Local school boards are required to review and update their Code of Student Conduct on an annual basis, and may include input from parents, students, and the community. It is important for families and the entire community to be included in this process to help shape and employ school discipline policy. This is particularly important in districts that use outdated discipline practices like zero-tolerance policies. While these policies may have a negative impact on student achievement, there are proven alternatives emerging in forward-thinking cities that are increasing graduation rates and decreasing drop-out rates when the community takes responsibility to implement them. A school district’s annual review of the Code of Student Conduct should include a detailed outreach plan for gathering valuable input from the community, and the formation of a Code of Student Conduct Committee with broad representation from key community stakeholders. In so doing, they will be able to establish a community-based Code of Student Conduct that will set the foundation for improving school discipline, the climate in our schools, and the educational success of our youth.
How to establish a community-based Code of Student Conduct in your school district:
Step 1: LEARN. Watch our Citizen Legislator Lesson and download our Citizen Legislator Participation Guide.
Step 2: PREPARE. Get ready for your presentation by downloading our Advisory Policy Memo. And make sure to reach out and build support through friends, family, social media, and local media!
Step 3: PRESENT. Download the Model Resolution and make an official presentation to your local governing body.
Step 4: FOLLOW UP! Officials have a lot on their plates, so it’s up to you to follow-up and make sure your proposal doesn’t get lost in the shuffle! Attend council meetings, email, and call officials if you don’t get an adequate response (but always be respectful!). And if you continue to hit roadblocks? Request a coach from The Citizens Campaign to help you out.