Classifications of Violations
Classification of Violations
Violations of the Code are grouped into three classes - minor, intermediate, and major. Each classification is followed by a disciplinary procedure which is to be implemented by principals and their designees.
In the following classes of violations and disciplinary procedures, it is understood that the principal or his/her designees shall hear the student’s explanation and consult further with school personnel, if necessary, before determining the classification of the violation.
Each classroom teacher will deal with general classroom disruption by taking in-class disciplinary action, by making a personal call to the parents or guardians when feasible, and by scheduling conferences with parent(s) or guardian(s) and other school staff. Only when the action taken by the teacher is ineffective, or the disruption is sufficiently severe, should the student be referred to the principal or his or her designee.
Class I Offenses
1.01 - Excessive distraction of other students -- any conduct and/or behavior which is disruptive to the orderly educational process in the classroom or any other instructional setting. Examples: talking excessively, interrupting class functions, chewing gum, writing and/or passing notes, provoking other students and other violations of Classroom Courtesies.
1.02 - Illegal organization -- any on-campus activities of fraternities, sororities, secret societies,
non-affiliated school clubs, or unruly gangs.
1.03 - Minor intimidation of a student.
1.04 - Nonconformity to the dress code.
1.05 - Minor disruption on a school bus.
1.06 - Inappropriate public display of affection including, but not limited to, embracing and kissing.
1.07 - Intentionally providing false information to school personnel - forgery of parents’ names;
intentionally providing false information to parents, such as changing grades, tardies and
1.08 - Continued refusal to complete class assignments.
1.09 - Failure to follow instruction -- examples: failure to carry correspondence home; failure to obey
directions in hallways, assemblies, etc.
1.10 - Pushing, intentionally touching another student against his/her will.
1.11 - Littering of school property (including school buses).
1.12 - Excessive Tardies and Truancy.
1.13 - Disrespect toward student, teacher or administrator.
1.37 - Any other violation which the principal may deem reasonable to fall within this category.
ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSES FOR CLASS I VIOLATIONS INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:
1. Student Conference
2. Parent Contact
4. Suspension from Class or Bus
5. Suspension from School
6. In-School Suspension
7. Corporal Punishment (Witness and due process required)
Class II Offenses
2.09 - Defiance of Authority
2.10 - Disobedience, Persistent/Willful
2.16 - Electronic Pagers/Unauthorized Communication Device
2.17 - Fighting
2.18 - Fire Alarm/Extinguisher/Tampering with or setting off
2.20 - Harassment
2.22 - Inciting other students to create a disturbance
2.24 - Larceny/Theft/Robbery/Possession of stolen property
2.26 - Profanity/Vulgarity
2.31 - Threats/Intimidation
2.32 - Tobacco Possession
2.33 - Tobacco Sale
2.34 - Tobacco Use
2.35 - Trespassing
2.36 - Truancy/Unauthorized Absences
2.37- Any other violation that the principal may deem reasonable to fall within this category, for
example cheating, vapor or E-cigarettes, etc.
ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSES FOR CLASS II VIOLATIONS INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:
Parent contact in writing and:
1. Corporal Punishment
2. Suspension from Class
3. Suspension from School
4. In-School Suspension
5. Alternative School
Class III Offenses
3.01 - Alcohol Possession
3.02 - Alcohol Sale
3.03 - Alcohol Use
3.04 - Arson
3.05 - Assault
3.06 - Bomb Threat
3.07 - Burglary/Breaking and Entering
3.08 - Criminal Mischief/Vandalism
3.11 - Disorderly Conduct Other
3.12 - Disruptive Demonstrations
3.13 - Drug Possession
3.14 - Drug Sale
3.15 - Drug Use
3.16- Unlawful Use of Electronic Pagers/Unauthorized Communication Devices
3.19 - Gambling
3.21 - Homicide
3.23 - Kidnapping
3.25 - Motor Vehicle Theft or unauthorized use of a motor vehicle
3.27 - Robbery
3.28 - Sexual Battery
3.29 - Sexual Harassment
3.30 - Sexual Offenses Other
3.37 - Handgun Possession
3.38 - Handgun Sale
3.39 - Handgun Use
3.40 - Rifle/Shotgun Possession
3.41 - Rifle/Shotgun Sale
3.42 - Rifle/Shotgun Use
3.43 - Firearm Component Possession
3.44 - Firearm Component Sale
3.45 - Firearm Component Use
3.46 - Explosive/Incendiary or Poison Gas Possession
3.47 - Explosive/Incendiary or Poison Gas Sale
3.48 - Explosive/Incendiary or Poison Gas Use
3.49 - Other Weapons Possession
3.50 - Other Weapons Sale
3.51 - Other Weapons Use
3.52 - Knife Possession
3.53 - Knife Sale
3.54 - Knife Use
3.55 - Other Unknown Weapons Possession
3.56 - Other Unknown Weapons Sale
3.57 - Other Unknown Weapons Use
3.58 - Other Incidents Resulting in a State Defined Discipline
ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSES FOR CLASS III VIOLATIONS INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:
Indefinite Suspension - Suspension should not exceed ten (10) days in length except in life-threatening situations where a student may pose a danger to other students or personnel and then only until the Board meets.
Expulsion from School - Superintendent may recommend expulsion to the Board.
Suspension - Students suspended shall not be allowed to participate in any extracurricular activities including but not limited to athletics, clubs (and those that are school related such as 4-H if held during the school day).
Students expelled, suspended, or under disciplinary action from another system shall not be enrolled in the Fort Payne City School System.
Any Due Process Procedure should include the following:
1. The student shall be given oral or written notice of the charges against him/her.
2. The evidence supporting the charge(s) shall be explained to the student.
3. The student shall have an opportunity to tell his side of the story.
4. The disciplinary authority (principal or teacher, etc.) may impose appropriate discipline measures immediately following the informal due process hearing stated above.
When a student is facing possible long-term suspension (more than ten (10) consecutive school days) or expulsion, the student is entitled to formal due process procedures:
1. The right to a hearing before the Board.
2. The right to be represented by counsel.
3. The right to cross-examine witnesses.
4. The right to a written record of the hearing.
5. The right to a written record of the Board’s decision.
6. The right of appeal.
Prior to the application of the above procedure to a special education student, said student’s I.E.P. committee shall be convened to determine if the student’s behavior warranting punishment is related to the handicap. In the event it is determined that the student’s behavior is not related to the handicap, the student shall be treated as any other student, except that, a special education student may not be suspended or expelled for more than ten (10) school days without being provided an alternative educational program. In the event the I.E.P. committee determines that the student’s behavior is related to the handicap, the student may not be corporally punished, suspended, or expelled; however, other appropriate disciplinary measures may be administered.
Code of Alabama, 1975
Section 16-1-14. This act allows the removal, separation or grouping of pupils creating disciplinary problems. In cases where the presence of the student poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process, the student may be immediately removed from school. In such cases, the notice and hearing should follow as soon as practical.
In the event the student is not satisfied with the disciplinary action, the student may appeal to the principal. If the student is not satisfied with the action taken by the principal, he/she may appeal to the Superintendent of Education.
If the student is not satisfied with the action taken by the Superintendent he/she may appeal to the City Board of Education. The decision of the Board will be final.
Two pieces of legislation that were passed during the 1993 legislative session that should impact student behavior are the following:
Act 93-672. This act states that parents who fail to require their children to attend school regularly or fail to require that their children conduct themselves properly as students shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Act 93-368. This act states that the local school attendance officer is responsible to report to the Department of Public Safety whenever a student drops out of school, is expelled from school or has accumulated 10 consecutive or 15 cumulative days of unexcused absences in any one semester. At this time the Department of Transportation will revoke or refuse to issue a driver’s license to that individual.
Formal Disciplinary Action and Procedure
Formal Disciplinary Action and Procedure
The authority of the school officials to control student conduct off school grounds and outside school hours is well settled in the law. Where the students are engaged in a school-sponsored activity the authority of the school officials is the same as if the activity took place on school property. Administrative responses for violations of discipline include, but are not limited to:
Corporal punishment shall be administered in accordance with Board policy. Utmost discretion will be used and careful consideration will be given to each individual case.
A student may be assigned for a specified period of time to a staff member who will assist in monitoring the student’s adjustment to the school environment.
The parent(s)/guardian(s) of a student will be asked to visit the school for discussions relating to situations requiring possible disciplinary action.
A student’s parent(s) and /or guardian(s) may be required to pay for or replace damaged, stolen or vandalized property.
It may be necessary to turn students over to the legal authorities if a possible legal violation has occurred, especially violations concerning theft, alcohol, and illegal drugs.
A student may be permanently expelled only upon recommendation of the Superintendent and approval by the Board of Education. An expelled student or one suspended for more than 10 days shall be informed of his right to appeal.
In-School Suspension (ISS)
The ISS program is a type of in-school suspension designed to be a positive alternative to regular suspension. It allows students to be supervised in a restricted environment, to keep up with assigned work, receive grades for assigned work, and be counted present in all classes. It does not, however, take the place of regular suspension. Parent(s) or guardian(s) will be notified of the ISS rules and regulations. REMINDER: Students assigned to ISS are not allowed to participate in after-school extracurricular activities, athletics or band.
School Bus Suspension
In accordance with Board policy, students may be denied the privilege of riding a school bus, based on misconduct occurring while the student is being transported at public expense.
In accordance with Board policy, students may be removed from their regular school program for a period not to exceed 10 school days. The student’s parent or guardian will receive a copy of the written report.
Work assignments may be used as an alternative disciplinary action at the principal’s discretion. Work assignments will be supervised activities related to the upkeep and maintenance of school facilities. Work assignments will not be scheduled to interfere with any student’s regular class schedule.
Suspension from Work
Students who participate in any of the vocational cooperative programs may be suspended from the privilege of working if they are in violation of school rules and regulations.
Alternative School (A-School)
The Alternative School shall be designed to provide an alternative educational environment for students. The primary focus shall be on Math, Science, Social Studies and English. However, students shall receive assignments in their other subjects in an attempt to keep the student current and provide for a smooth transition back to the regular educational program when the student completes his/her attendance requirements. Principals will have the authority to suspend a student to the Superintendent or his designee with a recommendation for placement in the Alternative Program. Pregnant students may petition to be assigned to the Alternative Program during the term of their pregnancy. Students assigned to
alternativeschool may not ride a school bus to or from school.