402R-A - Code of Student Conduct

The Frederick County School Board expects a high standard of student conduct in an effort to ensure that education is provided in an atmosphere conducive to learning, free of disruption and threat to person or property, and supportive of individual rights. Students are responsible, with each principal, faculty, and staff member, for maintaining a school environment in which educational programs can flourish and extracurricular programs can go forward for the pleasure and benefit of all participants. Students and staff have a primary responsibility for creating a climate of mutual respect and trust in each school.

The principals of the schools and those to whom they delegate the authority are responsible for the consistent and uniform application of all school board policies and regulations, and rules of the individual school, which together set forth the standards for student conduct. The principal or principal's designee shall determine the appropriate disciplinary measures for each case of misconduct by a student, except where consequences are predetermined by specific school board policy or by law. Determinations of disciplinary measures shall include consideration of the relative impact of a violation on the entire student body as well as the individual, school and county-wide school regulations and rules, the student's cumulative discipline record, and the student's individual needs.

The principal or principal's designee shall inform, consult with, and/or refer to the central office administration any discipline matters that involve situations of extreme danger, acts of violence, threats to the school, and any discipline matters that involve unusual circumstances or need special handling. The principal or principal's designee shall notify the parent of each suspension and may request a parent con­ference prior to readmission. Disciplinary measures may include, but need not be limited to, the following: warning, counseling, detention, special assignments, in-school detention, in-school assistance, removal from class, suspension from extra-curricular activities, school probation, suspension, long-term suspension, and exclusion from school. All disciplinary actions shall be taken in accordance with due-process requirements.

Pupils are under the jurisdiction of the school board and its agents while in school, while at school-sponsored events, and when going to and from school (404 P).
  1. Student Conduct Rules

    Conduct which will constitute cause for discipline by school officials shall include, but not be limited to, any of the following:

    • Gambling

    • Gang-related activity

    • Bullying

    • Stalking

    • Continued and willful disobedience

    • Defiance of authority of any employee of the school system

    • Conduct of such character as to constitute a threat or a continuing danger to the physical well-being of others

    • Fighting or physical assault upon another student or upon any teacher, administrator, other school employee, or any other person

    • Taking or attempting to take another person's personal property or money including school-owned property or money

    • Vandalism (willfully causing, or attempting to cause damage to school property)

    • Unauthorized occupancy of any part of the school or school grounds, or failure to leave promptly after having been directed to do so by the principal or other school employee or law enforcement officer

    • Cursing or verbally abusing any person

    • Willful interruption or substantial disturbance of any school

    • Trespassing upon the property of any Frederick County school

    • Any threat or attempt to bomb, burn or destroy in any manner a school building or any portion thereof

    • Violation of law or school board policy or school regulations

    • Use or possession of any unauthorized firearm, knife, military armament, stun weapon, air rifle, bb gun, or any other object that school officials consider to be a dangerous weapon on school property or in association with any school activity or the use or possession of any explosives including fireworks

    • Use or possession of laser pointers

    • Possession, use or distribution of prescription or nonprescription drugs, anabolic steroids, alcohol, or drug paraphernalia

    • Use, possession or distribution of tobacco products or electronic cigarettes by anyone on school property and in association with a school activity

    • Inappropriate behavior with regard to public display of affection

    • Violating the dress code

    • Cheating, plagiarizing, or assisting or encouraging others to do so

    • Violation of the human relations, harassment or sexual harassment policy

    • Using electronic means for purposes of bullying, harassment, or intimidation

    • Perpetuation of any rumor, including but not limited to, threats of violence, which result in a substantial disruption to school operations

    • Violation of school bus safety rules

    • Any other conduct which, in the judgment of the principal, interferes with the orderly operation of the school

    1. Bomb Threat
      (Code of Virginia, Section(s) 18.2-83) 
      Any student who makes a threat to bomb a school building or who communicates by any means, knowing the information to be false, the existence of a bomb or burning to a school shall be suspended and referred to the superintendent's designee for review and possible further referral to the school board for expulsion. 

    2. Bullying

      Students, either individually, or as part of a group, shall not harass or bully others either in person or by the use of any communication technology including computer systems, telephones, pagers, or instant messaging systems. "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. 
       
      Bullying, and retaliation for reports of bullying, will not be tolerated in the Frederick County Public Schools. Students who experience or witness acts of bullying should immediately report the incidents to school personnel so that the events may be investigated. Consequences will be administered to all students involved in substantiated acts of bullying. 

      The parent/guardian of any student involved in an alleged incident of bullying will be notified of the status of any investigation within five school days of the allegation of bullying.

    3. Bus Safety (Frederick County Public Schools 702 R-A)

      1. Student Conduct

        1. The principal of a school is in charge of discipline of the school and shall require of students good behavior during their attendance at school and on their way to and from school. This rule includes students who are in transit between schools and who are in a particular school only for a short period of time. 

        2. Students are expected to enter buses in an orderly manner, to remain so until they reach their destination, and to leave buses in an orderly manner. 

      2. Suspension of Bus Privileges

        Whenever students are transported to school by a school bus, they must be returned home, and their period of suspension from the bus will begin the next school day.  When a pupil is suspended from a bus, his/her parent or legal guardian will be notified by the principal of the school that provides the instructional program for him/her. The notification shall include the reason for suspension and the period of time. 

        1. The following procedure will be used when a student is involved in misconduct on a bus:

          1. The first time a student is reported, he/she may be counseled and warned by letter from the principal.
             
          2. The second offense may result in a three-day suspension from riding the bus.
             
          3. The third offense may result in a five-day suspension from riding the bus.
             
          4. Additional offenses may result in additional days of suspension from riding the bus. In addition, the student and parent/legal guardian may be required to participate in a discipline conference with the superintendent or his/her designee before bus riding privileges are reinstated.
             
          5. In instances of flagrant violation warranting more action than a warning, a student may be suspended from the bus after the first offense. 

      3. Appeal Procedures Bus Suspension for Ten Days or Less

        • After appealing the suspension to the school principal, the parent or legal guardian may appeal the bus suspension decision to the hearing officer or designee.

        • The parent or legal guardian must request, in writing, a hearing before the hearing officer or designee. The written request must be received in the office of the hearing officer within seven (7) calendar days of the date of bus suspension letter or the right to appeal will be forfeited.

        • The suspension will continue, as assigned, during the appeal process. Should the appeal be granted, the suspension will be removed from the student’s cumulative scholastic record.

        • After providing the written request for an appeal, the parent must establish a time for a hearing before the hearing officer or designee, which time must be agreeable to all parties.

        • The hearing must be scheduled within ten (10) days of the hearing officer's receipt of the written request or the right to appeal will be forfeited.

        • The decision of the hearing officer or designee shall be final.

          1. Bus Suspensions for More than Ten Days 

            The superintendent or his/her designee may suspend students from riding the school bus in excess of ten (10) school days with the following procedures: 

            • The student and his/her parent(s) or legal guardian have been provided written notice of the proposed action and reason therefore and of the right of a hearing.

            • The parent shall have the right to inspect the student’s school records. The student and his/her parent(s) or legal guardian shall also be provided with a copy of the standards of student conduct.

            • In any case in which a student has been suspended by the superintendent or his/her designee(s) after a hearing, the student and his/her parent(s) or legal guardian may appeal the decision to the school board. The suspension will remain in effect during the appeal process. Such appeal must be in writing and must be filed with the superintendent within seven (7) calendar days of the suspension decision. Failure to file a written appeal within the specified time will constitute a waiver of the right to an appeal. The School Board will consider the appeal of the suspension hearing within thirty (30) calendar days of the appeal. The Board may accept information (in writing or in person) not available at the time of the previous hearing(s). 

          2. Emergency Suspension

            Any student whose presence poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption may be summarily removed from riding the school bus immediately, and the notice, explanation of facts, and opportunity to present his or her version required above under Suspension for Ten Days or Less shall be given as soon as practicable thereafter. 

      4. Other Conditions – School Bus Safety 

        Safe Transportation Requires the Cooperation of:

        • Students

        • Bus Drivers

        • Parents

        • School Officials

        • Motoring Public

        The greatest care should be exercised at all times in transporting children; therefore, specific regulations, designed to ensure safety and benefit from bus service for everyone, must be enforced.  

        Riding a school bus is a privilege, not a right. Good behavior by students riding school buses is essential to safe and efficient school bus operation. In most instances of student misbehavior on a bus, the principal will follow the procedure stated below under Disciplinary Procedures for Misconduct. However, the driver should report immediately to the principal all cases of misconduct that need special attention and be guided by the principal’s advice and direction subject to regulations of the school board. The following rules are designed to ensure that everyone receives the maximum benefit from bus service. 

        1. The principal of the school is in charge of discipline and shall require good behavior of pupils during attendance at school and on their way to school and back to their homes.

        2. The driver has the responsibility and immediate authority for the operation of the bus, including student discipline, subject to rules and regulations of the school division.

        3. Principals, working with bus drivers, have authority to deny pupils the right to ride buses for a period of time for acts of misconduct when, in their judgment, such acts interfere with the safe, efficient, or orderly operation of the buses. Certain conduct will result in disciplinary action as if the incident occurred at school.

        4. Whenever pupils are transported to school by a school bus, they must be returned home on the bus even if suspended from riding the bus that day. The suspension period will begin the next school day, or as soon as parents have been notified.

        5. Students kept after school for disciplinary purposes will not be allowed to ride home on any school bus.

        6. In the event that school is closed, any student serving a bus suspension will continue the suspension when school reopens.

        7. A student suspended from riding the bus for discipline reasons is not allowed to ride any Frederick County school bus.

        8. Any student who does not complete his/her bus suspension at the end of the school year may serve the remainder of the suspension at the beginning of the following year.

        9. Parents of students will be held financially liable for any willful damage to buses or any other school property. 

        10. Except in cases of extreme emergency, bus drivers are to refrain from physically touching students or otherwise inflicting corporal punishment.

      5. Meeting the Bus:

        Students must: 

        1. Be at their assigned bus stop 10 minutes prior to the scheduled bus arrival time. Students are expected to be orderly while entering, riding, and leaving the bus.

        2. Not stand on the traveled portion of the roadway while waiting for the bus.

        3. Not engage in play or other activities that will endanger themselves or their companions while waiting beside the road.

        4. Not run alongside a moving bus, but wait until it has stopped, then walk to the entrance door.

        5. Not use, possess or distribute any form of tobacco, electronic cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs.

      6. Conduct on the Bus:

        Students must recognize that the bus driver is the authority on the bus. They are to obey the bus driver and be courteous to fellow students. Any of the following acts of misconduct is a sufficient reason for denying the student the privilege to ride buses: 

        1. Use, possession or distribution of any form of tobacco, electronic cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs. Violations will result in the student being removed from the bus consistent with policy and the student may receive a long-term suspension from school.
           
        2. Use of profane or vulgar language.
           
        3. Throwing of any objects in or from the bus. Any student guilty of throwing objects from the bus that strike a vehicle or a person or in any other way damage property or create a safety hazard will be removed from the bus until the student and parents appear before the division superintendent or his/her designee, who will decide whether the student may return to the bus.
           
        4. Extending arms, legs, or head out of bus.
           
        5. Disobedience of or disrespect for authority.
           
        6. Fighting on the bus.
           
        7. Persistently talking loudly or displaying rowdy behavior.
           
        8. Willfully destroying of any part of the bus.
           
        9. Engaging in other acts of misconduct affecting safety
           
        10. Any other unacceptable behavior that poses a safety violation.

      7. Items Not Permitted on School Buses: 
         
        1. Exploding devices, fireworks, and flammable materials, including lighters, matches, and aerosols. No laser pens.
           
        2. Bottles or glass containers.
           
        3. Live pets, animals, or wildlife.
           
        4. No cleats or other types of spikes may be worn on a bus.
           
        5. Musical instruments or other items that cannot be carried or held on student’s lap.
           
        6. Skateboards, in-line skates, or scooters.
           
        7. Any other items that could create a safety problem

      8. Other Conditions: 
         
        1. Students may be assigned to a specific seat by the driver or school administrator and shall not be permitted to move from the assigned seat except with permission.
           
        2. No student is permitted to interfere with another student or with the property of another student.
           
        3. Students must ride the bus to which assigned. They are not allowed to ride another bus or get off at another stop other than their own, unless they have a note from their parent approved by the school office. Once students are on the bus they are expected to remain there.
           
        4. Students will be allowed to exit the bus only in instances when it has been determined to be an emergency. It is expected that the student will be under the supervision of a responsible adult.
           
        5. No student is permitted to eat, chew gum, or drink while on the bus. Unauthorized personnel are not allowed on a school bus and are in violation of school board policy. Drivers are instructed to contact the director of transportation or his designee for further action.

      9. Disciplinary Procedures for Misconduct:

        1. The following procedures may be used whenever a student is involved in misconduct on a bus:
           
          1. First Offense: The student may be warned by a letter from the principal.
             
          2. Second Offense: May result in a three-day suspension from riding the bus.

          3. Third Offense: May result in a five-day suspension from riding the bus. 

          Additional Offenses: May result in additional days of suspension from riding the bus. The student and parent/legal guardian may be required to participate in a discipline conference with the superintendent or his/her designee before bus riding privileges are reinstated.

        2. In instances of flagrant violations warranting more action than a warning, a student may be suspended from the bus or from school after the first offense.
           
        3. The parent or legal guardian is to be notified by the principal whenever a pupil is suspended from a bus. The notification should include the reason for suspension and the length of suspension.
           
        4. Middle and high school students who misbehave on inter-campus bus routes (e.g., Dowell J. Howard Center) may be disciplined as follows:

          1. First Offense: The student shall be warned about the consequences of continued misbehavior, and his/her parent or legal guardian shall be notified.

          2. Second Offense:  May result in suspension from school for one day.

          3. Third Offense: May result in a referral to the superintendent’s designee for consideration of further disciplinary action. 

        5. Students who are waiting at a school for a bus to another school are under the authority of the school while waiting, and the principal may suspend them from riding the bus if they do not conduct themselves properly while there. Incidents that occur before or after school at a bus stop or prior to arrival home may be judged as if they were incidents at the school site.
           
      10. The Following Safety Rules are Posted on Every School Bus
         
        1. Observe same conduct as in the classroom.
           
        2. Be courteous, use no profane language.
           
        3. Do not eat or drink on the bus.
           
        4. Keep the bus clean.
           
        5. Cooperate with the driver.
           
        6. Do not smoke.
           
        7. Do not be destructive.
           
        8. Stay in your seat.
           
        9. Keep head, hands, and feet inside the bus.
           
        10. Bus driver is authorized to assign seats.
           
        11. No animals or insects are allowed on the bus.
           
    4. Cheating/Plagiarism (Frederick County Public Schools 322P)

      Students, who cheat, participate in any form of plagiarism, assist or encourage others to do so, or who otherwise willfully disregard the Board Copyright Policy will be counseled, will lose credit for the assignment, and will be referred to the school administrator for disciplinary action. The school administrator will notify the parent/legal guardian of the action and the reason for the action.
       
    5. Computer Network Use Violations (Frederick County Public Schools 323R)

      • The first offense shall result in a conference with the school administrator.  Additional discipline may be assigned. 

      • The second offense may result in a suspension.  A referral may also be made to the superintendent or designee for further action. 

      • Additional offenses may result in a referral to the superintendent or designee for further action.

    6. Dress Code

      1. General

        Habits of proper dress are of major importance in establishing patterns of school and social behavior as well as health and safety. All students are encouraged to dress in a manner that displays reasonableness of fashion, decency, and refrains from extremes. If there are any doubts about what should be worn, students shall check with their school principal or principal's designee, who is responsible for determining appropriateness of dress.  Any clothing or accessories judged to be disruptive to the learning environment are prohibited.  Students not complying with the dress code will be asked to take appropriate action including, but no limited to, covering clothing that does not comply or changing clothes. Repeated infractions of the dress code may result in disciplinary action. Enforcement must be reasonable discreet and equitable in implementation.

        Responsibilities

        • Students are responsible for complying with the dress code during school hours and school-sponsored activities.

        • Staff is responsible for communicating and equitably enforcing the dress code during school hours and school-sponsored activities.

        • Parents/guardians are responsible for ensuring students comply with the dress code. Parents/guardians of students requiring accommodation for religious beliefs, medical conditions, or other factors should contact the school principal or principal’s designee.

      2. Standards of Dress

        The standards of dress in the schools are as follows:

        1. Clothing shall cover all undergarments, the midriff, cleavage, back and private areas. Additionally, sheer and/or see through clothing that exposes these areas is prohibited.

        2. Students shall not wear hats, hoods, bandanna-type headbands or sunglasses.

        3. Clothing shall be free from language that is profane or images that depict, advertise, or advocate illegal, violent or lewd conduct. Clothing shall be free from images depicting drugs, drug paraphernalia, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other controlled substances. Gang attire is also prohibited.

        4. Clothing, including head coverings, worn for religious purposes, as a matter of safety, medical condition, or in connection with a school-sponsored program, activity or event is permitted.

        5. Schools may require specific dress for certain instructional activities including, but not limited to, career and technical education courses, driver training, science laboratories and physical education.

        6. Pants or slacks must be worn so that the entire waistband is above the top of the hip bone.

        7. Skirts and shorts shall be mid-thigh length. Holes and shredding shall be below mid-thigh on skirts, shorts and pants.

        8. Tops shall have straps that are one inch or greater in width. 

        The school principal may allow exceptions to the dress code for purposes including, but not limited to, "school spirit day", other like celebrations, or for special circumstances as deemed appropriate. The school principal may prohibit any item of dress deemed to be disruptive to the educational environment.

    7. Abuse of Drugs, Medication, Alcohol, Tobacco, or Electronic Cigarettes

      1. Introduction

        Substance abuse continues to be a serious problem among youths and young adults. Because misuse of chemicals and drugs can cause serious harm to the individual and society, the schools have recognized the problem and have addressed it. Instruction s provided K-12 in an effort to prevent drug misuse and abuse. A student-assistance program has been established to help those students identified to be in need of assistance with a drug- or alcohol-related problem. Disciplinary measures have been designed in an effort to eliminate the sale or use of drugs during school hours and school activities.
         
        Any student with a question concerning the possession of or identity of drugs should report to the school administration.
         
        Appropriate law enforcement officials will be informed when a law has been violated.         
          
      2. Use or Possession and Sale or Distribution of Unauthorized Legal Drugs (Grades K-12)

        The use or possession and sale or distribution of unauthorized legal drugs on school property, school bus stops during the times school children are waiting to be picked up and transported to or are being dropped off from school or a school-sponsored activity, or at school functions may be grounds for suspension or expulsion.
         
        1. As a result of a first offense, the student may be suspended. The number of days will be left to the discretion of the administrator. The student may be referred to the superintendent or designee for a conference with parents and student.
           
        2. The second offense shall result in an immediate suspension and referral to the superintendent or designee. The superintendent may recommend long term suspension or expulsion to the school board. 

      3. Use or Possession and Sale or Distribution of Controlled or Imitation Controlled Drugs, -including anabolic steroids (Grades K-12)

        No student shall possess, use, sell or distribute, transmit, or be under the influence of any drug, alcoholic beverage, anabolic steroid, other intoxicant, or substance in any form whatsoever prior to arriving at school or while on school property, at school- sponsored functions, or under the legal jurisdiction of the school system. For reasonable cause, a student may be required to take an alcohol or drug screening at the request of school authorities.

        The possession, sale, distribution, or use of a controlled substance, imitation controlled substance, marijuana, including imitation marijuana, or any mood-altering chemicals, including inhalants on school property or at school-sponsored activities is prohibited. A violation shall result in immediate suspension and referral to the superintendent or designee. A student who is determined in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Code of Virginia, Section 22.1-277 to have had in his possession, sold, distributed, or used a controlled substance, imitation controlled substance, marijuana, including imitation marijuana, or any mood-altering chemicals, including inhalants, on school property or at school-sponsored activities shall be expelled from school attendance for a period of not less than one year (365 calendar days). The School Board authorizes through this regulation the Superintendent or designee to conduct a preliminary review of such cases to determine whether a disciplinary action other than expulsion is appropriate. If a determination is made that another disciplinary action is appropriate, any such subsequent disciplinary action shall be taken in accordance with procedures set forth in the Code of Virginia Section 22.1-277.08. Enrollment in a drug treatment program or an alternative education program may be required.

      4. Drug Paraphernalia (Grades K-12)

        The sale, use, or possession of drug paraphernalia will result in the following action:

        1. The paraphernalia shall be confiscated, and parents shall be notified. The student shall be suspended, with the number of days left to the discretion of the administrator.
           
        2. If a second violation occurs, the student shall be suspended and referred to the superintendent or designee for further action.

        Clothing and accessories bearing drug-related or alcohol-related slogans and symbols are prohibited.

      5. Alcohol (Grades K-12)

        A student shall not possess, use, transmit, or be under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or intoxicant of any kind in the building, on the school grounds, prior to arriving at school, or at any school-sponsored activity, including a field trip.  Any student guilty may be suspended.  Enrollment in an alcohol-treatment program may be required.  A second offense will result in a recommendation to the hearing officer for a long term suspension or a recommendation to the school board for expulsion from school.    

      6. Tobacco and Electronic Cigarettes (Grades K-5)

        Students shall not possess, distribute or use any form of tobacco or electronic cigarettes while they are on school property or are engaged in school-sponsored functions. The consequences for violations of this policy are as follows:

        1. The first offense shall result in the parent being notified and the student being counseled by school personnel.

        2. The penalty for the second offense shall be a one-day suspension.

        3. Students who violate the regulation for a third time shall be suspended for three days.

        4. Subsequent violations may result in referral to the superintendent or designee for disciplinary action that may include long term suspension or expulsion.

        5. Tobacco products or electronic cigarettes, when found, will be confiscated and parents will be notified. 

      7. Tobacco and Electronic Cigarettes (Grades 6-12)

        Students shall not possess, distribute or use any form of tobacco or electronic cigarettes while they are on school property or are engaged in school-sponsored functions. The consequences for violations of this policy are as follows:

        1. The first offense shall result in a one-day suspension or in-school exclusion.

        2. The penalty for the second offense shall be a two-day in-school exclusion.

        3. The third offense shall result in a three-day suspension.

        4. Subsequent violations may result in a referral to the hearing officer or designee for action that may be long term suspension or expulsion.

        5. Tobacco products or electronic cigarettes, when found, will be confiscated and parents will be notified. 

    8. Fighting 

      1. Fighting (Grades K-5)

        Following a student's first fight, a letter of warning or suspension shall be sent to his parents or legal guardian. If the student is involved in another fight, he may be placed in in-school exclusion or suspended. The disciplining administrator shall have discretion in deciding whether a fight occurred and in determining the length of the suspension. If it is needed, a teacher or school official may use force to stop fighting or to prevent injury or damage to other people or property. When this occurs, any student who interferes shall be disciplined by school officials. 

      2. Fighting (Grades 6-12)

        Students who fight will be suspended. The principal shall be responsible for deciding what actions constitute a fight and shall determine the length of suspension when a fight occurs. A teacher or school official may use physical force if it is needed to stop a fight or prevent injury or damage. Students who interfere or attempt to keep a teacher or administrator from fulfilling this responsibility shall be suspended. A student deemed to be an aggressor will be suspended for at least three days. When a second offense occurs during the same school year, the student may be referred to the superintendent or designee, for a possible long-term suspension. A recommendation may be made to the school board for expulsion for students with multiple fights during the same school year or for those whose fights involved gangs, weapons or severe injuries. 

    9. Firearms (FCPS 430P) 

      Any student who has brought a firearm on school property or to a school-sponsored activity may be expelled from school attendance for a period of not less than one year (365 calendar days). School staff members, students, parents, and others with knowledge shall report to the principal of the school or his designee all information related to suspected violations of the policy related to weapons in school. The principal shall report any violation of this policy to the superintendent or his designee and to local law enforcement. Another disciplinary action or term of exclusion may be taken by the school board following an examination of the particular facts of a violation of this policy.

    10. Gambling (Code of Virginia Section(s) 18.2-325)

      A student shall not bet money or other things of value, or knowingly play or participate in any game involving a bet while on school property or during any school-sponsored activity.  

    11. Gang-related Activity (Code of Virginia Section(s) 18.2-46.1-3)

      Students shall not engage in gang activity on school grounds, on school buses or at any school sponsored activity. In addition, students shall not engage in gang activity using the school division’s computer system at any time. Gang activity is defined as: 

      • wearing, using, distributing, displaying, or selling any clothing, jewelry, emblem, badge, symbol, sign, or other thing that is evidence of membership or affiliation in any gang;

      • committing any act or omission, or using any speech, either verbal or non-verbal (such as gestures or hand-shakes) showing membership or affiliation in a gang;

      • using any speech or committing any act or omission in furtherance of the interests of any gang, including: (a) soliciting, hazing and initiating others for membership in any gang, (b) requesting any person to pay protection or otherwise intimidating or threatening any person, (c) committing any other illegal act or other violation of school policy and inciting other students to act with physical violence;

      • inappropriate congregating, bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, intimidation, degradation, disgrace and/or related activities which are likely to cause bodily danger, physical harm, or mental harm to students, employees or visitors. 

    12. Harassment/Sexual Harassment (Frederick County Public Schools 429P)  
       
      Repeatedly annoying or attacking a student (including the use of electronic means), group of students, or personnel which creates an intimidating or hostile educational or work environment will not be tolerated. Any complaint of harassment or sexual harassment should be reported immediately to a school counselor or to a school administrator. Violation will result in an out-of school suspension and may result in a referral to the superintendent’s designee for further consideration.    

    13. Hazing

      Students shall not recklessly or intentionally endanger the health or safety of a student or students or 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 (building administrator) of any school at which hazing occurs that causes bodily injury shall report the hazing to the Commonwealth Attorney. The Code of Virginia, Section 18.2-56, imposes a Class 1 misdemeanor penalty for violations; i.e., confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2500.00, either or both.
       
    14. Motor Vehicle Use and Parking (404 R)   
       
      Vehicles must be registered in the main office and must be parked in the designated parking area. Students shall not go to the parking lots during the school day unless they have specific permission from the administration. When they go, it shall be for the purpose of leaving for the day. Anyone apprehended in the parking lot during school hours without permission shall be subject to disciplinary action. 
          
    15. Stalking (Code of Virginia Section(s) 18.2-60.3)
       
      Students shall not engage in a pattern of behavior that places another person in reasonable fear of serious harm.  
       
    16. Threats Against Staff and Students
       
      Threats against staff and students will not be tolerated.  In addition, the perpetuation of any rumor, including, but not limited to, threats of violence, which results in a substantial disruption to school operations will not be tolerated. Consequences for making a threat or perpetuating any rumor that results in a substantial disruption to school operations may include suspension from school and referral to the hearing officer or designee for consideration of further disciplinary action.

    17. Vandalism (Code of Virginia Section(s) 18.2-138, 22.1-253.13:7.C.3) 

      Students shall not willfully or maliciously damage school buildings or property. 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. A student or student’s parent may be held responsible for repair or replacement of vandalized property. 
       
    18. Weapons (Code of Virginia Section(s) 18.2-308.1, 22.1-277.07 (E) ) 
       
      Students shall not possess, use, manufacture, sell, or purchase any weapon, dangerous instrument, or look-alike that could be used as a weapon while on school property, on school vehicles, or during school-sponsored activities on or off school property. Violation may result in out-of-school suspension, referral to the superintendent’s designee, or referral to the school board with a recommendation for expulsion.
       
      Such weapons include, but are not limited to:

      • any pistol, shotgun, stun gun, revolver, or other firearm listed in section 22.1-277.07 (E) of the Code of Virginia, designed or intended to propel a projectile of any kind, including a rifle

      • unloaded firearms in closed containers

      • any air rifle or BB gun

      • toy guns and look-alike guns

      • any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, knife or razor

      • slingshots

      • spring sticks

      • brass or metal knuckles, blackjacks

      • any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain

      • any disc, or whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades, and which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart

      • explosives, and
      • destructive devices as defined in section 22.1-277.07 (E), of the Code of Virginia, or other dangerous articles.
       
      Students shall not possess, sell, or purchase any ammunition or other explosive devise while on school property, in school vehicles, or during school-sponsored activities on or off school property. Violation may result in out-of-school suspension, referral to the superintendent’s designee, or referral to the school board with a recommendation for expulsion.

  2. Disciplinary Penalties
     
    1. A principal may use any of the following penalties to maintain order and discipline within the school environment.
       
      1. Warning and Counseling—Warning and counseling should be used where appropriate to assist a student to understand that his conduct interferes with his educational process, threatens the rights of others, or is contrary to school policy or regulations and needs to be corrected.
         
      2. After-school Detention—A student may be detained for a reasonable period of time before or after scheduled classes and may be required during this time to engage in such activities as may reasonably contribute to better behavior. The parent of the student to be detained shall be notified by the school. The student who has been assigned detention time shall promptly inform his/her parents. The parent will be responsible for transporting the student. Except in certain circumstances, a student shall be given at least one day's notice if he/she has been assigned detention time.
         
      3. Special Assignments—A student may be given special assignments as a corrective measure. This may include, but not be limited to, reasonable assignments for general assistance at the school facility.
         
      4. In-school Detention—A student may be removed from his/her regular schedule of classes and assigned to another location.
         
      5. Suspension from Extracurricular Activities—A student's privilege to participate in all or certain extracurricular activities may be suspended for a fixed period of time or until certain specified conditions have been fulfilled. Suspension from extracurricular activities may be imposed in conjunction with other penalties. Students who have been charged with a criminal offense may be suspended from participation for a period of time or until certain conditions have been fulfilled. Any and all sanctions are at the discretion of the school principal.
         
      6. School Probation—Being placed on probation is notification that a student's behavior has been unacceptable and must be improved. A student may be placed on probation for a period not to exceed 45 school days by the principal and for up to one school year by the superintendent or his/her designee following a conference with his parent in which the terms and conditions of the probation are explained. The principal or the superintendent or his/her designee shall also notify the parent in writing when a probation is imposed, including the reasons for the probation and its date of termination.
         
      7. In‑School Assistance—In-school assistance is a disciplinary measure that assigns students to a restrictive and highly controlled school based setting other than the regular classroom where students are isolated and must complete all assigned work.
         
      8. Suspension from School—(Ten [10] days or less) A student may be suspended from school for violations of this regulation. Suspension is the temporary exclusion of a student from regular school attendance and activities by the principal, or designee for a period of time not to exceed ten (10) days. While the suspension is in effect the student is denied attendance at any and all programs of the Frederick County Public Schools. Except as provided in subsection C of Va. Code § 277 or Va. Code §§ 22.1-277.07 or 22.1-277.08, no student in preschool through grade three is suspended for more than three school days or expelled from attendance at school, unless (i) the offense involves physical harm or credible threat of physical harm to others or (ii) the School Board or the superintendent or superintendent’s designee finds that aggravating circumstances exist, as defined by the Virginia Department of Education.
         
      9. Referral to Law-Enforcement Officials—Violations of law will be handled by referring the case to law-enforcement officers in addition to the use of other disciplinary measures.
         
      10. Removal from Class – A disruptive student may be removed from class according to the requirements of the Section 22.1-276.2 of the Code of Virginia, Frederick County School Board Policy 431P, and Frederick County School Board Policy 431R.              

    2. A school principal may also refer a student to the superintendent’s designee or to the school board for consideration of these penalties.

      1. Long‑Term Suspension—(11-45 school days) Long-term suspension is the exclusion of a student from regular school attendance and activities by the superintendent or his/her designee for a period of 11-45 school days. While the suspension is in effect the student is denied attendance at any and all programs of the Frederick County Public Schools. A student on long-term suspension may be readmitted to school on a conditional entry basis (as per regulations) following the completion of the suspension. A long-term suspension may extend beyond a 45-school-day period but shall not exceed 364 calendar days if (i) the offense is one described in Va. Code §§ 22.1-277.07 or 22.1-277.08 or involves serious bodily injury or (ii) a committee of the School Board or the division superintendent or superintendent’s designee finds that aggravating circumstances exist, as defined by the Virginia Department of Education.
         
      2. Assignment To An Alternative Education Program – “A school board may require any student who has been (I) charged with an offense relating to the Commonwealth’s laws, or with a violation of school board policies on weapons, alcohol or drugs, or intentional injury to another person; (ii) found guilty or not innocent of an offense relating to the Commonwealth’s laws on weapons, alcohol, or drugs, or of a crime that resulted in or could have resulted in injury to others, or for which the disposition ordered by a court is required to be disclosed to the superintendent of the school division pursuant to the Code of Virginia, Section 16.1-305.1; (iii) found to have committed a serious offense or repeated offenses in violation of school board policies; (iv) suspended due to Virginia Code, Section 22.1.277.05; or (v) expelled pursuant to Virginia Code, Sections 22.1-277.06, 22.1-277.07, or Section 22.1-277.08, or subsection B of Section 22.1-277, to attend an alternative education program. A school board may require such student to attend such programs regardless of where the crime occurred...” (Virginia Code, Section22.1-277.2:1). Pursuant to disciplinary authority of the School Board, the Superintendent, or designee, may require students to attend an alternative education program consistent with the provisions of 22.1-277.2:1 and such decision shall be final unless altered by the School Board upon timely written petition.
         
      3. Expulsion—A student's privilege to attend school may be terminated by the school board in accordance with. due process procedures. Expulsion is an action by the school board which terminates the student from regular school attendance 365 calendar days or longer. Expulsion denies attendance at any and all programs of the Frederick County Public Schools.

  3. Procedures for Suspension and Expulsion
     
    The principal is responsible for:
     
    • effective school management that promotes positive student achievement, a safe and secure environment in which to teach and learn, and efficient use of resources

    • ensuring that the school division’s student code of conduct is enforced

    • seeking to maintain a safe and secure school environment
     
    1. Suspension for Ten (10) School Days or Less (Code of Virginia, 22.1-277.04)
      The principal may suspend a pupil for ten school days or less with the following procedures:

      • The student shall be apprised of the nature and facts of the alleged misconduct.

      • The student shall be given an opportunity to explain the circumstances of the alleged misconduct from his/her perspective and to present witnesses on his/her behalf.

      • The student shall be informed of the conditions of the suspension, such as required parental conference prior to return, prohibition from coming on school property or to scheduled school activities, etc.

      • The principal shall execute a letter of suspension stating the condition of the suspension and the date that the student may return to school.  Copies of the letter of suspension shall be given to the student, if possible, and mailed to the student's parent or legal guardian and to the superintendent or his/her designee.

      • The parent or legal guardian shall be notified of the right to an appeal and the procedures as set forth.
       
    2. Appeal Procedures

      • The parent or legal guardian may appeal a detention or in-school assistance to the school principal.  The decision of the school principal shall be final. An out-of-school suspension resulting from failure to serve a detention or in-school exclusion may not be appealed beyond the school principal.

      • After appealing the suspension to the school principal, the parent or legal guardian of a suspended student may appeal the suspension decision to the assistant superintendent for administration. 

      • The parent or legal guardian must request, in writing, a hearing before the assistant superintendent for administration or designee.  The written request must be received in the assistant superintendent’s office within seven (7) calendar days of the date of suspension letter or the right to appeal will be forfeited. 

      • The suspension will continue, as assigned, during the appeal process.  Should the appeal be granted, the suspension and absence from school will be removed from the student’s cumulative scholastic record.

      • After providing the written request for an appeal, the parent must establish a time for a hearing before the assistant superintendent or designee, which time must be agreeable to all parties. 

      • The hearing must be scheduled within ten (10) days of the assistant superintendent’s receipt of the written request or the right to appeal will be forfeited.

      • The decision of the assistant superintendent or designee shall be final.

    3. Suspensions for 11-45 School Days or More (Long-Term Suspension)                
      The superintendent or his/her designee may suspend students from school in excess of ten (10) school days with the following procedures:

      • The student and his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s) have been provided written notice of the proposed action and reason therefore and of the right of a hearing.

      • The parent or legal guardian shall have the right to inspect the student’s school records.  The student and his parent(s) or legal guardian shall also be provided with a copy of the standards of student conduct.

      • In any case in which a student has been suspended by the superintendent or his/her designee(s) after a hearing, the student and his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may appeal the decision to the school board’s Student Conduct and Support Committee. The suspension will remain in effect during the appeal process. Such appeal must be in writing and must be filed with the superintendent within seven (7) calendar days of the suspension decision. Failure to file a written appeal within the specified time will constitute a waiver of the right to an appeal. The Student Conduct and Support Committee will consider the appeal of the suspension hearing within thirty (30) calendar days of the appeal. The Committee may accept information (in writing or in person) not available at the time of the previous hearing(s). The decision of the Committee, if unanimous, is the final decision of the School Board. If the Committee’s decision is not unanimous, the student or the student’s parents may appeal the decision to the School Board. Such appeal shall be decided by the School Board within 30 days.  

    4. Emergency Suspension

      Any student whose presence poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption may be summarily removed from school immediately, and the notice, explanation of facts, and opportunity to present his or her version required above under Suspension for Ten Days or Less shall be given as soon as practicable thereafter.          

    5. Expulsion 

      “Expulsion” means any disciplinary action imposed by a school board or a committee thereof, as provided in school board policy, whereby a student is not permitted ot attend school within the school division and is ineligible for readmission for 365 calendar days after the date of the expulsion. The principal, with the concurrence of the assistant superintendent, may recommend that a student be expelled. The principal shall notify the student and his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s) in writing of the following: the proposed action and the reasons therefore; the right of the student and his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to a hearing before the superintendent or his/her designee(s) under the procedure promulgated by the superintendent; and the right to inspect the student’s school records.  The student and his/her parent(s) shall also be provided with a copy of the Code of Student Conduct. 

      The superintendent or his/her designee(s) may impose a lesser sanction.  If the superintendent or his/her designee(s) upholds the recommenda­tion of expulsion, the student shall be suspended until the matter is decided by the school board.    

      If the superintendent decides to recommend the expulsion of a student, he shall promptly notify the student's parent or legal guardian in writing.  This notice shall include the following:  a statement of the circumstances that impel the recommendation, the time and place of the meeting at which the school board will act on the recommendation, and a copy of this policy. The procedure for the school board hearing shall be as follows:

      • The school board shall determine the propriety of attendance at the hearing of persons not having a direct interest in the hearing.  The hearing shall be private unless otherwise specified by the school board.

      • The school board may ask for opening statements from the principal or his/her representative and the student or his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s) (or their representative) and, at the discretion of the school board, may allow closing statements.

      • The parties shall then present their evidence.  Because the principal has the ultimate burden of proof, he/she shall present his/her evidence first.  Witnesses may be questioned by the school board members and by the parties (or their representative).  The school board may, at its discretion, vary this procedure, but it shall afford full opportunity to both parties for presentation of any material or relevant evidence and shall afford the parties the right of cross-examination; take the testimony of student witnesses outside the presence of the student, his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s), and their representative if the school board determines, in its discretion, that such action is necessary to protect the student witnesses.

      • The parties shall produce such additional evidence as the school board may deem necessary.  The school board shall be the judge of the relevancy and materiality of the evidence.

      • Exhibits offered by the parties may be received in evidence by the school board and, when so received, shall be marked and made part of the record.

      • The school board may, by majority vote, uphold, reject, or alter the recommendation.

      • The school board shall transmit its decision, including the reasons therefore, to the student, his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s), the principal, and superintendent. 

      The chairman of the school board may elect, in his/her discretion, to appoint a committee of the board to hear the long-term suspension or expulsion case.  In the event a committee conducts the hearing, the student or his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may appeal the committee's decision to the full school board.  The appeal must be in writing and must be filed with the superintendent within seven (7) calendar days of the committee's decision.  Failure to file a written appeal within the specified time will constitute a waiver of the right to an appeal.  The school board will decide the appeal of the case within thirty (30) calendar days of the request for an appeal.  No statements, witnesses, or evidence may be presented at this appeal unless specifically requested by the chairman of the board.            

  4. Judicial review (Code of Virginia Section(s) 22.1-87)

    Any parent, custodian, or legal guardian of a student attending Frederick County Public Schools who is aggrieved by an action of the school board may, within thirty days after such action, petition the local circuit court to review the action of the school board.
     
    Such review shall proceed upon the petition, the minutes of the meeting at which the school board's action was taken, the orders, if any, of the school board, an attested copy of the transcript, if any, of any hearing before the school board, and any other evidence found relevant to the issues on appeal by the court.
     
    The action of the school board shall be sustained unless the school board exceeded its authority, acted arbitrarily or capriciously, or abused its discretion.

  5. Search and Seizure 

    Frederick County Public Schools may conduct reasonable searches and seizures pursuant to Policy 439P, Students- Student Search and Seizure. 

Legal Reference(s): 
28 CFR 35.149

34 CFR 104.4

Public Law 108-446

Code of Virginia 1950, as amended, Section(s) 18.2-46.1-3, 18.2-56, 18.2-83, 18.2-85, 18.2-87.1, 18.2-119, 18.2-255.2; 18.2-247, 18.2-308, 18.2-308.1, 18.2-308.7, 18.2-371.2, 18.2-433.1, 22.1-78, 22.1-202, 22.1-253.13:7.C.3, 22.1-276.3, 22.1-277, 22.1-277.05, 22.1-277.06, 22.1-277.07, 22.1-277.08, 22.1-277.07:1, 22.1-279.6, 22.1-277.2; 22.1‑277.2:1, 46.2-323, 46.2-334.001

8VAC 20-81-100(N)

Student Code of Conduct Policy Guidelines (Virginia Board of Education-October 2013) 

Information Brief: Cyberbullying and School Policy (Virginia Department of Education, August 2008)


Cross Reference(s): 
Regulation 402R-B, Students- Disciplining Students with Disabilities

Regulation 402R-C, Students- Disciplining Students with Disabilities for Infliction of Serious Bodily Injury

Policy 439P, Students- Student Search and Seizure


Adopted: June 16, 2006
Amended: June 22, 2007
Amended: July 7, 2008
Amended: June 21, 2009
Amended: December 1, 2009
Amended: July 8, 2011
Amended: August 18, 2011
Amended: June 11, 2012
Amended: August 14, 2012
Amended: August 14, 2013
Amended: July 1, 2014
Amended: July 29, 2014  
Amended: January 9, 2015
Amended: July 17, 2017
Amended: October 18, 2017
Amended: August 15, 2018
Amended: May 8, 2019