Student Conduct Behavior Code - Elementary - Discipline Policy Statement
Gwinnett County Public Schools (“GCPS” or “District”) is committed to creating a safe, positive environment for all of our students, staff, parents, stakeholders, and community partners. GCPS will work to assure that all students and staff are well-motivated, fully aware of their potential, and dedicated to pursue excellence in academic knowledge, skills, and behavior. GCPS believes that all children can thrive in a safe learning environment where students are emotionally and physically safe. The District utilizes a range of activities to recognize, celebrate, and reward positive behavior at the classroom, school, and district levels.
In addition to this Student Conduct Behavior Code (“Code”), GCPS has various policies that govern conduct in the District. Use the Quick Links to find a copy of the Student Conduct Behavior Code on the district website at www.gcpsk12.org. Families also may call the Special Assistant to the Superintendent at 678-301-6005.
Purpose of the Code
GCPS has adopted this Code to support the creation of a safe learning environment for all members of the school community. The purpose of this Code is to state clearly our standards for acceptable conduct of students. The Code also explains the consequences for not meeting these standards of conduct. This Code establishes a strict policy for conduct that endangers the safety of the schools and/or disrupts the educational experience for other students. GCPS does not permit corporal punishment.
The Code also sets forth the discipline procedures for the students who have committed violations of the Code. This Code is not meant to be a contract between the District and the students, and may be amended at any time. It is a place for GCPS to explain certain policies applicable to students.
Scope of the Code
Everyone is entitled to a safe, secure, and orderly environment in which to learn and work. The rules and regulations in this Code are designed toward that end and are effective during the following times and places:
- On school grounds at any time;
- Off school grounds at a school bus stop, on a school bus, or other GCPS provided transportation vehicle;
- Off school grounds when the misconduct constitutes an act of physical violence against a teacher, school bus driver, or other school official or employee. (O.C.G.A. § 20-2-751.6)
- Off school grounds when the behavior of a student (1) could result in the student being criminally charged with a felony or which could result in a felony criminal charge if committed by an adult; and which (2) makes the student’s continued presence at school a potential danger to person or property at school or which disrupts the educational process. (O.C.G.A. § 20-2-751.5(c)).
- Off school grounds at a school-related function. School-related functions include any activity sponsored by or associated with an individual GCPS school or the GCPS system. School-related functions include, but are not limited to, virtual meetings, virtual classes, athletic and extracurricular events, athletic and extracurricular practices, athletic and extracurricular meetings, athletic and extracurricular conferences, field trips, camps, foreign language trips, booster club meetings and events, parent-teacher organization meetings and events, and any activity designed to enhance the school curriculum.
- Off school grounds when the misconduct constitutes bullying by use of data or software that is accessed through Gwinnett County Public Schools computer(s), computer system(s), computer network(s), or electronic technology. (O.C.G.A. § 20-2-751.4)
- Off school grounds when the misconduct constitutes cyberbullying. (O.C.G.A. § 20-2-751.4); and
- Off school grounds and during school hours when a student leaves without permission (AWOL) of a school official.
The rules of this Code do not apply to:
i. Student speech that occurs off campus if the speech is at a non-school-sponsored event and does not cause or is not likely to cause a material and substantial disruption to the school environment or a school activity.
Equal Opportunity Statement
The District complies with all federal, state, and local laws, and provides an equal opportunity for all students. GCPS prohibits discrimination in admission, grading, discipline and any other activity based on race, creed, color, national origin, religion, ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation (known or perceived), gender identity expression (known or perceived), sex, handicap, nationality, or citizenship. All decisions of GCPS will be administered without regard to any of the categories listed above. Any student who believes that they have been discriminated against, or any parent or guardian who believes that their child has been discriminated against is invited and encouraged to contact their local school Title IX Coordinator or the GCPS Department of Employee Relations (Title IX) to file a complaint.
The rules in this Code are designed to notify students (grades K–12) as to the types of behaviors that are not acceptable; nevertheless, every specific variation of the prohibited conduct may not have been included. Consequently, students should expect to be disciplined for misconduct that is obviously inappropriate. A specific rule need not be written for every conceivable variation of behavior that directly affects the orderly mission of the school.
References to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated
References to Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) included in the Student Conduct Behavior Code do not require that the elements of the specific criminal code section referenced be proved beyond a reasonable doubt before schools may punish misconduct. Further, these code references do not impose any additional intent requirements upon schools pursuing discipline against students for the violation of this Code.
When a school rule is violated that may also be a violation of the law, the schools may notify the School Resource Officer (SRO) who will review the incident for possible criminal charges or notification of the District Attorney.