Utah School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Discipline Frameworks

Discipline Compendium

Utah School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Discipline Frameworks

Category: In-School Discipline
Subcategory: Discipline Frameworks
State: Utah

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LAWS

53G-8-202. Conduct and discipline policies and procedures.

(1) The Legislature recognizes that every student in the public schools should have the opportunity to learn in an environment which is safe, conducive to the learning process, and free from unnecessary disruption.

(2)(a) To foster such an environment, each local school board or charter school governing board, with input from school employees, parents of students, students, and the community at large, shall adopt conduct and discipline policies for the public schools in accordance with Section 53G-8-211.

(b) A district or charter school shall base its policies on the principle that every student is expected:

(i) to follow accepted standards of conduct; and

(ii) to show respect for other people and to obey persons in authority at the school.

(c)(i) On or before September 1, 2015, the state board shall revise the conduct and discipline policy models for elementary and secondary public schools to include procedures for responding to reports received through the SafeUT Crisis Line under Subsection 53B-17-1202(3).

(ii) Each district or charter school shall use the models, where appropriate, in developing its conduct and discipline policies under this chapter.

(d) The policies shall emphasize that certain behavior, most particularly behavior which disrupts, is unacceptable and may result in disciplinary action.

(3) The local superintendent and designated employees of the district or charter school shall enforce the policies so that students demonstrating unacceptable behavior and their parents understand that such behavior will not be tolerated and will be dealt with in accordance with the district's conduct and discipline policies.

53G-8-203. Public school discipline policies–Basis of the policies–Enforcement.

(1) The conduct and discipline policies required under Section 53G-8-202 shall include:

(a) provisions governing student conduct, safety, and welfare;

(b) standards and procedures for dealing with students who cause disruption in the classroom, on school grounds, on school vehicles, or in connection with school-related activities or events;

(c) procedures for the development of remedial discipline plans for students who cause a disruption at any of the places referred to in Subsection (1)(b);

(d) procedures for the use of reasonable and necessary physical restraint in dealing with students posing a danger to themselves or others, consistent with Section 53G-8-302;

(e) standards and procedures for dealing with student conduct in locations other than those referred to in Subsection (1)(b), if the conduct threatens harm or does harm to:

(i) the school;

(ii) school property;

(iii) a person associated with the school; or

(iv) property associated with a person described in Subsection (1)(e)(iii);

(f) procedures for the imposition of disciplinary sanctions, including suspension and expulsion;

(g) specific provisions, consistent with Section 53E-3-509, for preventing and responding to gang-related activities in the school, on school grounds, on school vehicles, or in connection with school-related activities or events;

(h) standards and procedures for dealing with habitual disruptive or unsafe student behavior in accordance with the provisions of this part; and

(i) procedures for responding to reports received through the SafeUT Crisis Line under Subsection 53B-17-1202(3).

(2)(a) Each local school board shall establish a policy on detaining students after regular school hours as a part of the district-wide discipline plan required under Section 53G-8-202.

(b)(i) The policy described in Subsection (2)(a) shall apply to elementary school students, grades kindergarten through 6.

(ii) The local school board shall receive input from teachers, school administrators, and parents of the affected students before adopting the policy.

(c) The policy described in Subsection (2)(a) shall provide for:

(i) notice to the parent of a student prior to holding the student after school on a particular day; and

(ii) exceptions to the notice provision if detention is necessary for the student's health or safety.

(3)(a) Each LEA shall adopt a policy for responding to possession or use of electronic cigarette products by a student on school property.

(b) The policy described in Subsection (3)(a) shall:

(i) prohibit students from possessing or using electronic cigarette products on school property;

(ii) include policies or procedures for the confiscation or surrender of electronic cigarette products; and

(iii) require a school administrator or school administrator's designee to dispose of or destroy a confiscated electronic cigarette product.

(c) Notwithstanding Subsection (3)(b)(iii), an LEA may release a confiscated electronic cigarette product to local law enforcement if:

(i) a school official has a reasonable suspicion that a confiscated electronic cigarette product contains an illegal substance; and

(ii) local law enforcement requests that the LEA release the confiscated electronic cigarette product to local law enforcement as part of an investigation or action.

REGULATIONS

R277-609-4. LEA Responsibility to Develop Plans.

(1) An LEA or school shall develop and implement a board approved comprehensive LEA plan or policy for student and classroom management, school discipline and restorative practices.

(2) An LEA shall include administration, instruction and support staff, students, parents, community council, and other community members in policy development, training, and prevention implementation so as to create a community sense of participation, ownership, support, and responsibility.

(3) An LEA shall include as part of the plan, parental outreach and education regarding the plan and how it can provide a discrimination and harassment free environment, through strategies promoting positive engagement between staff, students, and parents.

(4) A plan described in Subsection (1) shall include:

(a) the definitions of Section 53G-8-210;

(b) written standards for student behavior expectations, including school and classroom management;

(c) effective instructional practices for teaching student expectations, including:

(i) self-discipline;

(ii) citizenship;

(iii) civic skills; and

(iv) social emotional skills;

(d) systematic methods for reinforcement of expected behaviors;

(e) uniform and equitable methods for correction of student behavior;

(f) consistent processes to collect student discipline data and incident or infraction data, including collection of the number of days of student suspensions and data collected from the school’s climate survey as described in Rule R277-623;

(g) uniform and equitable methods for at least annual school level data-based evaluations of efficiency and effectiveness;

(h) an ongoing staff development program related to development of:

(i) student behavior expectations;

(ii) effective instructional practices for teaching and reinforcing behavior expectations;

(iii) effective intervention strategies; and

(iv) effective strategies for evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of interventions;

(i) procedures for ongoing training of appropriate school personnel in:

(i) crisis management;

(ii) emergency safety interventions; and

(iii) LEA policies related to emergency safety interventions consistent with evidence-based practice;

(j) policies and procedures relating to the use and abuse of alcohol, controlled substances, electronic cigarette products, and other harmful trends by students;

(k) policies and procedures for responding to possession or use of electronic cigarette products by a student on school property as required by Subsection 53G-8-203(3);

(l) policies and procedures, consistent with requirements of Rule R277-613, related to:

(i) bullying;

(ii) cyber-bullying;

(iv) hazing; and

(v) retaliation;

(l) policies and procedures for the use of emergency safety interventions for all students consistent with evidence-based practices including prohibition of:

(i) physical restraint, subject to the requirements of Section R277-609-5, except when the physical restraint is allowed as described in Subsection 53G-8-302(2);

(ii) prone, or face-down, physical restraint;

(iii) supine, or face-up, physical restraint;

(iv) physical restraint that obstructs the airway of a student or adversely affects a student's primary mode of communication;

(v) mechanical restraint, except:

(A) protective or stabilizing restraints;

(B) restraints required by law, including seatbelts or any other safety equipment when used to secure students during transportation; and

(C) any device used by a law enforcement officer in carrying out law enforcement duties;

(vi) chemical restraint, except as:

(A) prescribed by a licensed physician, or other qualified health professional acting under the scope of the professional's authority under State law, for the standard treatment of a student's medical or psychiatric condition; and

(B) administered as prescribed by the licensed physician or other qualified health professional acting under the scope of the professional's authority under state law;

(vii) seclusionary time out, subject to the requirements of Section R277-609-5, except when a student presents an immediate danger of serious physical harm to self or others; and

(viii) for a student with a disability, emergency safety interventions written into a student's IEP, as a planned intervention, unless:

(A) school personnel, the family, and the IEP team agree less restrictive means have been attempted;

(B) a FBA has been conducted; and

(C) a positive behavior intervention, based on data analysis has been written into the plan and implemented;

(m) direction for dealing with bullying and disruptive students;

(n) direction for schools to determine the range of behaviors and establish the continuum of administrative procedures that may be used by school personnel to address student behavior, including students who engage in disruptive student behaviors as described in Section 53G-8-210;

(o) identification, by position, of an individual designated to issue notices of disruptive and bullying student behavior;

(p) identification of individuals who shall receive notices of disruptive and bullying student behavior;

(q) a requirement to provide for documentation of an alleged class B misdemeanor or a nonperson class A misdemeanor before referral of students with an alleged class B misdemeanor or a nonperson class A misdemeanor to juvenile court;

(r) strategies to provide for necessary adult supervision;

(s) a requirement that policies be clearly written and consistently enforced;

(t) notice to employees that violation of this rule may result in employee discipline or action;

(u) gang prevention and intervention policies in accordance with Subsection 53E-3-509(1);

(v) provisions that account for an individual LEA's or school's unique needs or circumstances, including:

(i) the role of law enforcement;

(ii) emergency medical services; and

(iii) a provision for publication of notice to parents and school employees of policies by reasonable means; and

(iv) a plan for referral for a student with a qualifying office to alternative school-related interventions, including:

(A) a mobile crisis outreach team, as defined in Section 78A-6-105;

(B) a receiving center operated by the Division of Juvenile Justice Services in accordance with Section 62A-7-104;

(C) a youth court; or

(w) a comparable restorative justice program.

(4) A plan described in Subsection (1) may include:

(a) the provisions of Subsection 53E-3-509(2); and

(b) a plan for training administrators and school resource officers in accordance with Section 53G-8-702.

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