2007 Regular Session
By: Representative Brown
AN ACT TO CREATE A NEW SECTION TO BE CODIFIED AS SECTION 37-11-56, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE EACH PUBLIC SCHOOL TO ESTABLISH A DISCIPLINARY ACTION REVIEW BOARD FOR THE PURPOSE OF HEARING APPEALS BY TEACHERS WHO OBJECT TO A PRINCIPAL'S DECISION TO READMIT A STUDENT WHO HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE CLASSROOM BY A TEACHER; TO AMEND SECTION 37-11-55, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following shall be codified as Section 37-11-56, Mississippi Code of 1972:
37-11-56. (1) There is created, in every public school in the State of Mississippi, a Disciplinary Action Review Board. The purpose of the board is to hear the appeal of any teacher who objects to the decision of a principal or other designated disciplinarian to readmit a student who has been removed from the teacher's classroom under policies and procedures set forth in the code of student conduct, as required under Section 37-11-55(d). (2) The Disciplinary Action Review Board must include the following members:
(a) Two (2) teachers to serve as members and one (1) teacher to serve as an alternate member, as selected by the school's faculty. However, a teacher objecting to a student's readmission may not serve on the Student Disciplinary Review Board when the appeal before the board is being brought by that teacher; and
(b) One (1) faculty member selected by the school's principal.
(3) All appeals must be heard within three (3) school days of the designated disciplinarian's decision to readmit a student over the disciplining teacher's objections. Until the time that the Student Disciplinary Review Board meets to hear a teacher's appeal, the student who is the subject of the appeal may be reassigned temporarily to another classroom, placed in an in-school suspension or subject to any other available placement option determined by the designated disciplinarian to be appropriate.
(4) The Disciplinary Action Review Board's placement determination regarding a student with a disability who receives special education services is subject to the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and federal regulations, state statutes and agency requirements necessary to carry out federal law or regulations or state law relating to special education.
SECTION 2. Section 37-11-55, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-11-55. The local school board shall adopt and make available to all teachers, school personnel, students and parents or guardians, at the beginning of each school year, a code of student conduct developed in consultation with 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 teacher may appeal any decision of the principal or the principal's designated disciplinarian to return the student to the classroom to the Disciplinary Action Review Board created under Section 37-11-56;
(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 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.