Northern Mariana Islands School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Referrals to Law Enforcement

Discipline Compendium

Northern Mariana Islands School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Referrals to Law Enforcement

Category: Partnerships between Schools and Law Enforcement
Subcategory: Referrals to Law Enforcement
State: Northern Mariana Islands

The state or jurisdiction(s) you selected for this subcategory are shown below, followed by the laws and regulations. To add or change states, use the Back button and resubmit your search request.

To view a state profile showing school discipline laws and regulations in all subcategories for a given state, click on the state name.


§ 5163. School attendance–Jurisdiction over students and parents.

Committee. The School Attendance Review Committee shall include, but need not be limited to, a parent of a school age child and representatives of:

(1) the Public School System;

(2) the Coalition of Private Schools, CNMI or any successor organization recognized by the Board of Education;

(3) the Juvenile Probation Unit of DYS;

(4) the Child Protective Unit of DYS; and

(5) the Department of Public Safety (DPS).

The Public School System representative shall be appointed by the Commissioner of Education. All other members shall be appointed by the Board of Education with the input and consent of the representative agencies. Every effort shall be made to ensure members of the School Attendance Review Committee shall be individuals whose primary job responsibilities are working directly with students or juvenile clients.

(b) It is the intent of this section to provide intervention for juveniles and their families to address truancy, irregular attendance or insubordinate or disorderly behavior in school at the community level before referral to the juvenile justice system. The School Attendance Review Committee's duties shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) proposing, promoting and providing alternatives to the juvenile justice system, where possible;

(2) addressing matters regarding an individual juvenile's truancy, failure to regularly attend school in accordance with school policies and regulations, or insubordinate or disorderly behavior;

(3) setting and conducting meetings with juveniles and/or their parents to discuss consequences of the student's truancy and/or behavior and establish terms, conditions and options to reduce and eliminate the truancy of the student and improve his or her attendance. The meeting format shall be that of mediation and not adversarial; and

(4) referring juveniles and their families to other agencies, such as Community Guidance Center, DYS, DPS and the Attorney General's Office for services or action, as appropriate.

(c) The Board of Education may adopt such policies, procedures, rules and regulations, not inconsistent with this chapter, that may be needed for the operation of the School Attendance Review Committee and to fulfill its obligations pursuant to this section.

(d) The School Attendance Review Committee shall strive to maintain a continuing inventory of community resources, including alternative educational programs, and make recommendations for the creation of new resources and programs where none exist.

(e) In every case in which a juvenile has been referred to it, the School Attendance Review Committee has the authority to issue subpoenas pursuant to the procedures provided in 1 CMC § 9109(d), requiring the production of pertinent information and documents and/or the attendance of any of the following persons:

(1) The juvenile;

(2) The juvenile's parents, guardians, or other person having control of the juvenile;

(3) The school authority referring the juvenile; and

(4) Any other person who has pertinent or material information concerning the juvenile. The purpose of any meeting under this section is to establish and agree upon terms, conditions and options to reduce and eliminate the truancy of the student. The meeting format shall be that of mediation and not adversarial.

(f) The enforcement of a subpoena issued by a School Attendance Review Committee is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.

(g) In the event a juvenile, parent, guardian and/or person in charge of the juvenile fails to respond to the directives of the School Attendance Review Committee, or to services offered on behalf of the juvenile or the Committee determines that available community resources cannot resolve the problems with the juvenile's school attendance or behavior, the Committee shall direct that the juvenile be referred to the Juvenile Probation Unit and request that the Office of the Attorney General file a complaint against the juvenile, parent, guardian, and/or other person having control of the juvenile.

(h) Whenever a committee member appointed by an agency is unavailable to participate in the School Attendance Review Committee, that member's agency may assign personnel to represent the agency either temporarily or on a continuing basis in accordance with the intent of this section. The duties, obligations, or responsibilities which may be imposed on governmental entities by this section are such that the related costs are incurred as a part of their normal operating procedures.

(i) Nothing in this section shall be construed to interfere with the juvenile's school's authority to establish truancy procedures and to determine whether or not a matter should be referred to the Review Committee or to the Department of Public Safety or the Office of the Attorney General.

(j) Nothing in this section alters any policy or regulation of the Board of Education or the authority of any school or the Commissioner of Education to take appropriate corrective measures, including without limitation suspension or expulsion of the juvenile.


§ 60-20-404. Searches by school personnel.

(a) Reasonable Suspicion

(1) Searches of students shall only be conducted when a school official has reasonable suspicion predicated on one or more of the following:

(i) Reliable reports or information from credible sources made known to school officials. If the source is anonymous, the informant must show that the information has a relationship with the school or students so as to give it credibility.

(ii) Suspicious or evasive behavior suggesting violation of a school policy or law, or concealment of contraband, weapons or stolen property.

(iii) Observation of a student engaging in prohibited conduct or being in a restricted area.

(2) The more of these factors that are found, the greater the inference of reasonable suspicion. The school official may also take into account the student's history in the development of reasonable suspicion.

(b) Reasonable Scope

(1) The scope of the search conducted must be reasonably related to the objective sought and the evidence searched for. The search shall be no more intrusive than necessary to serve the school's legitimate objectives. In determining if the search is related to the objectives sought, the school official should consider:

(i) The nature and severity of the violation to determine the permissible amount of intrusion into the student's privacy rights.

(ii) The area to be searched so that it will be no more extensive than required to serve the school's legitimate objectives.

(iii) The time and place where the search is conducted so that it will be as close as possible to the time and place of the suspected violation.

(iv) The duration of the search so that it will be no longer than necessary to serve the school's legitimate objectives.

(2) Whenever reasonably possible the search should be conducted by school official who is the same sex as the student to be searched.

(c) Locker, Automobile and Desk Searches Searches of lockers, desks, storage spaces and other property owned jointly by the PSS and the student may be conducted whenever reasonable suspicion exists to believe that contraband, weapons or prohibited items are concealed therein. Notice of the joint ownership of lockers and

desks shall be given to the student body at the beginning of each school year or more often as required. (See form 2150 for an example of such a notice).

(d) Canine Searches

Canine searches shall never be conducted on a student's person and if undertaken, shall be restricted to desks, lockers and parking lots.

(e) Surveillance

Surveillance shall only be conducted in hallways, school buses and other areas open to public view where the students are permitted.

(f) Consent Searches

Whenever possible the student's voluntary informed consent shall be sought before a search is conducted. However, searches normally should not be based solely on consent.

(g) Police Involvement

Police involvement shall be sought whenever school officials uncover evidence of a violation of Commonwealth or federal law or when school officials deem such involvement necessary or helpful in maintaining school discipline or safety.

(h) Reports

After a search has been conducted, school officials shall prepare a written report, specifically detailing the objectives of the search, the scope of the search, and the circumstances and information giving rise to reasonable suspicion for the search. Copies of the report shall be immediately filed with the Commissioner of Education and PSS legal counsel.

§ 60-20-406. Releasing and referring students to the Department of Public Safety.

The following guidelines are to be used by school administrators when considering referring students to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for conduct committed on campus:

(a) It is the responsibility of all citizens who have direct knowledge of a committed felony to report it to DPS. If a student is suspected of committing a felony, the school administrator must report it to DPS. (See also policy and regulation 2670 and § 60-20-472–Reporting Violent Behavior and Student Abuse.)

(b) In cases involving a misdemeanor, the principal must exercise his/her professional judgment whether to report the student to DPS. In general, the more serious the misdemeanor, the greater likelihood it should be referred to DPS. Minor infractions (e.g. a minor caught smoking a cigarette) should be dealt with at the school level.

(c) All incidents involving the use of dangerous weapons should be reported to DPS. (See policy and regulation 2670.)

(d) If a principal or school administrator has evidence of a crime in progress, he/she has the authority to make a citizen's arrest and then must report the crime to DPS immediately.

(e) Upon arriving on campus, DPS personnel must report first to the principal's office. The only exception to first reporting to principal's office is when there is a crime in progress. DPS then has the right to make an immediate arrest and report afterwards to the principal's office.

(f) No student is to be turned over to a non-uniformed policeman without verifying his/her proper identification.

(g) Whenever a student is turned over to DPS, it is the responsibility of the school administrator to immediately notify the student's parent/guardian.

§ 60-20-408. Employees of Department of Public Safety on campus.

Whenever a student is on campus during school operating hours and is wanted by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for an alleged offense(s) not reported by the school, the following guidelines shall apply:

(a) In all cases, upon arriving on campus, DPS personnel must report first to the principal's office to inform the principal of the student(s) sought by DPS and to explain the purpose of their visit to the school. The only exception to first reporting to the principal's office is when there is a crime in progress. DPS then has the right to make an immediate arrest and report afterwards to the principal's office. The principal shall immediately notify the parent/guardian of a student who has been arrested by DPS on campus.

(b) In cases involving a felony when DPS personnel wish to question a student during school hours, the parents must be informed before such questioning may begin. The principal may be present during the questioning. A student may be released to DPS if DPS demonstrates to the school that such release is necessary in the interests of law enforcement and public safety, such as a copy of a warrant or indictment. The principal shall immediately notify the parent/guardian of a student who has been released to DPS.

(c) In cases involving a misdemeanor, DPS will make every effort to locate and question a student involved in or knowledgeable of a misdemeanor outside of school operating hours and will only resort to questioning a student during school hours when all other methods fail. In the event that questioning a student during school hours is necessary, the parent must be informed before such questioning may begin and DPS may only question a student when a principal is present. A principal does not need to release a student to DPS in cases involving a misdemeanor.

§ 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.

§ 60-20-466. 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.

§ 60-20-468. Student use and care of school property.

(a) The Board of Education recognizes that acts of destruction, defacing, trespassing, burglary and theft of PSS property are contrary to the interests of students, staff and taxpayers. PSS officials will cooperate fully with all law enforcement agencies in the prevention of crimes against PSS property as well as in the prosecution of persons involved in such conduct.

(b) The PSS will seek restitution from students and other persons who have damaged or destroyed PSS property, including text books and other instructional materials. Parents of students who lose or damage school property shall reimburse the school for the value of the lost or damaged articles.

(c) The amount of restitution to PSS for lost, stolen or damaged property shall be determined by the fair value of the lost or stolen property or the cost of reasonable repair if the item is not damaged beyond repair as determined by the principal or Commissioner.

(d) School principals are responsible for enforcing this section and imposing any appropriate discipline and fines.

§ 60-20-493. Determining when physical restraint may be used.

(a) Use of restraint. Physical restraint may be used only in the following circumstances:

(1) Non-physical interventions would not be effective; and

(2) The student's behavior poses a threat of imminent, serious, physical harm to self and/or others.

(b) Limitations on use of restraint. Physical restraint in a public education program shall be limited to the use of such reasonable force as is necessary to protect a student or another member of the school community from assault or imminent, serious, physical harm.

(c) Prohibitions. Physical restraint is prohibited in the following circumstances:

(1) As a means of punishment; or

(2) For the convenience of staff; or

(3) As a substitute for less restrictive alternatives; or

(4) As a response to property destruction, disruption of school order, a student's refusal to comply with a school rule or staff directive, or verbal threats that do not constitute a threat of imminent, serious, physical harm; or*

(d) Referral to law enforcement or other public agencies. Nothing in these regulations prohibits:

(1) The right of any individual to report to appropriate authorities a crime committed by a student or other individual;

(2) Law enforcement, judicial authorities, or school security personnel from exercising their responsibilities, including the physical detainment of a student or other person alleged to have committed a crime or posing a, security risk; or

(3) The exercise of an individual's responsibilities as a mandated reporter pursuant to BOE, CNMI and Federal regulation. These regulations shall not be used to deter any individual from reporting neglect or abuse to an appropriate public agency.

American Institutes for Research

U.S. Department of Education

The contents of the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments Web site were assembled under contracts from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Supportive Schools to the American Institutes for Research (AIR), Contract Number  91990021A0020.

This Web site is operated and maintained by AIR. The contents of this Web site do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the U.S. Department of Education nor do they imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education.

©2024 American Institutes for Research — Disclaimer   |   Privacy Policy   |   Accessibility Statement