Student Code of Conduct
NEPN/NSBA Code: JIC
Promoting ethical and responsible student behavior is an essential component of the Yarmouth School Department’s educational mission.
The Yarmouth School Department is committed to maintaining a safe, respectful and orderly school environment in which students may receive and staff may deliver quality education without disruption or interference and in which students may develop as ethical, responsible and involved citizens.
To achieve this goal, the School Committee has adopted this Student Code of Conduct that incorporates the Student Handbook and Yarmouth School Department policies. Based on values identified as essential to ethical and responsible behavior, the Code articulates the Yarmouth School Department’s expectations for student conduct. These values are reflected in school handbooks as well as several policies cited below.
The School Committee believes that each member of the school community should take responsibility for his/her own behavior. To that end, the School Committee recognizes the need to define unacceptable student conduct, identify the possible consequences for unacceptable conduct, and ensure that discipline is administered fairly, promptly, and appropriately. Acceptable and unacceptable student conduct are reflected in this policy, other school policies listed below and the Student Handbook.
The Student Code of Conduct shall be distributed to students, parents and staff through handbooks and/or other methods deemed appropriate by the Superintendent and building administrators.
All of these policies are enacted to reinforce Yarmouth’s Core Values:
• Achievement - We encourage and honor the pursuit and accomplishment of individual growth.
• Empathy - Yarmouth students and staff strive to understand the feelings and perspectives of others, and use that understanding to guide their own actions.
• Equity - Yarmouth schools provide equitable opportunities for access and success for each member of the school community.
• Integrity - Yarmouth students and staff are honest, sincere, trustworthy, ethical, and fair.
• Lifelong learning - Our schools foster a curiosity and appreciation for learning that will create a thirst for knowledge well beyond a student’s educational career.
Perseverance - Yarmouth students and staff put forth their best effort and work toward their goals in every setting regardless of obstacles.
• Respect - Yarmouth students and staff respect each other and value diversity in ideas and people.
• Responsibility - We know, understand, consider and accept the impact and consequences of our actions and decisions on others and on the environment.
Code of Conduct
All students are expected to comply with the Code of Conduct and all related School Committee policies and school rules. The Code applies to students whenever they are attending or participating in a school activity, regardless of location and at any time or place that such conduct directly interferes with the operations, discipline or general welfare of the school.
General Behavior Expectations and Discipline Policies
The following expectations for student behavior are fundamental to the safe, orderly and respectful environment in our schools. Each student should:
1. Be courteous to fellow students, staff and visitors.
2. Respect the rights and privileges of other students and school staff.
3. Obey all School Committee policies and school rules governing student conduct.
4. Follow directions from school staff.
5. Cooperate with staff in maintaining school safety, order and discipline.
6. Attend school regularly.
7. Meet school standards for grooming and dress.
8. Respect the property of others, including school property and facilities.
9. Refrain from cheating or plagiarizing the work of others.
10. Refrain from vulgarity, profanity, obscenity, lewdness, and indecency.
Violations of the Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action. Disciplinary consequences depend upon the seriousness of the violation and the student’s prior disciplinary record. Consequences will range from a verbal warning for minor violations up to and including expulsion for the most serious offenses as defined in the appropriate school policies and handbooks. Behavior that also violates the law may be referred to law enforcement authorities.
It is recognized that neither this policy nor the school handbooks can account for every type of misbehavior in which students may engage. In such instances, it will be the responsibility and right of the school administration to determine the appropriate disciplinary consequences to be applied.
Yarmouth School Department’s expectations for student and staff conduct can be found, in part, in the policies below:
A. Violence and Threat – Policy JICIA
B. Weapons – Policy JICIA
C. Bullying – Policy JICK
D. Hazing – Policy ACAD
E. Discrimination and Harassment/Sexual Harassment – Policy ACAA
F. Drug and Alcohol Use – Policy JICH
G. Tobacco Use – Policy ADC
H. Conduct on School Buses – Policy JICC/JICC-R
I. Computer/Internet Use – Policy IJND
J. Athletic/Extracurricular Activities – Policy JJ-R
K. Removal of Disruptive/Violent/Threatening Students – Policy JK
L. Youth Court Option for Student Discipline at Yarmouth High School – Policy JKH
Referrals to Law Enforcement Authorities
The Superintendent and principals have the authority to seek the assistance of law enforcement authorities when there is a substantial threat to the safety of the schools, students or staff. The Superintendent/principals may also inform law enforcement authorities when they have reason to suspect that a student or staff member may have violated a local, state or federal statute. All serious offenses, as determined by the Superintendent, must be reported to law enforcement authorities.
Dissemination of the Student Code of Conduct
The Student Code of Conduct and summary of consequences for violation of the Code of Conduct shall be distributed to staff, students and parents through handbooks and/or other means selected by the Superintendent and building administrators.
20-A M.R.S.A. §§ 254(11); 1001 (15)
Standards for Ethical and Responsible Behavior in Maine Schools and Communities (Report of the Commission for Ethical and Responsible Behavior, 2/01)
AC - Nondiscrimination/Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
ACAA - Harassment and Sexual Harassment of Students
ACAD - Hazing
ADAA - School System Commitment to Standards for Ethical and Responsible Behavior
ADC - Tobacco Use and Possession
IHBAC - Child Find
IJNDB - Student Computer and Internet Use and Internet Safety
JICC-JICC-R – Student Conduct on School Buses
JICIA - Weapons, Violence, and School Safety
JICH - Drug and Alcohol Use by Students
JICK - Bullying
JK - Student Discipline
JKD - Suspension of Students
JKE - Expulsion of Students
JKF - Disciplinary Removals of Students with Disabilities
Adopted: December 11, 2014
Revised: October 8, 2015, November 10, 2022