Puerto Rico School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Teacher Authority to Remove Students From Classrooms

Discipline Compendium

Puerto Rico School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Teacher Authority to Remove Students From Classrooms

Category: In-School Discipline
Subcategory: Teacher Authority to Remove Students From Classrooms
State: Puerto Rico

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LAWS

3 L.P.R.A. ยง 9809b. Disciplinary measures and sanctions.

(a) The disciplinary measures taken by the school's administrative personnel must be directed at improving student behavior, thereby creating a school environment that is safe and optimal for learning and improving a student's academic performance. The disciplinary process shall be preventive, progressive, just, and reasonable for rehabilitation and re-education purposes, while upholding the rights of the school community in general. For such purposes, if a student undergoes a disciplinary process or an evaluation by a psychologist or a counselor, said process shall be completed within fifteen (15) days from the commencement thereof.

(b) The strategies used to address disciplinary issues or toxic conduct must be directed at repairing the damage done and restoring the respect and peaceful coexistence that must prevail in the school community and, specifically, to reintegrate students into the school community.

(c) Teachers shall be responsible for the school's discipline, both inside and outside of the classrooms, thereby ensuring that students satisfy this requirement. They shall refer disciplinary issues to the School Principal after having exhausted all resources available to them, such as, but not limited to: restorative measures, mediation, interviews, and meetings with the student, his guardian, or the interdisciplinary team, or referring the student to the homeroom teacher, the school's social worker, or a professional counselor, among others.

(d) Before imposing any sanction or taking any disciplinary action, all intervention and counseling resources available to students, parents, custodians, or guardians must be exhausted. These measures must be documented and filed in the student's record. Moreover, the student subject to the disciplinary measures and the affected party shall always be afforded an opportunity to express themselves and be heard in an orderly, timely, and respectful manner.

(e) An out-of-school suspension is an exclusionary discipline practice that should only be implemented under special circumstances and only when the well- being of the students or the school's community is at risk. Under any other circumstances, school principals shall implement practices that are not exclusionary, such as mediation and restorative practices, among others.

(f) The Secretary shall promulgate school discipline regulations in order to ensure that the works of the Public Education System remain uninterrupted, and each Regional Office of Education shall implement the disciplinary practices that are best suited to the particular needs of their students, pursuant to the aforementioned regulations. Such regulations shall be consistent with the applicable laws in our jurisdiction related to minors.

(g) Each Regional Office of Education shall submit a copy of the proposed code of conduct to the personnel of the central offices of the Department, before June 1st of each year, for the review and authorization thereof. The codes of conduct shall not be valid or effective insofar as the aforementioned process has been carried out and the approval thereof has been notified in writing to the Regional Office of Education.

(h) No student shall be prevented from exercising his right to an education. No corrective measures that harm a student's physical integrity or violates his dignity may be imposed.

(i) The disciplinary measures imposed shall be proportional to the offense and must contribute to improving the student's conduct.

(j) The student's personal, family, and social circumstances shall be taken into consideration before choosing the appropriate disciplinary measure.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

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U.S. Department of Education

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