This student code of conduct has been established in accordance with Indiana State Law. The procedures for administering student discipline and due process are provided by Indiana law. The Hamilton Southeastern School Board adopts the Indiana Statutes as the official policy and administrative procedure of Hamilton Southeastern Schools unless applicable federal law requires otherwise. All students are expected to obey all school and classroom procedures. Failure to meet expectations may lead to disciplinary action. That action could ultimately result in the student being suspended, expelled, or excluded from the regular school. Indiana law defines grounds for suspension or expulsion as “student misconduct or substantial disobedience”.
The Indiana Education Code states the school’s discipline rules apply when a student is on school grounds before, during, and after school hours, off school grounds at a school activity or function, or traveling to or from school or a school activity or function. It also states that discipline rules are effective during summer school.
Another Indiana Education Code authorizes the school board to prohibit unlawful activity by a student on or off school grounds when the activity interferes with school purposes. The Indiana statue PL224-1987 requires school authorities to inform law enforcement agencies, in writing, when violations involving controlled substances (e.g. drugs) occur within the school environment.
Hamilton Southeastern Schools has adopted a plan, when it is deemed necessary for the safety of the student, other students, or other individuals, for the restraint and seclusion of students. The plan is available via the HSE web-site under Board Docs policy J10.00. http://www.boarddocs.com/in/hses/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=8CYJMS4DE57B
- Please be aware that pursuant to Indiana law, Hamilton Southeastern Schools is notified by local law enforcement agencies when a student enrolled at Hamilton Southeastern Schools is arrested or detained for allegations of delinquency which would be a crime if committed by an adult.
- Please be aware that if a student is suspended and/or expelled for activity which would be a crime if committed by an adult, Hamilton Southeastern Schools may advise the appropriate law enforcement agencies regarding the suspension and/or expulsion within forty-eight (48) hours. The following information, when applicable, will be given in writing to a designated juvenile officer within the appropriate law enforcement agency:
- Name, age, address, and gender of the student;
- The nature of the offense, or activity allegedly committed and the circumstances immediately surrounding it, including the time, location and property involved;
- A description of the method of apprehension; and
- Any instruments of physical force used
However, notwithstanding the above, the results of random drug tests administered by Hamilton Southeastern Schools will be held in the very strictest confidence and will not be shared with law enforcement agencies.
IMPORTANT! Students who engage in fighting or any other illegal activity may be arrested.
1. Students are to comply with the directives of teachers or other school personnel during any period of time when the student is properly under their supervision. Failure to do so constitutes insubordination.
2. Students are expected to follow all rules or expectations that are reasonably necessary in carrying out school purposes or an educational function.
3. Behavior that is disruptive to classroom instruction, the educational environment, or the order and purpose of hallways is prohibited.
4. Conduct or activity forbidden by the laws of Indiana that constitutes an interference with school purposes or an educational function is prohibited. Urging other students to engage in such conduct is also prohibited.
5. Students are expected to show respect to all school personnel and fellow students and are to refrain from fighting or other aggressive or violent acts including the use of obscene language/gestures. Images or language that create a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class or marginalized group is prohibited. This includes micro-aggressions and hate speech.
Microaggressions can be defined as everyday, subtle, intentional or unintentional interactions or behaviors that communicate some sort of bias toward historically marginalized groups. While Hamilton Southeastern Schools understands those individuals communicating a microaggression might not intend to express bias, the school recognizes the responsibility to educate students on the reality of bias perceptions. Issues regarding microaggressions may be addressed through restorative conversations led by school administration, teachers, and/or guidance counselors rather than punitive measures. Habitual occurrences could lead to consequences applicable to inappropriate conduct.
Bullying is prohibited by HSE Schools
. Students who commit any acts of bullying are subject to discipline including but not limited to suspension, expulsion, arrest, and/or prosecution.
: “Bullying” is defined as overt, unwanted, repeated acts or gestures, including verbal or written communications or images transmitted in any manner (including digitally or electronically); physical acts committed; aggression; or any other behaviors committed by a student or group of students against another student with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate, or harm the targeted student, creating for the targeted student an objectively hostile school environment that:
- places the targeted student in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or property;
- has a substantially detrimental effect on the targeted student’s physical or mental health;
- has the effect of substantially interfering with the targeted student’s academic performance; or
- has the effect of substantially interfering with the targeted student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by the school.
Bullying does not include, and should not be interpreted to impose any burden or sanction on, the following:
- participating in a religious event;
- acting in an emergency involving the protection of a person or property from an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or substantial danger;
- participating in an activity consisting of the exercise of a student's freedom of speech rights;
- participating in an activity conducted by a nonprofit or governmental entity that provides recreation, education, training, or other care under the supervision of one (1) or more adults;
- participating in an activity undertaken at the prior written direction of the student's parent; or
- engaging in interstate or international travel from a location outside Indiana to another location outside Indiana.
: HSE Schools prohibits bullying in all forms
. This policy may be applied regardless of the physical location in which the bullying behavior occurred, whenever the individual committing the bullying behavior and any of the intended targets of the bullying behavior are students attending a school within the school district and disciplinary action is reasonably necessary to avoid substantial interference with school discipline or prevent an unreasonable threat to the rights of others to a safe and peaceful learning environment. HSE Schools prohibits bullying through the use of data or computer software that is accessed through any computer, computer system, or computer network.
: HSE Schools will provide training and/or instruction on anti-bullying prevention and policy to all students in grades 1 through 12, as well as staff, in accordance with Indiana law.
: Anyone who believes that a student has possibly been or is the victim of bullying is encouraged to immediately report the situation to an appropriate staff member such as a teacher, school counselor, or administrator (including the school district lead administrator). All staff, volunteers, and contracted service providers who observe or receive a report of suspected bullying shall notify a designated school administrator in charge of receiving reports of suspected bullying within the same day. If a staff member does not know who to make a report to, he or she should report directly to the building principal or school district lead administrator. Bullying reports to the Department of Child Services and/or law enforcement must be made as required by law, such as when a staff member believes that a student is the victim of abuse or neglect. Any person who makes a report of bullying and requests to remain anonymous will not be personally identified as the reporter or complainant to extent permitted by law. HSE Schools will act appropriately to discipline staff members, volunteers, or contracted service providers who receive a report of bullying and fail to initiate or conduct an investigation of a bullying incident and for persons who falsely report an incident of bullying. The school district will act appropriately to discipline students, staff members, visitors, or volunteers who make false reports of bullying.
: Once a report of suspected bullying is received by the designated school administrator, an expedited investigation shall follow. The investigation should be facilitated by the designated school administrator or other appropriate school staff. Information relating to the investigation will be gathered using means including, but not limited to: witness interviews, request for written witness statements, record identification and review, and an assessment of whether bullying occurred. The investigation will be initiated within one (1) school day of the report to the designated school administrator and will ordinarily be completed within ten (10) school days.
: If a report of suspected bullying is substantiated through an investigation, then the school district shall take appropriate intervention and responses as consistent with policy and procedure. HSE Schools will take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to stop the bullying, remedy the bullying, and prevent the bullying from recurring. Interventions and responses include, but are not limited to: separating the bully and the target; follow-up school counseling for the target; bullying education for the bully; and prompt disciplinary action against the bully. These steps should not penalize the target of the bullying. Disciplinary actions against the bully may include, but are not limited to suspension and expulsion. Also, if the acts of bullying rise to the level of serious criminal offense the matter may be referred to law enforcement. HSE Schools shall inform the parents of all students involved in alleged incidents, and, as appropriate, may discuss the availability of counseling and other intervention services.
: Parents are encouraged to be involved in the process of minimizing bullying. Parents should report suspected acts of bullying to an appropriate school official. In addition, parents of students suspected of bullying will be notified with a phone call or through other appropriate means of communication. Conversely, parents of students suspected of being the target of acts of bullying will also be notified with a phone call or through other means of appropriate communication. Parent notifications will occur in an expedited manner within two (2) school days after the designated school administrator receives the report of suspected bullying. Parents of students who are disciplined for acts of bullying will be involved in the disciplinary process consistent with the law and school district policy.
Reporting to IDOE
: Each school within the school district will record and report to the district lead administrator or his or her designee the frequency of bullying incidents in the following categories: verbal bullying, physical bullying, social/relational bullying, and electronic/written communication bullying (or a combination or two or more of the above categories). The corporation lead administrator or his or her designee shall report the number of bullying incidents by category for each school and the entire corporation for each school term to the Indiana Department of Education by July 1.
7. Physical conduct of a sexual nature is prohibited. This includes Public Displays of Affection (PDA) which includes, but is not limited to, holding hands, hugging, and/or kissing.
8. Engaging in sexual harassment that consists of unwelcome sexual advances, or other inappropriate verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature is prohibited.
9. The taking, disseminating, transferring, or sharing of obscene, pornographic, lewd, or otherwise illegal images or photographs, whether by electronic data transfer or otherwise (commonly called texting, sexting, emailing, etc.) may constitute a crime under state and/or federal law. Any person taking, disseminating, transferring, or sharing obscene, pornographic, lewd, or otherwise illegal images or photographs will be subject to the disciplinary procedures of the school district; and reported to law enforcement and/or other appropriate state or federal agencies, which may result in arrest, criminal prosecution, and lifetime inclusion on sexual offender registries.
10. Causing or attempting to cause physical injury or behaving in such a way as could reasonably cause physical injury to any person is prohibited.
11. The use, possession, transmission or being under the influence of, harmful drugs, any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, herbal incense, K2, “Spice”, synthetic marijuana, alcoholic beverage, non-alcoholic beer, stimulant, caffeine-based drug, or intoxicant of any kind or items purported as such, on school property, at any school sponsored event or traveling to or from a school activity, function or event is prohibited. Possessing drug paraphernalia is prohibited. Misuse of prescription medication is prohibited; possessing or using prescription medication for an unintended purpose or in an unintended manner is prohibited. Use of inhalants is prohibited; sniffing, inhaling, or otherwise ingesting any substance when it is not the intended use of the substance is prohibited. The possession or use of tobacco or nicotine delivering devices such as “vapes”, electronic cigarettes and nicotine patches is prohibited. Engaging in the selling of a controlled substance and/or look-alike substance, or engaging in an action that constitutes a danger to other students or constitutes an interference with school purposes or an educational function is prohibited.
12. The use, possession, or transmission of dangerous articles such as firearms, knives, pins, cutting tools, BB guns, explosives, destructive devices, fireworks, matches, lighters, or any other objects that can reasonably be considered a weapon or could cause harm to another person or damage school property is prohibited. Students who have knowledge of these items on school grounds are to report the incident to school personnel. Board policy states that firearms or destructive devices are prohibited on school property. This does not apply to law enforcement officers performing their official duties. Under Indiana law, a student bringing a firearm or destructive device to school or on school property or in possession of a firearm or destructive device on school property must be expelled from school for a period of at least one calendar year. Under another Indiana law, a student bringing a deadly weapon, other than a firearm, to school or on school property or in possession of a deadly weapon on school property may be expelled for a period of not more than one calendar year. The Superintendent or his/her designee will immediately notify the appropriate law enforcement agency when a student is expelled under this rule. A firearm is any weapon that is capable of or designed to or that may readily be converted to expel a projectile by means of an explosion. A destructive device is any device described in Indiana Code.
13. Any behavior or symbolism denoting gang membership or affiliation is prohibited. Gangs which initiate, advocate, or promote activities which threaten the safety or well-being of persons or properties on school grounds that disrupt the school environment are prohibited. The use of hand signals, graffiti, or the presence of any apparel, jewelry accessory, or manner of grooming which, by virtue of its color, arrangement, trademark, symbol, or any other attribute indicates or implies membership or affiliation with such a group, presents a clear and present danger. This is contrary to the school environment and educational objectives and creates an atmosphere where unlawful acts or violations of school regulations may occur. Incidents involving initiations, hazing, intimidation, and/or related activities of such groups which are likely to cause bodily danger, physical harm, or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm to students are prohibited. The Superintendent will establish procedures and regulations to ensure that any student wearing, carrying, or displaying gang paraphernalia, or exhibiting behavior or gestures which symbolize gang membership or causing and/or participating in activities which intimidate or affect the attendance of another student may be subject to disciplinary action. Hamilton Southeastern Schools prohibits criminal organizations and criminal organization activity. "Criminal Organization" means a formal or informal group with at least three members that specifically either: (1) promotes, sponsors, or assists in; or participates in; (2) requires as a condition of membership or continued membership; or (3) has as one of its goals; the commission of a felony or an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult or the offense of battery. For more details, HSE’s Criminal Organization Policy is available via the HSE website under Board Docs policy J05.11
14. Cameras, toys, electronic games, laser pointers, balloons, or other distracting items are prohibited.
15. Students are required to have an electronic device that meets or exceeds HSE Schools “Bring Your Own Device” or BYOD guidelines. Teacher discretion may be used to permit the use of electronic devices in the classroom. If school personnel have reasonable suspicion to believe a student has used an electronic device to violate a school rule or interfere with school purpose, that device may be confiscated and subject to reasonable search. All parts of the item(s) will be confiscated which includes batteries and memory cards. Confiscated items (when released by school officials) must be picked up by parent or guardian. Cell phones and AirPods/headphones are not to be used by students in the classroom unless explicitly stated otherwise by a teacher, substitute teacher, or administrator. Students using their cell phones or headphones inappropriately and/or against classroom procedures may be subject to progressive discipline. No picture taking or video recording is permitted in locker rooms or restrooms. The school is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.
Any item on school premises or brought to a school function that is considered inappropriate, misused, or prohibited may be confiscated by school personnel.
16. Students may not use any device to photograph or record the activities [audio or video] of other students or district personnel while on school property or a school-sponsored activity unless expressly authorized in advance by the building principal or designee, and with the consent of the individual(s) being recorded. Students may not surreptitiously photograph or record anyone or distribute captured content that violates school policies and/or causes harm. Students who violate this expectation may face appropriate disciplinary consequences.
17. Bicycles, scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, or shoes that contain rollers/wheels, etc. are prohibited. These items are not to be on school grounds at any time.
18. Selling or trading items at school, unless directly related to a class activity supervised by school staff, is prohibited.
19. During the school day, food, including candy, is only to be consumed in the cafeteria or under the direct supervision of a staff member. Water bottles, containing water (other beverages are prohibited), may be carried throughout the day.
20. Students are expected to turn in all original work for school assignments. Cheating, plagiarism, or any other dishonest means of academic gain is prohibited.
21. Stealing or attempting to steal school or private property is prohibited. Students guilty of theft may be reported to local law enforcement agencies. Knowingly being in possession of stolen items is prohibited.
22. Vandalism, which includes causing or attempting to cause damage to school or private property, is prohibited.
23. Students are expected to attend all classes and be on-time and prepared with appropriate materials.
24. Students are to only be in supervised areas throughout the school day and during school functions.
25. When in the hall during class time, students are to possess a hall pass or office request.
26. Students can leave school grounds during the school day only with permission of parents and school officials and after signing out in the front office. Failure to do so constitutes truancy.
27. Students are expected to walk, not run, in the building.
28. Students are to leave backpacks in lockers after arriving to school. Backpacks, book bags, tote bags, rolling totes, etc. are not to be carried during the school day without approval.
29. In addition to numbers 1 through 28, a student may be suspended or expelled for engaging in unlawful activity on or off school grounds if the unlawful activity may reasonably be considered to be an interference with school purposes or an educational function, or the student's removal is necessary to restore order or protect persons on school property. This includes any unlawful activity meeting the above criteria which takes place during weekends, holidays, other school breaks, and the summer period when a student may be attending classes or other school functions.