• Students learn about their responsibilities as good citizens throughout their school careers. As a good citizen, every student is expected to follow the rules of Richmond County Schools, as well as the laws of the county, the state, and the nation.

    To ensure that all students and parents are familiar with behavior expectations in our schools, each year, Richmond County Board of Education provides a current version of the Student Conduct Behavior Code for parents and students to read. When the school believes a student has violated the code and a long-term suspension or expulsion should be considered, the school refers the student to a disciplinary tribunal.

    The following frequently asked questions will further explain this process.

  • Why do we have a Student Code of Conduct and Discipline?

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    We have a Student Code of Conduct and Discipline to help everyone understand what is expected of students
    concerning their behavior. This document also explains what happens if these expectations are not met and if rules
    are not followed.

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  • Does the School System have the right to conduct searches?

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    Yes, we want to make sure our schools are safe and secure places. We may have unannounced weapon and drug
    searches during which lockers, desks, cabinets, and other school property may be searched. Searches of students and
    their belongings may occur any time when there is a reasonable suspicion to believe that the student has violated a
    law or school policy. For more information, please see Rules 34 and 35 of the Code of Student Conduct and Discipline.

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  • Does the Student Code of Conduct and Discipline apply to student when they are off-campus?

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    Yes, there are particular circumstances in which the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct and Discipline may
    apply to off-campus behavior; therefore, the expectations and rules should be followed when students are off-campus. 

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  • How can I find out what actions were taken against the other student(s)?

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    The Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) does not allow staff to discuss discipline actions taken against
    other students.

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  • If a student bring a weapon to school, will the student get in trouble with the school or police?

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    Bringing a weapon to school is a felony. Therefore, this behavior subjects students to the possibility of discipline
    within the School System as well as potential criminal charges.

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  • Can students with disabilities be disciplined?

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    Yes, students with disabilities may be disciplined for not following the rules just the same as students without
    disabilities; however, specific steps must be followed. For more information, please see Discipline Procedures for
    Students with Disabilities, which is included in the Code of Student Conduct and Discipline. 

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  • How does this process begin?

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    When a student is believed to have violated a rule(s) of the Student Conduct Behavior Code, the local school administration will conduct an investigation into the alleged misconduct. If the local school administration determines that the student has violated a rule of the code and has sufficient evidence to charge the student for the misconduct, the administrator will issue a consequence. In some cases, the administration will refer the student to a disciplinary tribunal.

    If this is the case, the administration will attempt to contact the student’s parents or guardians to discuss the incident and advise them of the date and time of the scheduled tribunal. Shortly after that, the school will mail a packet of information to the student’s home, including the following:

    • Notice of suspension
    • Waiver of parent/guardian’s right to attend the tribunal (If parent/guardian chooses not to attend, must be signed and returned.
    • A copy of the Student Conduct Behavior Code
    • Procedures that will be followed in conducting the discipline tribunal, including the rights of the parent/guardian regarding the tribunal
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  • Why a tribunal?

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    According to Georgia law, the local school principal may suspend a student for up to 10 days. If the principal recommends a suspension longer than 10 days, the student must be referred to a disciplinary tribunal because only the Richmond County Board of Education (BOE) is authorized to issue a suspension of greater than 10 days under state law (O.C.G.A. § 20-2-753, 2014).

    At the disciplinary tribunal, a tribunal officer/panel (acting on behalf of the BOE) will determine whether the student violated the code. The tribunal officer/panel will issue a consequence for the rule violation(s).

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  • Who attends the tribunal and what happens?

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    The principal and/or assistant principal from the student’s school will attend the disciplinary tribunal. The administration may bring school witnesses, including, but not limited to, teachers, students, or staff, to testify about the alleged misconduct.

    It is important that the student and a parent/ guardian attend the disciplinary tribunal so that the student has an opportunity to provide his or her version of the incident, provide evidence, and mount a defense to the charges.

    The student is permitted to have witnesses come and testify on his or her behalf. A copy of any supporting evidence (photograph, video, etc.) may be submitted at the tribunal.

     

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  • What happens in the phases of a tribunal?

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    The tribunal is conducted in three phases.

    Phase I is the evidentiary phase. The school and the student may present evidence and/or call witnesses to testify concerning the alleged misconduct. The tribunal officer/panel will determine if the student has violated school rules. If the student has not violated any school rules, the student would return to school the next day.

    However, if the student has violated school rules, the tribunal will move to Phase II.

    Phase II is the records phase where the school’s representative presents the student’s grades, attendance, and discipline history.

    Phase III is the final stage where the student, parent/guardian, and school staff have the opportunity to make final comments and then the tribunal officer renders a decision for a consequence.

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  • What are the possible consequences?

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    The consequences can be serious, and may include detention, suspension, expulsion, assignment to the Alternative
    Education Center and/or a referral to Juvenile Court.

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  • What is permanent expulsion?

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    A tribunal officer/panel may render a recommendation to the BOE for permanent expulsion in the most serious cases. . A student who has been permanently expelled may not return to their school or attend any district school, including the Alternative Educational Center at Morgan Road.

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  • What if I have additional questions?

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    Families with additional questions may contact the Office of School Climate at 706-826-1000. Additional information is also included in the Student Conduct Behavior Code.

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  • My child was detained by the Department of Juvenile Justice at RYDC/YDC. Can he/she return to the zoned school upon completing the time at the Department of Juvenile Justice facility?

    No, students returning from boot camps, incarceration, RYDC or YDC must report to the Deputy Superintendent, or designee, for appropriate transition before enrolling in the Richmond County School System. Note: The compulsory attendance policy of the State of Georgia applies to the Alternative Education Center and the students assigned thereto. For more information, please see Rule 30 of the Code of Student Conduct and Discipline.

     

    Can my child return to school after conviction of a crime or pleading guilty to a crime committed in the community and/or incarceration?

    A student who has pled guilty to or been convicted of an offense and has therefore served a sentence in a correctional or juvenile detention facility and who wishes to return to school is required to report with his/her parents/guardians to the Office of School Climate/Deputy Superintendent prior to returning to school. These students may be referred to the Student Discipline Tribunal when the behavior could have or did result in the student being charged with a felony and/or where that behavior makes the student’s presence at a school potential danger to persons or property or which disrupts the education process.