When administrative support in disciplining a student becomes necessary, the contract provisions and the school board's policies should be enforced consistently.
Use and Complete the Official Form
Use the official MPS student deportment form - the "Incident Referral Form." The form supports communication and provides documentation.
For best results, you should:
Always use the official form when the steps you have taken do not result in the appropriate change in student behavior. If a pattern of disruption develops, the form will document the need for administrative action.
Under the "teacher intervention strategies" section, note the steps you have already taken if a student repeatedly disrupts the class.
State the facts clearly, objectively, and in complete detail.
Retain the "Teacher's Copy" and send the other 2 copies to administration.
The student should not be returned to your class until you receive the "Administrative Disposition Copy."
Your recommendation for action on the form and the administrator's disposition should be consistent with the MPS discipline policy.
MPS Policy Prescribes Discipline Actions
The school board policy on discipline actions is contained in the "Parent/Student Handbook on Rights, Responsibilities, and Discipline." The policy spells out the range of discipline actions based on a student's misbehavior.
Example: if a student commits a battery (defined as "unprovoked/ unanswered intentional physical contact causing bodily harm without consent") against students or staff, the appropriate discipline action is an expulsion recommendation. Likewise, for an assault , a sexual assault, or possession/ownership/use of a gun or other weapon (including a laser pointer or pepper spray), the discipline recommendation is expulsion.
Policy Mandates Administrative Support
Students Should Not Return to Class Without Disposition
The school board policy on returning students to class states:
"When a pupil is referred to the administrator by a teacher for disciplinary purposes, he/she shall not be returned to the area under that teacher's jurisdiction in which the infraction occurred until he/she has been seen by an administrator and that administrator has communicated the disposition of the case to the teacher on the... Incident Referral Form. This will not be required in emergency situations. To the extent possible, teachers should supply necessary background information to assist the administrator in making the decision concerning the referral."
In an "emergency situation," where an administrator is not available, the teacher must be notified that the breach of discipline has been noted by the office and will be addressed ASAP.
However, students involved in serious breaches of discipline, such as physical assault, are not to be returned to the classroom until an administrator reviews the matter.
Administrators Must Communicate
The school board's policy provides:
"When the teacher recommends a particular disciplinary action and the administrator processing the referral does not concur, the administrator shall communicate with the teacher in writing on the Incident Referral Form why he/she did not follow the recommendation. It is understood that a conference elaborating on the remarks on the Incident Referral Form may often be helpful and appropriate."
Dealing With a Student Who Constantly Disrupts a Class
First, in-school measures for changing unacceptable behavior should be attempted. These options are listed at right.
Second, out-of-school suspension should be used as a strategy to involve parents in improving the student's behavior.
Third, if in-school measures and suspensions are not successful, more intensive corrective measures should be taken , including the use of support personnel. Remedial and/or behavior modification classes should be attempted - either at the school or at an appropriate alternative site.
Schools With Continuous Discipline Problems
Schools with continuous discipline problems may benefit from regular Building Committee meetings where staff can discuss concerns and engage in problem-solving with administration. If discipline problems persist, the school's MTEA Building Representative should ask for the assistance of an MTEA staff member.