Effective Discipline Policy

Vance Charter School recognizes that the most effective discipline is preventive and not punitive in nature. However, there are times when corrective actions become necessary. Such actions should be reasonable and aimed at improvement of behavior.

Definitions:

The following definitions apply to this section:
(1)       “Assistive technology device” means any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capacities of a child with a disability.
(2)       “Aversive procedure” means a systematic physical or sensory intervention program for modifying the behavior of a student which causes or reasonably may be expected to cause one or more of the following:

  1. Significant physical harm, such as tissue damage, physical illness, or death.
  2. Serious, foreseeable long‑term psychological impairment.
  3. Obvious repulsion on the part of observers who cannot reconcile extreme procedures with acceptable, standard practice.

(3)       “Behavioral intervention” means the implementation of strategies to address behavior that is dangerous, disruptive, or otherwise impedes the learning of a student or others.
(4)       “IEP” means a student’s Individualized Education Plan.
(5)       “Isolation” means a behavior management technique in which a student is placed alone in an enclosed space from which the student is not prevented from leaving.
(6)       “Law enforcement officer” means a sworn law enforcement officer with the power to arrest.
(7)       “Mechanical restraint” means the use of any device or material attached or adjacent to a student’s body that restricts freedom of movement or normal access to any portion of the student’s body and that the student cannot easily remove.
(8)       “Physical restraint” means the use of physical force to restrict the free movement of all or a portion of a student’s body.
(9)       “School personnel” means:

  1. Employees of a local board of education.
  2. Any person working on school grounds or at a school function under a contract or written agreement with the public school system to provide educational or related services to students.
  3. Any person working on school grounds or at a school function for another agency providing educational or related services to students.

(10)     “Seclusion” means the confinement of a student alone in an enclosed space from which the student is:

  1. Physically prevented from leaving by locking hardware or other means.
  2. Not capable of leaving due to physical or intellectual incapacity.

(11)     “Time‑out” means a behavior management technique in which a student is separated from other students for a limited period of time in a monitored setting.

Corporal Punishment:

Vance Charter School prohibits the use of corporal punishment in its schools. Notwithstanding this prohibition on the use of corporal punishment, school personnel may use reasonable force and physical restraint consistent with applicable law and this policy.

Reasonable Force:

School personnel may use reasonable force to control behavior or to remove a person from the scene in those situations when necessary for any of the following reasons:

  • To correct students;
  • To quell a disturbance threatening injury to others;
  • To obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects on the person, or within the control, of a student;
  • For self-defense;
  • For the protection of persons or property; or,
  • To maintain order on educational property, in the classroom, or at a school-related activity on or off educational property.

Physical Restraint:

Physical restraint of students by school personnel shall be considered a reasonable use of force in the following circumstances:

  • As reasonably needed to obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous objects on a person or within the control of a person;
  • As reasonably needed to maintain order or prevent or break up a fight;
  • As reasonably needed for self-defense;
  • As reasonably needed to ensure safety of any student, school employee, volunteer, or other person present, to teach a skill, to calm or comfort a student, or to prevent self-injurious behavior;
  • As reasonably needed to escort students safely from one area to another;
  • If used as provided for in a student’s IEP or Section 504 plan, or behavior intervention plan; or,
  • As reasonably needed to prevent imminent destruction to school or another person’s property.

Except in these circumstances, physical restraint shall not be considered a reasonable use of force, and its use is prohibited by Vance Charter School.Physical restraint should not be considered a reasonable use of force when used solely as a disciplinary consequence.

Mechanical Restraint:

Mechanical restraint of students by school personnel is permissible only in the following circumstances:

  • When properly used as an assistive technology device included in the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan, or behavior intervention plan, or otherwise prescribed for the student by a medical or related service provider;
  • When using seat belts or other safety restraints to secure students during transportation;
  • As reasonably needed to obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous objects on a person or within the control of a person;
  • As reasonably needed for self-defense; or,
  • As reasonably needed to ensure the safety of any student, school employee, volunteer, or other person present.

Except in these circumstances, mechanical restraint shall not be considered a reasonable use of force and is prohibited by Vance Charter School.

Seclusion:

Seclusion of students by school personnel may be used in the following circumstances:

  • As reasonably needed to respond to a person in control of a weapon or other dangerous object;
  • As reasonably needed to maintain order or prevent or break up a fight;
  • As reasonably needed for self-defense;
  • As reasonably needed when a student’s behavior poses a threat of imminent physical harm to himself or others or imminent substantial destruction of school or another’s property; or,
  • When used as specified in the student’s IEP, 504 Plan, or behavior intervention plan, and the student is:
  1. Monitored in seclusion by an adult in close proximity who is able to see and hear the student at all times;
  1. Released from seclusion upon cessation of behaviors that led to seclusion or as otherwise specified in the IEP, 504 Plan, or behavior intervention plan;
  1. Confined in a space approved for such use by Vance Charter School; and,
  1. The space is appropriately lighted, ventilated, heated or cooled, and free of objects that unreasonably expose the student or others to harm.

Except in these circumstances, the use of seclusion is not a reasonable use of force and is not permitted by Vance Charter School. Seclusion shall not be considered a reasonable use of force when used solely as a disciplinary consequence.

Isolation:

Isolation is permitted as a behavior management technique provided that:

  • The space used for isolation is appropriately lighted, ventilated, and heated or cooled;
  • The duration of isolation is reasonable in light of the purpose of isolation;
  • The student is reasonably monitored while in isolation; and,
  • The isolation space is free of objects that unreasonably expose the student or others to harm.

Time-out:

Nothing in this policy prohibits or regulates the use of time-out.

Aversive Procedures:

The use of aversive procedures is prohibited in Vance Charter School.

Reporting Requirements:

School personnel must promptly notify the principal or designee of:

  • Any use of aversive procedures;
  • Any prohibited mechanical restraint;
  • Any use of physical restraint resulting in observable physical injury to a student; or,
  • Any prohibited use of seclusion or seclusion that exceeds ten minutes or the amount of time specified in the student’s behavior intervention plan.

When the principal or designee has personal knowledge or actual notice of any of these events, the principal shall promptly notify the student’s parent or guardian and provide the name of the school employee that the parent or guardian can contact regarding the incident. This notification should occur at the end of the workday during which the incident occurred when reasonably possible, but never later than the end of the following workday. Within a reasonable period of time, but no later than thirty (30) days after the incident, the student’s parent or guardian shall be provided with a written incident report that includes:

  • Date, time of day, location, duration and description of incident and interventions;
  • Events that led up to the incident;
  • Nature and extent of any injury to student; and,
  • Name of school employee to contact regarding incident.

The principal or designee will maintain a record of all incidents required to be reported under this policy.

Vance Charter School and its employees are prohibited from retaliating against an employee for reporting an alleged violation of this policy unless the reporting employee knew or should have known the report was false.

Nothing stated herein prohibits the use of physical restraint, mechanical restraint, seclusion or any other use of force by law enforcement officers. Nothing stated herein creates a private right of action against Vance Charter School, its agents or employees.

The principal may adopt regulations to implement this policy.

Legal Reference:  G.S. 115C-47(45), -288, -307, -390.3, -391.1

Adopted: 9/17/12