Traverse City Area Public Schools
Administrative Guidelines
 

8600 - BUS DISCIPLINE GUIDELINES FOR STUDENT TRANSPORTATION

The following procedural steps shall be observed in bus discipline matters. Common sense and good judgment shall be an integral part of how the driver/aide deals with students who are disruptive or distracting on the bus. Any unusual circumstances not covered in these rules will be dealt with on an individual basis.

MINOR MISCONDUCT

Any student who is engaged in a misconduct while riding on a school bus shall be promptly addressed by the bus driver/aide and warned that any continuation of the misconduct may result in further disciplinary action. (The incident shall be logged by the bus driver/aide.) Any Minor Misconduct could become a Major Misconduct with persistent, consistent non-compliance and be subject to consequences under the Major Misconduct guidelines.

A Minor Misconduct shall be defined as behavior that is disruptive but not necessarily a serious safety violation. Examples include, but are not limited to: excessive noise; touching others; putting gum on seats; profane language; eating or drinking on the bus; changing seats, putting head, hands or feet out the window; being uncooperative; tossing things; not staying seated. This list should not be considered all inclusive but a general descriptor of Minor Misconduct.

The process for addressing Minor Misconduct will be:

 A.Single Incident-Driver/Aide to log incident

 B.Oral warning to student

 C.Possible temporary seat assignment

For repetitive minor infractions within the same school year, authorized district personnel shall follow the warning suspension schedule as outlined below. For bus suspensions over ten (10) days, parent/guardian may require due process as outlined in Policy 5611.

REPEATED MINOR MISCONDUCT PROCESS

Second Incident-Driver/Aide to log incident

Written warning to student

Assigned seat

Notice to parent for signature*

Suspension of less than ten (10) days may result in a bus behavior contract based on the discretion of the transportation department or parent request. '`Suspension of ten (10) or more days will require a bus behavior contract. Suspensions of ninety (90) days or more may be re-evaluated only after half (1/2) of the suspension has been served. Evaluation will require a parent conference and a transportation behavior contract for the student.

Student will remain in assigned seat pending return of signed notice from parent. Notices will be triplicate and distributed to: parent/student, driver, Transportation Department.

 

three (3) infractions

=

three (3) days suspension

 

four (4) infractions

=

ten (10) days suspension

 

five (5) infractions

=

twenty (20) days suspension

 

six (6) infractions

=

ninety (90) days suspension

 

seven (7) infractions

=

180 days suspension

MAJOR MISCONDUCT PROCESS

Major Misconduct is defined as an illegal or disruptive act that is detrimental to the health and safety of the driver/aide or students. Major Misconduct will include, but not be limited to: significant insubordination; persistent, consistent non-compliance; physical aggressiveness or assaultive behavior; inappropriate sexual behavior or comments; throwing objects; intimidation; assaultive or threatening actions, gross misbehavior, carrying or brandishing any real or look-a-like substances, explosives or weapon of any kind.

Any Major Misconduct will result in immediate suspension from the bus pending the investigation. If conditions warrant, a police report may be filed. In addition, the following steps would be adhered to:

 A.First infraction
  ten (10) days immediate suspension*

 B.Second infraction
  twenty (20) days immediate suspension*

*There will be a consideration of a long-term bus suspension exceeding ten (10) or twenty (20) days based on number of prior major/minor misconducts.

It is noted that due to our policy regarding violence, aggressive acts and substance abuse, the following will always be reported to the Youth Liaison Officer/Civil Authorities for possible prosecution:

 A.theft of over $5.00 value

 B.concealment/possession of weapons, fireworks, explosives

 C.drug, alcohol, and tobacco use, possession, or sale

 D.assaults, extortion, fighting

 E.vandalism

 F.harassment/intimidation (ethnic, sexual, etc.)

 G.arson

 H.criminal sexual conduct

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Special Education students are expected to follow the procedures and guidelines set forth for regular education students established through the tenth day of suspension. The transportation department will notify the principal when a special education student is suspended from the bus. An I.E.P. will be convened by the principal when the student is at risk of missing more than ten (10) cumulative days of school due to bus and/or school suspension(s).

ASSAULT, WEAPONS, ARSON AND CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT

The Governor of the State of Michigan has signed into law a number of school safety laws. These Public Acts (laws) are also included in the District's Board Policy and Guidelines. The Board of Education is continually concerned about the safety and welfare of District students and staff and, therefore, will not tolerate behavior that creates an unsafe environment or a threat to safety.

 A.Physical Assault

1. In compliance with Section 1311a(1) of the Revised School Code, MCL380.1311a(1), the Board or its designee shall permanently expel a student in grade six or above if that student physically assaults a District employee, volunteer, or contractor at school. The Superintendent or principal shall forward the report to the School Board or its designee for the hearing.
2. In compliance with Section 1310(1) of the Revised School Code, MCL380.1310(1), the Board or its designee shall also suspend or expel a student in grade six or above for up to 180 school days if the student physically assaults another student at school.
  3.Because the Board believes that students, staff members and visitors are entitled to function in a safe school environment, students are required to report any knowledge of a student intending to or engaging in a physical assault of a District employee, volunteer or contractor at school to the school principal or an assistant principal. Failure to promptly report such knowledge to the school principal or an assistant principal will subject the student to disciplinary action.

  4.For purposes of this policy, the following definitions shall apply:

   a.Physical assault means intentionally causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another through force or violence.

   b.At school means in a classroom, on school premises, on a school bus or other school-related vehicle or at a school sponsored activity or event (whether or not on school premises).

   c.School premises means a building, playing field, or property used for school purposes to impart instruction to children or used for functions and events sponsored by a school.

 B.Verbal Assault/Bomb Threat

1. In compliance with Section 1311a(2) of the Revised School Code, MCL380.1311a, the Board or its designee shall suspend or expel a student in grade six or above, for a time determined in the discretion of the School Board if the student verbally assaults a District employee, volunteer, or contractor.
  2.The Board shall expel a student for up to 180 days or permanently expel a student who makes a bomb threat or similar threat directed at a school building, property or a school-related activity.

  3.Because the Board believes that students, staff members and visitors are entitled to function in a safe school environment, students are required to report any knowledge of a student intending to or engaging in a verbal assault of a District employee, volunteer or contractor at school or intending to make or making a bomb threat or similar threat directed at a school building, property or a school-related activity to the school principal or an assistant principal. Failure to promptly report such knowledge to the school principal or an assistant principal will subject the student to disciplinary action.

  4.For purposes of this policy, the following definitions shall apply:

   a.Verbal assault means any statement or act, oral or written, which can reasonably be expected to induce in another person(s) an apprehension of bodily injury or harm.

   b.At school means in a classroom, on school premises, on a school bus or other school-related vehicle or at a school sponsored activity or event (whether or not on school premises).

   c.School premises means a building, playing field, or property used for school purposes to impart instruction to children or used for functions and events sponsored by a school.

 C.Weapons, Arson and Criminal Sexual Conduct

1. In compliance with Section 1311 of the Revised School Code, MCL 380.1311, the Board will permanently expel any student who possesses a dangerous weapon in a weapon-free school zone. Additionally, pursuant to Board Policy, the Board may permanently expel or suspend for a time determined in its discretion, any student who possesses any kind of weapon or object used or to be used as a weapon at school.
  2.Possession of any kind of weapon or object used or to be used as a weapon at school will subject a student to permanent expulsion or suspension for a time determined by the Board in its discretion. It will make no difference whether or not the weapon belongs to someone else, unless the student can provide convincing evidence that the weapon was placed in the student's possession without his/her knowledge. If it can be confirmed that the weapon was brought onto school premises by a student other than the one who was found in possession of the weapon at school provided the weapon to the one who was found in possession of it at school, that student shall also be subject to the same disciplinary action.

3. In compliance with Section 1311 of the Revised School Code, MCL 380.1311, the Board will permanently expel any student who commits arson or criminal sexual conduct in a school building or on school grounds. Additionally, pursuant to Board Policy, the Board may permanently expel or suspend for a time determined in its discretion, any student who commits either arson or criminal sexual conduct at school.
  4.Because the Board believes that students, staff members and visitors are entitled to function in a safe school environment, students are required to report any knowledge of a student's intention to possess or a student's possession of a dangerous weapon or any other kind of weapon or object used or to be used as a weapon and/or any act or intention to engage in an act of arson or criminal sexual conduct by a student at school to the school principal or school administrator. Failure to promptly report such knowledge to the school principal or school administrator will subject the student to disciplinary action.

  5.For purposes of this Policy, the following definitions shall apply:

a. As defined in Section 1313 of the Revised School Code, MCL 1313 and for the purpose of compliance with Section 1311 of the Revised School Code, MCL 380.1311, "dangerous weapon" means "a firearm, dagger, dirk, stiletto, knife with a blade over three (3) inches in length, pocket knife opened by a mechanical device, iron bar, or brass knuckles." A "firearm" means that term as defined in Section 921 of Title 18 of the United States Code, 18 USC 921.
   b.A weapon other than a dangerous weapon as defined in (a) above, includes conventional objects like guns, pellet guns, knives or club type implements. It may also include any toy that is presented as a real weapon or reacted to as a real weapon. Any object that is used to threaten, harm or harass another may be considered a weapon. This includes, but is not limited to, padlocks, chains, pencils, laser pointers, jewelry and butane or other kinds of lighters.

   c.As defined in Section in 237a of the Michigan Penal Code, MCL 750.237a, "weapon free school zone" means school property and/or a vehicle used by the school to transport students to or from school property. Also, as defined in Section 237a of the Michigan Penal Code, MCL 750.237a, "school property" means a building, playing field, or property used for school purposes to impart instruction to children or used for functions and events sponsored by a school, except a building used primarily for adult education or college extension courses.

d. As defined in Section 1311(11)(a) of the Revised School Code, MCL 280.1311(11)(a), and for the purpose of compliance with Section 1311, of the Revised School Code, MCL 380.1311, the term "arson" means a felony violation of Chapter X of the Michigan Penal Code, MCL 750.71 to MCL 750.80. In addition to arson as defined in Section 1311(11)(a) of the Revised School Code, MCL 380.1311(11)(a), setting a fire or doing any act which results in the starting of a fire at school or aiding, counseling, inducing, persuading or procuring another to do such an act or acts shall constitute "arson" under Board Policy and a student who engages in such conduct shall be subject to the same disciplinary action for committing arson in a school building or on school grounds under Section 1311 of the Revised School Code, MCL 380.1311.
e. As defined in Section 1311(11)(b) of the Revised School Code, MCL 380.1311(11)(b), and for the purpose of compliance with Section 1311 of the Revised School Code, MCL 380.1311(11)(b), and Board Policy, the term "criminal sexual conduct" means conduct by a student that is a violation of Sections 520b, 520c, 520d, 520e or 520g of the Michigan Penal Code, MCL 750.520b, 750.520c, 750.520d, 750.520e or 750.520g.
   f.At school means in a classroom, on school premises, on a school bus or other school-related vehicle or at a school sponsored activity or event (whether or not on school premises).

   g.School premises means a building, playing field, or property used for school purposes to impart instruction to children or used for functions and events sponsored by a school.

MINOR AND/OR REPEATED MISCONDUCT

Any student who is engaged in a misconduct while riding on a school bus shall be promptly addressed by the bus driver/aide and warned that any continuation of the misconduct may result in further disciplinary action. In the event of minor or repeated misconduct, the following process shall be administered by the Transportation Department:

 A.Completed documentation will be submitted to the Discipline Coordinator. Notification of parent/guardian via Bus Behavior Warning (BBW) to be given to students for parents signature and returned.

 B.Review Bus Driver's Log Book; review BBW; confer with driver/aide, as needed; investigate, as necessary.

 C.The Discipline Coordinator may contact the respective building principal for further investigation.

 D.In the event the parents/guardian request a meeting, the Discipline Coordinator and/or principal will arrange for the parent/student meeting. During this meeting, the parents/guardian and student shall have an opportunity to explain the alleged conduct and to otherwise present evidence on the student's behalf. The driver/aide may be required to be present for this meeting.

 E.A copy of the BBW will be placed in the corresponding driver's mailbox so that the signed BBW can be properly collected and returned to the Discipline Coordinator.

 F.When misconduct occurs off the bus at bus stops, the incident shall be logged by the driver/aide and reported to the Discipline Coordinator. The Discipline Coordinator shall report the matter to the building principal for appropriate investigation. If misconduct results in disciplinary action, discipline will be administered in accordance with the student handbook and general disciplinary policies of the School District.

The attached disciplinary guidelines are to be administered for minor and repeated misconduct. (See guidelines)

MAJOR MISCONDUCT

Major Misconduct is defined as an illegal or disruptive act that is deemed by the driver/aide to be detrimental to the health and safety of the students or driver/aide. Major Misconduct will include, but not be limited to: significant insubordination; persistent, consistent non-compliance; physical aggressiveness or assaultive behavior; inappropriate sexual behavior or comments; throwing objects; intimidation; assaultive or threatening actions; carrying or brandishing any real or look-a-like substances, explosives or weapon of any kind.

MAJOR BUS MISCONDUCT REQUIRING SUSPENSION BEYOND TEN DAYS FROM SCHOOL OR EXPULSION

 A.In the event the student's conduct is of such a serious nature as to recommend suspension from school beyond ten days or expulsion from school in addition to temporary suspension from riding the bus, the Discipline Coordinator shall make appropriate recommendations to the building principal. The building principal shall investigate and administer, as appropriate, in accordance with the student handbook and policies of the school district. The principal is then responsible for communication with the parents.

 B.Student due process rights will be followed in accordance with the student handbook.

 C.A summary of the meeting results and the action taken by the Principal shall be forwarded to the parents/guardian of the student.

MAJOR BUS MISCONDUCT

In the event of misconduct resulting in bus suspension observed by the driver and not requiring suspension or expulsion from school, the following shall apply:

 A.Review Bus Driver's Log Book; review any BBW; confer with driver/aide, as needed; investigate, as necessary.

 B.The Discipline Coordinator will attempt to contact the parent/ guardian by phone before the discipline is implemented. A report will be mailed home following the phone contact.

 C.The Transportation Department shall inform the respective building principal regarding the students involved in the bus misconduct.

 D.To appeal the bus discipline, the parents/guardian may request a meeting with the Director of Operations to explain the alleged misconduct and present evidence on the student's behalf. The Director of Operations decision will be provided to the parents in writing.

 E.Misconduct that occurs off the bus at bus stops other than school facilities shall be logged by the driver/aide and reported to the Discipline Coordinator. The Coordinator shall report the matter to the building principal for appropriate investigation and-action in accordance with the general student handbook and disciplinary policy of the School District.

 F.The attached disciplinary action guidelines are to be administered for Major Misconduct.

Revised July 2002