Decatur County Community Schools
Bylaws & Policies
 

5840 - CRIMINAL GANGS AND CRIMINAL GANG ACTIVITY IN SCHOOLS

The Board of School Trustees of the Decatur County Community School Corporation prohibits gang activity and similar destructive or illegal group behavior on school property, on school buses and/or at school-sponsored functions and prohibits reprisal or retaliation against individuals who report gang activity and similar destructive or illegal group behavior or who are victims, witnesses, bystanders or other people with reliable information about an act of gang activity and similar destructive or illegal group behavior.

The following definitions apply to this policy:

 A.Either

  1.promotes, sponsors or assists in; or

  2.participates in; or

 B.Requires as a condition of membership or continued membership;
  The commission of a felony or an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult or the offense of battery.

Per State law, a school employee shall report any incidence of suspected criminal gang activity, criminal gang intimidation or criminal gang recruitment to the principal and the school safety specialist. The principal and the school safety specialist may take appropriate action to maintain a safe and secure school environment, including providing appropriate intervention services. Appropriate consequences and remedial actions are those that take into consideration the severity of the offenses and consider both the developmental ages of the student offenders and the studentsí histories of inappropriate behaviors per the code of conduct.

Any Corporation and school employee who promptly reports an incident of suspected gang activity and who makes this report in compliance with the Corporation procedures is immune from a cause of action for damages arising from any failure to remedy the reported incident.

The principal or designee shall conduct a thorough and complete investigation for each report of suspected gang activity. The investigation shall be initiated by the principal or the principalís designee within one (1) school day of the report of the incident. The principal may appoint additional personnel and request the assistance of law enforcement to assist in the investigation. The investigation shall be completed and the written findings submitted to the principal as soon as possible, but not later than five (5) school days from the date of the report of the alleged incident of criminal gang activity.

The principal shall take any appropriate disciplinary actions based upon the findings of the investigation, in accordance with the code of conduct. The Superintendent of the School Corporation is authorized to define the range of ways in which school staff and the principal or the principalís designee shall respond once an incident of criminal gang activity is confirmed, according to the code of conduct. Consequences for a student who engages in gang activity may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion.

The principal shall provide the parents of the students who were investigated with information about the investigation. The information to be provided to parents includes the nature of the investigation, whether the Corporation found evidence of criminal gang activity and whether consequences were imposed or services provided to address the activity. This information is to be provided in an expedited manner.

As appropriate to the investigation findings, the principal also shall provide intervention and/or relevant support services. The principal shall inform the parents of all students involved in alleged incidents and discuss the availability of counseling and other intervention services.

Support services may include one (1) or more of the following:

 A.Gang awareness education that shows promise of effectiveness based on research. The gang awareness education information should be revised and updated regularly to reflect current trends in gang and gang-like activity.

 B.Culturally and/or linguistically appropriate services/supports for parents and families.

 C.Counseling coupled with mentoring for students and their families.

 D.Community and faith-based organizations and civic groups.

 E.Viable, sustainable after-school programs developed in collaboration with other stakeholders.

 F.Job training and employment opportunities as both a deterrent to gang involvement and an incentive to leave gang involvement.

 G.School sanctioned/facilitated extra-curricular activities.

The principal shall submit the report to the Superintendent within ten (10) school days of the completion of the investigation. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall report the results of each investigation to the Board on a quarterly basis during regularly scheduled Board meetings.

Each school within the Corporation shall record the number of investigations disposed of internally and the number of cases referred to local law enforcement, disaggregated by race, ethnicity, age and gender. Each school shall report this information to the Corporation Superintendent who shall submit a written report to the Indiana Department of Education by June 2nd of each year.

This policy shall be annually disseminated to all parents who have children enrolled in a school within the Corporation. Notice of this policy must be published in student handbooks and all other publications of the Corporation that set forth the rules and procedures for schools within the Corporation.

Revised 5/11/16