PHILOSOPHY OF DISCIPLINE
The primary goal of the Polk County Public School System is to ensure that each student achieves at the highest possible level. Education is to be provided in a manner that does not discriminate or cause harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, or social and family background. In order for this to be accomplished:
- Every school staff member will strive to create a positive, safe environment that encourages and supports student success. Underlying causes for misbehavior will be explored, and when possible, positive redirection will occur and acceptable alternative behaviors will be taught. Such redirection may involve a collaborative effort of school, community and parents/guardians.
- It is the objective and policy of the School Board of Polk County to recognize, preserve and protect the individual rights of all students; and, at the same time, to encourage and enforce the exercise of these rights within the framework of an orderly and efficient school program. Within this framework, it is the duty of the School Board, the administrative staff, and the faculty of each school to prevent and to prohibit student conduct that becomes dangerous, disruptive or destructive, and therefore endangers the proper maintenance and function of the school program. Staff members are expected to model core value behaviors that set an example for students. It is expected that all disciplinary measures will be conducted in a manner that is respectful to the student and preserves that student's dignity wherever possible. It is the expectation that each student will behave in a manner that does not threaten, interfere with, or deprive other students of their right to an education and will accept responsibility for their behavior. An effective school environment must be safe and free from disruption. Progressive discipline utilizing corrective strategies that consider the student’s age, exceptionality, previous conduct, probability of a recurring violation, intent, attitude, and severity of the offense shall be utilized in all instances.
- The School Board further recognizes that students are protected and have certain rights extended to citizens under the United States Constitution and its amendments; and that these rights cannot be abridged except in accordance with the due process of law. Therefore, in order to clarify the guidelines of student behavior in the schools and establish procedures to be followed, the Code of Student Conduct has been adopted by the School Board. The Code shall be mandatory and applied in a manner that is consistent with this philosophy of discipline. Individual schools may adopt additional regulations governing actions not covered by the Code, but such additional regulations may neither substitute for nor negate any Code provisions unless approved through the School Board waiver process. It is essential that all students, their parents/guardians, teachers, support staff and administrators understand and abide by the Code of Student Conduct.