Sep 16, 2014 1:27:12 PM Charles County Public SchoolsAbout This Site | Contact Us | Home | RSS
 



 

Students

Code of Student Conduct

This booklet provides guidelines and procedures for student conduct and discipline in Charles County Public Schools. It is designed to be used together with state guidelines of student rights and responsibilities and the student handbook published by each school.

Print a copy of the 2012-2013 Code of Student Conduct. This document will open in a new window.

I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
Behavioral Infractions

V. Behavioral Infractions

  1. Arson, etc.
  2. Assaults, threats & harassment
  3. Property Crimes
  4. Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) and alcohol
  5. Tobacco
  6. Cell phones and pagers
  7. Weapons
  8. Sex offenses
  9. Sexual harassment
  10. Gang activity
  11. Group fights (frays)
  12. Classroom/school disruption
  13. Student demonstrations
  14. Student dress
  15. Offensive language/conduct
  16. Attendance
  17. Searches
  18. Computer, technology misuse
  19. Internet use/contracts
  20. Self-reporting of possession of prohibited objects/materials
  21. Student driving privileges
  22. Public displays of affection
  23. Academic dishonesty/cheating
  24. Filing of false reports
  25. Use of cameras/video/audio
  26. Transportation rules/bus discipline

The following is behavior that falls into the category of misconduct or gross misconduct. While not complete, the following lists of infractions are examples of the types of behavior that the Board of Education considers unacceptable. Misconduct in any of these areas on school grounds, in a school vehicle, or at a school-sponsored or system-sponsored event will result in disciplinary consequences.

  1. Arson, etc.
    Infractions involving the act of setting fires, reporting false alarms, interfering with the response to an emergency, possessing or threatening to use dangerous flammable or explosive materials and/or making bomb threats are viewed by Charles County Public Schools as gross misconduct.
    1. Arson, attempted arson
      Arson is defined as the willful and malicious burning of, or the attempted burning of, any part of any building or property.
      This includes any property located within or upon public school-owned premises or property. Such action may constitute a felony, under Section 6-101 et seq., of the Criminal Law Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.
    2. Reporting a false alarm, bomb threats, interfering with emergency response
      The act of initiating a fire alarm, or initiating a report warning of a fire, or an impending bombing, or other catastrophe without cause, or any interference with the proper response to an emergency by authorities, may be a violation of state law under Section 9-601 et seq., of the Criminal Law Article, Annotated Code of Maryland. Individuals found guilty of making false fire or bomb reports will be prosecuted and recovery of the cost to the taxpayers by the responding agencies will be sought from the guilty party through the courts.
    3. Fireworks/explosives
      The possession, use or threatened use of any fireworks, explosives or similar dangerous materials not a part of the authorized program of studies and not approved for possession or use by the principal is prohibited and may be a violation of state law.
    4. Matches and lighters
      Students may not possess or use matches, lighters, or any other instrument used to burn or create a fire, unless under the direction and supervision of a staff member as part of the educational program.
    5. Incense
      Students may not possess, use, or distribute any incense on school property or at a school-sponsored activity.

[top]

  1. Assaults, threats & harassment
    Students must feel safe in order to learn in school. Conduct that threatens the safety and sense of well being of others to the detriment of the educational program is not tolerated.
    1. Harassment/Bullying/Hazing/Teasing/Intimidation
      Charles County Public Schools does not condone or allow the harassment, bullying, hazing, teasing or intimidation of students by others. Bullying, harassment or intimidation means intentional conduct, including verbal, physical or written conduct or intentional electronic communication:
      1. that creates a hostile educational environment by substantially interfering with a student’s educational benefits, opportunities or performance or well-being; and
      2. is motivated by actual or perceived personal characteristics, including: race; national origin; marital status; sex; sexual orientation; gender identity; religion; ancestry; physical attributes; socioeconomic status; family status; physical or mental ability or disability.
      Hazing is defined as any activity that humiliates, teases, harasses, injures or potentially injures another student as part of a ritual of belonging to any club, team, gang or group. Unacceptable behavior of this type will not be tolerated and will result in appropriate disciplinary action. Consequences may range from counseling to suspension or expulsion from school dependent upon the circumstances of the incident, age, and/or level of understanding of the students involved.

      All incidents of bullying, teasing, intimidation or hazing should be reported to a teacher, school administrator, counselor or other school staff immediately. CCPS recommends that the Bullying Complaint Form be completed in any case. This form will be sent home the first week of school every year, and additional copies may be obtained from all school main offices. Complaint forms may be turned in to any school administrator, teacher or counselor.
    2. Physical and verbal assaults/battery and threats
      The Board of Education considers physical or verbal attacks and threats upon fellow students, teachers, administrators and other staff members, and any other individual on school grounds, as serious conduct to be dealt with in a severe manner. This may include threats made against school employees away from school grounds. The principal or victim may, based upon the level of seriousness of the infraction, notify the police, who may take appropriate action under Section 26-101 of the Education Article, Annotated Code of Maryland. The police may charge the individual involved with simple assault or a more serious charge. Physical or verbal attacks upon staff members, or any other violation of this section, are considered gross misconduct and are dealt with accordingly.
    3. Robbery/shakedown/strong-arm/extortion
      Extorting, borrowing or attempting to borrow any money or thing of value from any individual is not allowed unless both parties enter into the agreement freely and without the presence of an implied or expressed threat. These activities may be a violation of Maryland law under Section 3-701 et seq., of the Criminal Law Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.
    4. Hate incidents
      An individual may not, based upon another person's race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, color, gender, disability or national origin, harass or commit a crime against that person or damage or deface the property of that person. An infraction of this rule may constitute a hate crime as defined under Section 10-301 et seq., of the Criminal Law Article, Annotated Code of Maryland. Any person who violates this rule is subject to suspension to the Superintendent with a recommendation of expulsion from school.

[top]

  1. Property Crimes
    1. Destruction of property - vandalism
      A student may not willfully destroy or deface any property belonging to the school or another individual. The student may face appropriate disciplinary action and may be required to pay for the costs of the repair or replacement of the damaged property.
    2. Theft/larceny
      An individual may not knowingly take or obtain property belonging to another without their permission and knowledge.
    3. Trespassing on school property
      Section 26-102 of the Education Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, states that the principal or designee has the authority to deny access to the buildings or grounds to any person who:
      1. is not a bona fide student at the school and who does not have any lawful business at the school;
      2. is a student of CCPS who is suspended or expelled; and/or
      3. acts in a manner that disrupts or disturbs the normal educational functions of the school.

[top]

  1. Controlled dangerous substances (CDS) and alcohol
    The Board of Education views the illegal possession, use and distribution of drugs as one of the single most important problems facing our community and the school system.

    The decision was made to provide a high level of drug prevention and awareness programs at all grade levels and at the same time assume a clear and uncompromising position against the possession, use and distribution of drugs on school property and during school activities.

    Students may voluntarily request drug abuse assistance. Confidentiality is extended to the student according to state regulations.
    1. Definitions
      The definitions of the following terms are defined in Section 5-101 et seq., of the Criminal Law Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.
      1. Anabolic steroid
      2. Controlled dangerous substance
      3. Counterfeit substance
      4. Deliver [distribute]
      5. Dispense [distribute]
      6. Drug
      7. Inhalants
      8. Marijuana (including seeds)
      9. Manufacturing
      10. Narcotic drug
      11. Opiate
      12. Possession
      13. Paraphernalia
      14. Prescription drugs

      In this section CDS is defined as including applicable terms above. CDS is also defined as a look-a-like of the items listed above that are presented in a manner such that a fellow student might reasonably believe them to be real.

    2. Possession, use or distribution of controlled dangerous substances (CDS) (CDS)
      It is illegal and a violation of school system policy for students to possess, use, distribute or intend to distribute any CDS. In certain situations, students may be found to have constructive possession of a CDS by having domain over and control of the substance. Students who have in their possession or control any CDS in an amount that indicates a likelihood that they had intended to distribute the CDS may be deemed to have had an intent to distribute the CDS. Additionally, students may not purchase or attempt to purchase a CDS. Students may not be under the influence of CDS on school property or at a school-sponsored activity.

      Students found to be in violation of this section shall be suspended from school with a recommendation to the Superintendent for a long-term suspension or expulsion of the student. The principal shall notify the student’s parents and may contact the police. In addition to these actions, if a student is found to be or suspected of being under the influence of a CDS, medical treatment may be sought.

      Medications not requiring a prescription, classified as over the counter (OTC) medications, may not be possessed by students on school property or during school-sponsored activities. OTC medications will be confiscated and parents notified. Repeated violations of this rule, or the distribution of an OTC on school property or at a school-sponsored activity, could result in more serious consequences.
    3. Alcohol
      In Maryland, the possession of alcohol by persons under age 21 is against the law under Section 10-114 of the Criminal Law Article, Annotated Code of Maryland. Charles County Public Schools' policy prohibits students from using, distributing, possessing or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages while under its jurisdiction or on Charles County Public Schools property during the regular school day. The use, possession or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages is not permitted on school property by students or adults at after-school activities or at activities conducted on the weekends. Students who violate the prohibitions of this rule are subject to suspension for their first offense for up to 10 school days with readmittance only after a successful conference involving the principal, the parent and the student. On occasion of a second offense for violation of the alcohol policy the student is suspended to the Superintendent with a recommendation for expulsion from school.
    4. Anabolic steroids
      Maryland law prohibits the non-prescription use, possession or distribution of anabolic steroids or human growth hormones. Upon conviction, violators are subject to a fine or imprisonment or both. The school system treats these cases as CDS violations.

[top]

  1. Tobacco
    The Board of Education prohibits the use or possession of tobacco and tobacco paraphernalia by students on school property and at any school-related or school-sponsored activities on or off campus. The use of tobacco is not permitted on school property by students or adults at any time.
    1. Definitions
      Tobacco includes any and all forms of tobacco that might be consumed either by smoking, chewing or in any other manner including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff. Tobacco paraphernalia is that equipment that is used to consume tobacco products including, but not limited to, pipes and tobacco pouches or bags.
    2. Possession/use of tobacco products
      The sale or use of tobacco in any form is prohibited in school buildings, on school grounds and in school vehicles at all times. Tobacco regulations are strictly enforced. The following consequences may be applied:
      1. First offense:
        Students are required to successfully complete an approved smoking education class and sign a contract with the school and their parents/guardians that they will not violate the tobacco policy in the future.
      2. Second offense:
        Students are suspended from school for five days and must work at least five hours after school on a school clean up project or work five hours at an approved health care facility.
      3. Third offense:
        Students are suspended to the Superintendent with a recommendation of expulsion from school. If found guilty of a third violation of the Charles County Public Schools tobacco policy, the student is removed from the regular day school program.

[top]

  1. Cell phones and pagers
    Except as provided in this rule, students may not possess or use cell phones, pagers, beepers, two-way radios, or any other portable electronic communication devices on school property, on school buses or school-chartered vehicles, or at any school-sponsored activity before, during or after the school day.
    1. Elementary and middle school students may not possess or use cell phones on school property except under the following conditions:
      1. A student may possess and use a cell phone, pager, beeper, two-way radio, or other portable electronic communication device if that student's parent or guardian receives approval from the school principal for a specific purpose. At no time will permission for cell phone possession or use be granted for socializing or other non-essential purposes.
      2. A student may possess and use a cell phone while attending and not participating in any event held on school grounds after school hours and open to the general public.
    2. High school students may not possess or use cell phones on school property except under the following conditions:
      1. Cell phones must not be visible and must be powered off at all times during the school day and either in the school building, or while aboard a school bus or other school-sponsored vehicle, or during after-school activities. A cell phone in the vibrate or other non-audible mode is not considered "off."
      2. Cell phones may be used after school hours, but not during a time when the student is either attending a school-sponsored activity not open to the general public, or participating in a school-sponsored activity, whether on or off school grounds. A student may possess and use a cell phone while attending and not participating in any event held on school grounds after school hours and open to the general public.
      3. In order to briefly communicate with the student's parent/guardian/caregiver, a cell phone may be used while attending or traveling to or from a schoolsponsored activity on a school bus or other school vehicle, as long as the supervising teacher/coach has granted the student permission. At no time will permission for cell phone use be granted for socializing or other non-essential purposes.
      4. A student may possess and use a cell phone if that student's parent or guardian receives approval from the school principal for a specific purpose. At no time will permission for cell phone possession or use be granted for socializing or other non-essential purposes.
      5. Cell phones with camera and/or video functions must not be used to take or transmit any image or video at any time, even if the use of the cell phone is otherwise permitted.

    The possession or use of a cell phone must not cause any disruption to the school setting at any time.

    Cell phones with camera and/or video functions must not be used to take or transmit any image or video at any time, even if the use of the cell phone is otherwise permitted.

    It is the intent of the Superintendent to ensure cell phone possession does not disrupt the learning environment, after-school activities, or the safe transportation of students. Therefore, students found to be in violation of this rule are subject to the following disciplinary action:

    1. Upon the first offense for middle and high school students the student shall be warned; the student's parent or guardian shall be notified; and the cell phone or other portable electronic communication device shall be confiscated and returned to the parent or guardian, upon request, after a successful conference with the appropriate school administrator.
    2. Upon the second offense for middle and high school students the student shall be suspended out-of-school for three days; the student's parent or guardian shall be notified; and the cell phone or other portable electronic communication device shall be confiscated and returned to the parent or guardian, upon request, after a successful re-admittance conference with the appropriate school administrator.
    3. Upon the third offense for middle and high school students the student shall be suspended out-of-school for seven days; the student's parent or guardian shall be notified; and the cell phone or other portable electronic communication device shall be confiscated and returned to the parent or guardian, upon request, after a successful re-admittance conference with the appropriate school administrator.
    4. Upon the fourth offense for middle and high school students the student shall be suspended to the Superintendent; the student's parent or guardian shall be notified; the cell phone or other portable electronic communication device shall be confiscated and returned to the parent or guardian, upon request, after a successful conference with the Superintendent's hearing officer; and the Superintendent's hearing officer may remove the privilege of possession and use of cell phones or other portable electronic communication devices.
    5. Upon the first offense for elementary school students the student shall be warned; the student's parent or guardian shall be notified; and the cell phone or other portable electronic communication device shall be confiscated and returned to the parent or guardian, upon request, after a successful conference with the appropriate school administrator.
    6. Upon the second offense for elementary school students the student shall be suspended out-of-school for one day; the student's parent or guardian shall be notified; and the cell phone or other portable electronic communication device shall be confiscated and returned to the parent or guardian, upon request, after a successful re-admittance conference with the appropriate school administrator.
    7. Upon the third offense for elementary school students the student shall be suspended out-of-school for three days; the student's parent or guardian shall be notified; and the cell phone or other portable electronic communication device shall be confiscated and returned to the parent or guardian, upon request, after a successful re-admittance conference with the appropriate school administrator.

    The Charles County public school system, and its employees and agents, are not responsible for the loss, theft, damage, or destruction of any cell phone, pager, beeper, two-way radio, or other portable communication device, whether allowed or prohibited by this policy.

[top]

  1. Weapons
    The Board of Education prohibits students from possessing weapons of any kind for any reason, whether for offensive use, self-protection or any other reason.
    1. Definitions
      The Board of Education prohibits any weapon defined by state law and any object that is used, is threatened to be used, or is designed and readily capable of being used as a weapon to inflict injury, including knives.

      Weapons as defined by state law include:
      1. Dirk knife
      2. Star knife
      3. Razor
      4. Tear gas
      5. Starter pistols
      6. Bowie knife
      7. Sand club
      8. Nanchaku
      9. Pepper spray/mace
      10. BB guns
      11. Switchblade knife
      12. Metal knuckles
      13. Stun guns
      14. Pellet guns
      15. Look-a-like guns

      Handguns, rifles, BB guns and shotguns of any type or design are considered weapons as defined by the Board of Education and are forbidden on school property including inside motor vehicles on school property.

      Weapons also include all types of gases such as tear gas, mace and pepper gas as well as devices manufactured or designed to stun individuals by rendering a high voltage electrical shock. In the event that a common object, designed for innocent purpose, is used as a weapon or threatened to be used as a weapon by a student against another individual, the object would fulfill the definition of a weapon and the appropriate procedure would be followed.

    2. Ammunition, etc.
      It is a violation to possess any live ammunition on Board of Education property. Possession of live ammunition on Board of Education property may result in suspension or expulsion from school. Live ammunition is defined as any device or any part of such a device for propelling a projectile from a gun. This includes the projectile and the explosive material or substance.
    3. Facsimile/replica weapons
      Facsimile, replica or collector weapons, including starter pistols, are permissible on school property for educational purposes only with the knowledge and special permission of the school principal. Otherwise, facsimile/replica weapons and look-a-like weapons are prohibited.
    4. Laser lights/laser pointers
      Student possession and/or use of objects capable of emitting laser light for whatever purpose is prohibited on school property and at school activities unless approved by the school principal.
    5. Dangerous materials
      Students are prohibited from bringing or possessing any item or material that a reasonable person should realize constitutes a danger to the safety of other students such as tools (including but not limited to screwdrivers, hammers, nails, and pliers), chemicals, hardware, and/or toxic materials, unless under the direction and supervision of a staff member as part of the educational program.
    6. Possession and/or use
      The Board of Education views the possession and/or use of a weapon and any other item listed in this section as a serious example of gross misconduct and is grounds for suspension to the Superintendent with a recommendation for an extended suspension or expulsion dependent upon the nature of the offense. The police may be contacted if there is a violation of State law.

[top]

  1. Sex offenses
    Any misconduct of a sexual nature towards another student or staff member is viewed as potentially serious misconduct or gross misconduct dependent upon the age and level of development of the student in question and the degree of the offense. Disciplinary measures include notification of the parents of the students involved. The student may be suspended and the appropriate legal authorities are notified in order that charges may be filed.
    1. Definition
      Sex offenses are defined by Maryland law, under Section 3-301 et seq., and Section 11-107 (indecent exposure) of the Criminal Law Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.
    2. Procedure
      The school administrator investigates alleged sex offenses, taking into consideration the age and developmental level of the students involved. Parents of the individuals involved are informed and, if appropriate, the legal authorities are contacted. Depending upon the level of misconduct, students guilty of violating the rules may be suspended from school for up to 10 days or to the Superintendent with a recommendation for an extended suspension or expulsion from school.

[top]

  1. Sexual harassment
    Charles County Public Schools does not condone or accept harassment by an individual toward another.
    1. Definition
      Sexual harassment is the verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a student that denies, limits, differentiates or conditions the provisions of aid, benefits, services or treatment protected under Title IX of the Education Act, 1972. Such unlawful behaviors may include:
      1. verbal comments such as derogatory statements, slurs or unwanted sexual advancements, invitations or comments;
      2. visual displays such as derogatory posters, photography, cartoons, drawings or gestures;
      3. physical conduct such as assault, unwanted touching, blocking normal movement or interfering with the educational program of a student because of his/her sex or race or any other protected basis;
      4. retaliation for having reported or threatened to report harassment;
      5. rape or attempted rape; and
      6. other sexual criminal offenses.

      Sexual harassment is any unwanted sexual attention on a continuing basis from peers or any unwanted sexual attention from anyone with whom the victim must interact in order to perform school duties where the result of that attention is that the victim's responses are restrained by fear of reprisals. Sexual harassment may occur: male to female, male to male, female to female or female to male.

    2. Procedure
      When possible, students who feel they are the victims of sexual harassment should report suspected sexual harassment to the principal or the school Title IX Coordinator or the Title IX Coordinator for Charles County Public Schools.

      Any student who is found to be responsible for sexual harassment is subject to appropriate disciplinary action that may include counseling, suspension or expulsion. The severity of the disciplinary action is based upon the circumstances of the infraction.

[top]

  1. Gang Activity
    1. Definition
      A gang is defined as a group of three or more individuals who associate on a continued basis for the purpose of committing criminal acts.
    2. Behavior, colors, dress, signs and symbols
      Group (gang) behavior that poses a threat to individual students or other groups of students or disrupts the orderly school process is not tolerated by Charles County Public Schools.

      Gang colors, gang signs or symbols and gang dress are not allowed on school property or at school-sponsored activities.

      The courts have made it clear that schools may restrict the wearing of gang symbols. Schools may also restrict certain types of dress that involve issues such as safety or discipline.

      Students found to be participating in gang activities are suspended from school until a successful readmission conference involving their parents/ guardians can be held. They may be suspended to the Superintendent with a recommendation for extended suspension or expulsion dependent upon the nature of the activity and the level of the student(s) involved.

      The police may be notified of any suspected gang activity by the school administration. Any gang activity coupled with gross misconduct on school property or during a school-sponsored activity will result in expulsion from school.

[top]

  1. Fighting/Frays
    1. Definition
      Verbal or physical combat by two or more individuals that represents a safety issue and/or a disruptive incident is classified as fighting. Conflicts involving a group of individuals that become or threaten to become physical in nature are defined as frays.
    2. Procedure
      Fighting and frays are disruptive to the school program and have the potential to result in injuries to students and/or staff. Charles County Public Schools considers fighting and frays unacceptable behavior and, in more serious cases, examples of gross misconduct. Participants may be suspended to the Superintendent with a recommendation for extended suspension or expulsion from school, dependent upon the nature of the specific incident and the age or level of understanding and development of the individuals involved.

      Fights and frays involving groups or individuals may, if there is evidence of group association, be considered as gang activity and will be dealt with accordingly.

[top]

  1. Classroom/school disruption
    The education of all the students in a class is interrupted each time one student disrupts the class. The classroom teacher has a responsibility to maintain classroom order so that learning is possible. Students who chronically disrupt the orderly learning process are guilty of misconduct and are removed from the class. School disruption is dealt with as misconduct or gross misconduct dependent upon the incident(s) and the level of the student involved.

[top]

  1. Student demonstrations
    The First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees "the rights of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." These protections of the First Amendment apply to public school students, subject to reasonable time, place and manner limitations, but they may be restricted if the exercise of these rights materially and substantially disrupts the educational environment.

[top]

  1. Student dress
    Suggestive, provocative or excessively tight clothing is not allowed to be worn to school or to school-sponsored activities. Charles County Public Schools does not allow clothing to be worn on school property or to school-sponsored activities which display messages or images offensive in terms of their reference to sex, race, national origin or religion. Clothing that is judged by the school administration to be disruptive to the orderly school process either by virtue of the design or in the manner in which it is worn is also forbidden.

    Members of the Charles County Association of Student Councils, at the request of Superintendent James E. Richmond, developed the following systemwide dress code, as amended and approved by the Board of Education:
    1. Shorts are permitted as long as the shorts reach the middle of the thigh, defined as shoulders relaxed and arms straight down alongside the body where fingertips touch the thigh.
    2. Skirts are permitted as long as the skirt reaches the middle of the thigh, defined as shoulders relaxed and arms straight down alongside the body where fingertips touch the thigh. Slits in the skirt may not rise more than two inches above fingertips.
    3. Sleeveless shirts are permitted as long as at least two-fingers' width of fabric covers both shoulders and the chest area and undergarments are not exposed.
    4. Spaghetti straps are not permitted with the exception of formal wear.
    5. Midriff area (front and back) must not be visible at any time, even while seated.
    6. Undergarments must not be visible at any time.
    7. Cleavage must not be visible at any time.
    8. Pants must be secured no lower than mid hip and must not cover the front of the shoes while walking.
    9. Backless and open-toed shoes with a hard sole are permitted as long as the shoes do not pose a safety hazard. Foam and similar soft-soled shoes, such as flip-flops or beach footwear, are prohibited.
    10. Headwear is not permitted. This includes but is not limited to hats, visors, bandannas and hoods. (Exceptions may be granted based on religious and medical reasons with proper verification.)
    11. Sunglasses are not permitted except during outdoor activities.
    12. Sleepwear and sleepwear-type clothing are not permitted. (Exceptions are granted for certain activities, such as overnight field trips.)
    13. Jewelry that poses a safety hazard to the student or other students is not permitted.
    14. Sports uniforms that are worn during the school day must conform to the dress code.
    15. Clothing that displays or symbolizes any language or material that is inappropriate for school or offensive to any group is not permitted. This includes, but is not limited to, material relating to drugs, alcohol, profanity, obscenity, racism, gang activity and violence.
    16. Recreational and noninstructional swimsuit attire must not be disruptive or distracting. Female swimsuits must be one piece and fully cover the chest and buttocks. Male swimsuits must be mid thigh. All swimsuits must remain nontransparent when wet. Swimsuits may not be worn uncovered outside of the pool area.
    17. Formal attire must not be disruptive or distracting. Spaghetti straps and sleeveless or strapless formal dresses are acceptable as long as adequate coverage is maintained during activity. Slits in skirts or dresses may not rise more than a hand's width above the knee. Transparent attire is prohibited. Necklines may not fall below mid-sternum. Backless gowns may be permitted at the end-of-year prom, but are inappropriate for all other events including school dances, choral performances and in situations where a student or group of students officially represent the school system.
    18. The dress code is in effect at all school-sponsored events on and off campus.

    Note: Administrators have the flexibility to exercise their judgment, with the authority of the Deputy Superintendent of Schools or their designee, to determine if a student's attire is considered disruptive or distracting.

[top]

  1. Offensive language/conduct
    1. Language
      Certain types of speech and behavior are considered so disruptive that they are prohibited outright. The free speech rights that students have in the school environment are governed by a rule of reason applied to specific acts. For example, the Supreme Court has held that a school official may take disciplinary action against students who use vulgar and offensive language in school, or who promote drug use or other activities that are either illegal or dangerous for students. Such language is not allowed in school or at school-sponsored activities or events.
    2. Gestures
      Vulgar, offensive and/or disruptive physical gestures to other students or staff members are not allowed. Students who engage in this behavior are guilty of misconduct.
    3. Drawn/written material
      Any student who wants to distribute a publication that is not officially recognized as a school publication shall submit such publication to the principal of the school for review and approval prior to such distribution.

      Written, drawn or printed material or publications may not be distributed on school property during school hours except at times and locations approved by the school principal. Students who distribute materials may not substantially interfere with the normal flow of traffic within the school corridors and entrance ways, may not coerce any other person into accepting or rejecting any publication, and may not interfere with normal school activities.

      Written, drawn, printed materials or publications that are obscene, libelous, vulgar, offensive or disruptive or which otherwise violate Board policies concern ing the distribution of materials or advertising on school grounds, may not be produced, distributed or shown to other individuals on school property, in school vehicles or during school-sponsored activities. Students may not possess, distribute or show pornographic materials in any format (including but not limited to printed or drawn materials, electronic or photographic images, or “sexting”) on school grounds or at a school-sponsored activity.

      School-sponsored publications are subject to review by the school principal or by the faculty advisor or teacher assigned to the particular class or publication staff that is producing the publication or in which a student is preparing or editing material for publication. The principal or teacher or faculty advisor may prevent the publication of material for legitimate education-related concerns, such as if the publication or material is (1) poorly written; (2) inadequately researched; (3) biased or prejudiced; (4) vulgar or profane; (5) unsuitable for the intended audience; or (6) obscene, libelous or disruptive.
    4. Tattoos/body markings/jewelry
      Permanent or temporary tattoos or other body markings that are vulgar, offensive or potentially disruptive are prohibited from being displayed by students on school property or during school activities. Prohibited markings must be covered in such a way that they are not visible by other individuals. Students may be required to remove or cover jewelry, including those used in body piercings, if the jewelry constitutes a danger to the student or others, or which causes substantial disruption to the education environment.

[top]

  1. Attendance
    All Maryland residents who are five years old by Sept. 1 of the school year and under 21 years shall be admitted free to the public schools. Students have a right to public education in Maryland that cannot be taken away without due process of law.
    1. Compulsory school attendance
      Coupled with the right to an education is the legal duty of the student to attend regularly and of the parent or guardian to ensure the student's regular attendance. Section 7-301 of the Education Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, requires all children who reside in Maryland and who are between five and 16 years old regularly attend a public school unless the child regularly receives, in some other setting, instruction similar to that which is provided in the state's public schools.
    2. Lawful absences
      Students may be excused from school attendance by county officials for necessary absences under Section 7-301(b) of the Education Article, Annotated Code of Maryland. Absences for the following reasons only are deemed lawful by the state:
      1. Death in the immediate family;
      2. Student illness, for which the principal may require a physician's certificate;
      3. Court summons;
      4. Hazardous weather conditions;
      5. Work, if approved or sponsored by the school;
      6. Observance of a religious holiday;
      7. State emergency;
      8. Suspension;
      9. Lack of authorized transportation;
      10. Other circumstances, as determined by school officials.

      Students have the right to make up work missed due to lawful absence, but need not be given such an opportunity when work is missed due to an unlawful absence.

    3. Unlawful absence
      It is a violation of state law to be absent from school for any reason that is not considered lawful. Students who miss school harm not only themselves but they also detract from the educational process of the school.

      Students who are unlawfully absent are dealt with according to the steps outlined in the Charles County Public Schools Attendance Procedures. This might include referral to the Department of Juvenile Justice and/or the Charles County State's Attorney Office.
    4. Cutting school, cutting class, leaving school grounds
      It is difficult to educate students who miss classes and impossible to safeguard their well-being and safety if they are not in school. It is a potentially dangerous situation anytime a student leaves the school grounds without the knowledge and permission of the school administration. Repeated class or school cutting or leaving school without permission is viewed as gross misconduct. Any secondary school student charged with two or more unlawful absences from school and/or from class, with proper notification by the school authorities, will fail the class(es) missed for the nine-week marking period.

      Any student who leaves school property without the permission of the school authorities is subject to school suspension for up to 10 days on the first occurrence. Chronic behavior of this type is considered gross misconduct and the student may be suspended to the Superintendent. Students who are unlawfully absent from school may be referred by student services personnel to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.

[top]

  1. Searches
    The principal or designee may make a reasonable search of a student on the school premises or on a school-sponsored field trip if the principal or designee has a reasonable belief the student is in possession of an item, the possession of which is a criminal offense under Maryland law or a violation of any other state law or rule or regulation of the school system.

    Designated teachers may conduct searches on field trips or other school-sponsored activities away from the school under the same guidelines.

    Student lockers may be assigned to students for their use, but remain the property of the school. The principal and vice principal may search lockers assigned for student use at any time for any reason.

    Dogs trained to detect the presence of drugs, weapons or other contrabands may be used on school property when deemed necessary or appropriate by school administrators.

[top]

  1. Computer, technology misuse
    Computer, telecommunications and technology misuse is considered serious misconduct and may result in suspension to the Superintendent with a recommendation for expulsion. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    1. The unauthorized or illegal use of or access to:
      1. computers
      2. software
      3. telecommunications devices
      4. telecommunications systems
      5. related technologies
    2. Any willful act that causes physical, financial or other harm or otherwise disrupts information technology; and
    3. Unauthorized use or attempts to use electronic technology to change or alter grades, attendance, any part of any student information record or the system's restricted information base or file.

[top]

  1. Internet use/contracts
    The Internet is used to enhance learning and to provide students the use of resources from all over the world. Charles County Public Schools tries to prevent students from being exposed to objectionable or offensive materials. The staff does its best to guide and monitor student use of the Internet, but staff cannot be held liable if a student accidentally or willfully goes to an objectionable site.

    All students who plan to take advantage of Internet connections at school must sign, together with their parents, the Charles County Public Schools' Internet contract. The contract is provided to all students as an insert in this booklet. Any student not returning a signed contract will not be allowed to access the Internet at school.
    1. Internet contract for elementary school students
      1. When I am in the computer lab or the media center, I will use the Internet only for school-related projects and visit only the sites assigned by my teachers. I will use all computer equipment with care and respect. I will print only information that my teacher has approved.
      2. When I use computers in the school, I will be respectful of the computer rights of others. I will not type or use any inappropriate or unacceptable words on the computer. If I encounter any type of inappropriate materials, I will immediately inform my teacher.
      3. I will limit my use of the Internet in school for education purposes assigned by my teacher. I will not surf the Internet or visit chat rooms. I will never log on to the Internet without permission from a teacher or supervising staff member.
    2. Internet contract for middle and high school students
      1. Acceptable uses of the Internet include:
        1. searching for information on school-related projects using approved search engines;
        2. accessing reference, newspaper or periodical services made available to students by subscription to Charles County Public Schools;
        3. downloading information related to schoolwork; and
        4. communicating via e-mail for school-related purposes.
      2. Students should abide by the following rules when using the Internet and school system networks:
        1. the Internet is to be used only for school-related activities;
        2. students are responsible for their behavior on the Internet just as they are for their behavior in a classroom or on school property;
        3. students will use language acceptable to the workplace and school on the Internet;
        4. students will follow the same code of conduct as required by Charles County Public Schools Code of Student Conduct and pay special attention to Section O. Offensive Language/Conduct;
        5. any harassment encountered on the Internet should not be responded to and should be reported to the teacher; and students will respect the privacy of others.
      3. Students may not:
        1. use offensive, obscene, libelous, disruptive or inflammatory language, pictures or other material on any computer or network;
        2. install their personal service provider's software on school equipment and may not log in to their personal service provider using school equipment;
        3. reveal their home phone numbers, addresses or other personal information;
        4. use someone else's password or account number;
        5. copy or download materials in violation of copyright laws;
        6. attempt to degrade or disrupt system performance or attempt to enter and/or destroy computer systems and files;
        7. repost personal communications without the author's prior consent;
        8. make personal purchases or unauthorized orders using the school system's name; and
        9. download or copy information onto discs, hard drives, or other peripheral devices without prior teacher approval.

[top]

  1. Self-reporting of possession of prohibited objects/materials
    Students sometimes find they have brought something from home in their pocket or bookbag that they didn't mean to bring that might be against the law or school rules to possess on school property. Students who find themselves in possession of any item that is a violation of the rules should immediately turn the object or material into the nearest teacher or the school office. This action may minimize or eliminate the disciplinary consequences.

[top]

  1. Student driving privileges
    Licensed students may drive to and from school after complying with the school requirements to obtain permission. Violations of the driving regulations may result in withdrawal of permission to drive to school. Notification to the school by police of driving violations by students going to or from school may also result in the loss of school driving privileges.

[top]

  1. Public displays of affection
    Public displays of affection are prohibited. The school building and school programs or activities are not the proper time or place for personal-level touching. Verbal reminders will normally be given for the first offense and followed by more serious disciplinary actions, if necessary.

[top]

  1. Academic dishonesty/cheating
    Charles County Public Schools students are expected to maintain the highest level of ethical standards. Students are required to exhibit honesty in both verbal and written form. Academic dishonesty, including cheating, plagiarism, photo copying, copying off fellow students, using Internet or other sources without acknowledgement and the use of electronic equipment such as cell phones, blackberries, iPods and other similar devices to cheat, is not acceptable.

    Dishonest behavior, when detected, may result in both academic and disciplinary consequences such as academic failure and/or suspension from school.

[top]

  1. Filing of false reports
    Students are encouraged to provide information to assist school administrators to carry out their responsibility to provide for the health and safety of the school community and to maintain an orderly school environment. However, students who are found to have intentionally filed false and malicious reports against staff or other students will be subject to serious disciplinary consequences.

[top]

  1. Use of cameras/video/audio
    Students may not possess or use any cameras or video or audio equipment on school property or at a school-sponsored event, except under the following conditions:
    1. A student may possess and use the camera or video or audio equipment at the direction of and with direct supervision by a classroom teacher as part of classroom activities.
    2. A student may possess and use a camera or video or audio equipment if that student receives prior written permission from the school principal for a specific purpose. At no time will permission be granted for socializing or other non-essential purposes, or if the use will violate another individual’s privacy.
    3. A student may possess and use a camera or video or audio equipment while attending and not participating in an event held on school grounds after school hours and open to the general public, as long as the possession and use are neither disruptive or in any way unlawful. This privilege may be revoked on a case-by-case basis at any time for any reason by the principal or school administrator, or by their designee.
    4. Cell phones with camera functions must not be used to take or transmit any image at any time, even if the use of the cell phone is otherwise permitted.

    Students may not use any type of camera, video, audio, or computer recording device in any manner that interferes with or is disruptive of the educational process, invades the privacy of any individual, or violates the academic integrity of any school activity.
  1. Transportation rules/bus discipline
  2. Charles County Public Schools is responsible for the safety and supervision of students from the time they board the school bus in the morning until the time they depart the school bus in the afternoon. Parents are responsible for their child during the walk to and from the bus stop and at the bus stop. Parents and students should select a safe walking route to and from the bus stop. Students should not talk to strangers at the bus stop or along the way to and from the bus stop. Students should be instructed to respect private property while walking to and from the bus stop. Crossing through private property and yards should be discouraged. Destruction of property and horseplay are prohibited.

    Students and parents should know their bus number and the locations of pickup and drop off stops. When reviewing the bus route assignment, please remember that the arrival and drop off times are approximate. During the first two weeks of school, bus arrival and drop off times may fluctuate due to school dismissal procedures, route adjustments, and bus drivers becoming familiar with the bus routes. Parents should see to it that their child arrives at the bus stop at least five minutes before the regularly scheduled arrival time. Bus drivers will not wait for tardy students because any wait will adversely affect the established time schedules for other students. 

    Prekindergarten and kindergarten students will not be left unattended when dropped off at bus stops. If the parent or other responsible adult is not present at the drop off, the driver will return the child to school where it will be the parent’s responsibility to pick up the child. Should this become a continual problem, the student will receive a suspension of bus privileges. The school office should be notified immediately when an emergency situation arises that prevents the parent or other responsible adult from being at the bus stop.

    Students are assigned to one bus route based on their residence address on file in the student data system. Any deviation must be approved in advance by the Pupil Transportation Department by submitting a "Request for Bus Change" form located on the CCPS website. Vacations, temporary work assignment changes, social events, riding to a friend’s home, or other foreseen events will not be approved for a change in bus assignment. Under short-term emergency situations the school administration may approve a different bus assignment. Permission to use a different bus stop may be granted on a temporary basis if approved by the school administration and provided that the request does not involve a bus assignment/route change. The school staff is responsible for notifying the bus driver of the reassignment or bus stop change.

    Issues and concerns regarding transportation should always be addressed at school with a school administrator. Parents are not permitted to board a bus for any reason or to confront the bus driver in any way that interferes with the driver’s assignment.

    Maryland State Department of Education law requires students to participate in two school bus evacuation drills during the school year. One drill is conducted in the fall and another is conducted in the spring. Bus evacuation drills teach students how to react in a possible emergency situation.

    Students should be at their assigned bus stop five minutes before the regularly scheduled bus arrival time in the morning. Students should wait for the school bus in an orderly fashion, out of the way of traffic. Students waiting in vehicles must be out of the vehicle when the bus approaches. Students should wait until the bus has completely stopped before moving toward or boarding the bus. Students who must cross the roadway to board the bus should wait on their side until the bus arrives. Students should only cross when the red warning lights are activated and the roadway is clear of traffic. Students should board the bus in a quiet and orderly fashion and should always use the bus handrail and steps in a safe manner.

    Once on the bus, students must walk to their assigned seats and be seated as quickly as possible. Students are to sit in their bus seats, facing forward with feet out of the aisle and hands, arms, and head inside the bus. Students must remain in their seats at all times when the bus is in motion. Changing seats anytime during the run is prohibited. Students may talk in a normal manner, but loud, profane, obscene, or harassing language is not permitted. Students may not throw objects out of bus windows or yell or gesture at individuals outside the bus or in other vehicles. Students may not sit in the driver’s seat or tamper with any controls or bus equipment. Students should not touch or tamper with emergency door or emergency window handles unless a student is directed to do so by the bus driver. Students must obey the directions of the bus driver and other school staff at all times.

    When unloading from the bus, students must wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before getting out of the seat. Students must get off the bus only at their regularly assigned bus stop unless school permission has been previously granted.  Students should use the handrail near the step to avoid mishaps and accidental tripping when leaving the bus. Any students who must cross the road after leaving the bus must do so prior to the bus’ departure from the stop and approximately 10 feet in front of the stopped bus while the bus’s red warning lights are activated. Students should never walk behind the bus to cross the street. Traffic should be checked carefully before crossing the street.

    Students should keep the bus clean and must not damage it. Any malicious or willful damage to a school bus will result in the immediate withdrawal of transportation services for the student involved. In addition, the parents and student are responsible for any damages caused by students. Continuation of bus riding privileges will only be considered after consultation with the parent, school administration, and transportation department representatives and financial restitution is made.

    Students may transport their school books or other allowed items on the bus as long as the books and other items:

    • can be held on the student’s lap without interfering with other students in the same seat, extending into the aisle or through a window, and extending above the student’s chin; or
    • can fit under the student’s seat without blocking or extending into the aisle. At no time may any item be transported if the item negatively affects safety or causes a disruption of the driver’s schedule. 

    In addition, the following items may not be transported on a school bus:

    • glass or other breakable containers;
    • pets or animals, unless approved in advance by the school administration;
    • sharp instruments that could cause damage to the interior of the bus or be considered a weapon;
    • skateboards/scooters;
    • science fair projects;
    • balloons; and
    • any other item, the possession of which violates the Code of Student Conduct. 

    The Charles County public school system, and its employees, agents, and contractors, are not responsible for the loss, theft, damage, or destruction of any item brought onto a school bus by a student, whether allowed or prohibited.

    Charles County Public Schools reserves the right to videotape students on school buses. This might include both audio and video recording. The use of videotapes helps to monitor student behavior and evaluate bus drivers.

    Bus Discipline

    Student transportation to and from school is a privilege and not a right. The public school system is not required to transport students to and from school, and students may be denied transportation if they violate the rules set forth by the school and the transportation department. Inappropriate behavior on the school bus is considered serious, unsafe misconduct. Infractions are handled at the school level.

    A student’s bus riding privileges may be suspended for a period of time or for the remainder of the school year. Students suspended from their school bus may not ride any other school bus to or from school while they are on bus suspension. Parents are notified if there is a bus infraction and of the disciplinary action taken. The school bus ride is an extension of the school day, and consequences of student misbehavior will result in school disciplinary measures being taken that might include suspension from school.

    Any action on a school bus that could result in a suspension from school may also result in the lesser punishment of a suspension from the school bus for any amount of time up to and including the remainder of the school year. This may include any violation of the Code of Student Conduct while on a school bus, such as the possession of a weapon, alcohol, tobacco, a controlled dangerous substance, or a cell phone or other portable electronic communication device.

    The following outlines the minimum actions that will be taken for specific bus misconduct. Additional consequences may be added at the discretion of the principal or principal’s designee depending on the circumstances of the incident. Students in danger of receiving a bus suspension of five or more days, on the next referral, may be required to participate in a satisfactory conference with the bus driver, a school administrator and other necessary personnel.           

Fighting/Frays on a School Bus

Verbal or physical combat by two or more individuals that represents a safety issue and/or a disruptive incident is classified as fighting. Conflicts involving a group of individuals that become or threaten to become physical in nature are defined as frays.

    • First offense – three-day bus and/or school suspension
    • Second offense – 10-day bus suspension
    • Third offense – suspension to the Superintendent

Student Misconduct Toward Bus Driver/Attendant

Student misconduct toward a bus driver or attendant is defined as any violation of the Code of Student Conduct targeting the bus driver or attendant.

    • First offense – five-day bus suspension
    • Second offense – 10-day bus suspension
    • Third offense – suspension to the Superintendent

Student Misconduct Toward Other Students

Student misconduct toward another student is defined as any violation of the Code of Student Conduct targeting another student.

    • First offense – three-day bus suspension
    • Second offense – five-day bus suspension
    • Third offense – 10-day bus suspension

    Safety Misconduct

    Safety misconduct is defined as any act that jeopardizes the safety of the students on or in the proximity of the bus, including the misuse of bus safety equipment, window/door alarms, etc.

    • First offense – three-day bus suspension
    • Second offense – five-day bus suspension 
    • Third offense – 10-day bus suspension
    • Fourth offense – 30-day bus suspension
    • Fifth offense – suspension to the Superintendent

    Damage/Destruction of Bus Equipment

    All students are responsible for proper/financial restitution when they damage or destroy bus equipment. If satisfactory restitution is not made in a timely manner, the student’s bus privileges will be revoked.

    • First offense – three-day bus suspension
    • Second offense – 10-day bus suspension
    • Third offense – 30-day bus suspension
    • Fourth offense – suspension to the Superintendent

    Throwing Objects out of Bus Window

    Students are responsible for all damages caused by the object thrown from the bus.

    • First offense – three-day bus suspension
    • Second offense – five-day bus suspension 
    • Third offense – 10-day bus suspension 
    • Fourth offense – 30-day bus suspension
    • Fifth offense – suspension to the Superintendent

    General Misconduct

    General Misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following: failure to arrive at stop on time; improper seating; standing while bus is moving; failure to keep body parts to oneself and inside the bus; throwing an object or objects on the bus; loud talking, screaming, excessive noise that distracts the driver; using profanity; littering; spitting; eating, chewing gum, or drinking without permission of the driver; use of personal electronic devices without permission of the driver; failure to follow bus driver’s instruction as soon as they are issued; purposely utilizing an incorrect bus stop; and getting on or off at an unauthorized bus stop.

    • First offense – Warning letter/phone notification
    • Second offense – one-day bus suspension
    • Third offense – five-day bus suspension
    • Fourth offense – 10-day bus suspension
    • Fifth offense – 30-day bus suspension
    • Sixth offense – suspension to the Superintendent

[top]

ABOUT US | BOARD OF EDUCATION | CALENDARS | DEPARTMENTS | INCLEMENT WEATHER
PARENTS & COMMUNITY | PUBLIC INFORMATION & MEDIA | SCHOOLS & CENTERS | STAFF SERVICES | STUDENTS

©1995-2013 Charles County Public Schools
5980 Radio Station Road | P.O. Box 2770 | La Plata, MD 20646
301-932-6610 | 301-870-3814 | TTY: 301-392-7579 | Info Line: 301-932-6656

Nondiscrimination Statement | Privacy Policy | ADA/Section 508 | Website Feedback MSDE  |  Site Map