School Discipline Laws & Regulations by State & Category

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Statesort descending Statute
Delaware

LAWS

14 Del.C. §4112. Reporting school crimes.

(b) Criminal violation; mandatory reports.

(1) Whenever a school employee has reliable information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that:

a. A student, school volunteer, or a school employee, has been the victim of:

1. A violent felony,

2. An assault III, or

3. An unlawful sexual contact III, which occurred on school property or at a school function; or

b. A student has been the victim of:

1. A violent felony

2. An assault III, or

3. Any sexual offense, as defined in § 761(h) of Title 11, and the offense was committed by another school employee regardless of whether the offense occurred on school property or at a school function; then the school employee who has reliable information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a crime has been committed shall immediately report the incident to the principal.

(2) The principal must immediately make reasonable efforts to notify the parents of any juvenile victim and must send written notification of the incident to the parents within 3 business days. This paragraph does not apply if the parent is alleged to be the offender.

(3) The principal shall immediately report the incident to the appropriate police agency. The report shall be made by telephone or in person immediately and shall be followed by a written report of the school's investigation within 3 business days.

(4) If the police agency determines that probable cause exists to believe that a crime has been committed, or if the principal later learns that a suspect has been arrested for the offense, then the principal must file a written report of the incident to the Department of Education within 5 days.

(5) Nothing in this section shall preclude a school employee who has reliable information that would lead a reasonable person to believe a crime has been committed from reporting the incident to the principal within a reasonable amount of time. In such instances where a report is made, the school officials shall follow the procedure set forth in paragraphs (b)(2) through (6) of this section. Nothing in this section shall abrogate the reporting requirements for child abuse or sexual abuse set forth in § 903 et seq. of Title 16.

(6) Offenders under the age of 12. When a misdemeanor offense listed in this subsection has allegedly been committed by a child under the age of 12, the principal is not required to notify the appropriate police agency but must file a written report of the incident with the Department of Education within 5 working days. When the alleged offense is a violent felony, the appropriate police agency must be notified by the principal of the incident even when the suspect is under the age of 12.

(7) Sexual harassment. Whenever a school employee has reliable information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a student has been the victim of sexual harassment, as defined in Title 11, which occurred on school property or at a school function, the harassment must be reported to the principal, who, immediately after conducting a preliminary investigation to determine if good reason exists to believe that harassment has occurred, must notify the victim's parent of that determination, if the parent is not alleged to be the offender. The principal is not required to notify the appropriate police agency, but must file a written report with the Department of Education.

(8) Under no circumstances shall any person who has supervisory authority over the principal or any school board member exercise any control of, hinder or delay the lodging of any oral or written report required to be made pursuant to this subsection or the forwarding of such report to the Department of Education or the police. A principal (or acting principal if the principal is absent) may not delegate to or rely upon any other person except an assistant principal to make the immediate report to the police. A person with supervisory authority over the principal or any school board member who has knowledge of an incident which is required to be reported under this section, and who has information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that it has not been reported to the police, has an affirmative duty to report the incident to the police immediately. This includes, but is not limited to, incidents in which a school employee is a possible suspect and when an administrative review is ongoing.

14 Del.C. § 4112A. Office of school criminal offense and bullying ombudsperson.

(a) There is hereby established within the State Department of Justice, the Office of School Criminal Offense and Bullying Ombudsperson.

(b) The purpose of the Ombudsperson is to ensure the proper administration of the school criminal offense reporting law contained in § 4112 of this title and the school bullying prevention law contained in § 4164 of this title.

(c) The Ombudsperson shall have the power to:

(1) Investigate and seek to resolve complaints made by and concerns of members of the public, school officials, and pupils regarding criminal offenses and incidents of bullying committed on school property;

(2) Investigate complaints regarding the alleged failure of school officials to report criminal offenses as required under § 4112 of this title and incidents of bullying as required under § 4164 of this title;

(3) Establish policies and procedures for eliciting, receiving, investigating, verifying, and resolving complaints; and

(4) Perform such other acts as are necessary to carry out the purpose set forth in subsection (b) of this section.

14 Del.C. § 4112B. Ombudsperson access.

(a) The Ombudsperson shall have access to any school record or pupil file which is relevant to the performance of the Ombudsperson's duties, including any record otherwise considered confidential under Delaware law.

(b) The Ombudsperson may initiate an investigation of any criminal offense committed on school property or any incident of bullying independent of the receipt of a specific complaint.

(c) The Ombudsperson shall protect the confidentiality of pupils' records and files as required under Delaware law.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Ombudsperson shall not disclose the identity of any complainant unless a court orders such disclosure or the complainant consents in writing to the disclosure of the complainant's identity.

14 Del.C. § 4161. Definitions.

For purposes of this subchapter:

(1) "Bullying" means any intentional written, electronic, verbal, or physical act against another student, a school district or charter school volunteer, or a school district or charter school employee that a reasonable person under the circumstances should know will have any of the following effects:

a. Place a student, school district or charter school volunteer, or school district or charter school employee in reasonable fear of substantial harm to the student's, volunteer's, or employee's emotional or physical well-being or substantial damages to the student's, volunteer's, or employee's property

b. Create a hostile, threatening, humiliating, or abusive educational environment due to the pervasiveness or persistence of actions or due to a power differential between the bully and the target.

c. Interfere with a student having a safe school environment that is necessary to facilitate educational performance, opportunities, or benefits.

d. Perpetuate bullying by inciting, soliciting, or coercing an individual or group to demean, dehumanize, embarrass, or cause emotional, psychological, or physical harm to another student, school district or charter school volunteer, or school district or charter school employee.

(2) "Charter school" means a public school established under Chapter 5 of this title.

(3) "Child abuse" means causing or inflicting any of the following on a child:

a. Sexual abuse.

b. Serious physical injury or death, or physical injury through unjustified force not permitted under § 468 of Title 11. For purposes of this paragraph (3)b., "serious physical injury" and "physical injury" mean as defined in § 222 of Title 11.

c. Emotional abuse.

d. Torture.

e. Exploitation.

f. Maltreatment or mistreatment.

(4) "Child sexual abuse", "sexual abuse", or "sexually abused" means the commission of any act that is listed in the definition of sexual offense in § 761 of Title 11.

(5) "Criminal youth gang" means as defined in § 617(a) of Title 11.

(6) "Parent" means a natural parent, an adoptive parent, any person legally charged with the care or custody of a student under 18 years of age, or any person who has assumed responsibility for the care of a student under 18 years of age including any person acting as a caregiver pursuant to the provisions of § 202(f) of this title.

(7) "Personal body safety" means understanding the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching and how to communicate inappropriate behavior to a trusted adult.

(8) "School district" means a clearly defined geographic subdivision of the State organized for the purpose of administering public education in that area and includes a district specifically created to administer a system of vocational or technical education.

(9) "School district and charter school employee," "school district or charter school employee," or "employee" means all individuals, including teachers, school administrators, school support personnel, instructional aides, nurses, school counselors, coaches, custodial staff, and nutrition staff, hired by a school district or charter school or a program established under Chapter 16 of this title, who provide services to students on a regular, ongoing basis. "School district and charter school employee," "school district or charter school employee," or "employee" does not include contractors or subcontractors, such as bus drivers or security guards; substitute employees; and individuals hired by or subcontracted by other state agencies to work on school property.

(10) "Sexual assault" means any unwanted sexual behavior committed by a perpetrator who is a stranger to the victim or by a perpetrator who is known by the victim or related to the victim by blood or marriage. "Sexual assault" includes the following behaviors: sexual harassment, as defined in § 763 of Title 11; sexual contact, as defined in § 761 Title 11; sexual intercourse, as defined in § 761 of Title 11; sexual penetration, as defined in § 761 of Title 11; and sexual abuse.

(11) "Teen dating violence" means assaultive, threatening, or controlling behavior, including stalking as defined in § 1312 of Title 11, that one person uses against another person in order to gain or maintain power or control in a current or past relationship and can occur in both heterosexual and same sex relationships and in serious or casual relationships.

14 Del.C. §4164. School bullying awareness and prevention; criminal youth gang detection.

(b) Prohibition of bullying.

(2) Each school district and charter school shall establish a policy which, at a minimum, includes the following components:

e. A requirement that any school district or charter school employee that has reliable information that would lead a reasonable person to suspect that a person is a target of bullying must immediately report it to the administration.

j. A requirement that a parent of any target of bullying or perpetrator of bullying be notified and provided with a form to be generated by the Department of Justice describing the role of the Department of Justice School Ombudsman and providing contact information. This form must also inform a parent of the parent's right to know when the bullying incident in question has been reported to the Department of Education under paragraph (b)(2)k. of this section.

k. A requirement that all reported incidents of bullying, regardless of whether the school could substantiate the incident, be reported to the Department of Education within 5 working days under Department of Education regulations. The school shall notify a parent of all students involved in the reported incident when the report is made.

REGULATIONS

14 DE Admin. Code §601. Schools and law enforcement agencies.

5.0. Reporting of Crimes to the Delaware Department of Education

5.1. The superintendent or head administrator of each school district, charter school, and Alternative Program or his/her designee, shall ensure each school within his/her jurisdiction reports to the Department of Education all school crimes required to be reported pursuant to 14 Del.C. §4112, and any subsequent amendment thereto. Such reports shall be submitted in a format as designated by the Department of Education and filed with the Department of Education within the time prescribed by Delaware statutes.

6.0. Reporting Specific Incidents of Misconduct

6.1. In addition to those school crimes required to be reported to law enforcement pursuant to 14 Del.C. §4112, the superintendent or head administrator of each school district, charter school, and Alternative Program, or his/her designee, shall report to the Department of Education incidents of misconduct 6.1.1 through 6.1.14. Such reports shall be submitted in a format as designated by the Department of Education and filed with the Department of Education not later than five working days following the incident.

6.1.1. Pornography, possession and production

6.1.2. Criminal mischief (vandalism)

6.1.3. Tampering with public records

6.1.4. Alcohol, possession and use

6.1.5. Felony theft

6.1.6. Bullying (allegations and substantiated incidents)

6.1.7. Offensive Touching (student or employee victim)

6.1.8. Terroristic Threatening (student or employee victim)

6.1.9. Sexual Harassment

6.1.10. Fighting

6.1.11. Inhalants

6.1.12. Drug Paraphernalia

6.1.13. Teen Dating Violence

6.1.14. Unlawful Drug Use/Influence

14 DE Admin. Code §616. Uniform due process procedures for alternative placement meetings and expulsion hearings.

1.0. Purpose

Pursuant to 14 Del.C. §122(b)(26), this regulation, which applies to all public school districts and charter schools, provides uniform procedures for the following situations: referral of students who warrant consideration for placement outside the Regular School Program into an Alternative Program; placement of students into an Alternative Program; monitoring student progress while in Alternative Placement; return of students back into the Regular School Program from an Alternative Program; Suspensions; and Expulsion hearings.

3.0. Preliminary Discipline Investigation & Reporting Requirements

3.1. Investigatory Procedures & Timeline

3.1.1. In any instance when student Disciplinary Action which may result in removal of the student out of the Regular School Program for one day or more is contemplated, the Principal shall conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if there is reasonable basis to pursue Disciplinary Action.

3.1.1.1. The Principal may remove the allegedly offending student from the general student population while conducting the preliminary investigation if the student's presence in the School Environment poses a threat to the health, safety, or welfare to persons or property within the School Environment, as determined by the Principal. Initial due process in accordance with subsection 4.2.1 of this regulation shall be provided.

3.1.1.2. When obtaining written statements from witnesses, reasonable efforts may be made to notify the Parent of each witness.

3.1.1.3. Reasonable efforts shall be made to include the allegedly offending student or Parent in the preliminary investigation.

3.1.2. The investigation shall be completed within three (3) school days of the date the incident in question was reported.

3.1.3. The Principal shall confiscate any contraband as defined in the Student's Code of Conduct or under the School's policy or state or federal law, which may be used for criminal/juvenile delinquency proceedings. Such contraband shall be labeled and secured in a locked area. Any confiscated contraband, or that reasonably understood to be illegal contraband, which may be used for criminal/juvenile proceedings shall be turned over to the appropriate police agency as soon as practicable.

3.2. Reporting Requirements

3.2.1. If the investigation reveals that there is reliable information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a mandatorily reportable crime under 14 Del.C. §4112 has been committed, the Principal shall immediately notify the appropriate law enforcement agency of the incident.

3.2.1.1. All reports to the appropriate law enforcement agency must be made immediately by telephone or in person and shall be followed by a written report of the investigation within three (3) business days.

3.2.2. The Principal shall report all offenses listed as a mandatory report to the Department of Education under 14 Del.C. §4112 and 14 DE Admin. Code 601 within five (5) business days of the incident by completing the information in the eSchoolPlus discipline center or successor Delaware Department of Education approved student database management application.

4.0. Initial Due Process

4.1. A student shall be afforded initial due process rights for discipline procedures which result in the removal of the student for one day or more from the Regular School Program due to a violation of the school's Student Code of Conduct.

4.1.1. Prior to any removal of one day or more from the Regular School Program due to a violation of the school's Student Code of Conduct:

4.1.1.1. The student had prior opportunity to be informed in accordance with the established Student Code of Conduct rules and/or regulations.

4.1.1.2. The administrator/designee shall inform, orally or in writing, the student of the allegation(s) against him/her, the conduct which forms the basis of the allegation(s), and the policy, rule, or regulation violated.

4.1.1.3. The student shall be given an explanation of the evidence supporting the allegation(s) and an opportunity to present his/her side of the story including any evidence.

4.2. Due Process Delay Provision

4.2.1. A student whose presence in the School Environment poses a threat to the health, safety, or welfare to persons or property within the School Environment, as determined by the Principal, may be immediately removed from school provided that, as soon as practicable thereafter, the initial due process procedures outlined in subsection 4.1 of this regulation are followed.

4.3. In addition to the initial due process rights, a student who is recommended for Alternative Placement or Expulsion shall receive applicable additional due process rights as outlined in Sections 7.0, 10.0, and 11.0 of this regulation.