Montana

To view this state’s school discipline laws and regulations, scroll to a subcategory of interest and select “Laws and Regulations.”

Regulation Set
Major Category
General Provisions
Sub Category
Authority to develop and establish rules of conduct
Statute

LAWS

20-5-202. Suspension and expulsion.

(1) [...] The trustees of the district shall adopt a policy defining the authority and procedure to be used by a teacher, superintendent, or principal in the suspension of a pupil and in defining the circumstances and procedures by which the trustees may expel a pupil.

(2) The trustees of a district shall adopt a policy for the expulsion of a student who is determined to have brought a firearm, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921, to school and for referring the matter to the appropriate local law enforcement agency. [...]

20-4-402. Duties of district superintendent or county high school principal.

The district superintendent or county high school principal is the executive officer of the trustees and, subject to the direction and control of the trustees, the executive officer shall:

(1) have general supervision of all schools of the district and the personnel employed by the district;

(2) implement and administer the policies of the trustees of the district;

(3) develop and recommend courses of instruction to the trustees for their consideration and approval in accordance with the provisions of 20-7-111;

(4) select all textbooks and submit the selections to the trustees for their approval in accordance with the provisions of 20-7-602;

(5) select all reference and library books and submit the selections to the trustees for their approval in accordance with provisions of 20-7-204;

(6) have general supervision of all pupils of the district, enforce the compulsory attendance provisions of this title, and have the authority to suspend for good cause a pupil of the district;

(7) report the pupil attendance, absence, and enrollment of the district and other pupil information required by the report form prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction to the county superintendent, or county superintendents when reporting for a joint district; and

(8) perform other duties in connection with the district as the trustees may prescribe.

20-4-403. Powers and duties of principal.

(1) Whenever the trustees of a district employ and appoint a school principal but do not employ and appoint a district superintendent, such principal shall perform the duties of a district superintendent as prescribed in subsections (4), (5), (6), (7), and (8) of 20-4-402 and shall have general supervision of such school and the personnel assigned to such school.

(2) If granted authority by the board of trustees, a school principal in a district that does employ and appoint a district superintendent may suspend for good cause any pupil of the school where the principal is employed.

REGULATIONS

10.55.719. Student Protection Procedures.

(1) A local board of trustees shall adopt a policy designed to deter persistent threatening, insulting, or demeaning gestures or physical conduct, including an intentional written, verbal, or electronic communication or threat directed against a student or students regardless of the underlying reason for such conduct, that:

(a) causes a student physical or emotional harm, damages a student's property, or places a reasonable fear of harm to the student or the student's property;

(b) substantially and materially interferes with access to an educational opportunity or benefit; or

(c) substantially and materially disrupts the orderly operation of the school. [...]

10.55.801 School climate.

(1)The local board of trustees shall:

(a) develop policies, procedures, and rules that respect the rights of all learners, and promote an awareness of and concern for the well-being of others, and address bullying, intimidation, and harassment of students and school personnel;

Sub Category
Scope
Statute

LAWS

20-4-302. Discipline and punishment of pupils -- definition of corporal punishment -- penalty -- defense.

(1) A teacher or principal has the authority to hold a pupil to a strict accountability for disorderly conduct in school, on the way to or from school, or during intermission or recess.

20-5-201. Duties and sanctions.

(1) A pupil:

(a) shall comply with the policies of the trustees and the rules of the school that the pupil attends;

(b) shall pursue the required course of instruction;

(c) shall submit to the authority of the teachers, principal, and district superintendent of the district; and

(d) is subject to the control and authority of the teachers, principal, and district superintendent while the pupil is in school or on school premises, on the way to and from school, or during intermission or recess.

REGULATIONS

10.55.719. Student protection procedures.

(1) A local board of trustees shall adopt a policy designed to deter persistent threatening, insulting, or demeaning gestures or physical conduct, including an intentional written, verbal, or electronic communication or threat directed against a student or students regardless of the underlying reason for such conduct, that:

(a) causes a student physical or emotional harm, damages a student's property, or places a reasonable fear of harm to the student or the student's property;

(b) substantially and materially interferes with access to an educational opportunity or benefit; or

(c) substantially and materially disrupts the orderly operation of the school. [...]

(4) The behavior prohibited in (1) includes but is not limited to conduct:

(a) in a classroom or other location on school premises;

(b) during any school-sponsored program, activity, or function where the school is responsible for the student including when the student is traveling to and from school or on a school bus or other school-related vehicle; or

(c) through the use of electronic communication, as defined in 45-8-213, MCA, that substantially and materially disrupts the orderly operation of the school or any school-sponsored program, activity, or function where the school is responsible for the student.

Sub Category
Communication of policy
Statute

LAWS

No relevant laws found.

REGULATIONS

10.55.701 Board of trustees.

(2) Each school district shall make available to the staff and public:

(f) policies addressing bullying, hazing, intimidation, and harassment of students and meeting the requirements in ARM 10.55.719;

Major Category
In-School Discipline
Sub Category
Use of multi-tiered discipline approaches
Statute

No relevant laws or regulations found.

Sub Category
Teacher authority to remove students from classrooms
Statute

No relevant laws or regulations found.

Sub Category
Alternatives to suspension
Statute

No relevant laws or regulations found.

Sub Category
Use of corporal punishment
Statute

LAWS

20-4-302. Discipline and punishment of pupils -- definition of corporal punishment -- penalty -- defense.

(2) For the purposes of this section, "corporal punishment" means knowingly and purposely inflicting physical pain on a pupil as a disciplinary measure.

(3) A person who is employed or engaged by a school district may not inflict or cause to be inflicted corporal punishment on a pupil.

(4) (a) A person who is employed or engaged by a school district may use physical restraint, defined as the placing of hands on a pupil in a manner that is reasonable and necessary to:

(i) quell a disturbance;

(ii) provide self-protection;

(iii) protect the pupil or others from physical injury;

(iv) obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object on the person of the pupil or within control of the pupil;

(v) maintain the orderly conduct of a pupil including but not limited to relocating a pupil in a waiting line, classroom, lunchroom, principal's office, or other on-campus facility; or

(vi) protect property from serious harm.

(b) Physical pain resulting from the use of physical restraint as defined in subsection (4)(a) does not constitute corporal punishment as long as the restraint is reasonable and necessary.

(7) If a person who is employed or engaged by a school district uses corporal punishment or more physical restraint than is reasonable or necessary, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction of the misdemeanor by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be fined not less than $25 or more than $500.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

Sub Category
Use of student and locker searches
Statute

No relevant laws or regulations found.

Sub Category
Other in-school disciplinary approaches
Statute

LAWS

20-5-201. Duties and sanctions.

(4) (a) A school district may withhold the grades, diploma, or transcripts of a pupil who is responsible for the cost of school materials or the loss or damage of school property until the pupil or the pupil's parent or guardian satisfies the obligation.

(b) A school district that decides to withhold a pupil's grades, diploma, or transcripts from the pupil and the pupil's parent or guardian pursuant to subsection (4)(a) shall:

(i) upon receiving notice that the pupil has transferred to another school district in the state, notify the pupil's parent or guardian in writing that the school district to which the pupil has transferred will be requested to withhold the pupil's grades, diploma, or transcripts until any obligation has been satisfied;

(ii) forward appropriate grades or transcripts to the school to which the pupil has transferred;

(iii) at the same time, notify the school district of any financial obligation of the pupil and request the withholding of the pupil's grades, diploma, or transcripts until any obligations are met;

(iv) when the pupil or the pupil's parent or guardian satisfies the obligation, inform the school district to which the pupil has transferred; and

(v) adopt a policy regarding a process for a pupil or the pupil's parent or guardian to appeal the school district's decision to request that another school district withhold a pupil's grades, diploma, or transcripts.

20-5-202. Suspension and expulsion.

(4) Nothing in this section prevents a school district from:

(a) offering instructional activities related to firearms or allowing a firearm to be brought to school for instructional activities sanctioned by the district; or

(b) providing educational services in an alternative setting to a student who has been expelled from the student's regular school setting.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

Major Category
Out-of-School and Exclusionary Discipline: Suspension,Expulsion, Restraint and Seclusion, and Alternative Placements
Sub Category
Grounds for possible suspension or expulsion
Statute

LAWS

20-4-302. Discipline and punishment of pupils -- definition of corporal punishment -- penalty -- defense.

(2) A pupil who disobeys the provisions of this section, shows open defiance of the authority vested in school personnel by this section, defaces or damages any school building, school grounds, furniture, equipment, or book belonging to the district, harms or threatens to harm another person or the person's property, or otherwise violates district policy regarding pupil conduct is subject to punishment, suspension, or expulsion under the provisions of this title. When a pupil defaces or damages school property, the pupil's parent or guardian is liable for the cost of repair or replacement upon the complaint of the teacher, principal, superintendent, or any trustee and the proof of any damage.

20-5-202. Suspension and expulsion.

(1) As provided in 20-4-302, 20-4-402, and 20-4-403, a pupil may be suspended by a teacher, superintendent, or principal. The trustees of the district shall adopt a policy defining the authority and procedure to be used by a teacher, superintendent, or principal in the suspension of a pupil and in defining the circumstances and procedures by which the trustees may expel a pupil.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

Sub Category
Grounds for mandatory suspension or expulsion
Statute

LAWS

20-5-202. Suspension and expulsion.

(2)(a) [...] A student who is determined to have brought a firearm to school under this subsection must be expelled from school for a period of not less than 1 year, except that the trustees may authorize the school administration to modify the requirement for expulsion of a student on a case-by-case basis. The trustees shall annually review its weapons policy and any policy adopted under this subsection (2)(a) and update the policies as determined necessary by the trustees based on changing circumstances pertaining to school safety.

(b) A decision to change the placement of a student with a disability who has been expelled pursuant to this section must be made in accordance with the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.

(3) In accordance with 20-4-302, 20-4-402, 20-4-403, and subsection (1) of this section, a teacher, a superintendent, or a principal shall suspend immediately for good cause a student who is determined to have brought a firearm to school.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

Sub Category
Limitations, conditions, or exclusions for use of suspension and expulsion
Statute

LAWS

20-4-302. Discipline and punishment of pupils -- definition of corporal punishment -- penalty -- defense.

(5) A teacher in a district employing neither a district superintendent nor a principal at the school where the teacher is assigned has the authority to suspend a pupil for good cause. When either a district superintendent or a school principal is employed, only the superintendent or principal has the authority to suspend a pupil for good cause. Whenever a teacher suspends a pupil, the teacher shall notify the trustees and the county superintendent immediately of the action.

20-5-202. Suspension and expulsion.

(1) [...] A pupil may be suspended from school for an initial period not to exceed 10 school days. Upon a finding by a school administrator that the immediate return to school by a pupil would be detrimental to the health, welfare, or safety of others or would be disruptive of the educational process, a pupil may be suspended for one additional period not to exceed 10 school days if the pupil is granted an informal hearing with the school administrator prior to the additional suspension and if the decision to impose the additional suspension does not violate the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1400, et seq.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

Sub Category
Administrative procedures related to suspension and expulsion
Statute

LAWS

20-4-302. Discipline and punishment of pupils -- definition of corporal punishment -- penalty -- defense.

(5) A teacher in a district employing neither a district superintendent nor a principal at the school where the teacher is assigned has the authority to suspend a pupil for good cause. When either a district superintendent or a school principal is employed, only the superintendent or principal has the authority to suspend a pupil for good cause. Whenever a teacher suspends a pupil, the teacher shall notify the trustees and the county superintendent immediately of the action.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

Sub Category
In-school suspension
Statute

No relevant laws or regulations found.

Sub Category
Return to school following removal
Statute

No relevant laws or regulations found.

Sub Category
Use of restraint and seclusion
Statute

LAWS

20-4-302. Discipline and punishment of pupils -- definition of corporal punishment -- penalty -- defense.

(4) (a) A person who is employed or engaged by a school district may use physical restraint, defined as the placing of hands on a pupil in a manner that is reasonable and necessary to:

(i) quell a disturbance;

(ii) provide self-protection;

(iii) protect the pupil or others from physical injury;

(iv) obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object on the person of the pupil or within control of the pupil;

(v) maintain the orderly conduct of a pupil including but not limited to relocating a pupil in a waiting line, classroom, lunchroom, principal's office, or other on-campus facility; or

(vi) protect property from serious harm.

(b) Physical pain resulting from the use of physical restraint as defined in subsection (4)(a) does not constitute corporal punishment as long as the restraint is reasonable and necessary.

(7) If a person who is employed or engaged by a school district uses corporal punishment or more physical restraint than is reasonable or necessary, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction of the misdemeanor by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be fined not less than $25 or more than $500.

(8) A person named as a defendant in an action brought under this section may assert as an affirmative defense that the use of physical restraint was reasonable or necessary. If that defense is denied by the person bringing the charge, the issue of whether the restraint used was reasonable or necessary must be determined by the trier of fact.

REGULATIONS

10.16.3346. Special education. Aversive treatment procedures.

(1) Positive behavioral interventions based on the results of a functional behavioral assessment shall serve as the foundation for any program utilizing aversive procedures to address the behavioral needs of students. Aversive treatment procedures may be appropriate for an individual student who exhibits behaviors which pose a risk of physical harm to the student or others, or a risk of significant damage to property, or significantly disruptive or dangerous behaviors which cannot be modified solely through the use of positive behavioral interventions. Aversive treatment procedures must be designed to address the behavioral needs of an individual student, be approved by the IEP team, and may not be used as punishment, for the convenience of staff, or as a substitute for positive behavioral interventions.

(2) Aversive treatment procedures are defined as:

(a) physical restraint, other than as provided in 20-4-302, MCA, when the IEP team has determined that the frequency, intensity or duration of the restraint warrants an aversive treatment procedure; and

(b) isolation time-out which results in the removal of a student to an isolation room under the following conditions:

(i) the student is alone in the isolation room during the period of isolation;

(ii) the student is prevented from exiting the isolation room during the period of isolation;

(iii) the door to the isolation room remains closed during the period of isolation; and

(iv) the student is prohibited from participating in activities occurring outside the isolation room and from interacting with other students during the period of isolation.

(3) Any student in isolation time-out must be under the direct constant visual observation of a designated staff person throughout the entire period of isolation.

(4) The following procedures are prohibited:

(a) any procedure solely intended to cause physical pain;

(b) isolation in a locked room or mechanical restraint, except in residential treatment facilities and psychiatric hospitals as defined in 20-7-436, MCA, when prescribed by a physician as part of a treatment plan and when implemented in compliance with relevant federal and state law;

(c) the withholding of a meal for a period of greater than one hour from its scheduled starting time;

(d) aversive mists, noxious odors, and unpleasant tastes applied by spray or other means to cause an aversive physical sensation; and

(e) mechanical restraint that physically restricts a student's movement through the use upon the student of any mechanical or restrictive device which is not intended for medical reasons.

(5) Exclusion time-out is not considered an aversive treatment procedure. Exclusion time-out is defined as any removal of a student from a regularly scheduled activity for disciplinary purposes that does not result in placing the student in an isolation room under all of the conditions described in (2)(b).

(6) IEPs may include the use of aversive treatment procedures only when:

(a) subsequent to a functional behavioral assessment, a series of no less than two written positive behavioral intervention strategies, which were designed to target the behavior to be changed, were previously implemented;

(b) the IEP team includes a person trained and knowledgeable about best practices in the application of positive behavioral interventions, aversive treatment procedures and nonaversive alternatives for de-escalation of behaviors; and

(c) a written behavioral intervention plan using aversive treatment procedures is developed and incorporated as a part of the IEP.

Sub Category
Alternative placements
Statute

LAWS

20-5-202. Suspension and expulsion.

(4) Nothing in this section prevents a school district from: [...]

(b) providing educational services in an alternative setting to a student who has been expelled from the student's regular school setting.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

Major Category
Disciplinary Approaches Addressing Specific Infractions and Conditions
Sub Category
Firearms (as required by the Guns-Free Schools Act)
Statute

LAWS

20-5-202. Suspension and expulsion.

(2)(a) The trustees of a district shall adopt a policy for the expulsion of a student who is determined to have brought a firearm, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921, to school and for referring the matter to the appropriate local law enforcement agency. A student who is determined to have brought a firearm to school under this subsection must be expelled from school for a period of not less than 1 year, except that the trustees may authorize the school administration to modify the requirement for expulsion of a student on a case-by-case basis. The trustees shall annually review its weapons policy and any policy adopted under this subsection (2)(a) and update the policies as determined necessary by the trustees based on changing circumstances pertaining to school safety.

(b) A decision to change the placement of a student with a disability who has been expelled pursuant to this section must be made in accordance with the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.

(3) In accordance with 20-4-302, 20-4-402, 20-4-403, and subsection (1) of this section, a teacher, a superintendent, or a principal shall suspend immediately for good cause a student who is determined to have brought a firearm to school.

(4) Nothing in this section prevents a school district from:

(a) offering instructional activities related to firearms or allowing a firearm to be brought to school for instructional activities sanctioned by the district;

45-8-361. Possession or allowing possession of weapon in school building -- exceptions -- penalties -- seizure and forfeiture or return authorized -- definitions.

(1) A person commits the offense of possession of a weapon in a school building if the person purposely and knowingly possesses, carries, or stores a weapon in a school building.

(2) A parent or guardian of a minor commits the offense of allowing possession of a weapon in a school building if the parent or guardian purposely and knowingly permits the minor to possess, carry, or store a weapon in a school building.

(3) (a) Subsection (1) does not apply to law enforcement personnel.

(b) The trustees of a district may grant persons and entities advance permission to possess, carry, or store a weapon in a school building.

(4) (a) A person convicted under this section shall be fined an amount not to exceed $500, imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both. The court shall consider alternatives to incarceration that are available in the community.

(b) (i) A weapon in violation of this section may be seized and, upon conviction of the person possessing or permitting possession of the weapon, may be forfeited to the state or returned to the lawful owner.

(ii) If a weapon seized under the provisions of this section is subsequently determined to have been stolen or otherwise taken from the owner's possession without permission, the weapon must be returned to the lawful owner.

(5) As used in this section:

(a) "school building" means all buildings owned or leased by a local school district that are used for instruction or for student activities. The term does not include a home school provided for in 20-5-109.

(b) "weapon" means any type of firearm, a knife with a blade 4 or more inches in length, a sword, a straight razor, a throwing star, nun-chucks, or brass or other metal knuckles. The term also includes any other article or instrument possessed with the purpose to commit a criminal offense.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

Sub Category
Other weapons
Statute

LAWS

45-8-361. Possession or allowing possession of weapon in school building -- exceptions -- penalties -- seizure and forfeiture or return authorized -- definitions.

(1) A person commits the offense of possession of a weapon in a school building if the person purposely and knowingly possesses, carries, or stores a weapon in a school building.

(2) A parent or guardian of a minor commits the offense of allowing possession of a weapon in a school building if the parent or guardian purposely and knowingly permits the minor to possess, carry, or store a weapon in a school building.

(3) (a) Subsection (1) does not apply to law enforcement personnel.

(b) The trustees of a district may grant persons and entities advance permission to possess, carry, or store a weapon in a school building.

(4) (a) A person convicted under this section shall be fined an amount not to exceed $500, imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both. The court shall consider alternatives to incarceration that are available in the community.

(b) (i) A weapon in violation of this section may be seized and, upon conviction of the person possessing or permitting possession of the weapon, may be forfeited to the state or returned to the lawful owner.

(ii) If a weapon seized under the provisions of this section is subsequently determined to have been stolen or otherwise taken from the owner's possession without permission, the weapon must be returned to the lawful owner.

(5) As used in this section:

(a) "school building" means all buildings owned or leased by a local school district that are used for instruction or for student activities. The term does not include a home school provided for in 20-5-109.

(b) "weapon" means any type of firearm, a knife with a blade 4 or more inches in length, a sword, a straight razor, a throwing star, nun-chucks, or brass or other metal knuckles. The term also includes any other article or instrument possessed with the purpose to commit a criminal offense.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

Sub Category
Students with chronic disciplinary issues
Statute

No relevant laws or regulations found.

Sub Category
Attendance and truancy
Statute

LAWS

20-5-105. Attendance officer -- powers and duties.

The attendance officer of a district:

(1) must, subject to district policy, be vested with police powers, the authority to serve warrants, and the authority to enter places of employment of children in order to enforce the compulsory attendance provisions of this title;

(2) may, subject to district policy, take into custody any child subject to compulsory attendance who is not excused under the provisions of this title and conduct the child to the school in which the child is or should be enrolled;

(3) may, subject to district policy, do whatever else is required to investigate and enforce the compulsory attendance provisions of this title and the pupil attendance policies of the trustees;

(4) may, subject to district policy, institute proceedings against any parent, guardian, or other person violating the compulsory attendance provisions of this title;

(5) may, subject to district policy, keep a record of transactions for the inspection and information of the trustees and shall make reports in the manner and to whomever the trustees designate; and

(6) may, subject to district policy, perform any other duties prescribed by the trustees to preserve the morals and secure good conduct of the pupils of the district.

20-5-106. Truancy.

(1) For the purposes of this part "truant" or "truancy" means the persistent nonattendance without excuse, as defined by district policy, for all or any part of a school day equivalent to the length of one class period of a child required to attend a school under 20-5-103.

(2) If an attendance officer discovers a child is truant, the attendance officer may make a reasonable effort to notify the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child that the continued truancy of the child may result in the prosecution of the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child under the provisions of this section. If the child is discovered to be truant after the attendance officer has made a reasonable effort to notify the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child, the attendance officer may require that the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child and the child meet with an individual designated by the school district to formulate a truancy plan to address and resolve the truancy. If the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child fails to meet with the designated individual or fails to uphold the responsibilities under the provisions of the truancy plan, the attendance officer may refer the matter to the prosecuting attorney in a court of competent jurisdiction for a determination regarding whether to prosecute the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child.

(3)(a) If convicted, the person shall be fined not more than $100, ordered to perform up to 20 hours of community service, or required to give bond in the penal sum of $100, with sureties, conditioned on the person's agreement to cooperate with the district in implementing the truancy plan provided for in subsection (2)for the remainder of the current school term.

(b) If a person fails to comply with an order of the court issued under subsection (3)(a),the person may be imprisoned in the county jail for a term of not more than 3 days.

(4) (a) If the child is discovered by the attendance officer to be truant on 9 or more days or 54 or more parts of a day in 1 school year, the child may be referred to youth court as habitually truant under Title 41, chapter 5.

(b) Following a referral to youth court under subsection (4)(a), an attendance officer shall inform the youth court of any subsequent truancies by the child, and the youth court may find the child to be a youth in need of intervention pursuant to 41-5-103 and make any of the dispositions provided in 41-5-1512."

20-5-107. Incapacitated and indigent child attendance.

In lieu of the provisions of 20-5-106 and when an attendance officer is satisfied that a pupil or a child subject to compulsory attendance is not able to attend school because the child does not have the physical capacity or the child is absolutely required to work at home or elsewhere in order to provide support for the child or the child's family, the attendance officer shall report the case to the authorities charged with the relief of the poor. The welfare authorities shall offer relief that will enable the child to attend school. If the parent, guardian, or other person who is responsible for the care of the child denies or neglects the assistance offered to enable the child to attend school, the child must be committed to a state institution, at the discretion of the court.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

Sub Category
Substance use
Statute

LAWS

20-1-220. Use of tobacco product in public school building or on public school property prohibited.

(1) An individual may not use a tobacco product in a public school building or on public school property.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to the use of a tobacco product in a classroom or on other school property as part of a lecture, demonstration, or educational forum sanctioned by a school administrator or faculty member concerning the risks associated with use of a tobacco product.

(3) The principal of an elementary or secondary school, or the principal's designee, may enforce this section.

(4) A violation of this section is subject to the penalties provided in 50-40-115.

(5) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

(a) "Public school building" or "public school property":

(i) means public land, fixtures, buildings, or other property owned or occupied by an institution for the teaching of minor children that is established and maintained under the laws of the state of Montana at public expense; and

(ii) includes school playgrounds, school steps, parking lots, administration buildings, athletic facilities, gymnasiums, locker rooms, and school buses.

(b) "Tobacco product" means a substance intended for human consumption that contains tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars, snuff, smoking tobacco, and smokeless tobacco.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

Sub Category
Bullying, harassment, or hazing
Statute

LAWS

20-5-207. Short title.

Sections 20-5-207 through 20-5-210 may be cited as the "Bully-Free Montana Act".

20-5-208. Definition.

(1) "Bullying" means any harassment, intimidation, hazing, or threatening, insulting, or demeaning gesture or physical contact, including any intentional written, verbal, or electronic communication or threat directed against a student that is persistent, severe, or repeated and that:

(a) causes a student physical harm, damages a student's property, or places a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student or the student's property;

(b) creates a hostile environment by interfering with or denying a student's access to an educational opportunity or benefit; or

(c) substantially and materially disrupts the orderly operation of a school.

(2) The term includes retaliation against a victim or witness who reports information about an act of bullying and includes acts of hazing associated with athletics or school-sponsored organizations or groups.

20-5-209. Bullying of student prohibited.

Bullying of a student enrolled in a public K-12 school by another student or an employee is prohibited.

20-5-210. Enforcement -- exhaustion of administrative remedies.

(1) A person alleging a violation of 20-5-207 through 20-5-210 may seek redress under any available law after exhausting all administrative remedies.

(2) Nothing in this section precludes a person from contacting law enforcement in relation to incidents of bullying at any point in time.

REGULATIONS

10.55.719. Student protection procedures.

(1) A local board of trustees shall adopt a policy designed to deter persistent threatening, insulting, or demeaning gestures or physical conduct, including an intentional written, verbal, or electronic communication or threat directed against a student or students regardless of the underlying reason for such conduct, that:

(a) causes a student physical or emotional harm, damages a student's property, or places a reasonable fear of harm to the student or the student's property;

(b) substantially and materially interferes with access to an educational opportunity or benefit; or

(c) substantially and materially disrupts the orderly operation of the school.

(2) Behavior prohibited under (1) includes retaliation against a victim or witness who reports behavior prohibited under (1).

(3) "Persistent" as used in this rule can consist of repeated acts against a single student or isolated acts directed against a number of different students.

(4) The behavior prohibited in (1) includes but is not limited to conduct:

(a) in a classroom or other location on school premises;

(b) during any school-sponsored program, activity, or function where the school is responsible for the student including when the student is traveling to and from school or on a school bus or other school-related vehicle; or

(c) through the use of electronic communication, as defined in 45-8-213, MCA, that substantially and materially disrupts the orderly operation of the school or any school-sponsored program, activity, or function where the school is responsible for the student.

(5) Each local board of trustees has discretion and control over the development of its policies and procedures regarding behavior prohibited under (1), but each district's policies and procedures must include at a minimum:

(a) a prohibition on the behavior specified in (1), regardless of the underlying reason or reasons the student has engaged in such behavior;

(b) a procedure for reporting and documenting reported acts of behavior prohibited under (1);

(c) a procedure for investigation of all reports of behavior prohibited under (1)(a) that includes an identification of the persons responsible for the investigation and response;

(d) a procedure for determining whether the reported act is subject to the jurisdiction of the school district or another public agency, including law enforcement, and a procedure for referral to the necessary persons or entity with appropriate jurisdiction;

(e) a procedure for prompt notification, as defined in the district policy, of the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator, or the parents or guardian of such students when the students are minors;

(f) a procedure to protect any alleged victim of behavior prohibited under (1)(a) from further incidents of such behavior;

(g) a disciplinary procedure establishing the consequences for students found to have committed behavior prohibited under (1); and

(h) a procedure for the use of appropriate intervention and remediation for victims and perpetrators.

Sub Category
Other special infractions or conditions
Statute

LAWS

20-5-203. Secret organization prohibited.

(1) It shall be unlawful for any pupil to participate in or be a member of any secret fraternity or other secret organization that is in any degree a school organization. It also shall be unlawful for any pupil or other person to solicit any pupil to join any such prohibited secret fraternity or other secret organization.

(2) Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, if convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be fined not less than $5 or more than $25 for each violation.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

Major Category
Prevention and Behavioral Interventions (Non-Punitive)
Sub Category
Prevention
Statute

No relevant laws or regulations found.

Sub Category
Behavioral interventions and student support services
Statute

LAWS

No relevant laws found.

REGULATIONS

10.55.719. Student protection procedures.

(1) A local board of trustees shall adopt a policy designed to deter persistent threatening, insulting, or demeaning gestures or physical conduct, including an intentional written, verbal, or electronic communication or threat directed against a student or students regardless of the underlying reason for such conduct, that:

(a) causes a student physical or emotional harm, damages a student's property, or places a reasonable fear of harm to the student or the student's property;

(b) substantially and materially interferes with access to an educational opportunity or benefit; or

(c) substantially and materially disrupts the orderly operation of the school. [...]

(5) Each local board of trustees has discretion and control over the development of its policies and procedures regarding behavior prohibited under (1), but each district's policies and procedures must include at a minimum: [...]

(h) a procedure for the use of appropriate intervention and remediation for victims and perpetrators.

Sub Category
Professional development
Statute

No relevant laws or regulations found.

Major Category
Monitoring and Accountability
Sub Category
Formal incident reporting of conduct violations
Statute

LAWS

20-4-302. Discipline and punishment of pupils -- definition of corporal punishment -- penalty -- defense.

(5) [...] Whenever a teacher suspends a pupil, the teacher shall notify the trustees and the county superintendent immediately of the action.

(6) A teacher has the duty to report the truancy or incorrigibility of a pupil to the district superintendent, the principal, the trustees, or the county superintendent, whichever is applicable.

20-5-105. Attendance officer -- powers and duties.

The attendance officer of a district:

(5) may, subject to district policy, keep a record of transactions for the inspection and information of the trustees and shall make reports in the manner and to whomever the trustees designate;

REGULATIONS

10.55.719. Student Protection Procedures.

(1) A local board of trustees shall adopt a policy designed to deter persistent threatening, insulting, or demeaning gestures or physical conduct, including an intentional written, verbal, or electronic communication or threat directed against a student or students regardless of the underlying reason for such conduct, that:

(a) causes a student physical or emotional harm, damages a student's property, or places a reasonable fear of harm to the student or the student's property;

(b) substantially and materially interferes with access to an educational opportunity or benefit; or

(c) substantially and materially disrupts the orderly operation of the school. [...]

(5) Each local board of trustees has discretion and control over the development of its policies and procedures regarding behavior prohibited under (1), but each district's policies and procedures must include at a minimum: [...]

(b) a procedure for reporting and documenting reported acts of behavior prohibited under (1);

Sub Category
Parental notification
Statute

LAWS

20-1-213. Transfer of school records.

(8)(a) By November 1 and March 1 of each school fiscal year, a local educational agency shall prepare a report to be provided to the director of the Montana youth challenge program subject to subsections (8)(b) and (8)(c) containing the name, last-known address, and dates of attendance of a student who:

(i) is at least 16 years of age but less than 19 years of age;

(ii) was enrolled but is no longer enrolled in a school in the district;

(iii) has not provided school transfer or graduation information to a school in the district; and

(iv) has not received a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma.

(b) After preparing the report in accordance with subsection (8)(a), a local educational agency shall provide written notice to the parent or guardian of the student or to the student if the student is at least 18 years of age or is under 18 years of age and emancipated that the agency intends to provide the report to the director of the Montana youth challenge program. The parent or guardian or the student must be given the opportunity to object to the planned disclosure of the information. If the parent or guardian or the student fails to respond to the notice within 30 days, the local educational agency shall forward the report to the director of the Montana youth challenge program.

20-5-106. Truancy.

(2) If an attendance officer discovers a child is truant l, the attendance officer may make a reasonable effort tonotify the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child that the continued truancy of the child may result in the prosecution of the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child under the provisions of this section. If the child is discovered to be truant after the attendance officer has made a reasonable effort to notify the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child, the attendance officer may require that the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child and the child meet with an individual designated by the school district to formulate a truancy plan to address and resolve the truancy. If the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child fails to meet with the designated individual or fails to uphold the responsibilities under the provisions of the truancy plan, the attendance officer may refer the matter to the prosecuting attorney in a court of competent jurisdiction for a determination regarding whether to prosecute the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child.

20-5-201. Duties and sanctions.

(4) (b) A school district that decides to withhold a pupil's grades, diploma, or transcripts from the pupil and the pupil's parent or guardian pursuant to subsection (4)(a) shall:

(i) upon receiving notice that the pupil has transferred to another school district in the state, notify the pupil's parent or guardian in writing that the school district to which the pupil has transferred will be requested to withhold the pupil's grades, diploma, or transcripts until any obligation has been satisfied;

REGULATIONS

10.16.3346. Special education. Aversive treatment procedures.

(8) When an aversive treatment plan is incorporated in the IEP, the parents must be informed that their consent to the IEP includes consent for the aversive treatment plan. Failure to obtain consent is subject to due process proceedings under ARM 10.16.3507 through 10.16.3523.

(9) Parents must be informed as soon as possible, but no less than 24 hours after the procedure is used, in writing, or orally if in writing is not possible, in their native language each time an aversive procedure is implemented on their child.

10.55.719. Student protection procedures.

(1) A local board of trustees shall adopt a policy designed to deter persistent threatening, insulting, or demeaning gestures or physical conduct, including an intentional written, verbal, or electronic communication or threat directed against a student or students regardless of the underlying reason for such conduct, that:

(a) causes a student physical or emotional harm, damages a student's property, or places a reasonable fear of harm to the student or the student's property;

(b) substantially and materially interferes with access to an educational opportunity or benefit; or

(c) substantially and materially disrupts the orderly operation of the school. [...]

(5) Each local board of trustees has discretion and control over the development of its policies and procedures regarding behavior prohibited under (1), but each district's policies and procedures must include at a minimum: [...]

(e) a procedure for prompt notification, as defined in the district policy, of the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator, or the parents or guardian of such students when the students are minors;

Sub Category
Reporting and referrals between schools and law enforcement
Statute

LAWS

No relevant laws found.

REGULATIONS

10.55.719. Student protection procedures.

(1) A local board of trustees shall adopt a policy designed to deter persistent threatening, insulting, or demeaning gestures or physical conduct, including an intentional written, verbal, or electronic communication or threat directed against a student or students regardless of the underlying reason for such conduct, that:

(a) causes a student physical or emotional harm, damages a student's property, or places a reasonable fear of harm to the student or the student's property;

(b) substantially and materially interferes with access to an educational opportunity or benefit; or

(c) substantially and materially disrupts the orderly operation of the school. [...]

(5) Each local board of trustees has discretion and control over the development of its policies and procedures regarding behavior prohibited under (1), but each district's policies and procedures must include at a minimum: [...]

(d) a procedure for determining whether the reported act is subject to the jurisdiction of the school district or another public agency, including law enforcement, and a procedure for referral to the necessary persons or entity with appropriate jurisdiction;

Sub Category
Disclosure of school records
Statute

LAWS

20-1-213. Transfer of school records.

(1) Subject to the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, as amended, and its implementing regulations at 34 CFR, part 99, and to the provisions of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1411 through 1420, and its implementing regulations at 34 CFR, part 300, local educational agencies and accredited schools shall adopt a policy that a certified copy of the permanent file, as defined by the board of public education, and the file containing special education records of a student will be forwarded by mail or electronically to a local educational agency or accredited school in which the student seeks or intends to enroll within 5 working days after a receipt of a written or electronic request.

(2) If records cannot be forwarded within 5 days, the local educational agency or accredited school shall notify the requestor in writing or electronically providing the reasons why the local educational agency or accredited school is unable to comply within the 5-day timeframe and the local educational agency or accredited school shall provide the date by which the requested records will be transferred.

(3) A local educational agency or accredited school may not refuse to transfer files because a student owes fines or fees.

(4) The files that are forwarded must include education records in the permanent file, special education records, and any disciplinary actions taken against the student that are educationally related.

(5) A local educational agency or accredited school may release student information to the juvenile justice system to assist the system's ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records are released under provisions of 20 U.S.C. 1232g(B)(1)(E) of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. The official to whom the records are disclosed shall certify in writing to the sending official that the information will not, except as provided by law, be disclosed to any other party without prior written consent of the parent of the student.

(6) The superintendent of public instruction is encouraged to contact other states or provinces and may enter into reciprocal records transfer agreements with the superintendent of public instruction or a department of education of any state or province. The superintendent of public instruction shall supply a copy of any reciprocal records transfer agreement that is executed to the county superintendent of each county that may be affected by the agreement.

(7) Upon request, the local educational agency or accredited school shall transfer by mail or electronically a copy of the permanent file to a nonpublic school or facility.

(8)(a) By November 1 and March 1 of each school fiscal year, a local educational agency shall prepare a report to be provided to the director of the Montana youth challenge program subject to subsections (8)(b) and (8)(c) containing the name, last-known address, and dates of attendance of a student who:

(i) is at least 16 years of age but less than 19 years of age;

(ii) was enrolled but is no longer enrolled in a school in the district;

(iii) has not provided school transfer or graduation information to a school in the district; and

(iv) has not received a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma.

(b) After preparing the report in accordance with subsection (8)(a), a local educational agency shall provide written notice to the parent or guardian of the student or to the student if the student is at least 18 years of age or is under 18 years of age and emancipated that the agency intends to provide the report to the director of the Montana youth challenge program. The parent or guardian or the student must be given the opportunity to object to the planned disclosure of the information. If the parent or guardian or the student fails to respond to the notice within 30 days, the local educational agency shall forward the report to the director of the Montana youth challenge program.

(c) The report provided by the local educational agency may not include a student who:

(i) is receiving medical care or treatment that prohibits school attendance;

(ii) is enrolled in a foreign exchange program;

(iii) is enrolled in an early admissions college program;

(iv) is participating in a job corps program, an adult basic education program, or an accredited apprenticeship program; or

(v) is excused from school for a reason determined acceptable by the local educational agency.

(d) The official to whom the information in subsection (8)(a) is provided shall certify in writing to the local educational agency that is providing the information that the information will not be disclosed to any other party except as necessary to recruit and retain students.

(9) As used in this section, "local educational agency" means a public school district or a state-funded school.

20-5-201. Duties and sanctions.

(4) (b) A school district that decides to withhold a pupil's grades, diploma, or transcripts from the pupil and the pupil's parent or guardian pursuant to subsection (4)(a) shall:

(i) upon receiving notice that the pupil has transferred to another school district in the state, notify the pupil's parent or guardian in writing that the school district to which the pupil has transferred will be requested to withhold the pupil's grades, diploma, or transcripts until any obligation has been satisfied;

(ii) forward appropriate grades or transcripts to the school to which the pupil has transferred;

(iii) at the same time, notify the school district of any financial obligation of the pupil and request the withholding of the pupil's grades, diploma, or transcripts until any obligations are met;

(iv) when the pupil or the pupil's parent or guardian satisfies the obligation, inform the school district to which the pupil has transferred; and

(v) adopt a policy regarding a process for a pupil or the pupil's parent or guardian to appeal the school district's decision to request that another school district withhold a pupil's grades, diploma, or transcripts.

REGULATIONS

10.55.909. Student records.

(1) Each school shall keep, in secure storage, a permanent file of students' records, that shall include:

(a) the name and address of the student;

(b) his/her parent or guardian;

(c) birth date;

(d) academic work completed;

(e) level of achievement (grades, standardized achievement tests);

(f) immunization records as per 20-5-406, MCA;

(g) attendance data; and

(h) the statewide student identifier assigned by the Office of Public Instruction.

(2) The local board of trustees shall establish policies and procedures for the use and transfer of student records that are in compliance with 20-1-213, MCA, and state and federal laws governing individual privacy. All educational records collected and maintained by a school shall be kept in a confidential manner according to the implementing regulations of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) at 34 CFR part 99.

(3) The local board of trustees shall develop a process for destruction of records pursuant to 20-1-213, MCA, including nonpermanent student records. Nonpermanent student records are records retained in a central file maintained by the school containing a student's cumulative educational records, which are not retained as a student's permanent record detailed in (1).

(4) All inactive permanent records from a school that closes shall be sent to the county superintendent or the appropriate county official.

10.55.910. Student discipline records.

(1) Each school shall maintain a record of any disciplinary action that is educationally related, with explanation, taken against the student. When a local board of trustees takes disciplinary action against a student, the board must take minutes of the action taken, with detailed explanation, even if the disciplinary action is decided during a closed session. For the purpose of this rule, a disciplinary action that is educationally related is an action that results in the expulsion or out-of-school suspension of the student. This record must be maintained/destroyed consistent with Montana Local Government Records Schedule 7, and is subject to transfer to a local educational agency, accredited school, or nonpublic school pursuant to 20-1-213, MCA.

Sub Category
Data collection, review, and reporting of disciplinary policies and actions
Statute

LAWS

20-5-202. Suspension and expulsion.

(2)(a) The trustees of a district shall adopt a policy for the expulsion of a student who is determined to have brought a firearm, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921, to school and for referring the matter to the appropriate local law enforcement agency. A student who is determined to have brought a firearm to school under this subsection must be expelled from school for a period of not less than 1 year, except that the trustees may authorize the school administration to modify the requirement for expulsion of a student on a case-by-case basis. The trustees shall annually review its weapons policy and any policy adopted under this subsection (2)(a) and update the policies as determined necessary by the trustees based on changing circumstances pertaining to school safety.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

Major Category
School Resource and Safety Officers (SROs/SSOs) and Truant/Attendance Officers
Sub Category
Authority and power to implement school arrest
Statute

LAWS

20-5-104. Attendance officer.

In order to enforce the compulsory attendance provisions of this title, each district shall have at least one person serving as an attendance officer according to the following requirements:

(1) districts of the first class and districts of the second class with a dropout rate higher than the statewide average dropout rate as calculated by the office of public instruction shall appoint one or more of the district's staff as attendance officers;

(2) districts of the second class with a dropout rate at or below the statewide average dropout rate as calculated by the office of public instruction and districts of the third class may appoint one or more of the district's staff as attendance officers; or

(3) the county superintendent must be the attendance officer in third-class districts that do not appoint an attendance officer.

20-5-105. Attendance officer -- powers and duties.

The attendance officer of a district:

(1) must, subject to district policy, be vested with police powers, the authority to serve warrants, and the authority to enter places of employment of children in order to enforce the compulsory attendance provisions of this title;

(2) may, subject to district policy, take into custody any child subject to compulsory attendance who is not excused under the provisions of this title and conduct the child to the school in which the child is or should be enrolled;

(3) may, subject to district policy, do whatever else is required to investigate and enforce the compulsory attendance provisions of this title and the pupil attendance policies of the trustees;

(4) may, subject to district policy, institute proceedings against any parent, guardian, or other person violating the compulsory attendance provisions of this title;

(5) may, subject to district policy, keep a record of transactions for the inspection and information of the trustees and shall make reports in the manner and to whomever the trustees designate; and

(6) may, subject to district policy, perform any other duties prescribed by the trustees to preserve the morals and secure good conduct of the pupils of the district.

20-5-106. Truancy.

(1) For the purposes of this part "truant" or "truancy" means the persistent nonattendance without excuse, as defined by district policy, for all or any part of a school day equivalent to the length of one class period of a child required to attend a school under 20-5-103.

(2) If an attendance officer discovers a child is truant , the attendance officer may make a reasonable effort to notify the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child that the continued truancy of the child may result in the prosecution of the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child under the provisions of this section. If the child is discovered to be truant after the attendance officer has made a reasonable effort to notify the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child, the attendance officer may require that the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child and the child meet with an individual designated by the school district to formulate a truancy plan to address and resolve the truancy. If the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child fails to meet with the designated individual or fails to uphold the responsibilities under the provisions of the truancy plan, the attendance officer may refer the matter to the prosecuting attorney in a court of competent jurisdiction for a determination regarding whether to prosecute the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child.

(3)(a) If convicted, the person shall be fined not more than $100, ordered to perform up to 20 hours of community service, or required to give bond in the penal sum of $100, with sureties, conditioned on the person's agreement to cooperate with the district in implementing the truancy plan provided for in subsection (2) for the remainder of the current school term.

(b) If a person fails to comply with an order of the court issued under subsection (3)(a), the person may be imprisoned in the county jail for a term of not more than 3 days.

(4)(a) If the child is discovered by the attendance officer to be truant on 9 or more days or 54 or more parts of a day in 1 school year, the child may be referred to youth court as habitually truant under Title 41, chapter 5.

(b) Following a referral to youth court under subsection (4)(a), an attendance officer shall inform the youth court of any subsequent truancies by the child, and the youth court may find the child to be a youth in need of intervention pursuant to 41-5-103 and make any of the dispositions provided in 41-5-1512."

20-5-107. Incapacitated and indigent child attendance.

In lieu of the provisions of 20-5-106 and when an attendance officer is satisfied that a pupil or a child subject to compulsory attendance is not able to attend school because the child does not have the physical capacity or the child is absolutely required to work at home or elsewhere in order to provide support for the child or the child's family, the attendance officer shall report the case to the authorities charged with the relief of the poor. The welfare authorities shall offer relief that will enable the child to attend school. If the parent, guardian, or other person who is responsible for the care of the child denies or neglects the assistance offered to enable the child to attend school, the child must be committed to a state institution, at the discretion of the court.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

Sub Category
Certification or training
Statute

No relevant laws or regulations found.

Sub Category
MOUs, authorization, and/or funding
Statute

No relevant laws or regulations found.

Major Category
State Education Agency Support
Sub Category
State model policies and implementation support
Statute

No relevant laws or regulations found.

Sub Category
Funding appropriations
Statute

No relevant laws or regulations found.

Major Category
Other/Uncategorized
Sub Category
Professional immunity or liability
Statute

LAWS

20-4-302. Discipline and punishment of pupils -- definition of corporal punishment -- penalty -- defense.

(7) If a person who is employed or engaged by a school district uses corporal punishment or more physical restraint than is reasonable or necessary, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction of the misdemeanor by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be fined not less than $25 or more than $500.

(8) A person named as a defendant in an action brought under this section may assert as an affirmative defense that the use of physical restraint was reasonable or necessary. If that defense is denied by the person bringing the charge, the issue of whether the restraint used was reasonable or necessary must be determined by the trier of fact.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

Sub Category
Community input or involvement
Statute

No relevant laws or regulations found.

Sub Category
Other or Uncategorized
Statute

LAWS

20-5-502. Enrollment by caretaker relative -- residency -- affidavit.

(3) If the child was subject to formal disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion, at the child's previous school, the school district in which the caretaker relative seeks to enroll the child may either implement the previous school district's disciplinary action without further due process or hold a hearing and determine whether the student's conduct in the previous school district merits denial of enrollment. If the district decides to enroll the child, then the school district may require the child to comply with a behavior contract as a condition of enrollment.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

Major Category
Sub Category
Statute
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