PCSD Safe Schools Policy Outlines Student Discipline
The Park City School District Safe Schools Policy defines assault, in part, as an attempt of force or violence to do bodily injury to another person.
In the wake of last week’s violent incident at Treasure Mountain Junior High, KPCW explains the school district's policy, which district officials and board members describe as ‘zero tolerance.’
A student involved in last week’s incident is facing a Class B misdemeanor assault petition after an investigation by the Summit County Sheriff’s and Attorney’s offices.
The petition is in juvenile court, where charges are called petitions, and no additional information is publicly available. The student will appear in court to hear the petition.
Monday, Board of Education President Erin Grady said the district has a zero-tolerance policy toward violations of the district’s safe schools policy.
Safe Schools, which is the district’s official discipline policy, does not contain the term zero tolerance, but defines consequences for specific acts. Fighting is referred to in the policy under Chapter 1, Section H, Prohibited Conduct.
Park City School District Superintendent Jill Gildea said “zero tolerance” is an umbrella term referring to school discipline for student behavior infractions.
The Federal Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act (known as FERPA) prohibits schools from disclosing student records, including investigations, consequences, and disciplinary action.
Safe Schools prohibits physical force, violence, or threats of violence against another person. According to the policy, a first-time offender can be suspended for up to 10 days. School administrators can consider past disciplinary records, school performance, academic records, the details surrounding infractions, and student cooperation with the investigation.
Principals can recommend to the superintendent a longer suspension, up to a year. Subsequent offenses can qualify for suspension for longer than one school year. Parents can appeal to the board of education if the suspension is longer than 10 days. During a student's suspension, the board can also consider re-admitting the student to school no sooner than halfway through the suspension.
Students who are suspended can tell their side of the story. Parents, guardians, or students have the right to appeal the decision with witnesses, cross-examine witnesses, and make legal arguments. If the board suspends a student for more than a year, the board must review the suspension a minimum of once each year.