FH – Student Discipline
[Note: Utah Admin. Rules R277-609-4 requires local educational agencies such as school districts to develop a comprehensive plan or policy for student and classroom management and school discipline, and to include administration, instructional and support staff, students, parents, community councils, and other community members in policy development and intervention. The model student discipline policies provide a framework but are not able to address all elements required by the State Board regulation. Individual Districts should consider the regulation in tailoring the model policies to implement the particular approaches identified in the collaboration with the above-listed groups.]
If a particular type of conduct has the effect of disrupting the learning atmosphere, it should be subject to regulation. The Board possesses discretion in promulgating regulations for the proper conduct of students.
Utah Code § 53E-3-501(1)(b)(v) (2021)
Utah Admin. Rules R277-609-1 (August 12, 2020)
Comprehensive conduct and discipline plan—
The District shall, with input from administration, instructional and support staff, students, parents, community councils, and other community members, develop a comprehensive plan for student and classroom management, school discipline, and restorative practices. This plan shall meet the content requirements set forth in Utah Admin. Rules R277-609-4(3).
Utah Admin. Rules R277-609-4 (August 12, 2020)
Relation of school discipline rules to other policies—
Rules and procedures shall prohibit corporal punishment and shall restrict the use of reasonable and necessary physical restraint as set forth in these policies and pursuant to Utah Code § 53G-8-302 and Utah Administrative Rules R277-609. Policies shall include written procedures for the suspension and expulsion of, or denial of admission to, a student, consistent with due process and other provisions of law, including Utah Code § 53G-8-204 et seq. Moreover, all rules and procedures shall be consistent with all other policies of the Board, and all state statutes and federal laws governing school discipline, including Utah Code § 53G-8-203, Utah Code § 53G-8-204 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. § 794).
Revising discipline rules—
In adopting or revising the District’s rules and regulations, the school board shall solicit input from various interest groups at the school and in the community, including district employees, parents of students, and students.
Utah Code § 53G-8-202(2)(a) (2019)
Students may be removed from regular classes or District premises for non-disciplinary health, safety, and welfare reasons when the Board or its designee determines that an emergency exists.
Any student removed from school for any “emergency” reason who is in a condition that threatens his or her own welfare or the welfare of others shall be released to the student’s parent or guardian, the parent’s or guardian’s representative, or other proper authority, including, but not limited to, law enforcement officers and medical personnel.
The District shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parent or guardian prior to removing a student from school premises for emergency reasons. If the parent cannot be notified prior to the removal, the parent shall be notified as soon as possible after the removal and the reasons for it.
Students with Disabilities—
Federal and state laws impose particular requirements regarding discipline of students identified as having a disability or when the school has sufficient notice of a disability. Discipline of such students must comport with the requirements set forth in Policy FHAD for students with disabilities.
A teacher may send a student to the Principal’s office in order to maintain effective discipline in the classroom. The Principal shall respond by employing appropriate discipline management techniques.
A teacher may remove from class a student who has been documented by the teacher to repeatedly interfere with the teacher’s ability to communicate effectively with the students in the class. Not later than the third class day after the day on which the student is removed from the class, the Principal shall schedule a hearing to be attended by the Principal or the Principal’s designee, a parent or guardian of the student, the teacher, and the student.
Following the hearing, whether or not all requested parties are in attendance after valid attempts to require their attendance, the Principal shall take one or more of the following actions:
- Suspend the student for a period not to exceed six school days.
- Place the student in an alternative education program.
- Place the student back in the class.
If the student is removed by the teacher a second time within the same semester, the student may be returned to that class only by action of the Superintendent at the Principal’s request. If the student is removed by the teacher a third or subsequent time within the same semester, the student may be returned to that class only by action of the Board at the request of the Superintendent.
A school employee may not inflict or cause the infliction of corporal punishment upon a student.
Utah Admin. Rules R277-608 (September 21, 2017)
Utah Code § 53G-8-302(1) (2019)
The term “corporal punishment” means the intentional infliction of physical pain upon the body of a student as a disciplinary measure.
Utah Code § 53G-8-301(1) (2018)
A school employee may use of reasonable and necessary physical restraint in self-defense or when otherwise appropriate to the circumstances to:
- obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object in the possession or under the control of a student;
- protect the student or another individual from physical injury; or
- remove from a situation a student who is violent; or
- protect property from being damaged, when physical safety is at risk.
A school employee may also use less intrusive means, such as a physical escort, to address these types of circumstances. (A “physical escort” is temporary touching or holding of the hand, wrist, arm, shoulder, or back for the purpose of guiding a student to another location.)
Policy FHAF sets forth specific provisions governing the use of physical restraint with students.
Utah Code § 53G-8-301(2) (2018)
Utah Admin. Rules R277-609-4(3)(l) (August 12, 2020)
An employee of the District may not be subjected to any sanction for failure or refusal to commit an act prohibited by this policy.
Utah Code § 53G-8-302(4) (2019)
Policy FDD regarding Child Abuse Reporting and Investigation shall apply to complaints made to the District regarding improper or unauthorized use of corporal punishment.
This policy does not restrict the use of physical contact which is considered to be reasonable discipline for purposes of behavior reduction intervention and which is also in compliance with state regulations and District policies adopted pursuant to Utah Code § 53E-7-204 regarding provision of education for students with disabilities.
Disciplinary records shall be made available to parents/legal guardians or the student, whichever is appropriate, pursuant to the District’s student records policy.
Collection and Reporting of Incident Data—
School personnel shall collect data with regard to incidents which occur on school grounds while school is in session or during a school-sponsored activity and which involve (1) suspension or expulsion of a student, or (2) arrest of a minor or (3) “other law enforcement activities” (defined below).
For this reporting requirement, “other law enforcement activities” means a significant law enforcement interaction with a minor that does not result in an arrest, including (1) a search and seizure by an SRO, (2) issuance of a criminal citation, (3) issuance of a ticket or summons, (4) filing a delinquency petition, or (5) referral to a probation officer.
The report of the incident shall also include information on the student or minor’s age, grade level, race, sex, and disability status. To collect the data, school personnel shall use the form established by the State Superintendent in consultation with law enforcement agencies.
The District shall report the data to the State Superintendent in a timely manner as required by the State Superintendent. Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, the District shall report the data compiled for each school year to the State Superintendent on or before September 1 of the year in which the school year ended.
Utah Admin. Rules R277-912-2 (September 24, 2020)
Notice of rules—
A copy of the rules and procedures shall be made available to all students at the time of their enrollment in the school. If a school makes significant changes to its discipline rules and procedures, written notice of the adopted and revised discipline rules and procedures shall be distributed to all new and continuing students. In the case of all new, continuing or transfer students, a copy of the rules and procedures shall be mailed to the student’s parents.
Board review of school discipline rules—
Each school shall file a copy of its school discipline rules and procedures with the Board within thirty days after adoption of the rules and procedures. The Board shall review the rules and procedures filed by each school and may require the school to modify any rule or procedure that is not consistent with Board policy or state statutes on discipline in the public schools.