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South San Francisco USD |  BP  5131  Students


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The Governing Board believes that all students have the right to be educated in a positive learning environment free from disruptions. Students shall be expected to exhibit appropriate conduct that does not infringe upon the rights of others or interfere with the school program while on school grounds, going to or coming from school, at school activities, or using district transportation.

(cf. 0450-Comprehensive Safety Plan)

(cf. 5131.1-Bus Conduct)

(cf. 5137-Positive School Climate)

(cf. 6145.2-Athletic Competition)

Behavior is considered appropriate when students are diligent in study, careful with school property, courteous and respectful towards their teachers, other staff, students and volunteers.

The Superintendent or designee will ensure that each school site develops standards of conduct and discipline consistent with district policies and administrative regulations.

Students and parents/guardians will be notified of district and school rules related to conduct and students shall receive instruction regarding these rules. In addition, parents/guardians and students may be provided information about early warning signs of harassing/intimidating behaviors as well as prevention and intervention strategies.

Prohibited student conduct includes but is not limited to:

1. Behavior that endangers staff and/or students;

2. Behavior that disrupts the orderly classroom, school environment, or co-curricular activity.

3. Harassment of students or staff, including bullying, intimidation, hazing, or any other verbal, written or physical conduct that causes or threatens to cause bodily harm, emotional suffering, or sexual harassment.

4. Damage to or theft of property belonging to the district, staff or students;

5. Possession or use of laser pointers, unless used for a valid instructional or other school-related purpose; (Penal Code 417.27);

Prior to bringing a laser pointer on school premises for a valid instructional or school-related purpose, a student shall obtain permission from the principal or designee.

6. Profane, vulgar or abusive language;

7. Plagiarism or dishonesty in school work or on tests;

8. Inappropriate dress;

9. Tardiness and unexcused absence from school;

10. Failure to remain on school premises in accordance with school rules.

Possession of Cellular Phones and Other Electronic Signaling Devices

For K-12 Students

Disclaimer: The district is not responsible for these electronic devices.

Students may not use electronic signaling devices, while on school grounds, including but not limited to, pagers and cellular/digital telephones, as well as other mobile communications devices including, but not limited to, digital media players, personal digital assistants (PDAs), compact disc players, portable game consoles, cameras, digital scanners, and laptop computers. Students may possess these devices provided that such devices do not disrupt the educational program or school activity and are not used for illegal or unethical activities such as cheating on assignments, tests, or on school grounds during regular school hours. Electronic signaling devices shall be turned off or stored during regular school hours and/or at the direction of a district employee. Tracking devices will be allowed with prior consent from the administrator. No student is prohibited from possessing or using an electronic signaling device that is determined by a licensed physician and surgeon to be essential for the health of the student and use of which is limited to purposes related to the health of the student.

Student cell phones, including, but not limited to, text messages and digital photos, may be searched by the district, under limited circumstances, in accordance with the limitations imposed by state and federal law. Specifically, school officials may not search students' cell phones, including the accessing and reading of their text messages and digital photos, unless those officials:

1. Have a reasonable suspicion, based on objective and articulable facts, that the search will provide evidence that the particular student was violating either the law or a school rule, including this policy; and

2. The scope of the search is reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the nature of the alleged infraction.

Enforcement of Standards

Employees are expected to provide appropriate supervision to enforce standards of conduct and, if they observe or become aware of a violation of these standards, to immediately

intervene or call for assistance. If an employee believes a matter has not been resolved, he/she shall refer the matter to his/her supervisor or administrator for further investigation.

Students who violate district or school rules and regulations may be subject to discipline, including but not limited to suspension, expulsion or transfer to alternative programs in accordance with Board policy and administrative regulation. In addition, when the conduct involves intimidation, harassment, or other endangerment of a student or employee, the Superintendent or designee shall provide appropriate assistance as necessary for the victim and the offender or make appropriate referrals for such assistance.


The Board desires to prevent bullying by establishing a positive, collaborative school climate and clear rules for student conduct.

(cf. 5137 - Positive School Climate)

(cf. 5138 - Conflict Resolution/Peer Mediation)

(cf. 6164.2 - Guidance/Counseling Services)

The district may provide students with instruction, in the classroom or other educational settings, that promotes communication, social skills, and assertiveness skills and educates students about appropriate online behavior and strategies to prevent and respond to bullying and cyberbullying.

(cf. 1220 - Citizen Advisory Committees)

(cf. 6163.4 - Student Use of Technology)

School staff shall receive related professional development, including information about early warning signs of harassing/intimidating behaviors and effective prevention and intervention strategies. Parents/guardians, students, and community members also may be provided with similar information.

(cf. 4131 - Staff Development)

(cf. 4231 - Staff Development)

(cf. 4331 - Staff Development)

(cf. 5136 - Gangs)

Students may submit a verbal or written complaint of conduct they consider to be bullying to a teacher or administrator. Complaints of bullying shall be investigated and resolved in accordance with site-level grievance procedures specified in AR 5145.7 - Sexual Harassment.

When a student is suspected of or reported to be using electronic or digital communications to engage in cyberbullying against other students or staff, or to threaten district property, the

investigation shall include documentation of the activity, identification of the source, and specific facts or circumstances that explain the impact or potential impact on school activity, school attendance, or the targeted student's educational performance.

Students shall be encouraged to save and print any messages sent to them that they feel constitute cyberbullying and to notify a teacher, the principal, or other employee so that the matter may be investigated.

Any student who engages in cyberbullying on school premises, or off campus in a manner that causes or is likely to cause a substantial disruption of a school activity or school attendance, shall be subject to discipline in accordance with district policies and regulations. If the student is using a social networking site or service that has terms of use that prohibit posting of harmful material, the Superintendent or designee also may file a complaint with the Internet site or service to have the material removed.

Legal Reference:


200-262.4 Prohibition of discrimination

32280-32289 Comprehensive safety plan

35181 Governing board authority to set policy on responsibilities of students

35291-35291.5 Rules

44807 Duty concerning conduct of students

48900-48925 Suspension and expulsion

51512 Prohibition against electronic listening or recording device in classroom without permission


1714.1 Liability of parents and guardians for willful misconduct of minor


288.2 Harmful matter with intent to seduce

313 Harmful matter

417.25-417.27 Laser scope or laser pointer

647 Use of camera or other instrument to invade person's privacy; misdemeanor

653.2 Electronic communication devices, threats to safety


23123-23124 Prohibitions against use of electronic devices while driving


300-307 Duties of students


2000h-2000h6 Title IX, 1972 Education Act Amendments


J.C. v. Beverly Hills Unified School District, (2010) 711 F.Supp.2d 1094

LaVine v. Blaine School District, (2000, 9th Cir.) 257 F.3d 981

Emmett v. Kent School District No. 415, (2000) 92 F.Supp. 1088

Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser, (1986) 478 U.S. 675

New Jersey v. T.L.O., (1985) 469 U.S. 325

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, (1969) 393 U.S. 503

Management Resources:


Safe Schools: Strategies for Governing Boards to Ensure Student Success, 2011

Providing a Safe, Nondiscriminatory School Environment for All Students, Policy Brief, April 2010

Cyberbullying: Policy Considerations for Boards, Policy Brief, July 2007


Bullying at School, 2003



California Department of Education, Safe Schools Office:

Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use:

National School Boards Association:

National School Safety Center:

U.S. Department of Education:


adopted: September 27, 2012 South San Francisco, California