topleft >  Services >  Governance Technology > 

Vista USD |  BP  5131  Students


arrow Previous bar Next arrow

The Board of Trustees 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, while going to or coming from school, while at school activities, and while on district transportation.

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

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that each school site develops standards of conduct and discipline consistent with district policies and administrative regulations. Students and parents/guardians shall be notified of district and school rules related to conduct.

The Board of Trustees is committed to providing equal opportunity for all individuals in education. The district believes that all students have the right to be educated in a positive learning environment free from unreasonable disruptions. The district prohibits discrimination in its programs and activities, including discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical or mental disability. Students are prohibited from engaging in the discrimination or harassment of another student or employees of the district. Students are expected to exhibit appropriate conduct that does not infringe upon the rights of others or interfere with the school program.

Students who engage in discrimination or harassment of other students or district employees may be subject to disciplinary action.

The Board finds that hate violence and harassment committed by students, as defined by Education Code 48900.3, is misconduct which must not be tolerated. The Board is committed to providing an educational environment free of hate crimes and harassment based on sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical or mental disability.

Neither the school's network nor the broader internet when accessed on campus or during school hours may be used for the purpose of harassment. All forms of harassment in cyberspace, often referred to as bullying via an electronic act or "cyberbullying," are unacceptable.

An "electronic act" is defined as the transmission of a communication, including, but not limited to, a message, text, sound, or image, by means of an electronic device, such as a telephone, wireless telephone, PDA, other wireless or wired communication device, computer, or pager.

Cyberbullying includes, but is not limited to, the following transmission of communications that intend to harass, harm, hurt, tease, intimidate, or terrorize another person:

* Posting of messages or web site postings (including blogs);

* E-mail messages or texts, words, sounds, or instant messaging;

* Using digital pictures, or images on the Internet;

* Social networking sites, or other digital technologies; and

* Using a telephone, computer, or any wireless communication device.

Cyberbullying also includes direct threats, or social cruelty, and breaking into another person's electronic account and assuming that person's identity in order to damage that person's reputation or relationships.

Such conduct by any student is strictly prohibited when it is related to school activity or attendance which occurs at any time, including, but not limited to, any of the following:

* While on school grounds;

* While going to or coming from school;

* During the lunch period whether on or off the campus;

* During, or while going to or coming from, a school sponsored activity.

Students may also be subject to discipline for off-campus conduct during non-school hours if such conduct poses a threat or danger to the safety of the students, staff, or district property, or substantially disrupts the educational program of the district in accordance with law, Board policy, or administrative regulation.

Pursuant to state and federal law, the district prohibits harassing conduct based on the above categories which has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment. Harassment is defined as intentional conduct motivated because of the student-victim's actual or perceived sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, or physical or mental disability, which is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive, and that so undermines and detracts from the victims' educational experience, that the victim-students are effectively denied equal access to the district's resources and opportunities.

Harassment based upon one of the above categories may include, but is not limited to:

* Verbal harassment, such as epithets, derogatory comments or slurs;

* Visual harassment, such as derogatory posters, cartoons, drawings, or cyberbullying;

* Physical harassment, such as assault or interference with normal movement; and

* Harassment that endangers students, staff, or others.

The Compliance Officer is the district employee responsible for coordinating the district's efforts to prevent and remedy discrimination and harassment including cyberbullying. The Compliance Officer may be reached at the district offices at:

1234 Arcadia Avenue

Vista, CA, 92084

(760) 726-2170

Students shall report any perceived illegal harassment or discrimination to a teacher, principal or other administrator at the school.

Parents and legal guardians of parents shall report any perceived illegal harassment or discrimination to a principal or administrator at the student's school.

All district employees are responsible for notifying the Compliance Officer within 24 hours of observing or receiving a complaint about illegal discrimination or harassment.

The Compliance Officer shall develop and maintain procedures to resolve the issue appropriately in accordance with district disciplinary policy, student due process procedures, and applicable laws.

The Board assures district students that district administration will take immediate action to halt illegal discrimination and harassment and to prevent it from recurring. The Board hereby directs the principal or designee to investigate complaints of hate violence and harassment prohibited by this Board Policy, and also to investigate circumstances where it is reasonably suspected that a student or student's engaged in misconduct prohibited by this Board Policy.

The Board hereby directs the principal or designee to discipline students who engage in hate violence and harassment prohibited by this Board Policy on a progressive scale. The principal or designee shall recommend expulsion for any student who engages in misconduct prohibited by this Policy if (1) other means of correction are not feasible; (2) other means of correction have repeatedly failed to bring about proper conduct; or (3) the nature of the violation causes a continuing danger to the physical safety of the student or others.

The district prohibits retaliatory discrimination or harassment against any person who has brought a complaint charging racial harassment and/or has participated in the complaint process described in this Board Policy.

This Board Policy applies to all students, inclusive, with the exception that students enrolled in kindergarten and grades 1-3, inclusive, shall not be recommended for expulsion for violation of this Board Policy.

The Board directs that students, upon admission and regularly thereafter, will be informed by the strict prohibition against hate violence and harassment and the action that will be taken against a student who engages in such behavior.

The Board also directs that students will regularly be instructed on how to comply with the prohibitions in this Board Policy, and the district and community services available to students and their parents or legal guardians in order to achieve compliance.

Employees are expected to provide appropriate supervision to enforce standards of conduct and, if they observe or receive a report 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, transfer to alternative programs, or denial of participation in extracurricular or co-curricular activities in accordance with Board policy and administrative regulation. The Superintendent or designee shall notify local law enforcement as appropriate.

Possession/Use of Cellular Phones and Other Mobile Communications Devices

The Board of Trustees recognizes that instructional time is precious and must be protected from unnecessary disruption. However, the Board of Trustees also acknowledges the importance of electronic communication between students and parents/guardians, particularly when students are involved with activities that keep them after school hours.

Therefore, students may be permitted to have in their possession a cellular phone/pager in school, on school property, at after-school activities, and at school-related functions provided that use of the electronic devices does not disrupt the instructional process except as required by Education Code for medical reasons. Telephones and pagers are to be turned off in the classroom, unless the teacher has given special permission, and during school activities in which their use would cause a disruption. Students who use these devices on campus shall do so only before school, at break, lunch and after school, or during passing periods. The Board encourages students to use cellular telephones for family business and emergency purposes

only. In permitting use of such devices, the district assumes no liability for the loss or damage of the device or its misuse by another person. Electronic devices are not to be used for unlawful purposes.

Individual sites shall determine specific procedures for their students regarding the use of electronic devices (cell phones, I-pods and other devices used for signaling) during non-instructional times (i.e. breaks and lunch). These procedures must be developed in collaboration with the school community, which may include site councils, safety committees, parents, department chairs, school staff and students.

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: December 9, 2010 Vista, California