Code of Conduct

The Watchung School philosophy is based on positive reinforcement. We believe that children can behave appropriately in a climate of warmth and support; the goal of school discipline is to help children become self-­‐directed citizens within a variety of environments and with different people. We believe that expectations for behavior and ways of dealing with misbehavior should be in accord with developmental goals. Clearly defined school rules and classroom procedures with incremental actions and consequences consistently carried out will foster appropriate behavior.

The following Code of Conduct Chart will help students, staff and families to understand the expectations for acceptable conduct at Watchung School. All students are expected to follow the Code of Conduct in a developmentally appropriate manner.

The following table describes some general unacceptable behaviors and associated actions, which are divided into three tiers according to severity/developmental level/ student's history of behaviors.

Watchung Elementary School Discipline Rubric

On school grounds, on a school bus, at school-sponsored function. The below consequences can be individual or combined.

BEHAVIOR FIRST TIME SECOND TIME THIRD TIME

Level 1
Hurtful Teasing
—Hurtful teasing or demeaning name calling
—Spreading rumors
—Use of insulting or obscene gestures
—Intimidating others
—Social isolation
—“Other” hurtful teasing

—Verbal warning
—Letter of apology
—Written warning
—Letter of apology
—In-school intervention
—Parent notified
—Meeting with administrator
—Letter of apology
—One-day in-school suspension
—Parent notified
Level 2
Hurtful Actions
—Physical acts (including pushing shoving, tripping)
—Running in the hallways
—Lying (with a witness)
—Spitting
—“Other” hurtful actions
—Parent notified
—Removal of privileges
—In-School intervention
—Parent notified
—Removal of privileges
—In-school intervention
—Written warning
—Parent notified
—In-school intervention
—In-school suspension
—Meeting with administrator
Level 3
Violence
—Inflicting bodily harm
—Destroying property
—Stealing
—Threatening with a weapon
—“Other” violent acts
—Parent notified
—In/out of school suspension 1-5 days depending upon circumstances
—Parental conference
—Parent notified
—Out of school suspension 1-5 days depending upon circumstances
—Parental conference
—Referral to I&RS Committee
—Parent notified
—Parental conference
—Consequences to be determined on an individual basis, based on the severity and patterns or behavior

NJ Anti-­Bullying Bill of Rights Act

The State of N.J. recently enacted the Anti-­‐Bullying Bill of Rights Act, which is intended to:

  • Clarify and strengthen the standards and procedures for preventing, reporting, investigating, and responding to incidents of harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) of students that occur on school grounds and off school grounds under specified circumstances
  • Respond to research on the incidence, prevalence, and effects of HIB that has emerged since the adoption of the original HIB laws adopted in 2002 and amended in 2007 and 2008
  • Establish clearer standards for the definition of HIB
  • Use and better manage existing resources to increase school
  • Reduce the risk of suicide due to HIB

HIB means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it be a single incident or series of incidents that:

  • Is reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical, or sensory disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic
  • Takes place on school property, at any school sponsored function, or off school grounds as provided for in section 16 of P.L. 2010, Chapter 122
  • Substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students
  • A reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging the student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his person or damage to his property
  • Has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students
  • Creates a hostile educational environment for the student by interfering with a student's education or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student

School staff must follow the statutory procedures for all reported HIB incidents and protect students. A reporting procedure is in place to promptly investigate reports of violations and complaints related to HIB. The investigation will be initiated by the principal or the principal's designee within one day of the report of the incident and shall be conducted by the school anti-­‐ bullying specialist. The principal may appoint additional personnel to assist in the investigation.

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