AN ACT TO REORGANIZE THE GENERAL STATUTES RELATING TO SCHOOL DISCIPLINE; PREVENT LITIGATION BY ADDING DEFINITIONS TO, AND CLARIFYING AMBIGUITIES IN, THE CURRENT LAW; CODIFY EXISTING CASE LAW; AND INCREASE LOCAL CONTROL AND FLEXIBILITY REGARDING DISCIPLINE. Summarized in Daily Bulletin 4/6/11, 4/21/11, 4/28/11, 6/7/11, 6/8/11, and 6/15/11. Enacted June 23, 2011. Effective June 23, 2011.
Summary date: Jun 30 2011 - View summary
Summary date: Jun 15 2011 - View summary
Conference report recommends the following changes to 5th edition to reconcile matters in controversy. Amends proposed GS 115C-390.4(b)(6) by including the requirement that the form to be used by parents or guardians to deny permission for use of corporal punishment on the student must advise that the student may be subject to suspension, among other possible punishments, for offenses that would otherwise not require suspension if corporal punishment were available. Deletes Sections 6 and 7, which amended GS 115C-105.47(b)(6) and (b)(13)b., adding positive behavior management or support programs that have been adopted to the criteria included in the reports required pursuant to those subsections. Amends Section 16 to provide that if Senate Bill 498 becomes law, that act is repealed.
Summary date: Jun 8 2011 - View summary
Senate amendment reported in on 6/7/11 makes the following changes to third edition. Deletes provision in new GS 115C-390.4(b)(6) regarding corporal punishment on a student who is a child with a disability, and replaces it with requirement that no corporal punishment be administered to any student whose parent or guardian has stated in writing that corporal punishment will not be administered to that student. Requires that parents and guardians be given a form to make such an election at the beginning of the school year or when a child first enters school during the year. States that corporal punishment may be administered if the parent does not return the form.
Summary date: Jun 7 2011 - View summary
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to 3rd edition. Makes a conforming change, providing that if House Bill 200, 2011 Regular Session (Appropriations Act of 2011) becomes law, then Sections 6 and 7 of this act, which amend provisions of GS 115C-105.47 (local safe school plans), are deleted (House Bill 200 deletes local safe school plans).
Summary date: Apr 28 2011 - View summary
House amendments make the following changes to 2nd edition. Amendment #1 defines school official to include superintendent or central office administrator delegated duties by the superintendent, and any principal, or assistant principal, and defines school personnel to include all school employees and all individuals working on school grounds or at school functions under contract or working for an agency to provide educational or related services. Clarifies that the person who administered corporal punishment, not the school official, is to provide explanation to parent. Rewrites amendment to GS 115C-45(c)(1) to specify that appeal to the school board is only for long-term suspension, year suspension for gun possession, or expulsion. Amendment #2 rewrites GS 115C-390.6 (short-term suspension) to provide that the local board of education may provide review or appeal of a short-term suspension to superintendent or board.
Summary date: Apr 21 2011 - View summary
House committee substitute makes the following changes to 1st edition. Provides that alternative education services include programs established by the local board of education (Board) in conformity with its policies (was, regulations). Provides that if the offense triggering the long-term suspension takes place before the final quarter of the school year, the suspension shall be (was, may be) no longer than the remainder of the school year in which the offense was committed. Replaces the term powerful explosive with destructive device. Defines destructive device as meaning an explosive, incendiary, or poison gas bomb, grenade, rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, missile with an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, mine, or a device similar to any of the listed devices (was, defined powerful explosive as any bomb, grenade, mine, dynamite cartridge, or other similar device with significant explosive or incendiary capacity). Clarifies that Board policies shall not (was, may not) impose mandatory long-term suspensions or expulsions for specific violations unless otherwise provided in state or federal law. Deletes provision requiring that notice be provided to a parent and an opportunity to participate in the informal hearing regarding a short-term suspension if the student is unable to understand the hearing. Provides that a student is not entitled to appeal the principal’s decision to impose a short-term suspension to the superintendent or Board and the principal’s decision is not subject to judicial review. Amends GS 115C-12(27) to revert to March 15 as the annual reporting date for the State Board of Education to submit specified data to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee (the first edition dropped the specific date and only required that the State Board report annually). Deletes requirement that the State Board also submit its report to the Commission on Improving the Academic Achievement or Minority and At-Risk Students. Makes additional technical corrections, and organizational changes.
Summary date: Apr 6 2011 - View summary
Repeals GS 115C-390 and GS 115C-391.
Adds new GS 115C-390.1 to define terms and require that the policies and procedures for the discipline of students be consistent with certain federal laws and regulations.
Adds new GS 115C-390.2 to require local boards to adopt policies to govern the conduct of students and establish procedures for disciplining students. Board policies: (1) must include or provide for the development of a Code of Student Conduct; (2) may authorize suspension for conduct not occurring on educational property if the student’s conduct violates the Code of Student Conduct and the conduct has or is reasonably expected to have a direct and immediate impact on the orderly and efficient operation of the schools or the safety of individuals in the school environments; (3) may not allow students to be long-term suspended or expelled from school solely for truancy or tardiness offenses and may not allow short-term suspension of more than two days for such offenses; (4) may not impose mandatory long-term suspensions or expulsions for specific violations unless otherwise provided in state or federal law; (5) must minimize the use of long-term suspension and expulsion by restricting the availability of long-term suspension or expulsion to offenses deemed to be serious violations of the board’s Code of Conduct that either threaten the safety of students, staff, or school visitors or threaten to substantially disrupt the educational environment; (6) may not prohibit the superintendent and principals from considering the student's intent, disciplinary and academic history, the potential benefits to the student of alternatives to suspension, and other mitigating or aggravating factors when deciding whether to recommend or impose long-term suspension; and (7) must include the procedures to be followed by school officials in suspending, expelling, or administering corporal punishment to any student. Requires the local board to publish all policies, administrative procedures, or school rules and make them available to each student and parent at the beginning of each school year and upon request.
Adds new GS 115C-390.3 to provide that: (1) school personnel may use physical restraint only in accordance with GS 115C-391.1; (2) school personnel may use reasonable force to control behavior or to remove a person from the scene in certain, specified circumstances; and (3) no officer or employee of the State Board of Education or of a local board of education may be held civilly liable for using reasonable force in conformity with State law, State or local rules, or State or local policies.
Adds new GS 115C-390.4 to require each local board of education to determine if corporal punishment is permitted in its school administrative unit. Specifies minimum requirements that must be included in any policy for administering corporal punishment. Requires each local board of education to report annually to the State Board of Education on the number of times that corporal punishment was administered and specifies certain information that must be included in the report.
Adds new GS 115C-390.5 to authorize a principal to impose short-term suspension on a student who willfully engages in conduct that violates a provision of the Code of Student Conduct authorizing short-term suspension. Requires that a student on short-term suspension be provided with the opportunity to take textbooks home for the duration of the suspension, to receive, upon request, all missed assignments and materials distributed to students, and the opportunity to make up certain missed examinations.
Adds new GS 115C-390.6 to prescribe procedures for imposing a short-term suspension.
Adds new GS 115C-390.7 to authorize a principal to recommend to the superintendent the long-term suspension of any student who willfully engages in conduct that violates a provision of the Code of Student Conduct that authorizes long-term suspension. Specifies that only the superintendent has the authority to long-term suspend a student. Requires student to be afforded opportunity for a hearing consistent with GS 115C-390.8 before a long-term suspension may be imposed. Provides that if a teacher is assaulted or injured by a student and as a result the student is long-term suspended or reassigned to alternative education services, the student shall not be returned to that teacher's classroom unless the teacher consents. Specifies that disciplinary reassignment of a student to a full-time educational program that meets the academic requirements of the Standard Course of Study and provides the student with the opportunity to make timely progress towards graduation and grade promotion is not a long-term suspension requiring due process procedures.
Adds new GS 115C-390.8 to prescribe procedures for imposing a long-term suspension.
Adds new GS 115C-390.9 to require that students who are long-term suspended be offered alternative education services unless the superintendent provides a significant or important reason for declining to offer such services. Affords a student the right to seek review of a superintendent’s decision to decline to offer alternative education services by the local board of education.
Adds new GS 115C-390-10 to require local boards of education to implement the federal Gun Free Schools Act, requiring suspension for 365 calendar days of any student who is determined to have brought or been in possession of a firearm or powerful explosive on educational property, or to a school-sponsored event off of educational property. Permits the superintendent to modify the 365 day suspension on a case-by-case basis. Requires the principal to report all incidents of firearms or powerful explosives on educational property or at a school-sponsored event. Specifies that statutory provisions do not apply to a firearm that was brought onto school property for activities approved and authorized by the local board of education. Requires superintendent to inform student and parent of student who is suspended for 365 days of right to petition the local board of education for readmission pursuant to GS 115C-390.12. Provides that the provisions of GS 115C-390.8 and GS 115C-390.9 apply to a student who is suspended for 365 days.
Adds new GS 390.11 to authorize a local board of education, upon recommendation of the superintendent, to expel any student 14 years of age or older whose continued presence in school constitutes a clear threat to the safety of other students or school staff. Requires local board to conduct a hearing to determine whether the student's continued presence in school constitutes a clear threat to the safety of other students or school staff. Requires that student be given reasonable notice of the recommendation in accordance with G.S. 115C-390.8(a) and (b), as well as reasonable notice of the time and place of the scheduled hearing. Specifies that the procedures described in G.S. 115C-390.8(e)(1)-(8) apply to students facing expulsion, except that the decision to expel a student by the local board of education must be based on clear and convincing evidence that the student's continued presence in school constitutes a clear threat to the safety of other students and school staff. Authorizes a local board of education to expel any student subject to G.S. 14-208.18 in accordance with the procedures of the statute. Specifies that the local board of education must consider whether there are alternative education services that may be offered to the student. Requires that a student be provided notice of the right to petition for readmission pursuant to GS 115C-390.12 at the time the student is expelled. Prohibits a student who is expelled to be present on any property of the local administrative unit.
Adds new GS 115C-390.12 to prescribe procedures for students who are suspended for 365 days or expelled to petition for readmission.
Makes conforming and clarifying changes to GS 115C-391.1(i), GS 115C-12(27), GS 115C-45(c)(1), GS 115C-105.47(b)(6), GS 115C-105.47(b)(13), GS 115C-238.29B(b)(11), GS 115C-238.29F(g)(7), GS 115C-276(r), GS 115C-288(e), GS 115C-366, GS 115C-402(b), GS 14-208.18(f), and GS 20-11(n1)d.2.
Applies beginning with the 2011-12 school year.