ACADEMIC AND PERSONAL FREEDOM
Freedom from Discrimination
Wayne County Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, disability, national origin, gender, or age in its programs and activities. The superintendent has appointed the following individuals to coordinate the school system’s efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under federal non-discrimination laws. These responsibilities include investigating any complaints communicated to school officials alleging noncompliance with Title VI or Title IX of the Civil Rights, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination Act and/or the Boy Scouts Act, or alleging actions which would be prohibited by those laws.
1. Title IX Coordinator
Name: Dr. Tim E. Harrell
Office Address: WCPS Central Office
Phone Number: 919-705-6192
2. Section 504 Coordinator
Name: Gail Sasser
Office Address: 300 Dixie Trail, Building O
Phone Number: 919-580-3664
Name: Sonja Emerson
Office Address: EC Department, 300 Dixie Trail, Building O
Phone Number: 919-705-2713
4. Age Discrimination Coordinator
Name: Dr. Yvette Smith Mason
Office Address: WCPS Central Office
Phone Number: 919-705-6116
5. Coordinator for Other Non-Discrimination Laws
Name: Dr. Yvette Smith Mason
Office Address: WCPS Central Office
Phone Number: 919-705-6116
Wayne County Public Schools will provide equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups as required by law. The Board will not tolerate any form of unlawful discrimination, harassment or bullying in any of its educational or employment activities or programs.
Student and Parent Grievances
While the district encourages informal resolutions to student and parent grievances, it recognizes that students and parents may want a more formal process for certain types of complaints or to follow if an informal process is not found to be satisfactory. Board of Education Policy 1720/1725/4010 outlines the grievance process to address situations in which a student or parent believes that a violation, misapplication, or misinterpretation of school board policy or of state or federal law or regulation has occurred. The exception is of the appeals related to disciplinary actions under the Code of Student Conduct and other situations for which a specific appeal process has been identified by policy.
As the first step in the grievance process, students or parents should discuss the grievance with the most immediate and appropriate school official within ten (10) calendar days of the occurrence giving rise to the grievance.
Freedom of Speech
Students have a right to express their thoughts and opinions at reasonable times and places. This right is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. The school is an appropriate place for debate, discussion, and the expression of ideas. However, certain kinds of speech, whether spoken, written or symbolic, may be prohibited at schools. Understanding the meaning of the First Amendment’s protection of free speech is an important responsibility, which students must accept, in their learning process. The following types of speech are not generally protected by the Constitution and are prohibited at schools or at school-related activities:
Profanity: words, which are clearly considered profane by contemporary community standards of behavior;
Obscenity: words which describe sexual conduct and which, read as a whole, appeal to a prurient interest in sex, portray sex in a manner offensive to contemporary community standards and do not have serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value; Fighting or Abusive Words: words which are spoken solely to harass or injure other people, such as threats of violence, defamation of character or defamation of a person’s race, religion or ethnic origin; and Disruption: speech, be it verbal, written, or symbolic, which materially and substantially disrupts classroom work, school activities or school functions, such as demonstrations, “sit-ins,” “boycotts,” “walkouts,” or simply talking in class when told not to do so by the teacher.
Freedom of the Press
The right of students to express their thoughts and opinions in school-sponsored or non school-sponsored publications are also generally protected by the Constitution. There are certain limitations on this right, however, which students are responsible to learn in the process of their education. In order to prevent the disruption of classroom instruction, the principal may restrict the distribution of any publication at school to reasonable times and places. In addition, principals may prohibit the distribution at school and school-related activities of a publication if they consider the publication:
- to be obscene
- to contain “fighting or abusive” words, or
- to be libelous
- to be materially and substantially disruptive of schoolwork, activities or functions.
If a principal prohibits the distribution of a student publication, the student shall be informed that he or she may file a grievance to the Board of Education. The distribution of material without prior approval may result in an out of school suspension for person(s) distributing the material.
AFTER HOURS SCHOOL EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION
Each school posts their After Hours Emergency Contact Information on their school’s voicemail system for parents who need to immediate assistance from a school official after hours or on the weekend.
ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT PLAN
Pursuant to the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), the Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools rule requires local education agencies to inspect their school buildings for asbestos-containing building material, prepare asbestos management plans and perform asbestos response actions to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards. If you have any questions regarding inspections, response actions, and post-response action activities, including periodic re-inspection and surveillance activities that are planned or in progress as well as the availability of the AHERA Management Plan for Wayne County Public Schools, you may contact Dr. Tim Harrell at 919-731-5900.
Students requiring emergency medication and regularly administered medications, including asthma inhalers and emergency injections, will have access to their medicines at school, while on field trips and while participating in other school sponsored activities. These students must also have a physician authorization in writing.
Students are prohibited from making, aiding, and/or abetting in making a bomb threat or perpetrating a bomb hoax against school district property by making a false report that a device designed to cause damage or destruction by explosion, blasting or burning is located on school property. No student may knowingly or willfully cause, encourage or aid another student to make a bomb threat or perpetrate a bomb hoax and must notify a teacher or the principal of this information immediately.
Consequences of Bomb Threat
In accordance with Policy 4300 – Code of Student Conduct, any student who makes a bomb threat or knowingly, willingly causes, encourages or aids another student toward making a bomb threat or perpetrating a bomb hoax will be suspended for ten days and recommended for long term suspension to the superintendent.
Possession of a Bomb/Destructive Device
Possession of any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas bomb, grenade, rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, mine, or device similar to any of the devices listed is strictly prohibited by law on a public school campus.
Consequences of Possession of a Bomb/Destructive Device
As required by law, the principal shall suspend for ten days and recommend to the superintendent a 365-day suspension for any student who: (a) is found to be in possession of a bomb or destructive device of any kind, or (b) conceals, places or displays device on school property or at a school-related or school-sponsored activity with the intent to cause others to believe the device is a bomb or destructive device. Upon the superintendent’s recommendation, the school board may modify the mandated 365-day suspension as is dictated by law. A student who violates this section will be referred to the criminal justice and/or juvenile justice system.
BOOK BAGS AND GYM BAGS
Book bags and gym bags are to be placed in the student’s locker upon arrival to school. They are to remain in the student’s locker until the end of the school day. Each school has specific procedures on the use of book bags and gym bags and the procedures should be closely followed. In the event that lockers are not assigned, students should follow the directions of school administration regarding storage of book bags and/or gym bags during the school day.
Bullying (School Board Policy 4332)
Bullying may be physical, verbal, social-relational, and/or harassment of any kind. It can happen in front of the victim or away from the victim, such as gossip. Another type of bullying that occurs is cyberbullying where social networks or any form of technology, including cell phones are used to bully/taunt students. Each school needs the support of parents as well as students to stop bullying from occurring. Talk with your child at home every day and ask them about their day at school. It often takes time and patience to catch a bully because most of the bullying or taunting occurs when no adult is present. Encourage your child that if he or she is a victim or even an onlooker of bullying, it must be reported. If problems have occurred at school in regards to bullying, please let your child know that it is okay to tell someone. The teacher needs to be informed and the team of teachers will investigate first. If problems persist, the administration and school counselor will get involved. We will try our best to stop the bullying. Most bullying can be stopped by avoiding or not letting the bully know that he or she is ‘winning’, so to speak. We encourage students to first ignore but if the problem persists, the school must know. Once a student has been talked to by his or her teachers, warned by the administration and parents called, the next offense of bullying or harassment will result in Out of School Suspension. Bullying occurs when there is a constant pattern of behavior, not a one or two time occurrence.
Bullying Reporting App [Safe2SpeakUp app]
Students and parents who want to report bullying can do so by downloading the Safe2SpeakUp app. Through the Safe2SpeakUp app, students can send anonymous tips about school safety concerns like bullying, fighting or even weapons from their smartphone or tablet. These anonymous tips give school administrative teams the information they need to take action. To download the Safe2SpeakUp app, go to www.waynecountschools.org and click on the “Student Resources” or “Parent Resources” tabs.
Bus transportation is a privilege and not a right in North Carolina. All students are expected to conduct themselves on buses so as not to jeopardize the safety of other students. Persons not adhering to proper bus conduct will be subject to disciplinary action and to possibly being barred from riding a school bus. Parents are not allowed to board buses. Students are not allowed to ride buses they are not assigned to in accordance with Wayne County Public School policy. The following are transportation guidelines:
- Be ready for the bus each morning. If the driver stops the bus and does not see any movement of students, the driver is not required to wait.
- Students should know that while being transported, they are under the direct supervision of the bus driver. Refusal to obey requests of the driver may also result in being denied transportation or disciplinary action.
- Pupils are to be assigned seats shortly after school begins. You should sit only in the seat to which you are assigned.
- Students are not to go between, behind, in front, or enter parked buses anytime during the school hours.
The school administration has the ability to suspend bus transportation as a disciplinary action. Every school follows specific procedures for loading and unloading of students, delivering students to bus stops and communicating with parents about delays or bus changes. It is the responsibility of the parent and the student to familiarize themselves with those procedures.
Prior to boarding a school bus, students must self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Students who have COVID-19 symptoms, diagnosis, or who have been directed to quarantine due to exposure to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 must not come to school. On school buses, students must face forward and are required to wear a cloth face mask per CDC order. Hand sanitizer will be provided to all bus passengers.
Cafeteria Payment Policy
Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Meal Program Applies to all schools. For the 2021-2022 school year, CEP middle schools have been recognized as a qualified recipient and awarded participation in the Community Eligibility Provision meal program which will ensure that each student receives breakfast and lunch at NO COST. Applications for free or reduced lunch meals will not be distributed this year. All students who wish to eat in the cafeteria will receive their meals at no cost and will not have to complete and submit a meal application.
Students may not charge a la carte items, such as snacks. Adults and visitors may not charge meals or a la carte items.
COVID-19 Pandemic Statement: A nationwide waiver to allow the Seamless Summer Option through school year 2021-2022 has been provided by USDA. USDA waiver #85 will allow school food authorities to participate under the SSO option during COVID-19 operations throughout the traditional 2021-22 SY facilitating the safe provision of meals by eliminating the need to collect meal payments, including cash payments at all school sites for students. All meals will be provided at no cost to students countywide.
CHANGING CLASSES (ACCEPTABLE HALL BEHAVIOR)
Students should remember to keep to the right side of halls in order for traffic to move smoothly. Students are also asked not to stop in the middle of hallways for conversations with classmates and friends during class change periods. Students are not to block doorways. Your cooperation will curb congestion and prove beneficial to all involved. Students are expected to be in their classrooms on time.
CLEARING CAMPUS AFTER EVENTS
There is some concern about students congregating on campus following athletic contests and/or night activities. Fifteen minutes following the conclusion of an event, the security personnel will be instructed to "sweep" the areas outside of the gymnasium, football stadium, cafeteria, auditorium, etc. Everyone will be asked to leave the premises immediately. Adequate transportation arrangements should be made prior to reporting to this campus for an after school activity. If you are unsure of the length of a particular event or program, simply ask before reporting to the school campus so that you may arrange for transportation promptly at the end of the event. Students lingering after events may be banned from attending further events.
COUNSELING & SUPPORTIVE SERVICES
Guidance and counseling programs are provided by the school system with the ultimate aim of improving student performance by implementing strategies and activities that support and maximize student learning; helping students to grow in their personal and social development; and providing a foundation for acquiring the skills that enable students to make a successful transition from school to the world of work. Counseling may be provided on an individual basis or in small or large groups. School counselors may refer students who have extensive needs or needs that go beyond the purpose of the counseling program to community resources.
Students may seek counseling or be referred by staff or parents. Any staff member who is aware that a student is contemplating suicide or is otherwise suffering from an emotional or psychological crisis must immediately notify the counseling program in accordance with any rules established by the superintendent or principal. Any counselor or other staff member who knows or has cause to suspect child abuse, neglect, dependency or death as a result of maltreatment must report the information as provided in policy 4240, Child Abuse – Reports and Investigations and as required by law.
Counseling programs are most effective when voluntarily entered into by a student. School officials and teachers may recommend a counseling program to help a student meet standards of conduct and academic performance established by the board and school system. However, students will not be required to attend individual or small group counseling sessions to address identified significant personal issues unless agreement has been reached with the parent and student in a behavior contract, an intervention plan or, for special education students, an individualized education plan. (See Student Behavior Policies (4300 series), policy 3420, Student Promotion and Accountability, and policy 3520, Special Education Programs/Rights of Students with Disabilities.
Information obtained in a session with a counselor may be privileged and protected from disclosure as provided by law. A counselor cannot be required to testify concerning privileged information unless, as provided by G.S. 8-53.4, the student waives the privilege or the court compels testimony as necessary to the proper administration of justice. The school counselor privilege does not, however, exempt the counselor from reporting child abuse as required by G.S. 7B-301. Any notation made by a counselor for his or her own use is a confidential document and is neither a public record nor a part of the student's record. Such confidential documents do not have to be shared with parents or others except as required by law. Any document prepared by a counselor that is shared or intended to be shared with other staff is considered an educational record of the student and is available to the parent or eligible student in accordance with policy 4700, Student Records.
North Carolina Senate Bill 911 requires guidelines for the development and implementation of individual health care plans for students with diabetes in North Carolina schools. Additional information on Senate Bill 911 is available at: www.nchealthyschools.org
. Forms may be requested for diabetes health plans in our school office.
Discipline / Student Behavior
Each student has been issued a copy of the Wayne County Public Schools Policy 4300, “Code of Student Conduct” within this handbook. Additionally, this policy will be reviewed with students at the beginning of the school year and a signature of receipt by students and parents will be required. All policies relative to discipline and a safe and orderly school environment are available on the Wayne County Public Schools district website. If a student or parent cannot access the policies online, they may request a printed copy of any policy from the school.
A. Standard Dress Code
The Wayne County Public Schools Board of Education respects a student’s right to choose his or her style of dress or appearance. However, the Board of Education will require that students adhere to standards of dress that are compatible with the requirement of a good school environment. All students are expected to be groomed and dressed appropriately for school and school activities. In the opinion of the principal or his/her designee, if a student’s dress or appearance is such that it (1) disrupts the learning environment, (2) constitutes a threat to health or safety, (3) is construed as provocative or obscene, or (4) is lacking in cleanliness, the principal or the principal’s designee may require the student and student’s parent or guardian to take appropriate action to remedy the situation. Before receiving disciplinary consequences, a student who is not in compliance with this policy will be given a reasonable period of time to make adjustments so that he or she will be compliance.
The principal shall have the authority to implement the school dress code and appearance policy in a manner that is age appropriate, and reasonable consideration will be made for those students who, because of a sincerely held religious belief or medical reason, request a waiver of a particular guideline for dress or appearance. The waiver request must be in writing from the parent or guardian and must be approved by the principal or his/her designee. Reasonable accommodations shall be made by the principal to accommodate students involved in special duties, activities, or projects approved by the school. This would include but not be limited to: athletics, vocational classes and projects, P.E. classes, special events, or other activities that would allow for non-conforming dress on a school campus or during a school sponsored event.
Disciplinary action will be taken for any violation of the dress code in accordance with Policy 4300 Code of Student Conduct). Students who do not comply with the school dress code and appearance policy may be excluded from participating in certain school programs, including graduation ceremonies. (Fowler vs. Williamson, 39 N.C. App. 715, 251 S.E.2d 889 .) Copies of the Student Dress Code and Appearance Policy will be made available to students and parents annually.
Specific guidelines listed below will apply to all students:
1. Shorts, skirts, dresses, or other clothing must be finger-tip length (reaching the mid-thigh), including when leggings or tights are worn. Clothing must not have holes exposing skin above finger-tip length (mid-thigh).
2. Shirts, tops, and dresses must cover the top of the shoulder with at least a two-inch width strap, and fit closely under the armpits (Principal discretion may be used taking into consideration the age of the student.)
3. Shirts and tops should be long enough to cover the midriff when sitting or standing; and shirts, tops and dresses must be buttoned high enough to cover the chest and the back of the body cannot be exposed.
4. No sagging pants allowed and pants cannot be worn with the waistband below the hipbone.
5. Underwear, or the body typically covered by underwear, cannot be visible at any time, including under sheer, see-through, or mesh fabric.
6. Any form of attire which is indicative of gang affiliation is prohibited, including bandanas.
7. No hats, caps, hoods, or curlers can be worn inside school buildings.
8. Clothing will not be allowed that promotes alcoholic beverages, tobacco use, smoking, vaping, the use of controlled substances, depicts violence, is of a sexual nature, or is of a disruptive nature.
9. Shoes must be worn at all times and in accordance with special requirements such as P.E. classes, ROTC, science labs, etc. Shoes that have laces must be laced and tied.
Adopted: June 4, 2001 Revised: March 26, 2007; Revised: December 5, 201: Revised: July 10, 2017; Revised: July 23, 2018; Revised: December 16, 2019
Students must have a Driving Eligibility Certificate in order to receive a North Carolina driver’s permit or license. The Division of Motor Vehicles will not issue a driver’s permit or license without a Driving Eligibility Certificate. A student must pass 70% of courses the previous semester to be eligible to receive a Driving Eligibility Certificate. A student must continue to pass 70% of courses each semester in order to retain the permit or license. Academic performance will be evaluated at the end of each semester. The revocation of a student’s driving permit or license will result if a student does not maintain adequate academic progress (pass 70% courses) or drops out of school. Senate Bill 57 calls for the loss of driving privileges for students under the age of 18 who are given a 10 day or longer suspension and/or an assignment to an alternative educational setting.
“Lose Control, Lose Your License”
The NC General Assembly directs public schools, community colleges, and nonpublic schools to notify the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles whenever a student is given an expulsion/suspension for more than 10 consecutive days or an assignment to an alternative educational setting for more than 10 consecutive days for one of the following reasons:
- The possession or sale of an alcoholic beverage or an illegal controlled substance on school property.
- The possession or use on school property of a weapon or firearm that resulted in disciplinary action under G.S. 115C-391(d1) or that could have resulted in that disciplinary action if the conduct had occurred in a public school
- The physical assault on a teacher or other school personnel on school property.
For more information about Driver’s Eligibility, go to http://www.ncpublicschools.org/safehealthyschools/driver-ed/faq.
DRUG & ALCOHOL POLICIES
Drugs and Alcohol – Policy 4325 and Drug-Free Learning Environment and Workplace – Policy 7240: Please be advised that under these policies, there are certain requirements and opportunities for a student to receive treatment and rehabilitation from any problems as identified in the drug and alcohol abuse policies. Please feel free to ask the principal for these policies that will explain all details of required treatment and rehabilitation for your son or daughter. Wayne County Public Schools is not responsible for any expenses related to these policies. It is the student/family’s responsibility for any and all costs.
HEALTHY ACTIVE CHILDREN PROGRESS REPORT/ SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH POLICY REPORT
In compliance with WCPS Policy 4112, SHLT Policy 000, and SHLT Policy 003, WCPS reports to DPI annually regarding the system’s compliance with the laws and policies related to student wellness, the implementation of these policies, and progress towards meeting health and wellness goals. This report can be found on the health and wellness section of the WCPS website, https://www.waynecountyschools.org/HealthWellnessServices.aspx
For schools that provide student lockers: Policy 4343 states that all lockers are the property of the Wayne County Board of Education. They are subject to period general inspections at any time without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant. The student is expected to assume full responsibility for the locker that is assigned to him/her. Additionally, each school that provides student lockers has specific procedures pertaining to locker assignments, locker fees, and the locks placed on each locker. Students are strongly advised not to keep money or valuables in their assigned locker.
Schools schedule pesticide use only when students are not on campus and on an “as needed” basis. Dates of pesticide use are kept in an IPM book, which is available to parents at their child’s school upon request to review. Parents can request notification of school pesticide use. Notice of pesticide use will be made at least 72 hours in advance, to the extent possible.
An Authorization For Medication To Be Given During School Hours form from the doctor must be on file in the principal’s office. A prescription container bearing the name of the student, the prescription number, the pharmacy telephone number, doctor’s name, date, administering instructions and other pertinent data is needed. This should be on a prescription label secured to the container, and the only medicine placed therein would be that which was brought by the parent with the administering request. A statement must be on file in the principal’s office by the parent to the effect that the local school and the Wayne County Board of Education will not be liable. The child is to report to the school office or other designated location at the proper time for administering of the medicine. Students requiring emergency medication and regularly administered medications, including asthma inhalers and emergency injections, will have access to their medicines while on field trips and while participating in other school sponsored activities. These students must also have authorization in writing.
Safe and Orderly School Environment
An orderly environment is essential for teachers to instruct and for students to achieve. Students are encouraged to participate in school efforts to create a safe, orderly, and inviting environment. Principals and teachers have full authority, as provided by law, to establish and enforce standards and rules as necessary to create orderly schools and classrooms.
COVID-19 Guidelines strongly recommend that all individuals including students and staff wear cloth face masks to provide protection against COVID-19. Frequently washing hands with soap and water (or the use of hand sanitizer) when on school campuses is recommended to prevent the spread of infectious disease, including COVID-19.
Each school has developed a plan of action to handle a crisis or emergency situation should one arise.
Drill practice sessions are required for possible fires, tornados, and lock-down. Drill procedures and evacuation routes are posted in each room.
Bullying (School Board Policy 4332)
See statement/information on page 24 of the School Handbook.
Search and Seizure
School officials have the right to search students, student lockers, and/or student book bags in accordance with North Carolina General Statutes and under the conditions outlined in WCPS Board Policy No. 4343.
All Wayne County Public School facilities and properties are smoke free. If a student is caught with or in possession of tobacco products, vaping products, devices, or paraphernalia, disciplinary action will occur in accordance with Board Policy 4300 Code of Student Conduct.
Students are forbidden from bearing or possessing a weapon or objects that appear to be imitations of a weapon on a school bus, on school grounds, or at any school function away from school. Parents and law enforcement officials will also be notified. Violation of this policy will result in immediate suspension with a recommendation to the superintendent for long-term suspension or disciplinary reassignment. Again, alternative school placement or expulsion could occur.
School Closings and/or Delays Due to Emergencies and/or Inclement Weather
With inclement weather, there is a possibility that schools will be closed or delayed due to bad weather conditions. A decision to close or delay opening of schools will only be done after the Superintendent has completed a thorough investigation of the weather conditions in our area. Announcements will be made on local radio and area commercial TV stations as well as the school district’s education channel (Time Warner Cable channel 18), the school district website (www.waynecountyschools.org
), WCPS Social Media channels (@WayneCountyPS on Twitter & Facebook), the WCPS Mobile APP, and via the district’s instant messaging system. If weather conditions look threatening, parents should be sure to listen for announcements during the evening and during early morning hours. If there is an early dismissal due to weather and/or emergency conditions, bus runs and student pick-up will begin at the announced dismissal time.
USE OF SECLUSION & RESTRAINT
Principals, teachers, substitute teachers, voluntary teachers, teacher assistants, and student teachers may use reasonable force in the exercise of lawful authority to restrain or correct students and to maintain order; provided, however, that the use of corporal punishment is not permitted.
The Superintendent is authorized and directed to promulgate such administrative regulations and procedures as may be appropriate for the implementation of this policy and as may be appropriate for compliance with relevant federal and state laws.
Any employee, as provided herein, shall enjoy the full faith and support, including legal representation, of the Board of Education in the proper application of this policy, except for any action not in compliance with this policy and any and all administrative regulations and procedures pursuant thereto. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to repeal, abrogate, amend or otherwise change any other duly adopted policy or administrative procedure of Wayne County Public Schools.
NCGS 115C-391.1 defines the permissible use of restraint and seclusion in the public schools. Nothing in it modifies the rights of school personnel to use reasonable force as permitted under NCGS 115C-390.3 or modifies the rules and procedures governing student discipline under Article 27 of NCGS 115C.
Physical restraint of students by school personnel shall be considered a reasonable use of force when used in the following circumstances:
- As reasonably needed to obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object on a person or within the control of a person
- As reasonably needed to maintain order or prevent or break up a fight
- As reasonably needed for self-defense
- As reasonably needed to ensure the safety of any student, school employee, volunteer, or other person present; to teach a skill; to calm or comfort a student; or to prevent self-injurious behavior
- As reasonably needed to escort a student safely from one area to another
- If used as provided for in a student’s IEP or Section 504 Plan or Behavior Intervention Plan
- As reasonably needed to prevent imminent destruction to school property or another person’s property
NOTE: Except in the above circumstances, physical restraint of students is prohibited. Physical restraint shall not be considered a reasonable use of force when used solely as a disciplinary consequence.
Mechanical restraint of students by school personnel is permissible only in the following circumstances:
- When properly used as an assistive technology device included in the student’s IEP or Section 504 Plan or Behavior Intervention Plan or as otherwise prescribed for the student by a medical or related service provider
- When using seat belts of other safety restraints to secure students during transportation
- As reasonably needed to obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object on a person or within the control of a person
- As reasonably needed for self-defense
- As reasonably needed to ensure the safety of any student, school employee, volunteer, or other person present
NOTE: Except as set forth above, mechanical restraint including the tying, taping, or strapping down of a student is prohibited and shall not be considered a reasonable use of force.
Seclusion of students by school personnel may be used in the following circumstances:
- As reasonably needed to respond to a person in control of a weapon or other dangerous object
- As reasonably needed to maintain order or prevent or break-up a fight
- As reasonably needed for self defense
- As reasonably needed when a student’s behavior poses a threat of imminent physical harm to self or others or imminent substantial destruction of school property or another person’s property
- When used as specified in the student’s IEP, Section 504 Plan or Behavior Intervention Plan AND
- The student is monitored while in seclusion by an adult in close proximity who is able to see and hear the student at all times
- The student is released from seclusion upon cessation of the behaviors that led to the seclusion or as otherwise specified in the student’s IEP or Section 504 Plan
- The space to which the student is confined has been approved for such use by the local education agency
- The space is appropriately lighted
- The space is appropriately ventilated and heated or cooled
- The space is free of objects that unreasonably expose the student or others to harm
NOTE: Except in the above circumstances, the use of seclusion is prohibited. Seclusion shall not be considered a reasonable use of force when used solely as a disciplinary consequence.
Isolation is permitted as a behavior management technique provided that:
- The space used for isolation is appropriately lighted, ventilated, and heated or cooled
- The duration of the isolation is reasonable in light of the purpose of the isolation
- The student is reasonably monitored while in isolation
- The isolation space is free of objects that unreasonably expose the student or others to harm
Nothing in the above guidelines is intended to prohibit or regulate the use of timeout as a behavior management technique in which a student is separated from other students for a limited period of time in a monitored setting.
Aversive procedures are prohibited. They are defined as a systematic physical or sensory intervention for modifying the behavior of a student with a disability which causes or may reasonably be expected to cause significant physical harm, serious, foreseeable psychological impairment, or obvious repulsion on the part of observers who cannot reconcile extreme procedures with acceptable standard practice.
Notice and Reporting
Notice of these requirements will be provided annually to parents in the School Handbook and to employees in the Employee Handbook.
School personnel shall promptly notify the principal or principal’s designee of (1) any use of aversive procedures, (2) any prohibited use of mechanical restraint, (3) any use of physical restraint resulting in observable physical injury to a student, and (4) any prohibited use of seclusion that exceeds ten minutes or the amount of time specified on a student’s Behavior Intervention Plan.
A principal or principal’s designee with personal knowledge or actual notice of one of the above events shall promptly notify the student’s parent or guardian and provide the name of a school employee with whom the parent or guardian can discuss the incident. The school shall provide the parent or guardian with a written report within a reasonable time, but in no event later than 30 days after the incident.
No local board of education or employee of a local board of education shall discharge, threaten, or otherwise retaliate against another employee regarding that employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, location, or privileges of employment because the employee made a report alleging a prohibited use of physical restraint, mechanical restraint, aversive procedure or seclusion unless the employee knew or should have known that the report was false.
No Cause of Action
According to NCGS 115C-391.1(k), nothing in the permissible use of seclusion and restraint law shall be construed to (1) create a private cause of action against any local board of education, its agents or employees, or against any institutions of teacher education or their agents or employees, or (2) to create a criminal offense.
VISITORS AND PARENTS
WCPS has traditionally had a welcoming policy towards visitors and parents on our campuses. There are marked visitor parking spaces in front of the main building for parents and visitor parking. Please use these marked spaces. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, for the safety and security of students and staff, all visitors are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering inside school facilities. Prior to arrival on campus, visitors must self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Any individual who has COVID-19 symptoms, diagnosis, or who has been directed to quarantine due to exposure to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 must not come onto the school campus.
Wireless Communication Devices
WCPS recognizes that cellular phones and other wireless communication devices have become an important tool through which parents communicate with their children. Therefore, in accordance with Policy 4318, students are permitted to possess such devices on school property so long as the devices are not activated, used, displayed or visible during the instructional day or as otherwise directed by school rules or school personnel. Administrators may authorize individual students to use wireless communication devices if deemed necessary. Teachers and administrators may authorize individual students to use the devices for instructional purposes in association with AR 3220 (Bring Your Own Device Initiative) provided that they supervise the students during such use.
Note: The use of wireless communication devices is restricted at any time for bus riders traveling to and from school. Wireless communication devices include, but are not limited to, cellular phones, electronic devices with internet capability, paging devices, two-way radios and similar devices.
Consequences for unauthorized use
School employees may confiscate any wireless communication devices that is visibly turned on, used, displayed or visible in violation of Policy 4318. In the absence of compelling and unusual circumstances confiscated wireless communication devices may be returned to the student's parent or guardian, or to the student after a documented parent conference or contact. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that his/her cell phone or other wireless communication device is turned off completely and kept out of sight unless use has been authorized by appropriate school staff as described in the guidelines in Section A of this policy.
Violations of this policy will result in consequences consistent with Board Policy 4300, Code of Student Conduct.