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Many of you have seen the disturbing news regarding the shooting at Freeman High School, which is near Spokane, Washington, this morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the students, their families and the surrounding community.

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Staff Ethics
Rights, Responsibilities and Authority

File: GBC

Rights, Responsibilities, and Authority of Teachers and Principals

Preamble

Teachers and principals are required by law to maintain a suitable environment for learning. In order to facilitate the educational program within this environment and to help guarantee "due process" for all, the following rights, responsibilities, and authority of teachers and principals with respect to student discipline have been established.

Teacher Responsibility

Teachers and other non-supervisory certificated personnel (collectively referred to as "teachers" in this paragraph) shall have the following responsibilities with respect to the discipline of students:

    1. Each teacher shall enforce the prescribed school district rules for student conduct.
    2. Each teacher shall comply with school district and building rules and guidelines relating to the discipline of students.
    3. Each teacher shall maintain good order and discipline in the classroom, in the hallways, and on the playgrounds or other common areas of the school, or other areas under supervisory duty.
    4. Each teacher assigned to classroom duties shall keep and maintain accurate attendance records of students.
    5. Each teacher shall set an appropriate example of personal conduct and will avoid making any statement to any student which may be demeaning to any student or groups of students.

Teacher Authority

All teachers shall have the authority to discipline any student for any disruptive or disorderly conduct or other violation of rules for student conduct which may occur in the presence of the teacher or when the student is under the teacher's supervision, subject to the limitations in connection with the short-term exclusion of students. Teachers also may recommend the short-term exclusion, suspension, or expulsion of students to the proper school authorities.

Teacher's Rights

Teachers shall have the following rights with respect to the discipline of students:

    1. Each teacher shall be entitled to appropriate assistance and support from building administrators in connection with discipline problems relating to students.
    2. Each teacher shall be promptly advised of any written complaint made to the principal or other school district administrator regarding the teacher's discipline of the students. The teacher shall be given the opportunity to present his/her version of the incident and to meet with the complaining party in the event that a conference with the complaining party is arranged.

Principal Responsibilities

Principals and other building administrators (collectively referred to as "principals") shall have the following responsibilities with respect to the discipline of students:

    1. Each principal shall be responsible for the enforcement of the prescribed school district rules for student conduct and for the compliance with school district and building guidelines relating to the discipline of students.
    2. Each principal may develop such building guidelines relating to student discipline as may be appropriate. Such building guidelines shall be consistent with school district rules relating to student discipline.
    3. At the beginning of each school year principals shall make available to each certificated staff member, students, and parents or guardians of students, a copy of these rules and regulations (or summary thereof) together with any building guidelines developed pursuant to this policy.
    4. Each principal shall set an appropriate example of personal conduct and shall avoid making any statement to any student which may be demeaning to any student or group of students.
    5. Each principal shall provide appropriate assistance and support to teachers in connection with discipline problems relating to students.

Principal Authority

All principals shall have the authority to discipline or recommend suspension or expulsion of any student for any violation of rules for student conduct subject to the limitations in connection with the short-term exclusion of students and the suspension and expulsion of students.

Principal Rights

Each principal shall be promptly advised of any written complaint made to any other school district administrator regarding the principal's discipline of students. The principal shall be given the opportunity to present his/her version of the incident and to meet with the complaining party in the event that a conference with the complaining party is arranged.


Adopted:
09/07/76

Revised:
05/07/90
08/10/98

LEGAL REFS.:
RCW 28A.58.101
WAC 28A.58.760
180-44-010

CROSS REFS.:
Student Discipline (JG)
Public Complaints (and subcodes) (KL)

An elementary school principal and three teachers work together in a classroom

Foundations and Basic Commitments (Reference Code A)

General School Administration (Reference Code C)

District and school administrators working together

Policies about the school district management, the administrative structure and school building and department administration. Here, you will find the personnel policies that pertain to one the superintendent. See the Personnel section below for all other personnel policies.

Fiscal Management (Reference Code D)

Support Services (Reference Code E)

Facilities Development (Reference Code F)

Personnel (Reference Code G)

School principal and staff members working together in a classroomThe personnel policies are divided in three main subdivisions: topics that pertain to all employees; policies that pertain to professional personnel, including administrators, who must hold educational certification by the state to serve in their positions; and policies pertaining to all other personnel.

Negotiations (Reference Code H)

Staff members working together on a laptopThese policies pertain to the process of negotiating with staff units recognized by the school board.

Instruction (Reference Code I)

Student raises hand while elementary school teacher talks to classPolicies on instructional program: basic programs, special programs, activities programs, instructional resources and academic achievement.

Students (Reference Code J)

A group of diverse students sing during assemblyPolicies concerning students are found here: admissions, attendance, rights and responsibilities, conduct, discipline and health and welfare services. Policies pertaining to the curriculum, instruction of students, and extracurricular programs are in the Instruction section.

School-Community Relations (Reference Code K)

Community volunteer works with elementary school studentPolicies affecting relations with the general public and with community and public agencies except other educational agencies and groups.

Education Agency Relations (Reference Code L)