Student Conduct and Other Issues
- Drug and Alcohol Policy
- Bullying, Hazing and Harassment
- Gender Expansive and Transgender Students
- No Smoking Policy
- School Property
- Dress and Grooming
- Throwing Snowballs, Stones, and/or other Objects
- Dishonesty in Class
- Prohibited and Restricted Items
- Substitute Teachers
- Behavior in the Cafeteria, Common Areas During Lunch and Learn and Throughout the Day
- Behavior on Buses
- Behavior During Assemblies
- Behavior in the Library
- Behavior in Study Hall
- Behavior in the Learning Center
- Students in Building After School
The use, possession, transportation, or distribution of any drug or alcoholic beverage on school property or in connection with any school related activity is prohibited. The activities listed below will result in a minimum 5 to 10 day external suspension from classes, a conference with parents, and notification of police authorities:
- Possession and/or use of drugs.
- Possession and/or use of alcohol.
- Possession and/or use of drug paraphernalia.
The activities listed below will result in a conference with parents, notification of police and an Informal Hearing at which additional suspensions, or expulsion will be recommended:
- Possession and/or use of drugs more than one time.
- Possession and/or use of alcohol more than one time.
- Possession and/or use of drug paraphernalia more than one time.
- Supplying or attempting to supply drugs, alcohol, or paraphernalia.
For more information, please refer to the Drug and Alcohol Policy which can be found in Policy, #235, Students Rights and Responsibilities.
The purpose of this Policy is to promote and maintain a safe, positive and respectful environment that is free from bullying, hazing, and harassment.
In accordance to Board Policy #249, the Board strives to provide a safe, positive learning climate for students in the schools. Therefore, it shall be the policy of the district to maintain an educational environment in which bullying in any form is not tolerated. All forms of bullying by school district students are hereby prohibited. Anyone who engages in bullying in violation of this Policy shall be subject to appropriate discipline.
Definition: The term “bullying” shall mean systematic harassment, attacks or intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical acts, perpetrated by a student or group of students, on another student or students, which meets all of the following criteria:
- occur during the school day, on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity or event
- are severe, persistent or pervasive; and
- include any written, verbal, or physical act including but not limited to:
- Written intimidating/threatening, and/or demeaning letters, notes, messages, emails and/or any other electronic means.
- Verbally intimidating/threatening comments, slurs, innuendos, or taunting
- Visual gestures
- Physical hitting, slapping, kicking and pinching, etc.
- Making reprisals, threats of reprisal, or implied threats of reprisal, social isolation or manipulation of a student
- Engaging in implicit or explicit coercive behavior to control, influence, or affect the health and well-being of a student
- Any other behavior or acts which has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education, creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment, or substantially disrupts the orderly operation of the school.
Procedure for Handling Complaints: Complaints of bullying shall be investigated promptly, and corrective action shall be taken when a complaint is verified. Neither reprisals nor retaliation shall occur as a result of the submission of a complaint.
Hazing: Behavior which subjects newcomers or initiates to pranks and humiliating horseplay with the intent to ridicule, mock or demean—violates this commitment. In the Lower Merion School District, hazing, of any type, is unacceptable. Students involved in hazing will face disciplinary action, including suspension.
To ensure that GET individuals are provided with equal opportunity and access to education, the Board has established regulations designed to ensure the safety, comfort, and healthy development of GET students while maximizing such students social integration with other students and minimizing stigmatization and isolation (Policy and Administrative Regulation 259).
- Students have the right to openly discuss and express their gender identity and expression, and to decide when, with whom, and how much information to share
- LMSD permits students or their parents/legal guardians to request a change of the name so that the student is registered in school under a name that corresponds with the student’s identity without obtaining court order or without changing the student’s official records. This request shall be made in writing to the school principal using the Preferred First Name Change for LMSD’s Unofficial Pupil Records Form.
- Where schools maintain separate restroom facilities for male and female students, GET students shall have access to the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity. Where available, a single stall restroom should be available to any student, GET or not, who desires increased privacy, regardless of the underlying reason. If a student desires increased privacy, regardless of the underlying reason, the administrator or designee shall make every effort to provide the student with reasonable access to an alternative restroom such as a single-stall restroom. The use of such a single stall restroom should be a matter of choice for a student, and no student shall be compelled to use such restroom.
- Students shall have access to the locker room facility that corresponds to their gender identity. If there is a request for increased privacy, any student shall be provided access to a reasonable accommodation
- In the rare event that physical education activities are sex-segregated, GET students shall participate in physical education by their gender identity. Participation in competitive athletics, intramural sports, athletic teams, competitions, and contact sports shall be facilitated in a manner consistent with the student’s gender identity (Griffin & Carroll, 2010) and in accordance with the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association bylaws.
- For overnight field trips, GET students can communicate their preferred sleeping arrangement to their teacher and/or a school administrator at least a month prior to the date of the field trip.
- Schools cannot enforce specific attire based on gender. Students have the right to dress in accordance with their gender identity within the constraints of the dress codes adopted by the school.
To protect individuals from the hazards of smoking tobacco, vaping and an environment noxious to nonsmokers, students, employees and visitors are prohibited from smoking and the use of tobacco products (vapes, e-cigarettes, and chewing tobacco) at any time on or in School District property.
For the purpose of this policy, the following definitions shall apply:
- Smoking-being observed holding or disposing of either a vape, lighted or unlighted cigarette, e-cigarette, cigar, etc., or being observed drawing in and/or exhaling the smoke of a vape, e-cigarette, lighted cigarette, cigar, or being observed chewing tobacco, spitting tobacco or found in possession of tobacco products including vape and e-cigarette paraphernalia
- School District Property-all vehicles, grounds and buildings of the School District; either owned or leased.
- Visitors-individuals who are neither enrolled in nor employed by the Lower Merion School District.
- Student-an individual who is enrolled in any public or private school.
- Annually, students and employees shall be informed of the Board’s No Smoking Policy.
- The School District may provide to students and employees, smoking cessation clinics to be offered in the schools.
- The curriculum shall include information about the potential hazards of smoking.
- First Offense: One day of Extended Day Detention. Additional Offenses: One day of Out of School Suspension
All school property is paid for with tax money collected from students’ parents and from other township residents. Proper care will extend the useful life of that property and allow the purchase of additional equipment and supplies for all to use and benefit.
Students are expected to return in the best possible condition all school property that is loaned to them. If the property is damaged, part or full payment will be required. If the article is lost, full payment or replacement will be required. Property includes but is not limited to, lockers, textbooks, laptops, sports equipment.
Parents will be notified annually of any obligation owed to the school.
The students, faculty and administration believe that student dress is primarily the responsibility of the family and the school district must support the efforts of our parents in the enterprise. For years we have been proud of the appearance of the majority of our students. We have confidence that our students and parents will make appropriate decisions on both school attire and appearance. However, it remains the final decision of the school in cases of flagrant abuses.
The following standards of dress and grooming are to be maintained:
- Students are to dress and groom themselves to meet reasonable standards of safety and health, and not to cause disruption to the educational process.
- Students are to keep themselves, their clothes and their hair clean.
- Some type of protective footwear is required at all times.
- Special dress requirements exist in the physical education classes, in the arts, and science laboratory classes.
- Special hair control requirements may be required in “laboratory” classes.
- Students are not permitted to wear dress/apparel that demeans or degrades another, suggests sexual activity (innuendo), or refers to violence, alcohol, drugs, or tobacco.
- Hats shall be removed when students are in the auditorium.
- Shirts without straps such as tube tops may NOT be worn.
- The bottom of a shirt MUST be able to meet the top of the lower garment. NO BARE MIDRIFFS!!
- No shirt may be worn if it excessively reveals cleavage or a student’s chest.
- Pants, shorts, skirts or skorts may NOT be excessively revealing. The top of the pants or other lower garment MUST be worn at or above the hipbone.
- The dress code applies for all school related events at Harriton/Lower Merion or elsewhere.
The first and second times a student violates this dress code, he/she will be required by the administration to cover the offending article of clothing with HHS/LMHS apparel. Any subsequent violation will result in the student being sent home by the administration, until such time as the student returns wearing clothing acceptable to this dress code. Additional disciplinary consequences may result.
Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty in academic areas and in all other aspects of school life. The school views cheating as a very serious offense for which the minimum penalty is a zero for work covered by the particular assignment or test.
Examples of Dishonest Behavior
- Copying homework from another student or enabling someone else to do so.
- Using someone else’s (whether a classmate or a published author) words in a paper without using quotation marks. Whenever you use a key work or more than two words in a row form another source, you must put those borrowed words in quotation marks and cite your source.
- Using someone else’s (whether a classmate or published author) ideas in a paper without giving that person credit.
Other Dishonest Behavior: including, but not limited to...
- Looking at another student’s paper during a test or quiz.
- Telling a student answers during a test or quiz.
- Telling a student who has not yet taken a test or quiz what questions are asked on the test.
- Bringing in a “cheat sheet” to a class.
- Having a cellphone out and on during an assessment.
- Photographing a test with a camera phone or other photographic device and sending or delivering that photo to others.
Distinction Between Honest and Dishonest Collaboration
You are encouraged to work with your classmates on regular assignments. In fact, sometimes you will be required to do so. It almost always helps to talk about assignments with other people, whether parents, peers, tutors or teachers. When it comes to putting words on paper, however, THE WORDS YOU WRITE MUST BE YOUR OWN. Unless the teacher gives explicit instructions for an assignment to be written collaboratively, assume that—even if you work on it with a friend—you must do the actual writing by yourself. If you are ever in doubt about the expectation for a given assignment, ask the teacher.
Creating, reproducing, or revising work/papers for use by another student, when that work/paper is represented exclusively as his/her own work, is considered cheating.
Submitting a copy or revision of another student’s work/paper, if represented exclusively as your own work is considered cheating.
The school looks upon cheating in tests and all other classroom situations as a very serious offense for which a ZERO for work covered by the test or assignments could be assigned. In any case involving academic dishonesty, your parents will be informed of the facts by the teacher. Counselors and appropriate administrators will also be informed.
Additional penalties include but are not limited to:
- zero on the test, assignment, etc.
- jeopardizes membership in National Honor Society and/or participation in academic awards or other school endeavors
**STUDENT WHO ARE WRITTEN UP FOR PLAGARISM, ACADEMIC DISHONESTY, AND/OR CHEATING WILL LOSE THEIR FREES FOR A MINIMUM OF ONE SEMESTER.
Cell Phone Procedure
CELLPHONES: Students are NOT permitted to use cellphones in the classroom or in the bathrooms. However, students may use cell phones in the hallways, the cafeteria, JSL (HHS) and other common areas. Any students found using their cellphones in the bathroom or classroom are subject to disciplinary action. Students who violate this policy will surrender the phone to a member of the staff upon request and will receive disciplinary action. Failure to turn over the cellphone or arguing prior to turning over the cellphone will result in additional disciplinary action.
- One (1) hour detention for relinquishing cellphone willingly
- Three (3) hour detention for any student who refuses to give up their phone or who argues with the staff member or who are insubordinate in any way.
*This procedure is subject to change during the year.
Privately owned electronic equipment such as radios, CD players, tape recorders, televisions, i-pod’s and/or MP-3’s, portable speakers such as BOSE or BEATS, may not be displayed or used in classrooms or other instructional areas unless permitted by the individual teacher or professional staff member.
Video Game Players
Electronic video games are strictly prohibited and will be confiscated and will only be returned to a parent/guardian.
These same items with an earphone (or other means to allow private or non-intrusive use) may be used during student time in the school day in the cafeteria, junior-senior lobby, other common areas, and the permissible outdoor areas.
Students who violate this policy are to surrender the specified item to a member of the staff upon request. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action.
On a subsequent offense or offenses, the parent of the student will be contacted, and the item may be held for release to the parent or guardian.
PERSONAL ITEMS SUCH AS CD PLAYERS, iPODS, CELL PHONES, PDA’S, ETC. ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STUDENT. THE SCHOOL IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LOSS, THEFT, OR DAMAGE OF THESE OR SIMILAR ITEMS.
The school is not responsible for any lost or stolen electronic equipment.
- Musical Instruments: may be played or performed only as direct by a member of the professional staff, and should not be brought to school unless for such a purpose. Any other audio or visual equipment for classroom use is supplied by the school.
- Skateboards: Skateboarding is not permitted on school property at any time. Appropriate activities are permitted during the lunch periods in designated areas only. Skateboards, skates or hazardous items are prohibited at all times and are subject to confiscation. If you fail to follow these regulations, your parents may be called to recover the prohibited items.
Overt acts of antisocial behavior such as fighting, physical harassment, verbal abuse, threats of violence, etc. are unacceptable and suspendable offenses. Students involved in this kind of behavior will have their parents contacted immediately and be sent home for the remainder of the day. After a thorough review of the facts, guilty person(s) will be suspended out-of-school.
The suspension can range from one (1) to ten (10) days and the day of the incident will not count as a day of suspension. Most often, police contact will occur, especially in the event of bodily injury or property damage or the unwillingness of the students to stop their fighting when directed by an adult. The police involvement can be initiated by the school, the parents of the students involved, or both.
- Students are required to adhere to the rules and regulations specified by a substitute teacher.
- Students are required to treat substitute teachers with the same respect and consideration extended to regular classroom teachers.
- Students who become disruptive, inconsiderate or insubordinate or in any way violate the rules of the substitute teacher will be referred to the appropriate Administrator.
- The Administrator will conference with the student’s parent(s) and may assign to the student at least one day of Extended Day Detention.
- Students who are repeat offenders will require that parents attend a conference with the appropriate Administrator and the Principal. Additional days of detention or suspension will be implemented.
**Please see Disciplinary Chart for specific details on disciplinary options for various offenses.
All waste materials must be removed from tables and floors and placed in the receptacles provided. Poor conduct in the cafeteria will result in one of the following: a warning, detention, and/or suspension. Students may remain in a classroom during the lunch period only if they are supervised directly by a teacher.
Students are expected to abide by the Code of Student Conduct during all assembly programs. Students will sit with homerooms in assigned seats, unless directed otherwise. Failure of students to attend assemblies, which they are required to attend, will be considered cuts. Students are expected to follow the following rules while in the auditorium:
Auditorium Rules for Students
- Students are to end their conversation once they are officially addressed.
- Students are not permitted to eat or drink in the auditorium.
- No hats are to be worn in the auditorium.
- Students are not expected to leave the auditorium once an assembly program has begun. Students who do leave will not be permitted back into the auditorium but will sit in the cafeteria under the supervision of a campus aide.
- Students are not permitted to have headphones out and/or on their person.
- All students must be on time.
- All late students will sit in the cafeteria under the supervision of a campus aide and will be treated as late to class.
- Students are not to sleep in the auditorium
- Students will sit in an appropriate manner
Students are encouraged to work quietly and purposefully in the library, to use library materials with care, and to return them on time. Students, who commit acts of vandalism, bring food or beverages into the library, create a disturbance, or neglect obligations to return materials on time will be denied the use of the library except when accompanied by a teacher.
Students are expected to report on time to study hall. They should have with them materials suitable to occupy their time constructively. Students may not lie down or sleep in study hall. An orderly atmosphere will be maintained.
Students disturbing the orderliness of study hall may be subjected to a discipline referral by the Study Hall teacher.
The Learning Center is designed to be a place where any student, regardless of ability can go to seek assistance with school work or to make up work. This is a comfortable, supportive environment.
Students are encouraged to come to the Learning Center during “frees” or lunch periods to work with teachers.
Code of Conduct
- The Learning Center is an extension of a teacher’s classroom. Disruptive and inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated. Students will be sent back to class if they are not being productive. The classroom teacher must report a student being returned to class as a “cut.”
- No food or drinks are permitted in the room at any time.
- Students are responsible for maintaining an orderly and clean environment.
Printing Procedures and Copier Use
- Only final copies should be printed. Rough drafts may be printed if needed for class.
- Editing should be completed on the computer.
With the following exceptions, students on school days are NOT to be in the building after 2:40 PM. EXCEPTIONS:
- Students who have made appointments to work with or confer with teachers, counselors, or administrators.
- Students who are participating in scheduled extracurricular activities or events, (i.e. clubs, athletics, dramatics, class activities, intramurals)
- Students who are using the Library or Learning Center.
- Students who are spectators at scheduled events.
- Students assigned to Detention or Extended Detention.
Rational for policy
This poicy was developed to help insure a safe and secure after school environment.
Procedures for Students
- Students whose activity begins between 2:40 and 3:00 pm are to report directly to that activity.
- Students, who are in the building for an event that begins after 3:00 pm, are to report to the area of the event and wait there until the starting time of the activity.
- When an activity ends after 3:00 pm, students are to be directed by the teacher supervising the activity to report to the:
- The waiting areas for the late buses
- A main exit if the student is not going to wait for the bus.
After School Library or Learning Center: If a student needs to be excused from either place, please notify the Administrator on duty and the after school Campus Aides.
Detention Moderators: All moderators must enforce detention rules. Regular detention will not end until 4:45 pm and extended 5:30 pm. If a student has to be dismissed from a detention, please notify the Principal on duty and the after school Campus Aides.
Athletic Coaches: All Head Coaches must make sure their student athletes are in assigned practice areas at all times and that all student athletes use the locker rooms provided by the Athletic Office. Head Coaches must notify the Director of Activities and Athletics on the date, start time, end time, of all practices throughout their season. All practices must begin at 2:45 pm (unless otherwise discussed with the Director of Activities and Athletics) and should last until 4:15 pm or 5:15 pm (so that the students can make the 4:30 pm or 5:30 pm late bus, of course this can differ for varsity teams). If a practice ends before that time, make sure the student athletes are aware that they must leave the building immediately.
Violations of the Policy
- Students who violate the policy are to be report to the appropriate grade level principal.
- On a first offense, the grade level principal will meet with the student, contact the parent and warn that the student will be required to leave the building daily at 2:40 pm.
- On a second offense, THE STUDENT WILL RECEIVE AN EXTENDED DETENTION and will be required to leave the building daily at 2:40 pm. for a time period of four weeks.
- If there were to be a subsequent offense, THE STUDENT WILL RECEIVE TWO EXTENDED DETENTIONS and will be required to leave the building daily at 2:40 pm for a time period to be determined by the grade level principal.
- Failure to follow these procedures will result in additional disciplinary action.
- Students who violate this policy are subject to having their person, belongings and locker searched.