Utah School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Gang-related Activity

Discipline Compendium

Utah School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Gang-related Activity

Category: Discipline Addressing Specific Code of Conduct Violations
Subcategory: Gang-related Activity
State: Utah

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LAWS

§ 53E-3-509. Gang prevention and intervention policies.

(1)(a) The state board shall adopt rules that require a local school board or charter school governing board to enact gang prevention and intervention policies for all schools within the state board's jurisdiction.

(b) The rules described in Subsection (1)(a) shall provide that the gang prevention and intervention policies of a local school board or charter school governing board may include provisions that reflect the individual school district's or charter school's unique needs or circumstances.

(2) The rules described in Subsection (1) may include the following provisions:

(a) school faculty and personnel shall report suspected gang activities relating to the school and its students to a school administrator and law enforcement;

(b) a student who participates in gang activities may be excluded from participation in extracurricular activities, including interscholastic athletics, as determined by the school administration after consultation with law enforcement;

(c) gang-related graffiti or damage to school property shall result in parent notification and appropriate administrative and law enforcement actions, which may include obtaining restitution from those responsible for the damage;

(d) if a serious gang-related incident, as determined by the school administrator in consultation with local law enforcement, occurs on school property, at school related activities, or on a site that is normally considered to be under school control, notification shall be provided to parents of students in the school:

(i) informing them, in general terms, about the incident, but removing all personally identifiable information about students from the notice;

(ii) emphasizing the school's concern for safety; and

(iii) outlining the action taken at the school regarding the incident;

(e) school faculty and personnel shall be trained by experienced evidence based trainers that may include community gang specialists and law enforcement as part of comprehensive strategies to recognize early warning signs for youth in trouble and help students resist serious involvement in undesirable activity, including joining gangs or mimicking gang behavior;

(f) prohibitions on the following behavior:

(i) advocating or promoting a gang or any gang-related activities;

(ii) marking school property, books, or school work with gang names, slogans, or signs;

(iii) conducting gang initiations;

(iv) threatening another person with bodily injury or inflicting bodily injury on another in connection with a gang or gang-related activity;

(v) aiding or abetting an activity described under Subsections (2)(f)(i) through (iv) by a person's presence or support;

(vi) displaying or wearing common gang apparel, common dress, or identifying signs or symbols on one's clothing, person, or personal property that is disruptive to the school environment; and

(vii) communicating in any method, including verbal, non-verbal, and electronic means, designed to convey gang membership or affiliation.

(3) The rules described in Subsection (1) may require a local school board or charter school governing board to publicize the policies enacted by the local school board or charter school governing board in accordance with the rules described in Subsection (1) to all students, parents, and faculty through school websites, handbooks, letters to parents, or other reasonable means of communication.

(4) The state board may consult with appropriate committees, including committees that provide opportunities for the input of parents, law enforcement, and community agencies, as it develops, enacts, and administers the rules described in Subsection (1).

§ 53F-2-410. Gang prevention and intervention program.

Subject to legislative appropriations, the state board shall distribute money for a gang prevention and intervention program:

(1) that is designed to help students at risk for gang involvement stay in school; and

(2) to school districts and charter schools through a request for proposals process.

§ 53G-8-203. Conduct and discipline policies and procedures.

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

(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.

REGULATIONS

R277-436-1. Authority and Purpose.

(1) This rule is authorized by:

(a) Utah Constitution Article X, Section 3, which vests general control and supervision over public education in the Board;

(b) Subsection 53E-3-401(4), which allows the Board to make rules to execute the Board's duties and responsibilities under the Utah Constitution and state law; and

(c) Subsection 53F-2-410(1)(b), which appropriates funds to be used for Gang Prevention and Intervention Programs in the schools.

(2) The purpose of this rule is to establish standards and procedures for distributing funding for gang prevention and intervention programs in public schools.

R277-436-2. Definitions.

(1) "At-risk student" means any student who because of the student's individual needs requires some kind of uniquely designed intervention to achieve literacy, graduate and be prepared for transition from school to post-school options.

(2)(a) "Gang" means a group of three or more people who form an allegiance and engage in criminal activity, which uses violence or intimidation to further its criminal objectives.

(b) A gang may have a name, turf, colors, symbols, distinct dress, or any combination of the preceding characteristics.

(3)(a) "Gang prevention" means instructional and support strategies, activities, programs, or curricula designed and implemented to provide successful experiences for youth and families.

(b) Gang prevention activities shall promote cultural and social competence, self-management skills, citizenship, preparation for life skills, academic achievement, literacy, and interpersonal relationship skills required for school completion and full participation in society.

(4) "Gang intervention" means specially designed services required by an individual student experiencing difficulty in cultural and social competence, self-management skills, citizenship, preparation for life skills, academic achievement, literacy, and interpersonal relationships, within or outside of the school, which may impact the individual's susceptibility to gang membership or gang-like activities.

(5) "Gang Prevention and Intervention Program" means specifically designed projects and activities to help at-risk students stay in school and enhance their cultural and social competence, self-management skills, citizenship, preparation for life skills, academic achievement, literacy, and interpersonal relationship skills required for school completion and full participation in society.

R277-436-3. Application, distribution of funds, and administrative support.

(1) An LEA may apply for gang intervention funds by submitting a proposal on a form approved by the Superintendent.

(a) An school district may submit:

(i) a proposal for a single school; or

(ii) a single district-wide proposal.

(b) A charter school may apply individually or jointly with other charter schools.

(2) A proposal submitted in accordance with Subsection (1) shall:

(a) provide for distribution of funds to individuals schools;

(b) explain prevention and intervention activities and strategies planned for individual schools;

(c) identify the school's at-risk student population and demonstrate how the prevention and intervention strategies will benefit at-risk students; and

(d) demonstrate interagency collaboration between the LEA and other service providers.

(3) The Superintendent shall award gang intervention funds based on proposals submitted in accordance with Subsection (1), and subject to the annual legislative appropriation.

(4) The Superintendent shall give priority in awarding funds to:

(a) schools that demonstrate multiple risk factors for gang involvement; and

(b) schools with outcome data that show successful reduction of gang involvement.

(5) The Superintendent shall notify successful applicants of their awards by July 1 annually.

(6) An LEA or charter consortia may use up to 10% of its funding awarded in accordance with this rule for:

(a) administrative oversight; and

(b) professional development for licensed and non-licensed employees who directly engage in gang prevention or intervention activities;

R277-436-4. Evaluation and reports.

(1) An LEA or charter school consortia shall provide the Superintendent a year-end evaluation report by June 30 for the previous fiscal year.

(2) A year-end report shall include:

(a) an expenditure report;

(b) a narrative description of all activities funded;

(c) copies of products developed;

(d) an effectiveness report detailing evidence of individual and overall program impact on gang and gang-related activities and involvement; and

(e) any other information or data required by the Superintendent.

(3) The Superintendent may require additional evaluation or audit procedures from the grant recipient to demonstrate use of funds consistent with the law and Board rules.

R277-436-5. Waivers.

Notwithstanding Rule R277-121, the Superintendent may grant a written request for a waiver of a requirement or deadline contained in this rule, which a district or school finds unduly restrictive.

R277-609-1. Authority and purpose.

(1) This rule is authorized by:

(d) Section 53E-3-509, which requires the Board to adopt rules that require a local school board or governing board of a charter school to enact gang prevention and intervention policies for all schools within the board's jurisdiction.

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

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

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

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