2002 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Harden
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 37-11-55, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DIRECT THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO ADOPT RULES OR REGULATIONS REGARDING THE ADMINISTRATION OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND TO DIRECT LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS TO ADOPT PROCEDURES FOR USE IN LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS PRIOR TO THE 2003-2004 SCHOOL YEAR; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-11-55, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-11-55. (1) On or before August 1, 2003, the State Board of Education shall adopt rules or regulations regarding the administration of corporal punishment in the public schools and shall promulgate such rules or regulations to all local school boards. Such rules or regulations shall provide procedures for the administration of corporal punishment in a reasonable manner and not authorizing the use of excessive force or cruel punishment, and shall be audited by the Attorney General for compliance with applicable federal or state court decisions.
(2) The local school boards of each public school district in Mississippi shall adopt the procedures adopted by the State Board of Education regarding the use of corporal punishment in the schools as the local school district policy effective with the 2003-2004 school year. The action required of all school boards under this subsection (2) shall be spread upon the minutes of the local school board, and shall be incorporated in the code of student conduct provided under this section.
(3) The local school board shall adopt and make available to all teachers, school personnel, students and parents or guardians, at the beginning of the 2003-2004 school year, a code of student conduct developed in consultation with the State Board of Education, teachers, school personnel, students and parents or guardians. The code shall be based on the rules governing student conduct and discipline adopted by the school board and shall be made available at the school level in the student handbook or similar publication. The code shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) Specific grounds for disciplinary action under the school district's discipline plan;
(b) Procedures to be followed for acts requiring discipline, including suspensions and expulsion, which comply with due process requirements;
(c) An explanation of the responsibilities and rights of students with regard to attendance, respect for persons and property, knowledge and observation of rules of conduct, free speech and student publications, assembly, privacy and participation in school programs and activities;
(d) Policies and procedures recognizing the teacher as the authority in classroom matters, and supporting that teacher in any decision in compliance with the written discipline code of conduct; such recognition shall include the right of the teacher to remove from the classroom any student who, in the professional judgment of the teacher, is disrupting the learning environment, to the office of the principal or assistant principal. The principal or assistant principal shall determine the proper placement for the student, who may not be returned to the classroom until a conference of some kind has been held with the parent, guardian or custodian during which the disrupting behavior is discussed and agreements are reached that no further disruption will be tolerated. If the principal does not approve of the determination of the teacher to remove the student from the classroom, the student may not be removed from the classroom, and the principal, upon request from the teacher, must provide justification for his disapproval. * * *
(e) Policies and procedures for dealing with a student who causes a disruption in the classroom, on school property or vehicles, or at school-related activities;
(f) Procedures for the development of behavior modification plans by the school principal, reporting teacher and student's parent for a student who causes a disruption in the classroom, on school property or vehicles, or at school-related activities for a second time during the school year; and
(g) Policies and procedures specifically concerning gang-related activities in the school, on school property or vehicles, or at school-related activities.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2002.