PYLUSD Middle School
Student Code of Conduct
A goal of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District is to assist each student to become productive and an effective citizen in our democratic society. We are confident that the vast majority of students will work toward this goal by respecting the rights of others, respecting personal and school property, and by practicing acceptable patterns of behavior and courtesy.
The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to ensure a safe and orderly educational climate conducive to learning. Students are expected to demonstrate responsible behavior that does not interfere with the safety, well-being, or educational opportunities for themselves or others.
In an effort to encourage the appropriate behavior of students, we have established a positive support program (PBIS); however, disciplinary action will result when students fail to meet the established behavioral expectations. A student may be disciplined for acts that are related to school activities, which occur at any time including, but not limited to, any of the following:
- While on the grounds of any PYLUSD campus
- While going to or coming from home to school
- Off campus during school hours
- During, or while going to or coming from, a school sponsored activity
If a student is absent one or more days, the student must clear the absence in one of the following ways:
- When a student is absent, a parent or guardian should call the attendance office as early as possible on the day of the absence. Please call 714-986-7480, then press #3 to record the absence. This line is available 24 hours a day.
- If the attendance office has not been notified of the absence, or if the absence will exceed three days, upon return to school, the student must bring a note to the attendance window, written and signed by a parent, guardian, or doctor explaining the reason for the absence.
- Upon return to school, students have 48 hours to clear an absence. If a student does not clear an absence, in writing or by call, after 48 hours that absence will be permanently marked as truant. Consequences will be assigned for truancies and/or failure to clear an absence within 48 hours.
Excused absences will be issued for the following reasons (EC §48205):
- Legal matters, medical visits, medical illness, personal reasons approved by the principal, or religious business, all of which must be accompanied by proper documentation
- Death in immediate family
- Illness (3 or more consecutive days requires a doctor’s note)
- Excuse to obtain confidential medical services (EC §46010.1): Pupils in grades 7 to 12 may be excused from school for the purpose of obtaining confidential medical services, without the consent of the pupil’s parent/guardian (physician’s note required upon return).
ATTENDANCE VIOLATIONS AND CONSEQUENCES
AUTOMATED PHONE CALL: An automated phone call will go out daily whenever a student is marked absent two or more periods. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure absences are cleared. Parent/guardians are able to check attendance through the Aeries System.
EXCESSIVE EXCUSED AND UNEXCUSED ABSENCES:
When a student accumulates absences, the following interventions will take place:
Absences 1-7 Parent contact
Absences 8-9 Excessive excused notification to parent by mail
Absences 10-14 Parent invitation to Student Attendance Review Team (S.A.R.T.)
Absences 15-19 Parent invitation to District Attendance Review Team (D.A.R.T.)
Absence 20 Truancy intervention process initiated by PYLUSD’s Office of Student Services and all future absences will be marked truant (code R) unless documented (code D)
OFF-CAMPUS PASS: For a student to leave the campus while school is in session, the student must have an Off-Campus Pass. The student will need to present that Off-Campus Pass when they return from the absence. For planned absences, the student must have a note signed by a parent. In the event of a personal or family emergency, the counseling or attendance office must get approval from a parent, or his/her designee, before the student may leave the campus. Please remember that phone calls for parent pick-up may delay the release of the student due to unforeseen circumstances. If the student leaves without an Off-Campus Pass, the student will be truant and will not be allowed to clear the truancy. Off-Campus Passes will be issued (except for emergency reasons) before school, during break, and at lunch from the Attendance Office.
TARDY SWEEP: Students out on campus and not in their classes after the late bell rings may be escorted to the office and assigned detention or Saturday School hours.
TARDIES (per semester): As per district policy, the Attendance Office will only excuse tardiness if you provide the office with proper documentation by a reason stated in California Education Code 48205 -- legal matters (court documentation), religious business (official letter from religious institution), medical visit (doctor office note), medical illness (doctor note).
Any student not in class on time may be subject to the following:
Tardy 1-4 Handled by teacher, Parent contact, Teacher assigned consequence
(1st Period may be handled by office)
Tardy 5-7 Referral to office, Parent contact, After school detention
Tardy 8-9 Referral to office, Parent contact, Saturday School or similar consequence
Tardy 10 or more Referral to Office, Parent conference, Behavior Contract, In-House Suspension
Loss of student privileges
TRUANCIES (per year): Any student who is absent from school or tardy to any class in excess of 30 minutes without a valid excuse is considered truant and will be subject to the following:
Incidents 1-4 Parent contact, Saturday School
Incidents 5-6 Parent contact, Saturday School, Loss of student privileges, Parent invitation to S.A.R.T.
Incident 7 Parent contact, Saturday School, Parent invitation to D.A.R.T. meeting
Incident 8 Parent contact, Saturday School, Parent invitation to District Attorney meeting
Incident 9 Parent contact, Saturday School, Parent invitation to S.A.R.B. meeting
Incident 10 Parent contact, Saturday School, Student file forwarded to probation
OFF CAMPUS OR LEAVING SCHOOL WITHOUT PERMIT: Out-of-bounds includes: parking lots, fields, athletic courts, driveways, or other designated campus areas.
Incident 1 Parent contact, Subject to search, Saturday School or similar consequence
Incident 2 Parent contact, Subject to search, In-House/School Suspension 1 day
Incident 3 Subject to search, Behavior Contract, Parent conference, School suspension 1-3 days
Incident 4 Subject to search, School suspension 3-5 days, Site Guidance Meeting / Possible
HEALTH SERVICES AND MEDICATION DURING SCHOOL
The school does not have a school nurse on campus; however, there is a Health Clerk on campus for a limited time each day. There is a school nurse that covers the health needs at each school and communicates frequently with the Health Clerk. Please contact the Health Office if you would like to be contacted by the school nurse. Please indicate health issues on the Health Card or contact the school Health Office. Ill students cannot be sent home without parent/guardian permission, or that of another adult so designated by the parents on the Emergency Data Card and/or Health Card. If it is necessary for a student to take medication during school hours, the health care provider and parent must fill out the Request for Medication form which can be found on the district’s health service website or the school Health Office. IT IS ILLEGAL FOR A STUDENT TO BE IN POSSESSION OF MEDICATION ON HIS/HER PERSON WHEN ON CAMPUS UNLESS DOCUMENTATION FROM ISSUING HEALTH CARE PROVIDER IS ON FILE IN THE HEALTH OFFICE FOR MEDICATION BEING TAKEN. If an exclusion for PE has been written by the health care provider, it must indicate the specific physical limitation/duration for the student (duration no longer than one semester). Have the student bring the written statement to the Health Office. Health care providers’ requests at the end of grading periods are not acceptable to excuse students for prior absences. IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT THE EMERGENCY CARD AND HEALTH CARD BE KEPT UPDATED.
If a student is found to be in possession of medications not documented by the Health Office, depending on the circumstances, action will include one or more of the following: Parent conference, School suspension 1-5 days, Police involvement, Behavior Contract, Saturday School, Administrative Transfer.
LUNCH DELIVERIES: All middle schools are closed campuses. If you must deliver a lunch for your student, you must deliver it to the office. It is the student’s responsibility to pick up their lunch from the main office.
CLASSROOM STANDARDS: Each classroom teacher has established classroom learning/behavior standards which include recognition and consequences. Consequences could include detention with the teacher before school, at break or lunch, or after school. Any behaviors which create a habitual concern in the classroom will be communicated with parents, and appropriate consequences will be given prior to a referral to administration. Intervention strategies as developed by the student, parent, and teacher will be implemented. Students who habitually display negative behaviors, or whose behavior seriously disrupts the educational process, may be referred to the assistant principal or counselor. Referrals may result in administrative action.
GUESTS AND VISITORS: Students may not invite guests to school as it detracts from the classroom learning environment. All visitors must report to the school office to obtain permission to enter the campus to conduct authorized school business. All visitors must wear an ID badge at all times when on campus.
GIFTS: We cannot disrupt the educational process with flowers, balloons, or other large items; therefore, we do not allow gift items.
CAMPUS SALES AND SOLICITATIONS: Only authorized school organizations are permitted to sponsor on campus sales and fundraisers during the year. There shall be absolutely no soliciting of funds on campus for any activity that has not been approved by the Activities Office. School organizations must apply for fundraising dates through the Activities Office.
SEARCH AND SEIZURE: In an ongoing effort to maintain a safe and secure campus, the law provides school officials with the right to search students and their possessions when they have a “reasonable suspicion” that a student may be in possession of contraband or dangerous objects. We hope all students will be cooperative as the school official(s) will make every attempt to be unobtrusive and respectful of privacy. Students should be aware that grounds for suspicion commonly includes being “out-of-bounds” without permission or a report by another student, parent, or staff member of possession of contraband or dangerous objects. Students should also be aware that they will be held responsible for any contraband or dangerous objects found in their possession as it will be considered their property. If a student should discover contraband or dangerous objects on campus, he or she should go directly to the Assistant Principal or other staff member and report it without delay. (Education Code 49050)
SCHOOL DRESS CODE
Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District School Board Policy establishes that students shall wear appropriate clothing and footwear and groom themselves for school in a manner that does not discriminate against participants in, or substantially disrupt, the educational program. The administration and staff believe that dress affects the academic environment at school and, in some cases, can be disruptive to the learning environment. Therefore, the dress code applies at all times to students while on campus or in attendance at any school event.
The following items are examples and not intended to be a complete list of rules regarding dress:
- Clothing, jewelry and personal items (backpacks, fanny packs, gym bags, water bottles etc.) shall be free of writing, pictures or any other insignia which are crude, vulgar, profane or sexually suggestive, which bear drug, alcohol or tobacco company advertising, promotions and likenesses, or which advocate racial, ethnic or religious prejudice.
- Clothes shall be sufficient to conceal undergarments at all times. See-through or fish-net fabrics, halter tops, off-the-shoulder or low-cut tops, bare midriffs and skirts or shorts shorter than mid-thigh are prohibited.
- Pants must be worn near waist level; oversized clothing is unacceptable.
- Outer clothing must be in good repair.
- Shoes must be worn at all times. No open toed shoes allowed. All shoes must have a back.
- All decisions regarding interpretation of dress code will be determined by administration. Actions may include one or more of the following:
Incident 1 Item may be confiscated, alternative clothing loaned, warning given, parent, contacted
Incident 2 Item will be confiscated, alternative clothing loaned, parent conference, detention.
Incident 3 Item will be confiscated, alternative clothing loaned, parent conference, Saturday School /
Saturday Work hours assigned, possible student contract.
Incident 4 Item will be confiscated, alternative clothing loaned, parent conference held, in-house
suspension, student placed on behavior contract.
Incident 5 Item will be confiscated, alternative clothing loaned, parent conference held, student placed on
Behavior contract, student may lose privileges to participate in school activities, school
suspension (Ed Code 48900(k) Defiance)
The administration reserves the right to utilize administrative discretion to add or delete items on this list as needed to maintain a safe and nurturing educational environment.
Parents will be notified of changes through direct email communication.
ELECTRONIC SIGNALING DEVICES (CELL PHONES)
It is the intent of the school in exercising its authority to regulate the use of cell phones to establish guidelines and regulations that will ensure the continuation of a positive climate for learning free from unnecessary disruptions. Although state law no longer prohibits students from possessing cell phones, restrictions of their use on a school campus must exist to ensure such use does not infringe upon the rights of others or interfere with classroom instruction or other school activities. The school does not encourage student possession or use of cell phones on campus and does not assume liability if such devices are damaged, lost, or stolen.
Cell phones shall remain turned off and put away during the school day unless teacher approval is given.
If the privilege of having these devices at school is abused and the possession or use of a cell phone violates this policy, the school has the right to revoke the privilege. Depending on the circumstances, actions may include one or more of the following:
Incident 1 Item confiscated*, warning and Parent pick-up
Incident 2 Item confiscated*, Parent pick-up, Detention
Incident 3 Item confiscated*, Parent pick-up, Saturday School,
Incident 4 Item confiscated*, Behavior Contract, Parent conference, In-House Suspension
The school does not assume liability for any prohibited item that has been confiscated including loss, damage, or theft of confiscated item. *Item can be retrieved in the office at the end of the school day.
The Physical Education Department requires uniforms for all students enrolled in the regular program. The uniform will consist of a t-shirt with the student’s name on the front and shorts. P.E. uniforms can be purchased during the summer registration days or through the Physical Education Department at any time after registration. If you have any questions regarding the purchasing of the P.E. uniforms, please contact the P.E. Department or main office. If a student does not come prepared to class in their physical education clothes/uniform and refuses to use loaner clothes, action will include one or more of the following:
Incident 1 Warning, Loss of participation points
Incident 2 Loss of participation points, Teacher assigned detention
Incident 3 Saturday School, Parent contact
Incident 4 Loss of participation points, Saturday School, Parent contact
Incident 5 Loss of participation points, Saturday School, In-House Suspension, Parent conference, Behavior
COMPUTER, NETWORK, OR INTERNET MISUSE
Misuse includes, but is not limited to, changing program controls, wallpaper, keyboard, adding or deleting programs without permission, chat room involvement, vulgar/sexually explicit sites, or any site that is not appropriate for the education, safety, and well-being of the student body. Personal email shall only be accessed with instructor’s permission and strictly for academic purposes. USB or external drives are not permitted for use on school computers without permission from the teacher and are subject to scan/search to ensure safety. Students are responsible for the content of the drive and should be sure it contains nothing in violation of the school rules.
Students who violate the Network/Internet Acceptable Use Agreement, misuse electronic resources, or violate state or federal laws may be subject to disciplinary action, loss of access privileges and/or be subject to legal action in accordance with law and Board policy. (cf. 5144 - Discipline) (cf. 5144.1 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process) (cf. 5144.2 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process (Students with Disabilities)). We support the parent's or guardian's right to authorize or decline Internet access for their student.
BICYCLES, SKATEBOARDS AND SCOOTERS: California law requires students to wear helmets when riding bicycles, skateboards, scooters, etc. They are not permitted on campus or in classrooms, and must be stored in designated racks during school hours, otherwise they will be confiscated and released to the parent. Actions may include one or more of the following:
Incident 1 Confiscation, Parent contact, Detention,
Incident 2 Confiscation, Parent contact, Saturday School, Revocation of Privileges,
Incident 3 Confiscation, Parent contact, Revocation of Privileges, Saturday School, Police citation,
Incident 4 Confiscation, Parent contact, In-House Suspension
*The school does not assume liability for any prohibited item that has been confiscated, including loss, damage, or theft of the confiscated item.
PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION: Displays of affection are not permitted as they detract from the learning environment. Self-control and respect for others should be kept in mind at all times. Depending on the circumstances, action may include one or more of the following:
Incident 1 Detention, Parent contact
Incident 2 Saturday School, Parent contact
Incident 3 In-House Suspension, Parent Contact, Behavior Contract,
Incident 4 Suspension 1-5, Parent conference
Misuse (violation of manufacturers’ warnings/cautionary statements) or possession of any product (aerosol spray, compressed air products, products containing hazardous chemicals) for the purpose of mentally or physically altering one’s well-being is prohibited.
SUSPENSION FROM SCHOOL
Grounds for Suspension and Expulsion. The following quotations from Education Code Section 48900 list the grounds for suspension or expulsion of students from school:
(a) (1) Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person or
(2) Willfully used force or violence upon the person of another, except in self-defense.
(b) Possessed, sold, or otherwise furnished any firearm, knife, explosive, or other dangerous object unless, in
the case of possession of any object of this type, the pupil had obtained written permission to possess the
item from a certificated school employee, which is concurred by the principal or the designee of the principal. This includes lighters, fireworks, matches, or other incendiary devices.
(c) Unlawfully possessed, used, sold, or otherwise furnished, or been under the influence of any controlled
substance listed in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11053) of Division 10 of the Health and Safety
Code, an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind.
(d) Unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell any controlled substance listed in Chapter 2
(commencing with Section 11053) of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code, an alcoholic beverage, or
an intoxicant of any kind, and then either sold, delivered, or otherwise furnished to any person another liquid, substance, or material and represented the liquid, substance, or material as a controlled substance, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant.
(e) Committed or attempted to commit robbery or extortion.
(f) Caused or attempted to cause damage to school property or private property.
(g) Stole or attempted to steal school property or private property.
(h) Possessed or used tobacco, or any products containing tobacco or nicotine products, including, but not
limited to, cigarettes, cigars, miniature cigars, clove cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew packets,
and betel. However, this section does not prohibit use or possession by a pupil of his or her own prescription products. This includes possession of any electronic delivery device.
(i) Committed an obscene act or engaged in habitual profanity or vulgarity.
(j) Unlawfully possessed or unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell drug paraphernalia, as defined
in Section 11014.5 of the Health and Safety Code.
(k) Disrupted school activities or otherwise willfully defied the valid authority of supervisors, teachers,
administrators, school officials, or other school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties. Students solely in violation of Code K may not be expelled, but in Grades 4-12 may be suspended.
(l) Knowingly received stolen school property or private property.
(m) Possessed an imitation firearm. As used in this section, “imitation firearm” means a replica of a firearm
that is so substantially similar in physical properties to an existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person
to conclude that the replica is a firearm.
(n) Committed or attempted to commit a sexual assault as defined in Section 261, 266c, 286, 288, 288a, or
289 of the Penal Code or committed a sexual battery as defined in Section 243.4 of the Penal Code.
(o) Harassed, threatened, or intimidated a pupil who is a complaining witness or witness in a school
disciplinary proceeding for the purpose of either preventing that pupil from being a witness or retaliating against that pupil for being a witness,
(p) Unlawfully offered, arranged to sell, negotiated to sell, or sold the prescription drug Soma.
(q) Engaged in, or attempted to engage in, hazing as defined in Section 32050.
(r) Engaged in an act of bullying, including, but not limited to, bullying committed by means of an electronic
act, as defined in subdivisions (f) and (g) of Section 32261, directed specifically toward a pupil or school
(s) A pupil shall not be suspended or expelled for any of the acts enumerated in this section, unless that act
is related to school activity or school attendance occurring within a school under the jurisdiction of the
superintendent or principal or occurring within any other school district. A pupil may be suspended or
expelled for acts that are enumerated in this section and related to school activity or attendance that
occur at any time, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(1) While on school grounds.
(2) While going to or coming from school.
(3) During the lunch period whether on or off the campus.
(4) During, or while going to or coming from, a school sponsored activity.
(t) A pupil who aids or abets, as defined in Section 31 of the Penal Code, the infliction or attempted infliction
of physical injury to another person may be subject to suspension, but not expulsion, pursuant to the provisions of this section, except that a pupil who has been adjudged by a juvenile court to have committed, as an aider and abettor, a crime or physical violence in which the victim suffered great bodily injury or serious bodily injury shall be subject to discipline pursuant to subdivision (a).
(u) As used in this section, “school property” includes, but is not limited to, electronic files and databases.
(v) A superintendent of the school district or principal may use his or her discretion to provide alternatives to
suspension or expulsion, including, but not limited to, counseling and an anger management program, for
a pupil subject to discipline under this section.
(w) It is the intent of the Legislature that alternatives to suspension or expulsion be imposed against a pupil
who is truant, tardy, or otherwise absent from school activities.
EXPLANATION OF DISCIPLINE TERMS
TEACHER ASSIGNED DETENTION
Assigned by a classroom teacher in a specific classroom designated by the assigning teacher. Students are under the supervision of the assigning or designated teacher.
AFTER SCHOOL DETENTION
Can be assigned by school personnel. After school detentions are served in a designated room for a designated amount of time. Students who arrive late will not be admitted. Students who are disruptive will be dismissed. Removal from or failure to report to detention will result in Saturday School hours. Repeated failure to serve after school detentions may result in an In- House Suspension or School Suspension.
SATURDAY SCHOOL PROGRAM
Students assigned to Saturday School must bring classroom assignments, paper, writing assignments, and be prepared to study for 4 hours. Students who arrive tardy or are unprepared will be dismissed and assigned an additional day(s) of Saturday School. Students may not leave their seats unless directed by the supervisor. The Saturday School supervisor will provide nutrition breaks. The cafeteria will be open during the break for students to purchase snacks. All school rules and regulations apply while in the Saturday School program. Undesirable or disruptive conduct and lack of work or effort, as judged by the supervisor, will result in removal from the Saturday School program. Removal from or failure to report to the Saturday School program may result in being placed on the Hold List, In-House Suspension or School Suspension.
Students will be housed and supervised on campus, separated from the student body. Curriculum will be provided by the teachers for the duration of the in-house suspension.
Suspensions remove a student from campus for one to five days, after which time the student may return to class, usually on a Behavior Contract. For the duration of the suspension, students are prohibited from returning to any campus or school-owned property located within the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District during school or non-school hours, and on school and non-school days. This also includes school activities.
A student is transferred to another comprehensive school within the district. The student is removed for no more than two semesters. Students who have been administratively transferred are prohibited from returning to the sending school’s campus for the duration of the Administrative Transfer. This also includes school activities. The student may return if he/she completes the conditions set forth by the assistant principal of the sending school.
Expulsion is a formal process that includes suspension and a hearing to determine if a student will be dismissed from their current educational setting. Students who have been expelled are prohibited from returning to any campus or school-owned property located within the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District until the expulsion requirements have been completed. This also includes school activities. Suspensions or expulsions will be imposed when other means of correction fail to bring about proper conduct or if the school determines that the student’s presence causes a danger to persons or property or threatens to disrupt the learning process.
California Education Code section 48915 requires mandatory suspension and recommendation for expulsion of
- Possess, sell, or otherwise furnish a firearm
- Brandish a knife at another person
- Sell a controlled substance
- Commit or attempt to commit a sexual assault or sexual battery
- Possess an explosive
The Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in all district activities, programs, and employment based upon actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, pregnancy, age, physical or mental disability or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Reference: BP 0410; 1312.3; 4111.1; 5145.3; 5145.7; 4119.11/4219.11/4319.11.
Any student who engages in harassment/bullying of anyone at school or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity is in violation of this policy and may be subject to disciplinary action. Disciplinary action may be progressive and may include suspension and/or expulsion.
As it relates to school activity, “bullying means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or by means of an electronic act, and including one or more acts committed by a pupil or group of pupils as defined in Education Code § 48900.2, 48900.3, or 48900.4, directed toward one or more pupils that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
- Placing a reasonable pupil or pupils in fear of harm to that pupil’s or those pupil’s person or property.
- Causing a reasonable pupil to experience a substantially detrimental effect on his or her physical or mental health.
- Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her academic performance.
- Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school
Types of conduct which are prohibited in the district and which may constitute harassment or bullying include, but are not limited to:
- Direct physical contact, such as hitting or shoving.
- Threats to harm another person.
- Oral or written assaults, such as teasing or name-calling.
- Social isolation or manipulation.
- Posting harassing messages, direct threats, social cruelty, or other harmful texts, sounds or images on the Internet, including social networking sites.
- Posting or sharing information about another person that is private.
- Pretending to be another person on a social networking site or other electronic communication in order to damage that person’s reputation or friendships.
- Posting or sharing photographs of other people without their permission
- Spreading hurtful or demeaning materials created by another person (e.g. forwarding offensive emails or text messages)
- Retaliating against someone for complaining that they have been bullied.
Any student who feels that he/she is being or has been subjected to harassment/bullying as defined above shall immediately contact a school employee. A school employee to whom a complaint is made shall report it to the principal or designee. Any school employee who observes any incident of harassment/bullying on any student shall immediately report his/her observation to the principal or designee, whether or not the victim makes a complaint. [EC 48900 (r), 220; PC 422.55; BP 5145.3, AR 5145.3]
For complaints regarding harassment /bullying, site-level grievance procedures are:
- The principal or designee shall investigate complaints of harassment/bullying. In so doing, he/she shall talk individually with:
- The student who is complaining
- The person accused of harassment/bullying
- Anyone who saw the harassment/bullying take place
- Anyone mentioned as having related information
- The student who is complaining shall have an opportunity to describe the incident, present witnesses, other evidence of the harassment, and put a complaint in writing.
- The principal or designee shall discuss the complaint only with the people described above. When necessary to carry out his/her investigation or for other good reasons that apply to the particular situation, the principal or designee also may discuss the complaint with the following persons:
- The Superintendent or designee
- The parent/guardian of the pupil who complained
- The parent/guardian of the person accused of harassing/bullying someone
- A teacher or staff member whose knowledge of the pupils involved may help in determining who is telling the truth
- Child protective agencies responsible for investigating child abuse reports Legal counsel for the District
DISTRICT ANTI-BULLYING POLICY
The Board of Education believes every child is entitled to a safe school environment free from bullying. Bullying is defined as any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act, including communications made in writing or by means of an electronic act, committed by a student or group of students directed towards other students
Students who have knowledge of discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying are encouraged to inform a teacher or school administrator as soon as possible. Contact may be made directly via email to an administrator, TEXT-A-TIP (657-200-8987), a phone call, or in-person. Students and parents may make such complaints anonymously. Anonymous reports must provide sufficient corroborating evidence to justify the commencement of an investigation. Because of the inability of investigators to interview anonymous complainants, it may be more difficult to evaluate the allegations and, therefore, less likely to cause an investigation to be initiated.
The identity of a complainant alleging discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying shall remain confidential as appropriate within the dual contexts of the District’s legal obligation to ensure a learning environment free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying, and the right of the accused to be informed of the allegations. Some level of disclosure may be necessary to ensure a complete and fair investigation, although the District will comply with requests for confidentiality to the extent possible. Students who violate this policy may be subject to discipline, ranging from counseling, detention and/or parent notification to suspension and/or expulsion pursuant to the District’s discipline policies and procedures.
The district also is mindful that, at times, behavior that is rude or insensitive may nevertheless be constitutionally protected in the context of a public school environment. Such conduct can best be prevented with effective strategies that involve pupils, parents and school employees in collaborative efforts to promote respectful relationships and to improve or change inappropriate behaviors while teaching acceptance and ensuring equal educational opportunities for all.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT & BIAS-RELATED INCIDENTS
Any student who engages in sexual harassment of anyone at school or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity is in violation of this policy and shall be subject to disciplinary action. Disciplinary action may include suspension and/or expulsion.
Any student who feels that he/she is being or has been subjected to sexual harassment shall immediately contact a school employee. A school employee to whom a complaint is made shall immediately report it to the principal or designee. Any school employee who observes any incident of sexual harassment on any student shall similarly report his/her observation to the principal or designee, whether or not the victim makes a complaint. [EC 48980 (h), 231.5, 212.5; BP 5145.7, AR 5145.7, 5CCR 4917]
The district designates the following individual(s) as the responsible employee(s) to coordinate its efforts to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and California Education Code 234.1, as well as to investigate and resolve sexual harassment complaints under AR 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures. The coordinator/compliance officer(s) may be contacted at:
Cary Johnson, Director, Educational Services
1301 E. Orangethorpe Ave., Placentia CA. 92870
Prohibited sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual’s academic status or progress.
- Submission to or rejection of the conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting the individual.
- The conduct has the purpose or effect of a negative impact on the pupil’s academic performance, creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment.
- Submission to or rejection of the conduct by the individual is used as the basis for any decision affecting the individual regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the school.
Types of conduct which are prohibited in the district and which may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
- Unwelcome sexual flirtations or propositions
- Sexual slurs, leering, epithets, threats, verbal abuse, derogatory comments or sexually degrading descriptions
- Graphic verbal comments about an individual’s body, or overly personal conversation
- Sexual jokes, notes, stories, drawings, pictures or gestures
- Spreading sexual rumors
- Teasing or sexual remarks about pupils enrolled in a predominantly single-sex class
- Touching an individual’s body or clothes in a sexual way
- Purposefully cornering or blocking normal movements
- Limiting a pupil’s access to educational tools
- Displaying sexually suggestive objects
For complaints regarding sexual harassment site-level grievance procedures are:
Any student who believes that he/she has been subjected to sexual harassment by another student, an employee, or a third party on school grounds or at a school-sponsored or school related activity off-campus or who has witnessed sexual harassment is strongly encouraged to report the incident to his/her teacher, the principal, or any other available school employee. Within one school day of receiving such a report, the school employee shall forward the report to the principal or the district's compliance officer identified in AR 1312.3. In addition, any school employee who observes an incident of sexual harassment involving a student shall, within one school day, report his/her observation to the principal or a district compliance officer. The employee shall take these actions, whether or not the alleged victim files a complaint.
When a report or complaint of sexual harassment involves off-campus conduct that did not occur in the context of a school related activity, the principal shall assess whether the conduct may create or contribute to the creation of a hostile school environment. If he/she determines that a hostile environment may be created, the complaint shall be investigated and resolved in the same manner as if the prohibited conduct occurred at school.
When a verbal or informal report of sexual harassment is submitted, the principal or compliance officer shall inform the student or parent/guardian of the right to file a formal written complaint in accordance with the district's uniform complaint procedures. Regardless of whether a formal complaint is filed, the principal or compliance officer shall take steps to investigate the allegations and, if sexual harassment is found, shall take prompt action to stop it, prevent recurrence, and address any continuing effects.
If a complaint of sexual harassment is initially submitted to the principal, he/she shall, within two school days, forward the report to the compliance officer to initiate investigation of the complaint. The compliance officer and his/her designee shall contact the complainant and investigate and resolve the complaint in accordance with law and district procedures specified in AR 1312.3. Any complainant who is dissatisfied with the district's final written decision may file an appeal in writing with the CDE within 15 calendar days of receiving the district's decision.
In investigating a sexual harassment complaint, evidence of past sexual relationships of the victim shall not be considered, except to the extent that such evidence may relate to the victim's prior relationship with the respondent.
In any case of sexual harassment involving the principal, compliance officer, or any other person to whom the incident would ordinarily be reported or filed, the report may instead be submitted to the Superintendent or designee who shall determine who will investigate the complaint.
All complaints and allegations of sexual harassment shall be kept confidential except as necessary to carry out the investigation or take other subsequent necessary action.
However, when a complainant or victim of sexual harassment notifies the district of the harassment but requests confidentiality, the compliance officer shall inform him/her that the request may limit the district's ability to investigate the harassment or take other necessary action. When honoring a request for confidentiality, the district will nevertheless take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request.
When a complainant or victim of sexual harassment notifies the district of the harassment but requests that the district not pursue an investigation, the district will determine whether or not it can honor such a request while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students.
RESPONSE PENDING INVESTIGATION
When an incident of sexual harassment is reported, the principal or designee, in consultation with the compliance officer, shall determine whether interim measures are necessary pending the results of the investigation. The principal/designee or compliance officer shall take immediate measures necessary to stop the harassment and protect students and/or ensure their access to the educational program. To the extent possible, such interim measures shall not disadvantage the complainant or victim of the alleged harassment. Interim measures may include placing the individuals involved in separate classes or transferring a student to a class taught by a different teacher, in accordance with law and Board policy. The school should notify the individual who was harassed of his/her options to avoid contact with the alleged harasser and allow the complainant to change academic and extracurricular arrangements as appropriate. The school should also ensure that the complainant is aware of the resources and assistance, such as counseling, that are available to him/her. As appropriate, such actions shall be considered even when a student chooses to not file a formal complaint or the sexual harassment occurs off school grounds or outside school-sponsored or school-related programs or activities.
In addition to those procedures, for complaints of sexual harassment, the following steps will also be included:
Complainant requests to remain anonymous will be honored but the district will inform the complainant that this request may result in a limited investigation and/or actions the district can take. When honoring a request for confidentiality, the district will nevertheless take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request.
UNIFORM COMPLAINT PROCEDURES
The Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District has the primary responsibility for compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. We have established Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP) to address allegations of unlawful discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, intimidation, and bullying, and complaints alleging violation of state or federal laws governing educational programs, the charging of unlawful pupil fees and the non-compliance of our Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).
We will investigate all allegations of unlawful discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, intimidation or bullying against any protected group as identified in Education Code section 200 and 220 and Government Code section 11135, including any actual or perceived characteristics as set forth in Penal Code section 422.55 or on the basis or a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics in any program or activity conducted by the agency, which is funded directly by, or that receives or benefits from any state financial assistance. The UCP shall also be used when addressing complaints alleging failure to comply with state and/or federal laws in:
- Adult Education
- After School Education and Safety
- Bilingual Education
- California Peer Assistance and Review Programs for Teachers
- Career Technical and Technical Education and Career Technical and Technical Training
- Career Technical Education
- Child Care and Development
- Child Nutrition
- Compensatory Education
- Consolidated Categorical Aid
- Course Periods without Educational Content
- Economic Impact Aid
- Education of Pupils in Foster Care and Pupils who are Homeless
- Every Student Succeeds Act / No Child Left Behind
- Local Control Accountability Plans
- Migrant Education
- Physical Education Instructional Minutes
- Pupil Fees
- Reasonable Accommodations to a Lactating Pupil
- Regional Occupational Centers and Programs
- School Safety Plans
- Special Education
- State Preschool
PUPIL FEES COMPLAINTS
A pupil fee includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:
- A fee charged to a pupil as a condition for registering for school or classes, or as a condition for participation in a class or an extracurricular activity, regardless of whether the class or activity is elective or compulsory, or is for credit.
- A security deposit, or other payment, that a pupil is required to make to obtain a lock, locker, book, class apparatus, musical instrument, clothes, or other materials or equipment.
- A purchase that a pupil is required to make to obtain materials, supplies, equipment, or clothes associated with an educational activity.
A pupil fees or LCAP complaint may be filed anonymously if the complainant provides evidence or information leading to evidence to support the complaint. A pupil enrolled in a public school shall not be required to pay a pupil fee for participation in an educational activity.
A pupil fee complaint shall be filed no later than one year from the date the alleged violation occurred. A pupil fees complaint is filed with the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District and/or the principal of a school.
FILING UNIFORM COMPLAINTS UNRELATED TO PUPIL FEES
Complaints other than issues relating to pupil fees must be filed in writing with the following persons designated to receive complaints:
- Employee complaints: Kevin Lee, Assistant Superintendent, Personnel (714) 985-8406 email@example.com
- Title IX Sexual Harassment and any other discrimination complaints: Cary Johnson, Director, Educational Services (714) 985-8656 firstname.lastname@example.org. Complainants may also refer Title IX inquiries to the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.
- Americans with Disabilities Act complaints: Richard McAlindin, Director, Executive Services (714) 985-8727 email@example.com
- Bullying, intimidation complaints: Rick Riegel, Administrator, Student Services (714) 985-8761 firstname.lastname@example.org
- The district has the primary responsibility to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations governing educational programs.
- The complaint review shall be completed within 60 calendar days from the date of receipt of the complaint unless the complainant agrees in writing to an extension of the timeline.
- A complaint alleging retaliation or unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying) must be filed not later than six months from the date it occurred, or six months from the date the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged unlawful discrimination. The time for filing may be extended for up to 90 days by the Superintendent or designee for good cause upon written request by the complainant setting forth the reasons for the extension.
- Complaints should be filed in writing and signed by the complainant. If a complainant is unable to put his/her complaint in writing, for example, due to conditions such as a disability or illiteracy, district staff shall assist him/her in the filing of the complaint.
- If a complaint is not filed in writing but the district receives notice of any allegation that is subject to the UCP, the district shall take affirmative steps to investigate and address the allegations, in a manner appropriate to the particular circumstances. If the allegation involves retaliation or unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying) and the investigation reveals that discrimination has occurred, the district will take steps to prevent recurrence of discrimination and correct its discriminatory effects on the complainant, and on others, if appropriate.
- A student enrolled in a public school shall not be required to pay a fee for his/her participation in an educational activity that constitutes an integral fundamental part of the district's educational program, including curricular and extracurricular activities.
- The Board is required to adopt and annually update the LCAP and shall consult with teachers, principals, administrators, other school personnel, employee bargaining groups, parents/guardians, and students as a part of the comprehensive, data-driven planning process. The Board shall hold at least one public hearing to solicit the recommendations and comments of members of the public regarding the specific actions and expenditures proposed to be included in the LCAP.
- A foster youth shall receive information about educational rights related to his/her educational placement, enrollment in and checkout from school, as well as the responsibilities of the district liaison for foster youth to ensure and facilitate these requirements and to assist the student in ensuring proper transfer of his/her credits, records, and grades when he/she transfers between schools or between the district and another district.
- A foster youth or homeless student who transfers into a district high school or between district high schools shall be notified of the district's responsibility to:
- Accept any coursework or part of the coursework that the student has satisfactorily completed in another public school, juvenile court school, or a nonpublic, nonsectarian school or agency, and to issue full or partial credit for the coursework completed.
- Not require the student to retake any course or a portion of a course which he/she has satisfactorily completed innother public school, juvenile court school, or a nonpublic, nonsectarian school or agency.
- If the student has completed his/her second year of high school before the transfer, provide the student information about district-adopted coursework and Board-imposed graduation requirements from which he/she may be exempted pursuant to Education Code 51225.1.
- The complainant has a right to appeal the district's decision to the CDE by filing a written appeal within 15 calendar days of receiving the district's decision.
In any complaint alleging unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying), the respondent also shall have the right to file an appeal with the CDE in the same manner as the complainant, if he/she is dissatisfied with the district's decision.
- The appeal to the CDE must include a copy of the complaint filed with the district and a copy of the district's decision.
CIVIL LAW REMEDIES
The complainant is advised of civil law remedies, including, but not limited to, injunctions, restraining order or other
remedies or orders that may be available under state or federal discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying laws, if
UCP POLICIES AND REGULATIONS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
A copy of our UCP compliant policies and procedures is available from any school office or from the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District office, free of charge. UCP complaint policies and procedures are also available on the District’s web site at www.pylusd.org.