The new academic year will bring an updated Code of Student Conduct for Marion County Public Schools. Board members gave unanimous approval to the revisions without any comments from the public at Tuesday night’s meeting.
The dress code saw the most changes. Shirts now require sleeves, so tank tops and muscle shirts are not allowed. They must be long enough to overlap the belt line or stay tucked in, but not so long that they fall below mid-thigh length. Elementary school students must wear closed-toe shoes. No one can wear bedroom slippers.
Allison Campbell, school board chair, said parents and students should review all the changes, which are designed to make the rules clear for everyone.
“I think that is something that’s going to help our administrators and administrative teams in knowing how to enforce what is written in policy,” she said.
A paragraph on Expected Behavior is now included at the beginning of the Discipline Section.
The District expects students to conduct themselves in keeping with their levels of development, maturity, and demonstrated capabilities with a proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students and school staff, the educational purpose underlying all school activities, and the care of school facilities and equipment. Such behavior is essential in maintaining an environment that provides each student the opportunity to obtain a high quality education in a uniform, safe, secure, efficient, and high-quality system of education. The standards for student behavior shall be set cooperatively through interaction among students, parents/guardians, staff and community members, producing an atmosphere that encourages students to grow in self-discipline. The development of such an atmosphere requires respect for self and others, as well as for District and community property on the part of students, staff, and community members. School administrators, faculty, staff, volunteers, parents, and visitors serve as role models for students and are expected to demonstrate appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate harassment or bullying. Students are expected to conform to reasonable standards of socially acceptable behavior; respect the person, property, and rights of others; obey constituted authority; and respond to those who hold that authority.
Nancy Thrower, board member, said this applies to the school bus as well as the classroom.
“We are no longer willing to try to afford, literally, putting a million miles on our buses every year, and having all of these unnecessary behavior issues,” she said.
The definition of Self Defense was added. It allows for restraining or blocking an attacker from hitting you or another person and pushing them away. However, striking back in retaliation after you are able to get away is not allowed.