|Question||Department / Office||Phone|
|Contact your child’s principal.||See school directory||Constituent Services|
|Contact your child’s principal or vice-principal||See school directory||Dress Code and Discipline Policies|
|Contact your child’s school.||See school directory||Dress Code and Discipline Policies|
|Transfers Office||(559) 248-7538||Enrollment, Attendance, and Transfers|
|Health Services||(559) 457-3294||Enrollment, Attendance, and Transfers|
|Early Learning||(559) 457-3416||Enrollment, Attendance, and Transfers|
|Early Learning||(559) 457-3682||Enrollment, Attendance, and Transfers|
|Contact your child’s school for volunteer opportunities. Fingerprinting is located at: Parent University 850 N. Blackstone Ave. Fresno, CA 93701||See school directory||Parent Notification and Family Engagement|
|Parent University 850 N. Blackstone Ave. Fresno, CA 93701||(559) 457-3390||Parent Notification and Family Engagement|
|Contact your child’s school or State and Federal Programs.||(559) 457-3934||Parent Notification and Family Engagement|
|Food Services||(559) 457-6250||School Meal Services|
|Contact your child's principal or vice principal.||See school directory||School Safety|
|Contact your child's school or Transportation.||See school directory or (559) 457-3138.||School Safety|
|Contact your child's principal or vice principal||See school directory||School Safety|
|Contact your child’s teacher or English Learner Services.||(559) 457-3928||Student Learning|
|Contact your child’s school.||See school directory||Student Learning|
|Contact your child’s school to speak to a counselor.||See school directory||Student Learning|
|Contact your child’s school.||See school directory||Student Learning|
|Contact your child’s teacher.|
See school directory
DRESS AND APPEARANCE
B.P. 5132; A.R. 5132
The Governing Board believes that appropriate dress and
appearance contribute to a productive learning environment. The Board expects students to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to wear clothes that are suitable for the school activities in which they participate. Students’ clothing must not present a health or safety hazard or interfere with the educational process. In adopting this Dress and Appearance policy, it is the Board’s intention to comply with education code 221.5.
The Board recognizes that, in order to promote student safety and a positive school climate, the staff, parents/guardians, and students must be involved in the development of the Dress and Appearance policy.
School sites, in collaboration with the staff, parents/guardians and students may develop a Site-Specific Dress Code which exceeds the district’s minimum Dress and Appearance Policy, but is not contradictory. The superintendent or designee shall establish a process for the submission and approval of Site-Specific Dress Code in conjunction with each school’s safety plan.
Students and parents/guardians shall be informed about the Dress and Appearance policy as well as any Site-Specific dress code at the beginning of the school year and when revised. A student who violates the minimum Dress and Appearance Policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Except in exigent circumstances, a violation of the Dress and Appearance Policy, shall not be grounds for suspension or expulsion.
The responsibility for the dress and appearance of a student rests primarily with the student and their parents or guardians. In the interest of maintaining an appropriate learning environment, the district believes in the following basic principles:
- All students are encouraged to dress in a manner that is appropriate, comfortable and conducive to an active academic school day.
- Students should be able to wear clothing without fear of or actual unnecessary discipline or body shaming.
- The student dress code should serve to support all students to develop a body-positive self-image.
- The district standard dress and appearance policy is gender neutral and applies to all students equally regardless of gender on school campuses and at school-sponsored functions and will be enforced consistently and fairly by all members of the school staff
- Clothing and hair styles are a matter of personal choice (except for schools with uniforms). The school shall be concerned only when these impact the health and safety of students and staff.
Examples of inappropriate clothing include:
- clothing where the buttocks or torso is exposed, i.e., tube tops, half shirts, halters
- clothing that is see-through. (clothing must be opaque)
- clothing or accessories which show profanity, obscene words or pictures, sexually suggestive statements, or incites to violence
- clothing representing gang-related activities
- clothing where the entire thigh is exposed, such as micro minis or short shorts.
- bathing suits or cut-offs
- the wearing and carrying of tobacco promotional items, or items promoting controlled substances (drugs) and/or alcohol,
- clothing where undergarments are exposed
- clothing that has text that is libelous, bullying, constitutes harassment or discrimination
- footwear must be worn at school and all functions
- no backless footwear for elementary students
Additionally, site leadership may establish a site-specific dress code addendum in the following circumstances:
- Times when students are engaged in extracurricular or other special school activities and where the standard dress and appearance policy would not be appropriate for the activity.
- Times when students are engaged in specific courses where modification is needed to ensure the safety of the students engaged in the class. Examples include lab sciences, CTE classes or other classes that contain potential hazards.
- Schools may set their own site-specific addendum relating to hats, caps and other head coverings. There shall be no restriction on student head coverings worn for bona fide religious purpose.
The Board recognizes that, in order to promote student safety and discourage theft, peer rivalry, and/or gang activity, the principal, staff, and parents/guardians at a district school may wish to establish a reasonable site-specific dress code that prohibits students from wearing gang-related apparel when there is evidence of a gang presence that disrupts or threatens to disrupt the school’s activities. Such a dress code shall be included as part of the school safety plan presented to the Board for approval. The Board shall approve the plan upon determining that it is necessary to protect the health and safety of the school’s students.
DRESS CODES AND SCHOOL UNIFORMS
The Governing Board of any school district may adopt or rescind a reasonable Dress Code Policy that requires pupils to wear a school- wide uniform or prohibits pupils from wearing gang-related apparel if
the Governing Board of the school district approves a plan that may be initiated by an individual school’s Principal, staff, and parents/ guardians and determines that the policy is necessary for the health and safety of the school environment. Individual schools may include the reasonable dress code policy as part of its school safety plan, pursuant to Section 32281.
In order to promote student safety and discourage theft, peer rivalry and/or gang activity, the Principal, staff, and parents/guardians at a school may establish a reasonable school uniform program as part of the Site-Specific Dress Code. Such a program shall be included as part of the school safety plan and presented to the Board for approval. The Board shall approve the plan upon determining that it is necessary to protect the health and safety of the school’s students.
Uniforms are the identification of a certain color for the students to wear from the waist up as tops and the identification of another color for the students to wear from the waist down as bottoms.
Parents/Guardians may opt their children out from participation in a school uniform program. Students shall not be penalized academically, otherwise discriminated against or denied attendance to school if their parents/guardians choose to opt out of the school uniform program. A student exempted from participation in a school uniform dress program must comply with the site specific dress code in the school’s safety plan.
Parental notification is required at least six (6) months before implementing a School-Wide Uniform Policy. (E.C. 35183(d))
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that resources are identified to assist economically disadvantaged students in obtaining uniforms.
Sun Protective Clothing
- Each school site shall allow for outdoor use during the school day, articles of sun-protective clothing, including but not limited to, hats.
- Each school site may set a policy related to the type of sun-protective clothing, including but not limited to hats, that pupils will be allowed to use outdoors. Specific clothing and hats determined by the school district or school site to be gang-related or inappropriate apparel may be prohibited by the school site’s dress code policy.
E.C. 35183.5 (b)
- Each school site shall allow pupils the use of sunscreen during the school day without a physician’s note or prescription.
- Each school site may set a policy related to the use of sunscreen by pupils during the school day.
EXPECTED STUDENT BEHAVIOR
Rules and regulations are established to maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning. Students who fail to comply with these rules and regulations will be counseled, reprimanded, suspended, or expelled, and/or arrested as the laws are applied.
The Governing Board of any school district shall prescribe rules not inconsistent with law or with the rules prescribed by the State Board of Education for the government and discipline of the schools under its jurisdiction. E.C. 35291
Participation/Attendance at extracurricular activities is considered a part of the educational program. Participants or spectators carry responsibilities as representatives of the schools/communities. All rules of student conduct apply also to extracurricular activities.
Any Governing Board may enforce the provisions of Section 35291 by suspending or, if necessary, expelling a student in any Elementary or Secondary school who refuses or neglects to obey any rules prescribed pursuant to that section. E.C. 35291, 48980; A.R. 5144, 5144.1
B.P. 5144; A.R. 5144
The Governing Board is committed to providing a safe, supportive and positive school environment which is conducive to student learning and achievement and desires to prepare students for responsible citizenship by fostering self-discipline and personal responsibility. The Board believes that high expectations for student behavior, use of effective school and classroom management strategies, provision of appropriate intervention and support, and parent/guardian involvement can minimize the need for disciplinary measures that exclude students from instruction as a means for correcting student misbehavior. Staff shall use preventative measures and positive conflict resolution techniques whenever possible.
The superintendent or designee shall develop effective, age appropriate strategies for maintaining a positive school climate correcting student misbehavior at district schools. The strategies shall focus on providing students with needed supports; communicating clear, appropriate, and consistent expectations and consequences for student conduct; and ensuring equity and continuous improvement in the implementation of district discipline policies and practices. In addition, the Superintendent or designee’s strategies shall reflect the Board’s preference for the use of positive interventions and alternative disciplinary measures over exclusionary discipline measures as a means for correcting student misbehavior. Disciplinary measures that may result in a loss of instructional time or cause students to be disengaged from school, such as, detention, suspension and expulsion, shall be imposed only when required or permitted by law or when other means of correction have been documented to have failed (Education Code 48900.5)
Conflict resolution and other strategies shall be considered as part of each school’s comprehensive safety plan. B.P. 5138.2 Staff shall enforce disciplinary rules fairly, consistently and in accordance with the district’s nondiscrimination policies. B.P. 5144, 5144.1
School personnel and volunteers shall not allow any disciplinary action taken against a student to result in the denial or delay of a school meal. (Education Code 49557.5)
Students will be counseled regarding appropriate school behavior.
Students may be detained for disciplinary or other reasons up to one
(1) hour after the close of the maximum school day. 5 California Code of Regulations section 353.
SUSPENSION BY TEACHER
A teacher may suspend any pupil from their class, for any of the acts enumerated in Section 48900, for the day of the suspension and the day following. E.C. 48910
A teacher may also refer a pupil, for any of the acts enumerated in Section 48900, to the Principal or designee for consideration of a suspension from the school.
Whenever a student is removed from a class because they have committed an obscene act, engaged in habitual profanity or vulgarity, disrupted school activities or otherwise willfully defied valid staff authority, the teacher of the class from which the student was removed may require that the student’s parent/guardian attend a portion of a school day in that class from which the student is being suspended, to assist in resolving the classroom behavior problems. When a teacher requires parental attendance, the principal shall send a written notice to the parent/guardian stating that their attendance is required pursuant to law. A parent/guardian who has received a written notice shall attend class as specified in the notice. After completing the classroom visit and before leaving school premises, the parent/guardian also shall meet with the principal or designee. (E.C. 48900.1)
ON-CAMPUS SUPERVISED SUSPENSION CLASSROOM
The Board recognizes that students who are suspended from school frequently have no supervision or guidance during the school hours when they are off campus and may fall behind in the course work. The Board believes that in many cases, it would be better to manage the student’s behavior by keeping the student at school and providing them with supervision that is separated from the regular classroom.
To ensure the proper supervision and ongoing learning of students, The Superintendent or designee shall establish a supervised in-house suspension program which meets the requirements of
law for students suspended for any of the offenses enumerated in Education Code Section 48900 and 48900.2, who pose no imminent danger or threat to anyone at school and for whom an expulsion action has not been initiated.
Except where a supervised suspension is permitted by law for a student’s first offense, supervised suspension shall be imposed only when other means of correction have failed to bring about proper conduct. (Education Code 48900.5)
A student for whom an expulsion action has not been initiated and who poses no imminent danger or threat to the school, students, or staff may be assigned to on-campus suspension in a separate classroom, building, or site for the entire period of suspension. The following conditions shall apply: (E.C. 48911.1)
- The on-campus suspension classroom shall be staffed in accordance with law
- The student shall have access to appropriate counseling
- The on-campus suspension classroom shall promote completion of schoolwork and tests missed by the student during the suspension
- The student shall be responsible for contacting the student’s teacher(s) to receive assignments to be completed in the supervised suspension classroom. The teacher(s) shall provide all assignments and tests that the student will miss while suspended. If no such work is assigned, the person supervising the suspension classroom shall assign classwork.
At the time a student is assigned to an on-campus suspension classroom, the principal or designee shall notify the student’s parent/ guardian in person or by telephone. When the assignment is for longer than one class period, this notification may be made in writing. (E.C. 48911.1)
B.P. 5144.1; A.R. 5144.1
Suspension is the temporary removal of a student from regular classroom instruction or from school as initiated by a teacher or administrator for adjustment purposes. Suspended students shall be denied the privilege of participation in all extracurricular activities during the period of suspension or expulsion. A student’s parents/ guardians shall be notified as soon as possible when there is an escalating pattern of misbehavior that could lead to on-campus or off-campus suspension.
Suspension Procedure requires:
- An informal conference with the student;
- A reasonable effort made to contact the pupil’s parent/ guardian in person or by telephone at the time of suspension: a written notice to follow;
- That parents/guardians respond to the school’s request for a conference without delay, as per state law;
- That parents/guardians be informed that suspension may be reviewed by the Superintendent or designee; and
- That suspended student must remain under parent/guardian supervision and is not to be on or around any school campus or attend school activities for the duration of the suspension.
Students may be suspended or expelled for the following reasons under E.C. 48900:
E.C. 48900 (a)
(1) Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person, or (2) willfully used force or violence upon the person of another, except in self-defense.
E.C. 48900 (b)
Possessed, sold, or otherwise furnished any firearm, knife, explosive, or other dangerous object unless, in the case of possession of any object of this type, the student had obtained written permission to possess the item from a certificated school employee, which is concurred in by the Principal or designee.
E.C. 48900 (c)
Unlawfully possessed, used, sold, or otherwise furnished, or been under the influence of any controlled substance, an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind.
E.C. 48900 (d)
Unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell any controlled substance, an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind, and then either sold, delivered, or otherwise furnished to any person another liquid substance, or material and represented it as a controlled substance, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant.
E.C. 48900 (e)
Committed or attempted to commit robbery or extortion.
E.C. 48900 (f)
Caused or attempted to cause damage to school property or
E.C. 48900 (g)
Stole or attempted to steal school property or private property.
E.C. 48900 (h)
Possessed and/or used tobacco products.
E.C. 48900 (i)
Committed an obscene act or engaged in habitual profanity or
E.C. 48900 (j)
Unlawfully possessed, or unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell any drug paraphernalia.
E.C. 48900 (k)
Any student in grades 9-12 may be suspended, but not expelled, for disrupting school activities or otherwise willfully defying the valid authority of supervisors, teachers, administrators, other school officials, or other school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties. No student in grades K-8 may be suspended for disruption or willful defiance.
E.C. 48900 (l)
Knowingly received stolen school property or private property.
E.C. 48900 (m)
Possessed an imitation firearm.
E.C. 48900 (n)
Committed or attempted to commit specified acts of sexual assault or committed sexual battery.
E.C. 48900 (o)
Harassed, threatened, or intimidated a student who is a
E.C. 48900 (p)
Unlawfully offered, arranged, negotiated to sell, or sold the prescription drug Soma.
E.C. 48900 (q)
Engaged in, or attempted to engage in, hazing.
E.C. 48900 (r)
Engaged in an act of bullying, Including, but not limited to, bullying committed by means of an electronic act.
E.C. 48900 (t)
Aided or abetted the infliction or attempted infliction of physical injury to another person. May be subject to a suspension but not expulsion.
Committed sexual harassment, as defined by E.C. 212.5.
Caused, attempted to cause, threatened to cause, or participated in an act of hate violence, as defined in subdivision (e) of E.C. 233.
Intentionally engaged in harassment, threats, or intimidation directed against school district personnel or pupils, that is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to have the actual and reasonably-expected effect of materially disrupting classwork, creating substantial disorder, and invading rights of either school personnel or pupils by creating an intimidating or hostile educational environment.
Made terrorist threats against school officials or school property, or both.
Students shall not be suspended or expelled for truancy, tardiness, or absenteeism from assigned school activities.
ALTERNATIVE TO SUSPENSION (ATS)
To correct the behavior of any student who is subject to discipline, the Superintendent or designee shall, to the extent allowed by law, first use other means of correction. (Education Code 48900.5)
Other means of correction may include but are not limited to conferences which restore the relationships between staff, students and parents/guardians; youth court, mediation, use of study, guidance, or other intervention related teams; enrollment in a program teaching positive social behavior or anger management; and participation in a restorative justice program. Staff shall use preventative measures and positive conflict resolution techniques whenever possible.
School-based conflict resolution programs are designed to help students learn constructive ways of handling conflict. These programs can reduce violence, restore relationships and promote communication, personal responsibility and problem-solving skills among students. Conflict resolution programs shall not supplant the authority of staff to take appropriate action as necessary to prevent violence, ensure student safety, maintain order in the school, and institute disciplinary measures.
Additional Education Codes Regarding Suspension:
Rules and Procedures regarding suspension.
Suspensions handled in closed meetings to protect student privacy.
E.C. 48915.1; A.R. 5119
Enrollment of a student expelled from another District. A hearing will be held to determine if the student will be enrolled based on the act that caused the expulsion, and if the student poses a continuing danger.
E.C. 48916; A.R. 5144.1
Explanation of the readmission process after an expulsion, including the use of a rehabilitation plan.
E.C. 49332; A.R. 5144.1
School personnel may retain possession of any injurious object taken from a student until the risk of its use has dissipated.
SEARCH AND SEIZURE
Under Board Policy, metal detectors may be used randomly to promote safety and deter the presence of weapons. Specially- trained, non-aggressive dogs may be used to sniff out and alert staff to the presence of contraband such as drugs, alcohol, firearms, and explosives. Dogs may not sniff any person, but may sniff around lockers, desks, bags, items, or vehicles on school property.
Except when otherwise permitted by law, a student may be suspended or expelled only when their behavior is related to a school activity or school attendance occurring within any district school or another school district, regardless of when it occurs, including, but not limited to, the following: (Education Code 48900(s))
- While on school grounds
- While going to or coming from school
- During the lunch period, whether on or off the school campus (cf. 5112.5 – Open/Closed Campus)
- During, going to, or coming from a school-sponsored activity
An expulsion hearing shall be held within thirty (30) school days of date the Principal or designee determines that the student committed the violation. A written notice of the hearing shall be forwarded to the student at least ten (10) calendar days prior to the date of the hearing. If parent/guardian wants to have the hearing take place before this time, the parent/guardian may sign a ten (10)-day notice waiver. To postpone the expulsion panel hearing, the request must be made in writing five (5) days prior to the expulsion hearing and sent to:
Department of Prevention and Intervention Discipline Office
1350 M Street
Fresno CA 93721
The Board shall make a decision about the student’s expulsion within forty (40) school days after the student’s removal from school for the incident for which the recommendation for expulsion is made.
Extension of the Suspension
E.C. 48911; A.R. 5144.1
In a case where expulsion from any school or suspension for the balance of the semester from continuation school is being processed by the Governing Board, the Superintendent or designee may, in writing, extend the suspension until the Governing Board has rendered a decision in the action. However, an extension may be granted only if both of the following conditions are met:
- Prior to the decision regarding the extension, the pupil and their parent/guardian are provided an opportunity to meet with the Superintendent or designee regarding the extension.
- The Superintendent or designee has determined, that the student presents a danger to persons or property or threat of disrupting the instructional process. E.C. 48911
- Determination of Conduct in Violation of E.C. 48900, 48900.2-4, 48900.7 and/or 48915. Suspension: Not more than five (5) school days. E.C. 48911
- Recommendation Expulsion/Extension of Suspension E.C. 48915: Within the five (5) school days of suspension/extension pending decision on expulsion. E.C. 48911 (g)
- Notice of Hearing: At least ten (10) calendar days prior to hearing. E.C. 48918 (c)
- Student Request for Open Hearing: Within five (5) calendar days preceding hearing. E.C. 48918 (c)
- District Extension of Hearing Date: Up to five (5) school days “for good cause”. E.C. 48918 (a)
- Student Postponement: Entitled to not more than thirty (30) calendar days–additional days at Board’s discretion.
E.C. 48918 (a)
Student Due Process
The Board shall provide for the fair and equitable treatment of students facing suspension and/or expulsion by affording them their due process rights under the law. The Superintendent or designee shall comply with procedures for notices, hearings, and appeals as specified in administrative regulation and law. (Education Codes 48911, 48915, 48915.5, 48918)
- To be conducted within thirty (30) school days of determination of student violation. E.C. 48918 (a) (1)
- Administrative Panel Determination: Within three (3) school days or thirty-three (33) days without postponements. E.C.48918 (e)
- Decision of Governing Board: Within ten (10) school days or forty (40) days without student requested hearing postponement.
E.C. 48918 (a)(2)
- Appeal to County Board: Within thirty (30) calendar days following School Board’s decision. E.C. 48919
- Appellate Hearing: Within twenty (20) school days following filing of formal request. E.C. 48919
- Decision of the County Board: Within three (3) school days of hearing absent student request for postponement. E.C. 48919
WHAT HAPPENS AT A HEARING?
When the Superintendent or designee receives a request for an Expulsion Panel Hearing, an Administrative Panel meets to hear why the recommendation has been made. The Administrative Panel consists of three (3) or more certificated persons who are impartial; none of whom shall be members of the Board or employed at the student’s school. The school will have an administrator there to present the case. The hearing, which is recorded, may be transcribed at the parent’s/guardian’s expense if the Board’s decision is appealed.
At the hearing, the Panel will hear facts/evidence about the incident from testimony provided by the school and any/all witnesses. The panel will also receive information about the student related to their academic performance, attendance, and discipline. Parent/guardian will have a chance to tell the Administrative Panel if the information from the school is not accurate. Parent/guardian may also inform the Administrative Panel of any concerns they have before the Administrative Panel makes a recommendation.
The Board of Education will receive the Panel’s recommendation and is the only body that can make a decision on the recommendation.
Parent/guardian may appeal the Board’s decision within thirty (30) days to Fresno County Board of Education.
- The Chairperson will explain the expulsion procedure to the parent/guardian and the student.
- The Chairperson will ask everyone in the room to identify themselves so the recording will reflect it.
- Charges shall be stated by the representative of the school district.
- The student, parent/guardian, or the representative may present any written materials felt to be pertinent to the case.
- A brief recess will then be held in order that everyone may read and review those materials presented.
- The parent/ guardian, the student, and the student’s representative will be sworn in.
- Presentation of witnesses and evidence will be made by the representative of the school district.
- The student, parent/guardian, and/or the representative presents the student’s case.
- Summation and recommendations, if any, are to be made by the representative of the school district.
- Concluding remarks, if any, are to be made by the student, parent/guardian, and/or Student’s representative.
- There will be closure of the hearing and withdrawal of all participants from the hearing room except for the Administrative Panel members.
- The Panel then will deliberate, in closed session, in order to reach a decision as to the finding of fact and the Panel’s recommendations.
PARENT OPTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- If the student has moved to another school district, the law requires that the new district be notified of the expulsion or any pending expulsion (E.C. 48915.1, 48918).
- A student may apply to another school district and must inform its staff of the expulsion order or any pending expulsion.
- A student may apply for admission to a private school.
Appeal May Be Filed With the County Board of Education
The student and parent/guardian have the right to file an appeal of expulsion to the Fresno County Board of Education within thirty (30) calendar days of the decision to expel the student. If thirty (30) days have passed since the date of the expulsion, the Fresno County Board of Education does not have jurisdiction to hear the appeal. On some occasions, a district may suspend an expulsion allowing a student to return to school under certain conditions. However, the
thirty (30)-day time limitation applies even though the student may be attending school.
There are two (2) types of expulsions:
- Straight; and
If a student is placed on straight expulsion, they may not attend any Fresno Unified school during the expulsion term set by the Board of Education.
A suspended expulsion with conditions allows the student to remain in a district school during the expulsion term. However, if the student violates the conditions set forth by the Board of Education, the student will be placed on a straight expulsion for the remainder of their expulsion term.
The responsibility for transportation to any school site resultant from these disciplinary actions remains with the parent/guardian.
Fresno County Community Schools are run by the Fresno County Superintendent’s Office to provide an academic program to students who are expelled, on probation or on parole. The County programs serve students grades 7-12. After the Board action, referrals to Community Schools are made through the Fresno Unified Department of Prevention and Intervention. Questions should be directed to the Discipline Office at 457-3348. (B.P. 6181)
Right to an Attorney (Parent’s/Guardian’s Expense)
Fresno Unified intends to conduct a hearing in a manner which does not require attorneys. This information is to help the applicant understand the hearing process. While attorneys are not required, it is the right of the student and the parent/guardian and the right of the Fresno Unified School District to have an attorney or advocate present.
Notification Regarding Expulsion
The Fresno Unified School District Board of Education has established policies and standards of behavior which promote learning and protect the safety and well-being of students. When these policies are violated, it may be necessary to suspend or expel a student. Board Policy 5144.1 aligns with California Education Code in the approach to serious offenses.
The following offenses will warrant a mandatory referral for expulsion:
- Possessing loaded or unloaded firearms
- Brandishing a knife at another person
- Unlawfully selling a controlled substance
- Sexual assault (including attempt) or sexual battery
- Possessing an explosive
The offenses listed above will not be tolerated in the school buildings, school grounds, and buses, going to or coming from lunch or school or at any school-sponsored activity.
For all other violations, the principal shall have the discretion to recommend expulsion of a student. If expulsion is recommended, the Board shall order the student expelled only if it makes a finding of either or both of the following:
- That other means of correction are not feasible or have repeatedly failed to bring about proper conduct
- That due to the nature of the violation, the presence of the student causes a continuing danger to the physical safety of the student or others
Students who violate the applicable Penal Codes referenced by this policy will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.
This policy is publicized and each student and parent/guardian will be asked to sign a copy of the Notification Regarding Expulsion. Parents/Guardians are also requested to acknowledge the receipt of the Notification Regarding Expulsion (formerly referred to as the Zero Tolerance Letter of Notification) by their signature on the Illness and Accident Procedure Card. If the letter and/or card are not returned to the school, the policy still applies to all students.
The Governing Board is committed to providing a respectful, inclusive, and safe learning environment that protects students from discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying, or any other type of behavior that is motivated by hate. Hate-motivated behavior is any behavior intended to cause emotional suffering, physical injury, or property damage through intimidation, harassment, bigoted slurs or epithets, force or threat of force, or vandalism motivated in part or in whole by bias or hostility toward the victim’s real or perceived race, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, immigration status, ethnic group identification, ethnicity, age, religion, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information, or any other characteristic identified in Education Code 200 or 220, Government Code 11135, or Penal Code 422.55.
The Superintendent or designee shall design strategies to promote harmonious relationships among students, prevent incidents of hate- motivated behavior to the extent possible, and address such incidents if they occur. The Superintendent or designee shall collaborate with regional programs and community organizations to promote safe environments for youth where diversity is celebrated and hate- motivated behavior is not tolerated. Such collaborative efforts shall focus on ensuring an efficient use of district and community resources, developing effective prevention strategies and response plans, providing assistance to students affected by hate-motivated
behavior, and/or educating students who have perpetrated hate- motivated acts.
The district shall provide students with age-appropriate instruction that includes the development of social-emotional learning, promotes an understanding, awareness, appreciation, and respect for human rights, human relations, diversity, and acceptance in a multicultural society, explains the harm and dangers of explicit and implicit biases, discourages discriminatory attitudes and practices and provides strategies to manage conflicts constructively.
A student or parent/guardian who believes the student is a victim of hate-motivated behavior is encouraged to report the incident the principal or designee, a teacher, district compliance officer, or other staff member. Any complaint of hate-motivated behavior shall be investigated and, if determined to be discriminatory, shall be resolved in accordance with law and the district’s uniform complaint procedures specified in AR 1312.3 – Uniform Complaint Procedures or other applicable procedure.
If, during the investigation, it is determined that a complaint is about nondiscriminatory behavior, the principal or designee shall inform the complainant and shall take all necessary actions to resolve the complaint. Any staff member who is notified that hate-motivated behavior has occurred, observes such behavior, or otherwise becomes aware of an incident shall immediately contact the principal, or the compliance officer responsible for coordinating the district’s response to complaints and complying with state and federal civil rights laws. As appropriate, they shall also contact law enforcement.
As necessary, the district shall provide counseling, guidance, and support to students who are victims of hate-motivated behavior and to students who exhibit such behavior.
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that the rules prohibiting hate-motivated behavior and procedures for reporting a hate-motivated incident are provided to students, staff, and Parents/ guardians. This policy shall be posted in a prominent location on the district’s web site in a manner that is readily and easily accessible to parents/guardians and students. (Education Code 234.6)
The Superintendent or designee shall provide staff with training that:
- Promotes an understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Discourages the development of discriminatory attitudes and practices
- Includes social-emotional learning and nondiscriminatory instructional and counseling methods
- Supports the prevention, recognition, and response to hate- motivated behavior
- Raises the awareness and sensitivity of staff to potentially prejudicial and discriminatory behavior
- Includes effective enforcement of rules for appropriate student conduct
Employees who engage in hate-motivated behavior shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.