Northern Mariana Islands School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Grounds for Suspension or Expulsion

Discipline Compendium

Northern Mariana Islands School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Grounds for Suspension or Expulsion

Category: Exclusionary Discipline: Suspension, Expulsion, and Alternative Placement
Subcategory: Grounds for Suspension or Expulsion
State: Northern Mariana Islands

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§ 60-20-446. Offense categories.

The offense categories set out in this section are intended to be illustrative but not an exclusive listing of acts of misconduct and the consequences for each. Misconduct that is not specifically listed in this section may be deemed to warrant discipline up to and including expulsion following provision of all due process procedures. In addition, the disciplinary consequence listed for each offense may be increased or decreased by the administration or the Board due to mitigating or aggravating circumstances.

(a) Category I _ Examples of offenses which may result in suspension:

(1) Academic dishonesty (cheating on tests, copying term papers, forging signature of teacher or parent);

(2) Disrespect to teacher/staff;

(3) Gambling;

(4) Harassment, including, but not limited to, nuisance phone calls to students or staff members; continued comments or passing unofficial notes to another individual who wishes not to hear or receive the notes;

(5) Igniting matches (when not part of the instructional program);

(6) Refusing to cooperate with school transportation regulations;

(7) Refusing to cooperate with school rules and regulations;

(8) Refusing to serve detention;

(9) Tardiness (class/classes);

(10) Tardiness (school day);

(11) Truancy (class/classes);

(12) Truancy (school day);

(13) Possession and/or use of tobacco or cigarette rolling papers;

(14) Possession and/or distribution of drug paraphernalia;

(15) Excessive foul or abusive language;

(16) Possession and/or distribution of pornography;

(17) Failure to assume responsibility for, or to control his/her behavior.

(b) Category II _ Examples of offenses for which the student will normally be suspended and which may result in expulsion and referral to law enforcement:

(1) Assualt on a student;

(2) Chronic disruption of the school program and/or activities;

(3) Bullying:

(i) Physical–includes hitting, kicking, tripping, pinching, and pushing, or damaging property;

(ii) Verbal–includes name calling, insults, teasing, intimidation, homophobic or racist remarks, or verbal abuse;

(iii) Social–includes:

(A) Lying and spreading rumors;

(B) Negative facial or physical gestures, menacing or contemptuous looks;

(C) Playing nasty jokes to embarrass and humiliate;

(D) Mimicking unkindly;

(E) Encouraging others to socially exclude another;

(F) Damaging someone's social reputation or social acceptance.

(iv) Cyber–includes:

(A) Abusive or hurtful texts, emails or posts, images or videos;

(B) Deliberately excluding others online;

(C) Nasty gossip or rumors;

(D) Identity theft: imitating others online or accessing their content.

(4) Possession and/or use of electronic devices are prohibited without prior and written approval from the school principal;

(5) Destruction and vandalism of school property, personal property of students and/or faculty;

(6) Receipt, sale, possession, or distribution of property stolen from CNMI Public School System valued less than $300;

(7) Distribution, attempt to distribute, or possession with intent to distribute a non-controlled substance upon the representation that the substance is a controlled substance;

(8) Extortion less than $300;

(9) False fire alarm/false fire report;

(10) Harrasment for any reason including, but not limited to, sex, sexual orientation, color, race, religion, national origin, and disability;

(11) Indecent exposure;

(12) Participating in, or inciting, a school disruption;

(13) Possession and/or detonation of an incendiary or explosive material and/or device (firecracker or greater);

(14) Possession, use, or distribution of controlled substance-related paraphernalia (other than betel nut or cigarette rolling papers (see category I));

(15) Theft and/or knowingly possessing stolen property;

(16) Trespassing on school property;

(17) Possession and/or use of tobacco or cigratte rolling paper, repeated offense;

(18) Posession and/or use of betel nut (pugua) and/or betel nut paraphernalia, repeated offense;

(19) Fighting;

(20) Conspiracy involving two or more persons to commit a category II offense;

(21) Arson;

(22) Conspiracy between two or more persons to commit a category III offense;

(23) Destruction and/or vandalism of school property, personal property of students and/or faculty valued at more than $300;

(24) Receiving, selling, possessing, or distributing property stolen from the CNMI Public School System valued at $300 or more;

(25) Distribution and/or sale of alcohol;

(26) Distribution and/or sale of controlled substances (illegal drugs), excluding betel nut;

(27) Possession or use of a weapon or look alike weapon of any kind (other than a firearm) including, but not limited to, knives, throwing star, straight razor, nunchaku, spiked glove, spiked wristband, or any mace, tear gas, or pepper-spray derivative. Mace, tear gas, and peper-spray derivatives may be carried with prior, written approval from the Commissioner of Education;

(28) Extortion of $300 or more;

(29) Possession of alcohol;

(30) Possession of illegal drugs, including betel nut;

(31) Prescription violation (misuse of properly prescribed medicine including, but not limited to, such drugs as amphetamines and barbiturates). Possession of prescription drugs without prior authorization for prescribing medication (office policy);

(32) Robbery;

(33) Use of alcohol, under the influence of alcohol, or showing evidence of having consumed alcohol;

(34) Use of intoxicants which cause a loss of self-control or inebriation which include, but are not limited to, glue and solvents, excluding betel nut;

(35) Violent behavior which creates a substantial danger to persons or property;

(36) Any crime that is designated a felony by CNMI or federal statutes.

(c) Category III _ Offenses which shall result in expulsion and referral to law enforcement:

(1) Possession, use, purchase, or sale of a firearm;

(i) A firearm is defined as:

(A) Any weapon which will, or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; or

(B) The frame or receiver of any weapon which will, or is designed to or may be readily converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.

(2) Acts of terrorism (such as bomb threats);

(3) Fraud and/or identity theft.

§ 60-20-450. Expulsion.

(a) Expulsion is permanent exclusion from public school attendance, school activities and school property. Expulsion shall be used only in severe cases, or where other means of corrective disciplinary action have failed, or where no other reasonable alternatives are available. An expulsion may be recommended if the student persistently engages in conduct that warrants suspension, or if the student by means of a single action evidences behavior that is serious enough to warrant removal to protect the rights or safety of others.

(b) Only the Commissioner of Education may expel a student. The principal recommending expulsion shall prepare written documentation in justification of such action.

(c) The Commissioner of Education reserves the right to exclude students for other than disciplinary reasons if the expulsion is deemed in the best interest of the student or the operation of the school (i.e. student with a contagious health problem).

(d) In the event of criminal conduct or other serious action committed by a student, the Commissioner of Education may expel the student immediately and for an unlimited period with a hearing to be held in accordance with § 60-20-452.

(e) Prior to any expulsion ordered by the Commissioner of Education, the student shall be advised by the principal or his designee of the specific conduct resulting in the action, the student shall be given the opportunity to explain his or her version of the facts surrounding the alleged misconduct and the student shall be advised of the applicable hearing procedures.

§ 60-20-466. Student participation in secret organizations and gangs.

(a) The Board of Education prohibits membership in secret fraternities or sororities, or in other clubs or gangs not sponsored by established agencies or organizations recognized by the PSS. The Board feels that the presence of gangs and gang activities can cause a substantial disruption of or material interference with school and school activities.

(b) A "gang" as defined in this section is any group of two or more persons whose purposes include the commission of illegal acts. By this policy, the Board acts to prohibit existence of gangs and gang activities as follows.

(c) No student on or about school property or at any school activity:

(1) Shall wear, possess, use, distribute, display, or sell any clothing, jewelry, emblem, badge, symbol, sign, or other things, which are evidence of membership or affiliation in any gang.

(2) Shall commit any act or omission or use any speech either verbal or nonverbal (gestures, handshakes, etc.) showing membership or affiliation in a gang.

(3) Shall use any speech or commit any act or omission in furtherance of the interests of any gang or gang activity, including but not limited to:

(i) Soliciting others for membership in any gangs.

(ii) Requesting any person to pay protection or otherwise intimidating or threatening any person.

(iii) Committing any other illegal act or other violation of school PSS policies.

(iv) Inciting other students to act with physical violence upon any other person.

(d) The principal will establish procedures and regulations to ensure that any student wearing, carrying or displaying gang paraphernalia; exhibiting behavior or gestures which symbolize gang membership; or causing and/or participating in activities which intimidate or affect the attendance of another student, shall be subject to disciplinary action.

(e) Consequences for such actions and/or behaviors may result in suspension or expulsion.

(f) To further discourage the influence of gangs, PSS administrators shall:

(1) Provide in-service for staff in gang recognition and special workshops for counselors in the event that gangs become a problem at the schools.

(2) Ensure that all students have access to counselors.

(3) Work closely with the local law enforcement authorities and county juvenile officers who work with students and parents/ guardians involved in gang activity.

(4) Provide classroom or after-school programs designed to enhance individual self-esteem and foster interest in a variety of wholesome activities.

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