This handbook gives parents/guardians of elementary school students written discipline rules which have been adopted by the Hamilton Southeastern School Board of Trustees annually. Many of these rules are common sense rules for a safe school. However, for parents they are written from a legal perspective. Teachers will work with students to devise classroom rules. These rules will be easily understood by elementary students. Classroom and school rules will be made available to parents. All students are expected to follow all school and classroom rules and procedures. This handbook meets legal requirements for those few students who need behavior intervention and serious consequences. Failure to follow rules and procedures may result in the student being suspended, expelled, or excluded from the regular school day. Hamilton Southeastern Schools has adopted a plan for the safe restraint and seclusion of students. The plan is available via the HSE website under Board Docs policy J10.00.
Students are expected to show respect to everyone in the school setting. This includes, but is not limited to, peers, teachers, instructional assistants, custodians, dining room staff, bus drivers, parents, and special visitors. Images or language that create a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class or marginalized group is strictly prohibited. This includes micro-aggressions and hate speech.
Microaggressions can be defined as everyday, subtle, intentional or unintentional interactions or behaviors that communicate some sort of bias toward stigmatized, or culturally or historically marginalized groups. While Hamilton Southeastern High School understands those individuals communicating a microaggression might not intend to express bias, the school recognizes the responsibility to educate students on the reality of bias perceptions. Issues regarding microaggressions may be addressed through restorative conversations led by school administration, teachers, and/or guidance counselors rather than punitive measures. Habitual occurrences could lead to consequences applicable to inappropriate conduct as defined in Section 28.
DRESSING FOR SCHOOL
- Students may not leave the school grounds without written permission or signed out at the school office by a parent/guardian or other authorized adult.
- Students are expected to respect other students by not putting hands on other students.
- Students are expected to respect school property and the property of others.
- Students are expected to have and use backpacks to bring books and school related items to and from school. Backpacks are required to be labeled with the student’s name and teacher per building policy.
- Students are not allowed in unsupervised areas before, during or after school.
- Students are not allowed to sell or trade items at school.
- Food is not to be taken from the cafeteria, nor to be consumed at anytime other than lunch without specific permission from a staff member. Chewing gum and candy are not allowed during the school day unless under the direct supervision of an adult. Carbonated beverages are not allowed to be brought to school for lunch.
- No student will be allowed to disrupt the educational process.
- Students are not allowed to possess dangerous or illegal items, including drugs, weapons, or any item that can reasonably be considered to be a weapon. Students with knowledge of such items on school grounds are to report the information to school personnel.
- Students are to refrain from the use of force, violence, noise, coercion, threats, intimidation, fear, passive resistance, or other comparable conduct constituting an interference with school purposes or urging others to engage in such conduct.
- All types of tobacco, electronic cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol are strictly prohibited.
- Except as approved either by a teacher in connection with a class assignment, project, or demonstration or by the building principal, a student may not possess in a school building:
- Knives, laser pointers or any object that is readily capable of causing injury
- Explosives, including all fireworks, model rocketry engines, smoke bombs, stink bombs and similar devices
Hamilton Southeastern Schools students are expected to maintain an appearance that is appropriate for school and conducive to the educational atmosphere. The appearance and dress of any student is the primary responsibility of both the student and the parent/guardian.
Student clothing and appearance should not draw undue attention from other students or faculty or disrupt the normal routine. If there is doubt about the appropriateness of a garment, it should not be worn. Attire typically worn at the beach is not appropriate for school. Clothing and/or any adornment displaying messages or images not appropriate for school. Examples would be messages containing profanity; sexual innuendo; references to drugs, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or violence; or messages that incite hate towards other students or student groups. Culturally and religious-based head coverings are permitted. Attire that may damage school property (such as chains) or pose a danger to the safety of students and staff members (such as “Heelies”) shall not be worn. Shoes shall be worn at all times.
It is the policy of the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Corporation to maintain learning and working environments that are free from sexual harassment. It is a violation of this policy for any employee or student to harass another employee or student through conduct or communications of a sexual nature.
This student code of conduct has been established in accordance with Indiana State Law. Students will not be allowed to engage in any activity forbidden by the laws of Indiana that constitute an interference with school purposes or an educational function. Those activities could include but are not inclusive of possessing explosives, detonating devices, and fireworks and/or possession or being under the influence of tobacco, harmful drugs, alcoholic beverage, non-alcoholic beer, stimulant, caffeine-based drug, or intoxicant or inhalants of any kind. Indiana law authorizes the school board to prohibit unlawful activity by a student on or off school grounds. This includes before, during, and after school hours. It also includes any school activity or function (including summer school) or traveling to or from school or any school activity or function. If the unlawful activity may reasonably be considered to be an interference with school purposes or an educational function or the student’s removal is necessary to restore order or protect persons on school property, a student may be expelled or suspended.
(a) Bullying is prohibited by HSE schools. Students who commit any acts of bullying are subject to discipline including but not limited to suspension, expulsion, arrest, and/or prosecution.
(b) Definition: “Bullying” is defined as overt, unwanted, repeated acts or gestures, including verbal or written communications or images transmitted in any manner (including digitally or electronically); physical acts committed; aggression; or any other behaviors committed by a student or group of students against another student with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate, or harm the targeted student, creating for the targeted student an objectively hostile school environment that:
- places the targeted student in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or property;
- has a substantially detrimental effect on the targeted student’s physical or mental health;
- has the effect of substantially interfering with the targeted student’s academic performance; or
- has the effect of substantially interfering with the targeted student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by the school.
Bullying does not include, and should not be interpreted to impose any burden or sanction on, the following:
- participating in a religious event;
- acting in an emergency involving the protection of a person or property from an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or substantial danger;
- participating in an activity consisting of the exercise of a student's freedom of speech rights;
- participating in an activity conducted by a nonprofit or governmental entity that provides recreation, education, training, or other care under the supervision of one (1) or more adults;
- participating in an activity undertaken at the prior written direction of the student's parent; or
- engaging in interstate or international travel from a location outside Indiana to another location outside Indiana.
(c) Applicability: HSE schools prohibits bullying in all forms. This policy may be applied regardless of the physical location in which the bullying behavior occurred, whenever the individual committing the bullying behavior and any of the intended targets of the bullying behavior are students attending a school within the school district and disciplinary action is reasonably necessary to avoid substantial interference with school discipline or prevent an unreasonable threat to the rights of others to a safe and peaceful learning environment. HSE schools prohibits bullying through the use of data or computer software that is accessed through any computer, computer system, or computer network.
(d) Education: HSE schools will provide training and/or instruction on anti-bullying prevention and policy to all students in grades 1 through 12, as well as staff, in accordance with Indiana law.
(e) Reporting: Anyone who believes that a student has possibly been or is the victim of bullying is encouraged to immediately report the situation to an appropriate staff member such as a teacher, school counselor, or administrator (including the school district lead administrator). All staff, volunteers, and contracted service providers who observe or receive a report of suspected bullying shall notify a designated school administrator in charge of receiving reports of suspected bullying within the same day. If a staff member does not know who to make a report to, he or she should report directly to the building principal or school district lead administrator. Bullying reports to the department of child services and/or law enforcement must be made as required by law, such as when a staff member believes that a student is the victim of abuse or neglect. Any person who makes a report of bullying and requests to remain anonymous will not be personally identified as the reporter or complainant to extent permitted by law. HSE schools will act appropriately to discipline staff members, volunteers, or contracted service providers who receive a report of bullying and fail to initiate or conduct an investigation of a bullying incident and for persons who falsely report an incident of bullying. The school district will act appropriately to discipline students, staff members, visitors, or volunteers who make false reports of bullying.
(f) Investigation: once a report of suspected bullying is received by the designated school administrator, an expedited investigation shall follow. The investigation should be facilitated by the designated school administrator or other appropriate school staff. Information relating to the investigation will be gathered using means including, but not limited to: witness interviews, request for written witness statements, record identification and review, and an assessment of whether bullying occurred. The investigation will be initiated within one (1) school day of the report to the designated school administrator and will ordinarily be completed within ten (10) school days.
(g) Intervention/Responses: if a report of suspected bullying is substantiated through an investigation, then the school district shall take appropriate intervention and responses as consistent with policy and procedure. HSE schools will take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to stop the bullying, remedy the bullying, and prevent the bullying from recurring. Interventions and responses include, but are not limited to: separating the bully and the target; follow-up school counseling for the target; bullying education for the bully; and prompt disciplinary action against the bully. These steps should not penalize the target of the bullying. Disciplinary actions against the bully may include, but are not limited to suspension and expulsion. Also, if the acts of bullying rise to the level of serious criminal offense the matter may be referred to law enforcement. HSE schools shall inform the parents of all students involved in alleged incidents, and, as appropriate, may discuss the availability of counseling and other intervention services.
(h) Parental involvement: Parents are encouraged to be involved in the process of minimizing bullying. Parents should report suspected acts of bullying to an appropriate school official. In addition, parents of students suspected of bullying will be notified with a phone call or through other appropriate means of communication. Conversely, parents of students suspected of being the target of acts of bullying will also be notified with a phone call or through other means of appropriate communication. Parent notifications will occur in an expedited manner within two (2) school days after the designated school administrator receives the report of suspected bullying. Parents of students who are disciplined for acts of bullying will be involved in the disciplinary process consistent with the law and school district policy.
(i) Reporting to IDOE: Each school within the school district will record and report to the district lead administrator or his or her designee the frequency of bullying incidents in the following categories: verbal bullying, physical bullying, social/relational bullying, and electronic/written communication bullying (or a combination or two or more of the above categories). The corporation lead administrator or his or her designee shall report the number of bullying incidents by category for each school and the entire corporation for each school term to the Indiana Department of Education by July 1.
SCHOOL BUILDING AUTHORITY—
A student violating a school rule may be subject to consequences including time-out, loss of recess, lunch detention, in and out of school suspensions, and expulsion. Those rules should emphasize developing positive behavior and attitudes rather than purely imposing punishment and may require restitution in the case of damage to property.
SERIOUS DISCIPLINE CONSEQUENCES
In-school reassignment is a method of school discipline that provides the student with the opportunity to remain in a school setting. Classroom assignments will be provided to the student for completion and full credit before returning to regular classes. Students who are assigned in-school reassignment remain in that atmosphere for the school day under the supervision of office or school personnel. If the student becomes uncooperative or does not follow the rules established for the classroom, suspension out of school will substitute for in-school reassignment. Students serving an in-school reassignment will not be able to attend any extra-curricular activities on the in-school reassignment day.
In some cases it becomes necessary to assign out-of-school- suspension. This is usually the result of a serious infraction, refusal to comply with lesser disciplinary penalty, or chronic misbehavior. Indiana law defines grounds for suspension or expulsion as “student misconduct or substantial disobedience”. During such suspension, the student is in the care of parents. The student should not be present on school grounds without the permission of the school principal. Students are not to attend any extra-curricular activities while they are suspended out of school.
—Hamilton Southeastern Schools will not use corporal punishment as a method to correct misbehavior.
STUDENT DUE PROCESS
The procedures for administering student discipline and due process are provided by Indiana law. The Hamilton Southeastern School Board adopts the Indiana Statutes as the official policy and administrative procedures of Hamilton Southeastern Schools unless applicable federal law requires otherwise. Per Indiana law, authorities are to inform law enforcement agencies, in writing, when violations involving controlled substances occur within a school environment. Under Indiana law, a student bringing a firearm or destructive device to school or on school property or in possession of a firearm or destructive device on school property must be expelled from school for a period of at least one calendar year. Under Indiana law, a student bringing a deadly weapon, other than a firearm, to school or on school property or in possession of a deadly weapon on school property may be expelled for a period of not more than one calendar year.
ATTENDING CLASS EQUALS SUCCESS (ACES) PROGRAM
is a proactive program sponsored by the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office. Its purpose is to promote good school attendance by enforcing the legal obligations of compulsory school attendance noted in Indiana Law.
Students may be referred by HSE Schools to the Hamilton County Deputy Prosecutor for the Town of Fishers for participation in the program for being truant from school or having unexcused absences.
Students with absences without a doctor’s note that exceed 8 days per semester or 16 days per school year are considered unexcused and may also result in a referral to the ACES program.
All students can ride the school bus to and from school daily. Families can access specific bus expectations on the Transportation page of the website.
TELEPHONE CALLS AND EMAILS
The school is always ready to render necessary services in delivering important messages to teachers and students. We cannot, however, call either students or teachers to the phone during class time, except for emergencies. Voice mail is available twenty-four hours for parents to leave messages for teachers. If a message is to be relayed before the end of the school day, please make sure the office takes the message.
In order to encourage student responsibility, students cannot use the school telephone except for emergencies. We do not allow calls for forgotten items or notes. Each staff member has an HSE email account. Please make sure you reference your child in the subject line of the email. We often do not open mail that is not identified. Please remember that staff members may not get to email during the school day.