Rhode Island School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Referrals to Law Enforcement

Discipline Compendium

Rhode Island School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Referrals to Law Enforcement

Category: Partnerships between Schools and Law Enforcement
Subcategory: Referrals to Law Enforcement
State: Rhode Island

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LAWS

11-47-60.2. Possession of weapons on school grounds–Notification.

(b) Any person who has reasonable cause to know that any person is in violation of this statute shall notify the principal or designee. The principal or designee shall immediately notify the student's parents and the local police. Any person acting in good faith who makes a report under this section shall have immunity from any civil liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed as a result of making the report.

16-21-24. Requirements of school safety plans, school emergency response plans, and school crisis response plans.

(a) School safety plans, as required by this chapter, shall address, but not to be limited to, prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The school safety plans shall include, at a minimum, the following policies and procedures:

(8) Policies and procedures for contacting appropriate law enforcement officials and EMS/Fire, in the event of a violent incident and that include consistent, plain language and terminology that is recommended by the model plan pursuant to general laws § 16-21-23.1.

16-21-34. Statewide bullying policy implemented.

(a) The Rhode Island department of education shall prescribe by regulation a statewide bullying policy, ensuring a consistent and unified, statewide approach to the prohibition of bullying at school. The statewide policy shall apply to all schools that are approved for the purpose of § 16-9-1 and shall contain the following:

(8) Procedures for promptly notifying the parents or guardians of a victim and a perpetrator; provided, further, that the parents or guardians of a victim shall also be notified of the action taken to prevent any further acts of bullying or retaliation; and provided, further, that the procedures shall provide for immediate notification of the local law enforcement agency when criminal charges may be pursued against the perpetrator.

16-21.5-2. Procedure for interrogating elementary students.

(a) Before making an elementary school pupil available to a law enforcement officer for the purpose of being questioned, the principal of the elementary school, or his or her designee, shall take immediate steps to obtain the oral consent of the parent or guardian of the pupil to permit the questioning.

(b) If the parent or guardian requests that the pupil not be questioned until he or she can be present, the pupil may not be made available to the law enforcement officer for questioning until the parent or guardian is present.

(c) If school officials are unable, after reasonable efforts undertaken within a period not to exceed one hour, to contact a parent or guardian in order to obtain consent pursuant to this subdivision, a school administrator, school counselor, or school teacher who is reasonably available and selected by the pupil, shall be present during the questioning.

(d) If the school administrator, school counselor, or school teacher selected by the pupil declines to be present during the questioning, the principal, or his or her designee, shall be present during the questioning.

(e) In those cases in which school officials are unable to contact the pupil's parent or guardian, after the questioning has been completed, the principal or his or her designee shall immediately notify the parent or guardian that the questioning has occurred and make the staff member who was present during the questioning available to inform the parent or guardian about questioning.

16-21.5-3. Procedure for interrogating high school students.

(a) Before making a high school pupil under eighteen (18) years of age available to a law enforcement officer for the purpose of questioning, the principal of the school, or his or her designee, shall inform the pupil that the pupil has the right to request that his or her parent or guardian or an adult family member, or person on the list of emergency contacts for the pupil be present during the questioning.

(b) If the person selected by the pupil cannot be made available within a reasonable period of time, not exceeding one hour, or declines to be present at the questioning, the principal or his or her designee shall inform the pupil that the pupil may select as an alternate, a school administrator, school counselor, or school teacher who is reasonably available to be present during the questioning.

(c) If the person selected by the pupil declines to be present during the questioning, the principal, or his or her designee, shall so inform the pupil and advise the pupil that the principal, or his or designee, will be present during the questioning if the pupil so requests.

(d) If the pupil exercises his or her right, pursuant to this subsection, to have one of the persons designated in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) present during the questioning, the pupil may not be made available to the law enforcement officer for questioning until that person is present.

16-21.5-4. Student interrogations under exigent circumstances.

The provisions of §§ 16-21.5-2 and 16-21.5-3 shall not apply if any of the following conditions exist:

(a) The law enforcement officer reasonably believes that, due to exigent circumstances, the inability of the officer to immediately question the pupil will materially interfere with the ability of the officer to conduct his or her investigation and any delay would significantly impede the timely apprehension of a suspect. In that case, if an elementary school pupil is being questioned, the principal or his or her designee shall be present during the questioning and shall take immediate and continuous steps to notify the parent or guardian by telephone about the questioning, and if unsuccessful in doing so before the questioning, shall take immediate steps to notify the parent or guardian about the questioning after the questioning has been completed. If a high school pupil is being questioned, the pupil shall be given the option of having the principal, or his or her designee, present during the questioning.

(b) The law enforcement officer reasonably believes that there is a substantial risk of immediate personal injury or substantial property damage. In that case, if an elementary school pupil is being questioned, the principal or his or her designee shall be present during the questioning and shall take immediate and continuous steps to notify the parent or guardian by telephone regarding the questioning, and if unsuccessful in doing so before the questioning is completed, shall take immediate steps to notify the parent or guardian regarding the questioning after it has been completed. If a high school pupil is being questioned, the pupil shall be given the option of having the principal or his or her designee present during the questioning.

(c) The minor pupil being questioned is suspected of being a victim of child abuse or neglect, and either the principal or his or her designee or the law enforcement officer has reasonable belief that the pupil would be endangered by the notification requirements of § 16-21.5-2 or § 16-21.5-3. In that case, if the pupil is an elementary school pupil, the principal of the school, or his or her designee, shall inform the pupil that the pupil has the right to select a school administrator, school counselor or school teacher who is reasonably available to be present during the questioning, as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of § 16-21.5-2. If the pupil is a high school pupil, the principal of the school, or his or her designee, shall inform the pupil that the pupil has the right to select another person to be present during the questioning as provided in subsection 16-21.5-3(b).

(d)(1) In the case of an elementary school pupil, the law enforcement officer's questioning of the pupil concerns the commission of criminal activity by the person who would otherwise be present during the questioning pursuant to § 16-21.5-2. In that case, the principal of the school, or his or her designee, shall inform the pupil that the pupil has the right to select a school administrator, school counselor, or school teacher who is reasonably available to be present during the questioning as provided in subsection 16-21.5-2(c).

(2) In the case of a high school pupil, the law enforcement officer's questioning of the pupil concerns the commission of criminal activity by the person selected by the pupil pursuant to § 16-21.5-3. In that case, the principal of the school, or his or her designee, shall so inform the pupil and advise that the pupil has the right to select another person to be present during the questioning as provided in subsection 16-21.5-3(c).

(e) The pupil is on probation or parole and is being interviewed or otherwise contacted by a probation or parole officer in the normal course of duties of the probation or parole officer.

(f) Except in exigent circumstances as determined by the law enforcement officer, any questioning of a pupil by a law enforcement officer for any reason other than the ordinary, day-to-day conversation that is to be expected among members of a school community, shall take place in a private location, including, but not limited to, the principal's office, and may not take place in a classroom or hallway or other areas where pupils or others may be present.

(g) A school official present during the questioning of a pupil under this section may not disclose matters discussed with the pupil other than to the parent or guardian of the pupil, the attorney for the pupil, other school officials, or a court.

(h) Any school officer or staff member present at the questioning of the pupil by a law enforcement officer pursuant to this section is immune from civil or criminal liability arising from his or her participation during the questioning of the pupil.

(i) For the purposes of this section, "questioning" means only formal questioning in which the principal, or his or her designee, makes a pupil available to a law enforcement officer, at the request of the law enforcement officer, the principal or his or her designee, for questioning as a victim, suspect, or person with information concerning a suspected violation of a school rule that constitutes grounds for expulsion or a suspected commission of a crime. For the purposes of this section, "formal questioning" means only questioning of a pupil by a law enforcement officer that occurs on school grounds. "Formal questioning" does not include ordinary, day-to-day conversations between a pupil and a law enforcement officer.

REGULATIONS

200-RICR-30-10-2 Section 2.7. Investigation.

C. Police Notification:

1. Immediate notification of the local law enforcement agency will be made when circumstances warrant the pursuit of criminal charges against the perpetrator.

200-RICR-30-10-2 Section 2.8. Disciplinary action.

A. The disciplinary actions for violations of the bullying policy shall be determined by the school/district appropriate authority. Disciplinary actions for violations of the bullying policy shall balance the need for accountability with the need to teach appropriate behavior. The severity of the disciplinary action shall be aligned to the severity of the bullying behavior.

B. The range of disciplinary actions that may be taken against a perpetrator for bullying, cyberbullying or retaliation shall include, but not be limited to:

9. Police contact.

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