Prince George's County Public Schools
Student Code of Conduct

                                                                            CODE OF CONDUCT 

Dear Parent/Guardian,

We, the members of the Prince George’s County Public Schools Board of Education, are committed to providing your child a safe school environment conducive to learning. We have revised the Code of Student Conduct to explain student expectations and behaviors which might require disciplinary action. Additionally, procedures for suspension, expulsion, and rights of appeal and/or review are discussed.

General Considerations Leading to
Disciplinary Action

The Prince George’s County Board of Education recognizes that there are instances in which formal disciplinary action must be used. Discipline should be both corrective and instructive, designed to foster growth and understanding in our students. There are four levels of misbehavior which may result in a disciplinary action, including suspension and/or expulsion.

Level I Offenses are Violations of General Classroom and Bus Rules. These offenses generally occur in the classroom or on the bus and can be corrected by the teacher or driver. Examples: academic dishonesty/cheating, plagiarism, classroom disruption, disorderly conduct, failure to come to class prepared, failure to wear identification badge, internet/ computer misuse, public display of affection, unexcused tardiness.

Level II Offenses are Behaviors Requiring Administrative Intervention. These offenses are more serious or repeated Level I offenses. Examples: bias harassment, class cutting/ truancy, defamation, disruptive speech, dress code violation, forgery, harassment, indecent exposure, insubordination, loitering, sexual harassment, theft (below $100), threat to person/property, unauthorized departure from school, unauthorized sale or distribution of printed material (Admin. Proc. 5150), unauthorized use of portable communication devices or electronic devices, vandalism (below $100).

Level III Offenses are Behaviors for Which a Student May be Suspended and/or Removed to a Disciplinary Alternative Education Program. Examples: serious or repeated Level I or Level II offenses, assault, bullying, contaminating food, disrespect, fighting, forgery, gambling, group fight, hazing, inciting others to violence or disruption, possession or use of fireworks, reckless endangerment, repeatedly disruptive conduct, theft (more than $100), threat to PGCPS employee, unauthorized use or distribution of over-the-counter medications, trespassing, vandalism/destruction of property (between $100 and $500). Each infraction carries with it a suggested minimum/maximum number of days of suspension.

Level IV Offenses are Behaviors Requiring Expulsion and/ or Removal to a Disciplinary Alternative Education Program. Examples: serious or repeated Level I, Level II, or Level III offenses, acts of gross misconduct at other schools; arson; assault with serious injury; biohazard, bomb threat, false alarm; group fight which has been planned and causes much disruption to the school day or results in significant injury; other acts; physical attack on a PGCPS employee; possession, use or distribution of alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, controlled dangerous substances, inhalants, other intoxicants, controlled or drug paraphernalia; possession or use of weapons or instruments used as such; shakedown/strong arm/extortion, vandalism/destruction of property above $500.

Definitions for all offenses may be found in the Admin. Proc. 10101 – Code of Student Conduct, along with other referenced Administrative Procedures online at www.pgcps.org/~procedur 

The Code of Student Conduct includes provisions regarding the use and possession of tobacco by students. The disciplinary/ counseling/assistance provisions of the Code differ from first offense through fourth and subsequent offenses.

Procedures for Implementing a
Short-Term Suspension

If the decision is made to place your child on a short-term suspension, efforts will be made to contact you by phone, or in person, to tell you that your child is being suspended and why.

If you cannot be reached, your child’s suspension will become effective at the end of the school day.

If your child’s behavior is harmful to himself/herself and/or others, and the principal feels your child is mature enough, the principal may direct your child to leave school grounds. If your child refuses to leave, he/she will be considered a trespasser.

A Notice of Suspension will be sent home with your child.  A second Notice of Suspension will be mailed. A conference date will be noted on the form or you will be asked to contact the school to arrange for a conference. The principal will give you an opportunity to have a conference as promptly after the suspension as possible.

Rights of Appeal and/or Review for a
Short-Term Suspension

If a parent/guardian wishes a formal review of the suspension, the parent is to contact the Regional Assistant Superintendent or his/her designee to request the review.  Appropriate investigation shall be completed by the Pupil Personnel Worker to resolve the problem. A review of a short-term suspension shall not serve to delay the suspension.

Procedures for Implementing a
Long-Term Suspension

If the decision is made to request a long-term suspension, the principal will follow the same steps used for short-term suspensions in notifying you about your child’s suspension.  The principal will contact the school’s Pupil Personnel Worker (PPW) with information about your child’s suspension.  The Pupil Personnel Worker will chair a conference which will include you, your child and appropriate school personnel. A decision will be made regarding how long the suspension will last, and what steps you and school personnel can take to support your child.

Appeal of a Long-Term Suspension

If you as the parent/guardian disagree with the decision made during the suspension conference, you may file a written appeal, within ten days, to the Board of Education. The Board’s Hearing examiner will conduct this appeal hearing and make a recommendation to the Board, who will provide a decision in writing.

Procedures for Implementing An Expulsion

If the decision is made to request an expulsion, efforts will be made to contact you by phone, or in person, to tell you that a request for expulsion is being made and why.

If you cannot be reached, your child’s interim suspension shall become effective at the end of the school day.

If your child’s behavior is harmful to himself/herself and/or others, and the principal feels your child is mature enough, the principal may direct your child to leave school grounds. If your child refuses to leave, he/she will be considered a trespasser.

A notice of Request for Expulsion will be sent home with your child. A second Request for Expulsion will be mailed.  An investigation of the incident will be conducted, and if there are sufficient grounds to consider expulsion, you will be invited to an expulsion conference. At this conference, the principal will present evidence to support the expulsion requested. As the parent/guardian, you will have the chance to present evidence, both in writing and by having witnesses present, and give reasons why you feel your child should not be expelled. You may have your own lawyer and other school system employees present who may have personal knowledge about the incident, and you may question any witness called by you or the school staff.

Appealing An Expulsion

The Chief Executive Officer or designee will notify you in writing of the decision. If you as the parent/guardian disagree with the decision made following the expulsion conference, you may file a written appeal, within ten days, to the Board of Education. The Board’s Hearing Examiner will conduct this appeal hearing and make a recommendation to the Board, who will provide a decision in writing.

Make-Up Work

Your child must be offered make-up work while on suspension unless other educational options are provided. It is the parent/ guardian’s responsibility to make arrangements for the receipt and return of all assignments. For long-term suspensions, unless otherwise arranged, teachers are to give work in two-week increments, which must be completed and returned before receiving additional work.

Disabled Students

If a suspension beyond ten days or expulsion is requested for your child who is disabled under federal and state laws, there must first be a finding by a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) or Section 504 Team that your child’s behavior was not the result of his/her disability.  If that is the case, the request for suspension or expulsion will remain and follow the same procedures that are followed in any other suspension or expulsion. If the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) or Section 504 Team finds that your child’s behavior was a result of his/her disability, the suspension or expulsion will be discontinued unless the offense involved weapons or drugs.

**Please note that elements of the PGCPS attendance and grading policies have been integrated into this revised Code of Student Conduct. Administrative Procedures may be reviewed at www.pgcps.org/~procedur/ or you may call the Department of Pupil Services and Guidance at 301-952-6360.