Northern Mariana Islands School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Formal Incident Reporting of Conduct Violations

Discipline Compendium

Northern Mariana Islands School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Formal Incident Reporting of Conduct Violations

Category: Monitoring and Accountability
Subcategory: Formal Incident Reporting of Conduct Violations
State: Northern Mariana Islands

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LAWS

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REGULATIONS

§ 60-20-401. Discrimination and harassment prohibited.

(a) All students, employees and parents have the right to be free from discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, cultural or socio-economic status or disabling condition. Employees shall not participate in, or permit others to engage in, any act of discrimination against students, parents or coworkers based on the above factors or in retaliation for the exercise of any of their rights.

(b) Definitions

(1) Discrimination is the singling out of a person or persons for different treatment, regardless whether good or bad, based on the factors listed above. Discrimination includes not only the creation of a hostile environment, but also favoritism based on any of these factors. Simply put, students and employees are required to treat all persons equally.

(2) Harassment may be defined as abusive behavior or other verbal or physical conduct towards a person based on that person's sex, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, cultural or socio-economic status or disabling condition which has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment that interferes with a student's participation in or receipt of benefits, services or opportunities in a school's programs and activities. Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to, jokes, comments, slurs, epithets and disparaging remarks.

(c) Complaints

(1) Any student who believes that he or she is a victim of discrimination or harassment should report the matter immediately to the building principal. If the student feels more comfortable speaking to someone other than the building principal, the student may inform any teacher, counselor or the vice principal. If the situation is not satisfactorily resolved by the building principal, the student or parent should contact the PSS Human Resources Director.

(2) Students, parents and employees should review § 60-20-402 for more information regarding sexual harassment and follow the procedures set forth in § 60-20-402 to address discrimination or harassment of any kind on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, cultural or socioeconomic status or disabling condition.

(3) There will be no retaliation against, or adverse treatment of any student who uses this procedure to resolve a concern when such complaint has been brought in the good faith belief that the complainant has been subjected to discrimination or harassment.

(4) The responsible administrator shall follow up regularly with the complaining student to ensure that the discrimination and/or harassment has stopped and that no retaliation has occurred.

(d) Discipline/Consequences

(1) Any student who engages in discrimination and/or harassment while on school property or while participating in school activities will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion.

(2) Any employee who permits or engages in the discrimination and/or harassment of students will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

(3) Any employee who receives a complaint of discrimination and/or harassment from a student and who does not act promptly to forward that complaint to the principal shall be disciplined appropriately.

(4) Any student who brings a false charge of discrimination and/or harassment shall receive appropriate discipline. The term "false charge" means charges brought in bad faith, that is, without the good faith belief that one has been subjected to sexual harassment. The term "false charge" does not include a charge that was brought be good faith but which the PSS was unable to substantiate.

§ 60-20-403. Bullying.

(a) It is the policy of the CNMI State Board of Education to prohibit bullying, harassment, or intimidation of any person on school property or at school-sponsored functions or by the use of electronic technology at a public school. It is the policy of the CNMI State Board of Education to prohibit reprisal or retaliation against individuals who report acts of bullying, harassment, or intimidation or who are victims, witnesses, bystanders, or others with reliable information about an act of bullying, harassment, or intimidation.

(b) Definitions

(1) As used in this regulation, "bullying, harassment, or intimidation" means intentional conduct, including verbal, physical, or written conduct or an intentional electronic communication that creates a hostile educational environment by substantially interfering with a student's educational benefits, opportunities, or performance, or with a student's physical or psychological well-being and is:

(i) Motivated by an actual or a perceived personal characteristic including race, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ancestry, physical attributes, socioeconomic status, familial status, or physical or mental ability or disability;

(ii) Threatening or seriously intimidating;

(iii) Occurs in a school setting and/or with school property; and

(iv) Substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a school.

(2) Examples of bullying may include but are not limited to:

(i) Physical: hitting, kicking, pushing, shoving, getting another person to hurt someone;

(ii) Verbal: racial slurs, name-calling, teasing, taunting, verbal sexual harassment, gossiping, spreading rumors; or

(iii) Non-verbal: threatening, obscene gestures, isolation, exclusion, stalking, cyber-bullying (bullying that occurs by means of electronic communication).

(3) "Electronic communication" means a communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including a telephone, cellular phone, computer, or page.

(4) "School setting" means in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated school bus stop or at any activity sponsored, supervised or sanctioned by the school.

(5) "School property" means the school computer or telephone and encompasses the use of electronic technology at a public school.

(c) Complaints

(1) Any student who believes that he or she is a victim of bullying should report the matter immediately to the building principal. If the student feels more comfortable speaking to someone other than the building principal, the student may inform any teacher, counselor or the vice principal. If the situation is not satisfactorily resolved by the building principal, the student or parent should contact the PSS Human Resources Director.

(2) There will be no retaliation against, or adverse treatment of any student who uses this procedure to resolve a concern when such complaint has been brought in the good faith belief that the complainant has been subjected to bullying.

(3) The responsible administrator shall follow up regularly with the complaining student to ensure that the bullying has stopped and that no retaliation has occurred.

(d) Discipline/Consequences

(1) Any student who engages in bullying while on school property or while participating in school activities will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion.

(2) Any employee who permits or engages in the bullying of students will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

(3) Any employee who receives a complaint of bullying from a student and who does not act promptly to forward that complaint to the principal shall be disciplined appropriately.

(4) Any student who brings a false charge of bullying shall receive appropriate discipline.

The terms "false charge" means charges brought in bad faith, that is, without the good faith belief that one has been subjected to bullying. The term "false charge" does not include a charge that was brought be good faith but which the PSS was unable to substantiate.

(e) Enforcement

Each building administrator is responsible for maintaining an educational and work environment free from bullying. Principals shall take appropriate action to ensure that the students are aware of and knowledgeable about these policies and that discipline action is taken whenever warranted. In accordance with their responsibilities, each building administrator, or his/her designee, shall take appropriate actions to enforce the PSS's bullying policy.

§ 60-20-426. Truancy and educational neglect procedures.

(a) Truancy

(1) The principal upon receiving a report from a teacher that a student has accumulated two unexplained absence shall immediately provide counseling to the truant student and promptly issue a truancy report to the student's parent/guardian with a copy provided to the Commissioner of Education. The report shall include recommendation(s) by the school prescribing corrective measures for parent/guardian and student. Any repeated truancy by the student shall be reported to the Division of Youth Services, Community and Cultural Affairs Offices for counseling and other necessary actions, and parent-teacher conferences may also be held.

(2) The Division of Youth Services shall have access to student records with or without prior parent/guardian approval as stated in § 60-20-428. However, such privilege is limited only to the particular caseworker and/or counselor assigned to the case.

(3) All communication with a student's parent/guardian and student contact and reports from referral agencies must be accurately recorded in writing and filed in the student's cumulative folder.

(b) Educational Neglect

(1) Commonwealth law requires that any parent, guardian or other person responsible for a child between the age of six and sixteen shall send the child to a public or nonpublic* unless the Commissioner of Education grants a waiver. 3 CMC § 1141.

(2) Educational neglect may be defined as when a person who is responsible for a child six through sixteen who through willful or negligent act or omission fails to provide the child with adequate supervision to ensure attendance at school. Individuals who commit educational neglect are subject to criminal prosecution in accordance with the law.

(3) School employees who suspect that a child is subject to educational neglect shall report this as soon as possible to the principal/designee.

(4) The principal/designee shall review the report and confer with the parent/guardian to resolve the situation. When appropriate, a school counselor, social worker, or nurse may be instructed to offer any appropriate social or health services.

(5) If appropriate school intervention does not correct the student's truancy, and reasonable cause for educational neglect has been determined, the principal/ designee shall call the Division of Youth Services and report the alleged child educational neglect. A report of this call shall be forwarded to the Commissioner and carbon copied to PSS legal counsel.

§ 60-20-495. Reporting requirements.

(a) Circumstances under which a physical restraint must be reported.

(1) PSS staff shall report the use of physical restraint after administration of a physical restraint that results in any injury to a student or staff member, or any physical restraint of duration longer than five minutes.

(b) Informing school administration.

(1) The PSS staff who administered the restraint shall verbally inform the administration of the restraint as soon as possible and by written report no later than the next school working day.

(2) The written report shall be provided to the principal or his/her designee, except that the principal or director shall prepare the report if the principal or director has administered the restraint

(3) The principal or director or his/her designee shall maintain an on-going record of all reported instances of physical restraint.

(c) Informing parents.

(1) The principal or his/her designee shall verbally inform the student's parents or guardians of the restraint as soon as possible, and by written report no later than three school working days following the use of restraint.

(d) Contents of report. The written report shall include:

(1) The names and job titles of the staff who administered the restraint, and observers, if any; the date of the restraint; the time the restraint began and ended; and the name of the administrator who was verbally informed following the restraint.

(2) A description of the activity in which the restrained student and other students and staff in the same room or vicinity were engaged immediately preceding the use of physical restraint; the behavior that prompted the restraint; the efforts made to de-escalate the situation; alternatives to restraint that were attempted; and the justification for initiating physical restraint.

(3) A description of the administration of the restraint including the holds used and reasons such holds were necessary; the student's behavior and reactions during the restraint; how the restraint ended; and documentation of injury to the student and/or staff, if any, during the restraint and any medical care provided.

(4) For extended restraints, the written report shall describe the alternatives to extended restraint that were attempted, the outcome of those efforts, and the justification for administering the extended restraint.

(5) Information regarding any further action(s) that the school has taken or may take, including any disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed on the student.

(6) Information regarding opportunities for the student's parents or guardians to discuss with school officials the administration of the restraint, any disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed on the student, and/or any other related matter.

§ 60-20-810. Accident/incident reporting.

(a) All schools shall follow emergency procedure guidelines to ensure the health and safety of all students.

(b) All PSS staff involved in or witnessing an accident/ incident on campus that involves personal injury or property damage must immediately make an oral report to his or her supervisor and/or the principal. Supervisors and principals shall inform the Commissioner's officer no later than the end of the school day on which the accident/incident was reported.

(c) Written reports from staff to principal shall be completed within 24 hours when an incident or accident occurs when a student is injured on school property or during a school sanctioned activity.

(1) Written Accident Report Procedures

(i) The person in charge at the time of the accident shall complete the accident/incident report form.

(ii) The accident/incident report form shall be returned and forwarded to the principal within 24 hour.

(iii) The principal reviews the report and makes a necessary recommendation.

(iv) The principal shall forward a copy to the Commissioner/designee within 24 hours and a copy to the legal counsel if a serious injury/accident and/or hospitalization occurs or results in the absence of the student for a day or more. A copy remains in the school.

(2) Accident/incident reports will include:

(i) Date, time and place of accident.

(ii) Name and address of injured person(s).

(iii) Name of staff member(s) in attendance.

(iv) Type of accident.

(v) Personal injures incurred.

(vi) Treatment given.

(vii) Description of the accident.

(viii) Property damage incurred.

(ix) Name and address of any parties with first-hand information regarding the accident.

(x) Name of staff member making the report.

(xi) Date and time of parent/guardian notification.

(xii) If available, the hospital number and insurance number of party involved in the accident

(d) All written reports shall be sent to the Commissioner within 24 hours. The Commissioner shall report to the Board all serious accidents and shall also submit to the Board periodic statistical reports on the number and types of accidents occurring in the schools.

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