Puerto Rico School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Parental Notification

Discipline Compendium

Puerto Rico School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Parental Notification

Category: Monitoring and Accountability
Subcategory: Parental Notification
State: Puerto Rico

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LAWS

18 L.P.R.A. § 11. Parents, tutors or guardians.

All parents with children in the Public Education System have the right to:

(h) Be informed promptly by the school director or the teachers when their children become involved in behavior that may generate violent acts in the school.

18 L.P.R.A. § 3802. General rights of the student.

All persons have the right to education. The education to be provided by the State shall be free for all students of the Public Education System. Elementary and secondary education shall be compulsory. All students shall be guaranteed equal protection of the laws and rights granted by the U.S. Constitution, federal laws, the Constitution of Puerto Rico, and other applicable laws, regulations, and ordinances. Without it being construed as a limitation, students shall have the following rights:

(13) Disciplinary actions.- The student shall have the right of due process in any disciplinary procedure. Disciplinary actions shall be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Department of Education's General Student Regulations in effect. As part of the due process of law, students shall be granted the following rights:

(a) To be notified of the infraction and the sanction to be imposed. The foregoing shall be notified to the parents, guardian, or custodian of the student, and in the case of students of legal age, they shall be directly notified.

18 L.P.R.A. § 3803. Duties and responsibilities of students, parents, guardians, and school authorities.

(1) Observe the laws, regulations, circular letters, rules, instructions, and directives issued by academic authorities.

(2) Be punctual and attend school regularly as well as behave appropriately during school hours, recess, and other school activities, whether they are held inside or outside the school.

(3) Preserve, take care of, protect, and avoid damaging public property, equipment, books, or school supplies.

(4) To refrain from interrupting class.

(5) To refrain from coercing other students into participating in a particular mode of expression, or from violating the right of other students to dissent from their points of view.

(6) Parents or guardians shall be responsible for the punctuality and regular school attendance of their unemancipated minors, and for notifying school authorities of the existence of any circumstance that warrants their absence.

(7) Parents or guardians shall be responsible for repairing any damages caused by their unemancipated minors to public property, equipment, or school supplies. In the case of a student who is of legal age or emancipated, he shall personally assume responsibility for the damages caused.

(8) Parents or guardians of a minor shall be responsible for updating their contact information in the event that school authorities should need to contact them. This information shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the parent’s home and/or work address; the home, work, or cell phone number of both parents, and contact information of a relative or person trusted by the parents, in the event that parents cannot be immediately contacted during an emergency. This information shall be kept in a safe place and shall only be accessed by the school principal, his secretary, the school guidance counselor, or the school social worker.

(9) If a student is absent for more than three (3) consecutive days without any justification whatsoever, it shall be the responsibility of the school authorities to contact the parents or guardians of said student to determine the cause of said absences.

(10) The duties and responsibilities set forth in this Section shall not be construed as limiting or excluding any other right, duty, or responsibility that the school may grant or require of students.

REGULATIONS

Regulation Num. 8115. Article IX, F. Rules and procedures for filing complaints and implementation of corrective actions.

2.B.2) Procedures for Formal Complaints

a. The School Director must communicate with the student and his guardian regarding summarily suspending in print.

Regulation Num. 8502. Article IV. Procedure.

3. Next, the actions to follow according to the pattern of unjustified absences by the student.

A. 2 to 4 days

Responsible Person: Teacher

3. Contact the parent, guardian, or custodian of the student through various means, such as phone calls, text messages, email, or written notice, among others, to inform of the unjustified absences and discuss the causes, if any, of them.

B. 5 to 9 days

Responsible Person: Teacher–Social Worker–School Counselor

3. The support staff will contact the parent, guardian, or custodian of the student through various means, such as phone calls, text messages, email or written notice, among others, to coordinate an orientation meeting.

4. If necessary, the support staff will visit the student's home and report the findings to the school principal and the teacher that refers the situation.

5. The support staff will discuss with the parent, custodian, or guardian and the student the causes that have incurred in this pattern of absences, the alternatives to suspend this pattern of absences and ensure school attendance.

6. As a result of the discussion, support staff, parents, custodian, or guardian and the student will prepare a plan of action to prevent the child’s unjustified absences to school. The Intervention Plan Agreement will be signed by the support staff, the parents, guardian or custodian, and the student. Document C, Intervention Plan Agreement, located at the end of this Regulation shall be used for this agreement between the parties.

7. In addition, the support staff will ensure to orient the parent, guardian or custodian of the student on the administrative and legal consequences that may occur in the case of non-compliance with the Intervention Plan Agreement.

8. Similarly, the support staff will provide parents, guardians, or custodians a copy of Section 1.03 of the Law 149-1999, as amended, which provides that school attendance is compulsory and the corresponding actions regarding non-compliance with that Article.

9. Also, the support staff will ensure guidance to parents, guardians and custodians about Article IV subsection (c) and (d) of Regulation 8115 of December 8, 2011, known as General Student Regulations for the System of Education of Puerto Rico, and the public policy regarding the active integration of parents and guardians in the educational process in the schools of the Department of Education.

C. 10 days or more of incurring unjustified absences or cutting class

Responsible Person: Teacher–Social Worker–School Counselor–School Director

2. The support staff or the school principal will contact the parent, guardian or custodian of the student through various means, such as phone calls, text messages, email or written notice, among others, to inform the pattern absences and arrange a meeting if necessary

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