Each parent of a student enrolled in a public school has a duty to assist the school in enforcing the standards of student conduct and compulsory school attendance in order that education may be conducted in an atmosphere free of disruption and threat to persons or property and supportive of individual rights. The standards of student conduct, a notice of the requirements of §22.1-279.3 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, and a copy of the compulsory school attendance law shall be sent to all parents within one calendar month of the opening of schools simultaneously with any other materials customarily distributed at that time. A statement for the parent's signature acknowledging the receipt of the standards of student conduct, the requirements of the Code of Virginia § 22.1-279.3, and the compulsory school attendance law shall also be sent. Parents shall be notified that by signing the statement of receipt, parents are not deemed to waive, but expressly reserve, their rights protected by the constitution or laws of the United States or Virginia. Each school shall maintain records of the signed statements.
A. The following are standards of student conduct established by the School Board for all students. The consequences of any act are determined on the basis of the facts presented in each situation in the reasonable discretion of the Board, its designated committees and other appropriate school officials.
1. Assault and Battery
A student shall not assault or commit battery upon another person on school property, on school buses or during school activities on or off school property.
An assault is a threat of bodily injury.
A battery is any bodily hurt, however slight, done to another in an angry, rude or vengeful manner.
2. Attendance; Truancy
Students shall attend school on a regular and punctual basis unless otherwise excused in accordance with School Board policy or regulation. (See Policy JED Student Absences/Excuses/Dismissals)
If a student who is under 18 years of age has 10 or more unexcused absences from school on consecutive school days, the principal may notify the juvenile and domestic relations court, which may take action to suspend the student’s driver’s license.
3. Bomb Threats
Students shall not engage in any illegal conduct involving firebombs, explosive or incendiary materials or devices or hoax explosive devices or chemical bombs as defined in the Code of Virginia. Moreover, students shall not make any threats or false threats to bomb school personnel or school property.
A student, either individually or as a part of a group, shall not bully others either in person or by the use of any communication technology including computer systems, telephones, pagers, or instant messaging systems. Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, physical, verbal, or written intimidation, taunting, name-calling, and insults and any combination of prohibited activities. The principal shall notify the parent of any student involved in an alleged incident of bullying, as defined herein, of the status of any investigation within five school days of the allegation of bullying.
"Bullying" means any aggressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate, or humiliate the victim; involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the aggressor or aggressors and victim; and is repeated over time or causes severe emotional trauma. "Bullying" includes cyber bullying. "Bullying" does not include ordinary teasing, horseplay, argument or peer conflict.
5. Bus-Related Offenses
Students shall not behave in a disruptive manner or otherwise violate these Standards of Conduct while waiting for a school bus, while on a school bus or after being discharged from a school bus. (See policy JFCC—Student Conduct on School Buses)
Students are expected to perform honestly on schoolwork and tests. The following actions are prohibited:
- cheating on a test or assigned work by giving, receiving, offering and/or soliciting information
- plagiarizing by copying the language, structure, idea and/or thoughts of another
- falsifying statements on any assigned schoolwork, tests or other school documents
7. Personal Electronic Communication Devices
Students enrolled in grades 9-12 may have a personal electronic communication device (e.g. cell phone) in their possession before, during, or after the regular hours of operation of the school day. The device may be used in non-instructional times and spaces (e.g. in hallways, cafeteria, on buses) so long as it is not disruptive and is not used to record others when there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Students enrolled in elementary and middle schools may have a personal electronic communication device (e.g. cell phone) in their possession. However, the devices must be turned off and remain out of sight (e.g. in a book bag or locker) throughout the regular school day. (See Policy JFCZ Personal Electronic Communication Devices)
8. Defiance of the Authority of School Personnel
Students shall comply with any oral or written instructions made by school personnel within the scope of their authority as provided by Board policies and regulations.
9. Disruptive Conduct
Students are entitled to a learning environment free of unnecessary disruption. Any physical or verbal disturbance which interrupts or interferes with teaching and orderly conduct of school activities, is prohibited.
10. Electronic Cigarettes
Students shall not possess electronic cigarettes or vaporizers on school premises, on school buses or at school sponsored activities. (See policy KGC Use of Tobacco and Electronic Cigarettes on School Premises)
No student may obtain or attempt to obtain anything of value from another by using a threat of any kind.
12. Felony Charges
Students charged with any offense, wherever committed, that would be a felony if committed by an adult may be disciplined and/or required to participate in prevention/ intervention activities.
Exchanging mutual physical contact between two or more persons by pushing, shoving or hitting with or without injury is prohibited.
A student shall not bet money or other things of value, or knowingly play or participate in any game involving such a bet, on school property, on school buses or during any school related activity.
15. Gang Activity
Gang-related activity is not tolerated. Symbols of gang membership are expressly prohibited (i.e., clothing that symbolizes association, rituals associated with, or activities by an identified group of students). (See Policy JFCE Gang Activity or Association).
A student shall not harass another student or any school employee, volunteer, student teacher or any other person present in school facilities or at school functions. (See policy JFHAZ/GBAZ Prohibition Against Harassment and Retaliation)
Students shall not engage in hazing.
Hazing means to recklessly or intentionally endanger the health or safety of a student or students or to inflict bodily harm on a student or students in connection with or for the purpose of initiation, admission into or affiliation with or as a condition for continued membership in a club, organization, association, fraternity, sorority, or student body regardless of whether the student or students so endangered or injured participated voluntarily in the relevant activity.
The principal of any school at which hazing causes bodily injury shall report the hazing to the local Commonwealth Attorney.
18. Internet Use
Students shall abide by the Lynchburg City School Division’s Acceptable Computer Use Policy and Regulation. (See Policy IIBEA Acceptable Computer System Use.)
19. Laser Pointers
Students shall not have in their possession laser pointers.
20. Other Conduct
In addition to these specific standards, students shall not engage in any conduct which materially and substantially disrupts the ongoing educational process or which is otherwise a violation of federal, state or local law.
21. Possession or Use of Weapons or Other Dangerous Articles
Students shall not have in their possession any firearm or other dangerous weapon or device. (See Policy JFCD Weapons in School.)
22. Profane, Obscene or Abusive Language or Conduct
Students shall not use vulgar, profane or obscene language or gestures or engage in conduct that is vulgar, profane, obscene, or disrupts the teaching and learning environment.
23. Reports of Conviction or Adjudication of Delinquency
Any student for whom the Superintendent has received a report pursuant to Va. Code § 16.1-305.1 of an adjudication of delinquency or a conviction for an offense listed in subsection G of Va. Code § 16.1-260 may be suspended or expelled.
Students shall not engage in a pattern of behavior that places another person in fear of serious harm.
25. Student Dress
Students are expected to dress appropriately for a K-12 educational environment. Any clothing that interferes with or disrupts the educational environment is unacceptable. Clothing with language or images that are vulgar, discriminatory, or obscene, or clothing that promotes illegal or violent conduct, such as the unlawful use of weapons, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or drug paraphernalia or clothing that contains threats such as gang symbols is prohibited.
Clothing should conform to standards of safety and be appropriate for the learning environment. Clothing that does not meet these standards includes the following:
- Loose fitting clothing that could cause safety hazards
- Flip-flops and other footwear that are tripping hazards or injury risks
- Clothing that exposes or highlights private areas or shows an excessive amount of bare skin
- Hats and other head coverings, unless for religious or health purposes
Additionally, disciplinary action will be taken against any student taking part in gang-related activities that are disruptive to the school environment, which include the display of any apparel, jewelry, accessory, tattoo, or manner of grooming that, by virtue of its color, arrangement, trademark, or any other attribute, denotes membership in a gang that advocates illegal or disruptive behavior.
Parent(s)/guardian(s) of students requiring accommodation for religious beliefs, disabilities, or other good causes should contact the principal.
Students not complying with this policy will be asked to cover the noncomplying clothing, change clothes, or go home.
A student shall not intentionally take or attempt to take the personal property of another person by force, fear or other means.
27. Threats or Intimidation
Students shall not make any verbal, written, or physical threat of bodily injury or use of force directed toward another person. Students shall not use electronic technology or communication devices, such as the internet or cell phones, to intimidate or threaten for any reason.
Students shall not trespass on school property or use school facilities without proper authority or permission, or during a period of suspension or expulsion.
29. Use and/or Possession of Alcohol, Tobacco, Anabolic Steroids, and Other Drugs
A student shall not possess, use, or distribute any of the restricted substances listed below on school property, on school buses or during school activities, on or off school property.
A student shall not attempt to possess, use, consume, procure and/or purchase, any of the restricted substances listed below or what is represented by or to the student to be any of the restricted substances listed below or what the student believes is any of the restricted substances listed below.
A student shall not be under the influence of any of the restricted substances listed below, regardless of whether the student’s condition amounts to legal intoxication.
Restricted substances include but are not limited to alcohol, tobacco and inhalant products, and other controlled substances defined in the Drug Control Act, Chapter 15.1 of Title 54 of the Code of Virginia, such as anabolic steroids, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, marijuana, imitation and look-alike drugs, drug paraphernalia and any prescription or non-prescription drug possessed in violation of School Board policy.
The School Board may require a student who has been found in possession of, or under the influence of, drugs or alcohol in violation of School Board policy to undergo evaluation for drug or alcohol abuse, or both, and, if recommended by the evaluator and with the consent of the student's parent, to participate in a treatment program.
In addition to any other consequences which may result, a student who is a member of a school athletic team will be ineligible for two school years to compete in interscholastic athletic competition if the school principal and the division Superintendent determine that the student used anabolic steroids during the training period immediately preceding or during the sport season of the athletic team, unless such steroid was prescribed by a licensed physician for a medical condition.
Students shall not willfully or maliciously damage or deface any school building or other property owned or under the control of the School Board. In addition, students shall not willfully or maliciously damage or deface property belonging to or under the control of any other person at school, on a school bus or at school-sponsored events. When a student injures, destroys, or defaces school property, including school buses, the student and his/her parent or guardian shall be required to pay for the damage.
B. Corrective Actions
The following corrective actions are among those available to the school administration for violation of the Student Code of Conduct. The facts and circumstances of each offense are considered fully in determining reasonable corrective actions.
- Loss of privileges, including access to the School Division’s computer system
- Parental conferences
- Modification of student classroom assignment or schedule
- Student behavior contract
- Referral to student support services
- Removal from class
- Initiation of child study process
- Referral to in-school intervention, mediation, or community service programs
- Tasks or restrictions assigned by the principal or his designee
- Detention after school or before school
- Suspension from school-sponsored activities or events prior to, during, or after the regular school day
- Alternative Instructional Arrangement (AIA)
- Out-of-school suspension
- Referral to an alternative education program
- Notification of legal authority where appropriate
- Recommendation for expulsion including recommendation for expulsion for possessing a firearm, destructive device, firearm muffler, firearm silencer or pneumatic gun on school property or at a school-sponsored event and recommendation for expulsion for having brought a controlled substance, imitation controlled substance or marijuana onto school property or to a school sponsored activity
- Participation in a drug, alcohol or violence intervention, prevention or treatment program.
Adopted: July 12, 2016
Revised: August 15, 2017
Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 18.2-56, 18.2-83, 18.2-85, 18.2-87.1, 18.2-119, 18.2-308, 18.2-308.1, 18.2-308.7, 18.2-371.2, 18.2-433.1, 22.1-70.2, 22.1-78, 22.1-202, 22.1-253.13:7.C.3, 22.1-276.3, 22.1-277, 22.1-277.07:1, 22.1-277.08, 22.1-277.2, 22.1-279.1, 22.1-279.6, 22.1-280.4, 46.2-323, 46.2-334.001.
Student Code of Conduct Policy Guidelines (Virginia Board of Education January 2015).
Information Brief: Cyberbullying and School Policy (Virginia Department of Education August 2008).
CLA Reporting Acts of Violence and Substance Abuse