SCHOOL DISCIPLINE POLICY
G R I F F I T H S M I D D L E S C H O O L
The purpose of this policy is to ensure a system of effective discipline supported by students, school personnel and parents. We are making every effort to ensure that Griffiths Middle School is a safe place for our students and staff members. Working together, we can provide a safe, pleasant and academically rewarding environment in which students can achieve a maximum level of success.
Please be aware that school rules, as required by California State Law, apply during school hours, before school, after school, at any school related activity, and when traveling to school or back home.
Failure to comply with the Griffiths School Discipline Policy may result in any of the following consequences:
1.1 Referral to a school administrator, counselor, or dean
1.2 Parent conference
1.3 Assignment of lunch exclusion, campus clean-up, detention, Saturday School, or other disciplinary assignment(s)
1.4 Loss of school privileges (i.e. dances, field trips, athletic participation, etc.)
1.5 Community Service
1.6 Up to five days of off-campus or in-school suspension
1.7 Parent may be required to attend school with their child
1.8 Social adjustment transfer of the student to another campus within the Downey Unified School District
1.9 Alcohol and Other Drug Contract
1.10 Referral to a School Attendance Review Team and/or a School Attendance Review Board hearing
1.11 Referral for expulsion from the Downey Unified School District
1.12 Police notification, student arrest and removal from school with subsequent legal action
2. CLOSED CAMPUS, CAMPUS HOURS
Griffiths Middle School is a closed campus. No student may leave the campus at any time without the permission of the school attendance office and a written office pass. Downey Police may cite a student who is off campus without a written school pass. It is a violation of State Law for anyone to enter a campus during school hours unless entry is granted by the school administration. Everyone must stop at the office before coming on campus. Regular school day hours at Griffiths Middle School are from 7:55 a.m. until 2:38 p.m. Students are supervised on campus from 7:35 a.m. until 2:53 p.m..
3. ATTENDANCE, TARDIES, TRUANCY
No student should be absent, tardy, or out of class without a valid reason. School Policy states that you must be in your seat when the tardy bell begins to ring. A student is considered truant when they are absent from school, class, or more than 30 minutes late, without permission.
4. DRUGS, ALCOHOL, WEAPONS, OTHER MAJOR OFFENSES
Using, giving, or selling to another person, or in possession of, drugs, alcohol, weapons, look-alike weapons (example: air soft-pellet gun, rubber knife, etc.) or dangerous objects on campus is strictly forbidden. Any overt act or threat directed at a student, teacher or other school employee is also a serious violation.
Fighting is defined as “causing and/or threatening to cause physical injury to student(s)or school personnel, and/or willfully using force or violence on another.” Pushing, shoving, play-fighting, etc., are all considered to be fighting. Self-defense is not an acceptable excuse.
6. DISRESPECT, DEFIANCE OF AUTHORITY
Any student that is discourteous, impolite, or rude to school personnel is guilty of disrespect. Defiance is refusal to follow a staff member’s directions. Failure to serve detention may be considered defiance of authority.
7. PROFANITY, VULGARITY, OBSCENE MATERIAL
No student is permitted to use profane or vulgar language at any time while at school or any school activity. Any profanity directed at or about a teacher or any other school employee will be considered an extreme violation. Profanity includes spoken and/or written expression.
8. THEFT OR POSSESSION OF LOST/STOLEN PROPERTY
Theft is defined as the removal of an object from school or from another person, their backpack, desk, locker, purse, etc. without the knowledge and permission of the owner. To knowingly possess lost or stolen property will be considered theft.
Vandalism is considered willful destruction of school or personal property. The parent or guardian of a minor who willfully cuts, defaces, or otherwise injures in any way, property, real or personal, belonging to the School District, will be liable for all such damages caused by the minor.
Forgery is the act of a student signing a parent’s, teacher’s, or other school employee’s name or altering such signature or other mark such as a grade, date, time, etc. If a student impersonates such person by voice on the telephone, he or she will be guilty of forgery.
The act of smoking or the mere possession of tobacco, cigarettes, and/or electronic cigarettes by a minor is illegal and is considered a violation of this policy. Cigarette lighters, matches or other tobacco related paraphernalia are not permitted on campus at any time.
12. FIRECRACKERS, FIREWORKS, EXPLOSIVES
Firecrackers, fireworks, and other explosives are illegal, dangerous and never permitted at school or any school activity. Simple possession of such materials is a violation of this policy. Lighting or attempting to light or explode such materials is a serious and major violation of school policy
13. CHEATING AND PLAGIARISM
Cheating is considered an action which is not honest. Copying the test or papers of another student is considered cheating. A student who supplies papers or work for someone to copy or does the work for someone is also guilty of cheating. Two or more students working together on an assignment that was to be completed by an individual will also be considered cheating.
Plagiarism is the act of taking work from another source and turning it in as your own. Plagiarism will be considered as an act of cheating.
14. CLASSROOM DISRUPTION, FAILURE TO FOLLOW RULES
Teachers have the authority to develop rules for their individual classrooms. To assure maximum learning, teachers will issue classroom rules which must be followed. Parents will be contacted as necessary if students fail to maintain proper class behavior.
15. DISRUPTION OF SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
Students violating school rules at any school activity may be asked to leave and further action, as necessary, will be taken. Students having unserved detention or major behavioral violations will not be admitted to school activities. Students may be placed on school probation, where future behavior will be agreed upon and carefully monitored. Any student violating the probation agreement may be transferred to another school and/or denied participation in future activities which includes promotion exercises, dances, and year-end activities. Any misbehavior on school field trips will be considered a violation of school rules.
Students are to remain in assigned areas during snack and lunch. Students are not allowed in staff parking areas at any time. All students with food must remain in the student quad. Students who are finished eating may participate in games on the basketball courts and athletic fields during lunch only. Students are not permitted in the halls during lunch or snack. Cutting in line, leaving trash or throwing food will not be tolerated.
17. BOOK BAGS & BACK PACKS
Book bags and back packs are personal property of the owner. No student may pick up a book bag or back pack or open one up without the immediate permission of the owner. Any student found in possession of another student’s book bag or in possession of any materials taken out of the bag will be considered guilty of theft. The student will be punished for theft and/or possession of lost or stolen property.
18. DRESS CODE
Responsibility for student dress rests with the parent. While on campus or at any school activity, students will be dressed and groomed in a manner which will not distract, interfere or disrupt the educational program or create a safety hazard for themselves or others. Griffiths Middle School desires to keep the school and students free of the intimidation and
harmful influence of gangs or any groups which advocate drugs, alcohol, tobacco, violence or disruptive behavior. Therefore, the presence of any grooming which by virtue of its color, arrangement, trademark or any other attribute denotes affiliation with or membership in such a group is strictly prohibited. All students who come to school without proper attention having been given to personal cleanliness or neatness of dress may be sent home to be properly prepared for school. Additional disciplinary action may be taken as necessary. The Griffiths Middle School standards of student dress and grooming are as follows:
18.1 CONDITION: All clothes must be properly sized, neat, clean, and in good repair.
18.2 MESSAGE: Logos, pictures or writing on clothing, backpacks, jewelry, and/or school supplies must not advocate drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sex, violence, vandalism, disruptive behavior, disrespect, gang activity, or in any way display profanity, obscene illustrations, illegal activity or degrade any gender, cultural, religious or ethnic values, nor promote one ethnic
group over another.
18.3 UNDERGARMENTS: Undergarments must be worn and must not be visible at any time
18.4 TOPS: Shirts and tops must cover the stomach and back at all times.
18.5 BOTTOMS: Pants, shorts, and skirts must cover the buttocks and undergarments.
18.6 SHOES: Safe footwear must be worn at all times. Students may not wear open toe sandals or slide slippers.
18.7 JEWELRY: Jewelry that poses a safety hazard, is gang related, or that distracts from the educational process is not permitted.
18.8 HEAD WEAR: Headwear should not be worn in the classroom.
18.9 GANG APPAREL: Gang related apparel is not allowed. Any combination of clothing that law enforcement agencies currently consider gang related will not be allowed at Griffiths Middle School.
Bullying is prohibited. Inappropriate behavior that includes a significant social or physical imbalance between a perpetrator and a victim, with potentially harmful words or actions being repeated over sufficient time to cause being at school to become grossly uncomfortable for the victim, is considered to be bullying. This includes cyber bullying.
20. SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Sexual harassment of or by any employee or of or by any student shall not be allowed. Sexual harassment is prohibited by the Downey Unified School District and may result in disciplinary action to the offending employee or student. Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature made by someone under any of the conditions delineated in Ed Code
212.5. An individual or group feeling subjected to sexual harassment should directly inform the offending person/persons that such conduct must stop. Any conduct of a sexual nature following such notice may be determined to be sexual harassment. The District will take appropriate action to protect the
reporting individual or group from retaliation or other forms of harassment. Incidents of sexual harassment should be reported to school administration.
Items which are dangerous, problematic or distractive are banned from campus. Contraband items that are brought on campus will be confiscated. Confiscated items may be held for a parent to pick up, held for the remainder of the semester, held for the remainder of the school year, turned over to the District, or turned over to law enforcement authorities. Items being held for a parent, and not picked up by the end of the school year will be donated to charity or discarded. The school will not be responsible for the loss or destruction of contraband items. Contraband items include, but are not limited to:
21.1 Any item that is illegal for minors to possess.
21.2. Any item that poses a danger or is disruptive to the educational process.
21.3 All medication (prescription and over-the-counter) must be checked into the office by a parent or guardian. Arrangements will be made for the student to use the medicine under the supervision of office staff. Students may not carry medication (prescription or otherwise) on campus unless arrangements have been made in writing by a doctor and the Griffiths office staff.
21.4 Items that have no educational purpose including but not limited to gum, permanent marking pens, imitation electronic cigarettes
22. ELECTRONICS AND CELL PHONES
Cell phones are permitted on campus in accordance with California State law. In accordance with that law, cell phones must remain turned off and put away during the school day (7:55 a.m. – 2:38 p.m.) unless being used with permission for educational purposes. Cell phones and electronic items that are brought to school, are brought entirely at the risk of the owner. The school will not be responsible for the loss, theft, or destruction of electronic items or cell phones. Electronics and cell phones being used without permission or for non-educational purposes will be confiscated and only released to a parent. Students whose electronics and/or cell phones are confiscated will receive a Saturday School assignment.
23. BICYCLES, SKATEBOARDS, ROLLER BLADES, SCOOTERS, ATHLETIC EQUIPMENT, ETC
Bicycles, skateboards, or any other wheeled device may not be ridden on campus. Bicycles, skateboards, scooters, and roller blades must be locked in the provided area. Personal athletic equipment is not allowed on campus. School is not responsible for replacing lost, stolen or damages items.
24. BEYOND THE CONTROL OF SCHOOL AUTHORITIES
Any student who is persistently in violation of numerous classroom, school, District, or legal policies, and who does not respond to usual corrective measures, is considered beyond the control of school authorities. In this case, the parent is held responsible for all possible help in correcting the behavioral problems. Depending on the situation, any or all of the following may be considered: parent requested and/or required to attend class with student, parent requested to come to school and remove the student, assignment of an alternate school, off campus suspension, referral to outside counseling and/or juvenile authorities, contact District Office for possible expulsion hearing or removal from school.
Suspension is not intended as a punishment, but rather to alert the student and parent that problems are emerging and have reached a serious level that requires parent intervention. The suspended student has disrupted the learning environment or safety of campus. California teachers and school administrators have a moral and legal duty set down in state law and affirmed by the courts to protect the health and safety of students and preserve the integrity of the classroom environment for self-disciplined learners. A safe and positive learning environment is an indispensable component of the learning process and must be consistently and fairly protected.
We are proud of our students at Griffiths Middle School. As a reward for the responsibility, hard work, and good citizenship of our students, we offer a variety of extra curricular activities such as: assemblies, athletics, awards, dances, field trips, outings, special activities, etc. We look forward to seeing our students share in the rewards for their commendable efforts. However, all of the above extra curricular activities are privileges and can be revoked if necessary for poor citizenship, attendance problems, or poor academic performance. In addition to the penalties for violating school rules explained in this discipline policy, the loss of privileges may be added as an additional consequence as deemed necessary by counselors or administration. We believe that all of our students are capable of achieving great things. It is our hope that all our students will be able to participate and enjoy all of the privileges we have planned. But, each student will determine that by their own behavior and performance.