New York School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Formal Incident Reporting of Conduct Violations

Discipline Compendium

New York School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Formal Incident Reporting of Conduct Violations

Category: Monitoring and Accountability
Subcategory: Formal Incident Reporting of Conduct Violations
State: New York

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LAWS

13. Policies and guidelines.

The board of education and the trustees or sole trustee of every school district shall create policies, procedures and guidelines that shall include, but not be limited to:

1. Policies and procedures intended to create a school environment that is free from harassment, bullying and discrimination, that include but are not limited to provisions which:

a. identify the principal, superintendent or the principal's or superintendent's designee as the school employee charged with receiving reports of harassment, bullying and discrimination;

b. enable students and parents to make an oral or written report of harassment, bullying or discrimination to teachers, administrators and other school personnel that the school district deems appropriate;

c. require school employees who witness harassment, bullying or discrimination, or receive an oral or written report of harassment, bullying or discrimination, to promptly orally notify the principal, superintendent or the principal's or superintendent's designee not later than one school day after such school employee witnesses or receives a report of harassment, bullying or discrimination, and to file a written report with the principal, superintendent or the principal or superintendent's designee not later than two school days after making such oral report;

d. require the principal, superintendent or the principal's or superintendent's designee to lead or supervise the thorough investigation of all reports of harassment, bullying and discrimination, and to ensure that such investigation is completed promptly after receipt of any written reports made under this section;

e. require the school, when an investigation reveals any such verified harassment, bullying or discrimination, to take prompt actions reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying or discrimination, eliminate any hostile environment, create a more positive school culture and climate, prevent recurrence of the behavior, and ensure the safety of the student or students against whom such harassment, bullying or discrimination was directed. Such actions shall be consistent with the guidelines created pursuant to subdivision four of this section;

f. prohibit retaliation against any individual who, in good faith, reports, or assists in the investigation of, harassment, bullying or discrimination.

15. Reporting by commissioner.

The commissioner shall create a procedure under which material incidents of harassment, bullying and discrimination on school grounds or at a school function are reported to the department at least on an annual basis. Such procedure shall provide that such reports shall, wherever possible, also delineate the specific nature of such incidents of harassment, bullying and discrimination, provided that the commissioner may comply with the requirements of this section through use of the existing uniform violent incident reporting system. In addition the department may conduct research or undertake studies to determine compliance throughout the state with the provisions of this article.

2801. Codes of conduct on school property.

2. The board of education or the trustees, as defined in section two of this chapter, of every school district within the state, however created, and every board of cooperative educational services and county vocational extension board, shall adopt and amend, as appropriate, a code of conduct for the maintenance of order on school property, including a school function, which shall govern the conduct of students, teachers and other school personnel as well as visitors and shall provide for the enforcement thereof. Such policy may be adopted by the school board or trustees only after at least one public hearing that provides for the participation of school personnel, parents, students and any other interested parties. Such code of conduct shall include, at a minimum:

f. procedures by which violations are reported, determined, discipline measures imposed and discipline measures carried out.

2802. Uniform violent incident reporting system.

1. The commissioner, in conjunction with the division of criminal justice services, shall promulgate regulations defining "violent or disruptive incidents" for the purposes of this section.

2. The commissioner, in conjunction with the division of criminal justice services, shall establish a statewide uniform violent incident reporting system which public school districts, boards of cooperative educational services and county vocational education and extension boards shall follow.

3. The uniform violent incident reporting system shall require public school districts, boards of cooperative educational services and county vocational education and extension boards to annually report to the commissioner in a form and by a date prescribed by the commissioner, the following information concerning violent and disruptive incidents that occurred in the prior school year:

a. the type of offenders;

b. if any offender is a student, the age and grade of the student;

c. the location at which the incident occurred;

d. the type of incident;

e. whether the incident occurred during or outside of regular school hours;

f. where the incident involves a weapon, whether the weapon was a firearm, knife or other weapon;

g. the actions taken by the school in response to the incident, including when the incident was reported to law enforcement officials and whether disciplinary action was taken against the offenders;

h. any student discipline or referral action taken against a student/offender, including but not limited to an out-of-school suspension, an involuntary transfer to an alternative placement, an in-school suspension, a referral for community service, a referral for counseling, or a referral to the juvenile justice system, and the duration of such action; and

i. the nature of the victim and the victim's age and grade where appropriate.

4. The commissioner shall require a summary of such information to be included, in a form prescribed by the commissioner, in the school district report cards or board of cooperative educational services report cards required by this chapter.

5. By April first of each year, the commissioner shall report to the governor, the legislature and the regents concerning the prevalence of violence and disruptive incidents in the public schools, and the effectiveness of school programs undertaken to reduce violence and assure the safety and security of students and school personnel. The report shall summarize the information available from the incident reporting system, and compare the incidence of violent and disruptive incidents of schools and school districts and boards with other schools and school districts and boards based on similarity in size and grade levels and other characteristics, including student need and resources, as determined by the commissioner. The report shall also, to the extent possible, relate the results available from the incident reporting system, together with such other analysis and information as the commissioner determines is appropriate, to the effectiveness of school violence measures undertaken by participating schools and school districts, including the school codes and school safety plans required by sections twenty-eight hundred one and twenty-eight hundred one-a of this article.

6. The commissioner, in conjunction with the commissioner of the division of criminal justice services, shall promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of this section and to assure to the extent practicable that the reports used by school districts are uniform and comparable with respect to the types of incidents reported and the responses of the schools and the school districts. Such regulations shall provide for the confidentiality of all personally identifiable information and shall ensure that any personally identifiable information which is collected is used only for its intended purpose.

3214. Student placement, suspensions and transfers.

3. Suspension of a pupil.

b. (2) A teacher shall immediately report and refer a violent pupil to the principal or superintendent for a violation of the code of conduct and a minimum suspension period pursuant to section twenty-eight hundred one of this chapter.

REGULATIONS

100.2 (l)(2). Code of conduct.

(ii) The code of conduct shall include, but is not limited to:

(j) procedures by which violations are reported, determined, discipline measures imposed and discipline measures carried out.

100.2 (gg). Uniform violent or disruptive incident reporting system.

School districts, boards of cooperative educational services, charter schools and county vocational education and extension boards shall submit to the commissioner annual reports of violent or disruptive incidents that occurred in the prior school year, commencing with the 2001-2002 school year, in accordance with Education Law section 2802 and this subdivision. [...]

(2) Recording of offenses.

(i) For purposes of reporting pursuant to this subdivision, each incident shall be reported once in the highest ranking category of offense that applies, except that incidents involving a weapon and one of the offenses listed in clauses (1)(vi)(a) through (f) of this subdivision shall be reported in the highest ranking category of offense that applies as an offense committed with a weapon, and not in weapons possession; and incidents involving drug use, possession or sale and/or alcohol use, possession or sale and another offense shall be reported in the highest ranking category in clauses (1)(vi)(a) through (g) of this subdivision that applies. If the offense involves only the use, possession or sale of drugs or alcohol, it shall be recorded in the applicable category of drug or alcohol use, possession or sale as an incident involving drug or alcohol use, possession or sale only. For purposes of determining the highest ranking offense pursuant to this subparagraph, offenses shall be ranked in the order that they appear in clauses (1)(vi)(a) through (f) of this subdivision, followed by weapons possession, drug use, possession or sale and alcohol use, possession or sale.

(ii) All incidents involving bomb threats or false alarms as defined in clauses (1)(vi)(e) and (f) this subdivision shall be reported. All incidents involving material incidents of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination as defined in clause (1)(vi)(d) of this subdivision shall be reported.

(3) Submission of report. Each school district, board of cooperative educational services, charter school and county vocational education and extension board shall annually submit its report on violent or disruptive incidents, in the manner prescribed by the commissioner, on or before the basic educational data system (BEDS) reporting deadline or such other date as determined by the commissioner.

(4) Content of report. Each individual violent or disruptive incident report shall be in a form prescribed by the commissioner and shall contain the following information concerning each violent or disruptive incident that occurred in the prior school year:

(i) the number and types of offenders, identified as student, teacher, school safety officer, other school staff, student intruder, visitor, unknown or other;

(ii) if any offender is a student, the age and grade of the student;

(iii) the location at which the incident occurred, including:

(a) the school building in which the incident occurred or whose real property boundary line includes the athletic playing field, playground, parking lot or land on which the incident occurred, and whether the incident occurred in a classroom, laboratory, hall, staircase, gymnasium, locker room or pool, cafeteria, bathroom, auditorium, playground or athletic field or otherwise on school grounds; or

(b) where applicable, that the incident occurred on a school bus; or

(c) where applicable, that the incident occurred at a school function conducted off school grounds.

(iv) the types of incident, identified by category listed in clauses (1)(vi)(a) through (i) of this subdivision;

(v) whether the incident occurred during or outside of regular school hours;

(vi) where the incident involves a weapon, whether the weapon was a firearm, knife or other weapon;

(vii) whether the incident was bias-related, drug-related, or gang or group-related;

(viii) the actions taken by the school in response to the incident, including when the incident was reported to police or other law enforcement officials and whether disciplinary action was taken against the offenders;

(ix) any student discipline or referral action taken against a student/offender, including but not limited to an out-of-school suspension, a teacher removal, an involuntary transfer to an alternative placement, an in-school suspension, a referral for community service, a referral for counseling, or a referral to the juvenile justice system or the criminal justice system, and the duration of such action; and

(x) the number and nature of the victims, identified as a student, teacher, school safety officer, other school staff or other and the victim's age and grade where the victim is a student.

(5) Preparation of report. Each annual violent or disruptive incident report shall be in a form prescribed by the commissioner and shall contain such information as the commissioner shall prescribe, including but not limited to information on the frequency and types of incidents, offenders, victims and student discipline or referral actions taken, as is available on the date the annual report is submitted.

(6) Local procedures. The governing body of each school district, board of cooperative educational services, charter school and county vocational education and extension board shall establish local procedures for the reporting of violent or disruptive incidents by each building and/or program under its jurisdiction. Such procedures shall assure that copies of each violent or disruptive incident report at the building or program level are retained for period prescribed by the commissioner in the applicable records retention schedule, and are available for inspection by the department upon request; provided that a district or board that adopts an electronic reporting system may fulfill such requirement by retaining an electronic record of the information reported at the building or program level.

(7) Confidentiality. Pursuant to subdivision 6 of section 2802 of the Education Law, all personally identifiable information included in a violent or disruptive incident report shall be confidential, and shall not be disclosed to any person for use by any person for purposes other than the purposes of section 2802 of the Education Law, except as otherwise authorized by law.

(8) School violence index. Each school year, commencing with the 2005-2006 school year, the department shall establish a school violence index as a comparative measure of the level of school violence in a school. The school violence index will be computed in accordance with a formula established by the commissioner that takes into account the enrollment of the school and is weighted to reflect the most serious violent incidents, which shall include but need not be limited to the following categories of incidents: homicide, forcible sexual offense, assault resulting in serious physical injury, assault resulting in physical injury, and incidents involving the possession, use or threatened use of a weapon.

100.2 (kk). Dignity Act reporting requirements.

(1) Definitions. For purposes of this subdivision:

(xii) For purposes of this section, a report of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination means a written or oral report of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination that could constitute a violation of the Dignity for All Students Act (article 2 of the Education Law). Such a report may include, but is not limited to, the following examples:

(a) a report regarding the denial of access to school facilities, functions, opportunities or programs including, but not limited to, restrooms, changing rooms, locker rooms, and/or field trips, based on a person's actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (which includes gender identity and/or expression), or sex; or

(b) a report regarding application of a dress code, specific grooming or appearance standards that is based on a person's actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (which includes gender identity and/or expression), or sex; or

(c) a report regarding the use of name(s) and pronoun(s) or the pronunciation of name(s) that is based on a person's actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (which includes gender identity and/or expression), or sex; or

(d) a report regarding the punishment, differential treatment or humiliation of a student, or exclusion of a student from a school function, athletic team or school yearbook, based on hair texture or protective hairstyle, or the request to alter or actual alteration of a protective hairstyle; or

(e) a report regarding any other form of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, based on a person's actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (which includes gender identity and/or expression), or sex.

(2) Reporting of incidents to the superintendent, principal, or designee.

(i) School employees who witness harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination or receive an oral or written report of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination shall promptly orally notify the principal, superintendent, or their designee not later than one school day after such employee witnesses or receives a report of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, and

(ii) Such school employee shall also file a written report in a manner prescribed by, as applicable, the school district, board of cooperative educational services (BOCES) or charter school with the principal, superintendent, or their designee no later than two school days after making an oral report.

(iii) The principal, superintendent or the principal's or superintendent's designee shall lead or supervise the thorough investigation of all reports of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, and ensure that such investigation is completed promptly after receipt of any written reports made under Education Law section 13.

(iv) When an investigation verifies a material incident of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, the superintendent, principal, or designee shall take prompt action, consistent with the district's code of conduct including but not limited to the provisions of section 100.2(l)(2)(ii)(h), reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, eliminate any hostile environment, create a more positive school culture and climate, prevent recurrence of the behavior, and ensure the safety of the student or students against whom such behavior was directed.

(v) The principal, superintendent, or their designee shall notify promptly the appropriate local law enforcement agency when it is believed that any harassment, bullying or discrimination constitutes criminal conduct.

(vi) The principal shall provide a regular report on data and trends related to harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination to the superintendent. For the purpose of this subdivision, the term "regular report" shall mean at least once during each school year, and in a manner prescribed by, as applicable, the school district, BOCES or charter school.

(3) Reporting of material incidents to the commissioner.

(i) For the 2013-2014 school year and for each succeeding school year thereafter, each school district, board of cooperative educational services (BOCES) and charter school shall submit to the commissioner an annual report of material incidents of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, that occurred in such school year, in accordance with Education Law section 15 and this subdivision. Such report shall be submitted in a manner prescribed by the commissioner, on or before the basic educational data system (BEDS) reporting deadline or such other date as determined by the commissioner.

(ii) For purposes of reporting pursuant to this subdivision, a school district, BOCES or charter school shall include in its annual report all material incidents of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination that:

(a) are the result of the investigation of a written or oral complaint made to the superintendent, principal or their designee, or to any other employee; or

(b) are otherwise directly observed by such superintendent, principal or their designee, or by any other employee regardless of whether a complaint is made.

(iii) Such report shall include information describing the specific nature of the incident, including, but not limited to:

(a) the type(s) of bias involved (actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, sex, or other). Where multiple types of bias are involved, they shall all be reported;

(b) whether the incident resulted from student and/or employee conduct;

(c) whether the incident involved physical contact and/or threats, intimidation or abuse, including cyberbullying as defined in Education Law section 11(8); and

(d) the location where the incident occurred (on school property or at a school function, or off school property, where applicable).

(4) Protection of people who report discrimination and/or harassment.

(i) Pursuant to Education Law section 16, any person having reasonable cause to suspect that a student has been subjected to harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination by an employee or student, on school grounds or at a school function, who acting reasonably and in good faith, either reports such information to school officials, to the commissioner, or to law enforcement authorities or otherwise initiates, testifies, participates or assists in any formal or informal proceedings under this subdivision, shall have immunity from any civil liability that may arise from the making of such report or from initiating, testifying, participating or assisting in such formal or informal proceedings.

(ii) No school district, BOCES or charter school, or an employee thereof, shall take, request or cause a retaliatory action against any such person who, acting reasonably and in good faith, either makes such a report or initiates, testifies, participates or assists in such formal or informal proceedings.

(iii) Pursuant to Education Law section 13, retaliation by any school employee or student shall be prohibited against any individual who, in good faith, reports or assists in the investigation of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination.

155.17. School safety plans.

(c) District-wide school safety plans and building-level emergency response plans. District-wide school safety plans and building-level emergency response plans shall be designed to prevent or minimize the effects of violent incidents, declared state disaster emergency involving a communicable disease or local public health emergency declaration and other emergencies and to facilitate the coordination of schools and school districts with local and county resources in the event of such incidents or emergencies.

(1) District-wide school safety plans. A district-wide school safety plan shall be developed by the district-wide school safety team and shall include, but not be limited to:

(ii) policies and procedures for responding to acts of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school, including consideration of zero-tolerance policies for school violence; [...]

(xvi) strategies for improving communication among students and between students and staff and reporting of potentially violent incidents, such as the establishment of youth-run programs, peer mediation, conflict resolution, creating a forum or designating a mentor for students concerned with bullying or violence and establishing anonymous reporting mechanisms for school violence.

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