School looks at student code changes

Proposal reclassifies ‘in the presence of’ violations, clarifies punishment

In the wake of a spike in reported violations, the Medford school district is looking to make some major changes to the co-curricular code of conduct.
At the May 8 school district policy committee meeting, district administrator Pat Sullivan presented staff recommendations that address concerns while still keeping the intent of the code in place. Sullivan, along with high school principal Jill Lybert and activities director Andy Guden, reviewed the code and came up with the recommended changes.
The biggest changes proposed for the 17-page code involve how “in the presence of” violations are handled and removing flexibility in punishment for violations.
Under the existing co-curricular code, students who are caught “in the presence of” drugs or alcohol face a level two infraction. This is the same penalty level as students who are drinking or using drugs.
Administration’s recommendation is to reduce that to a level one infraction equal with other “out of character” behaviors such as facing a school suspension, displaying disrespectful behavior and academic dishonesty.
“We feel you should get punishment,” Sullivan said, emphasizing that administration would not support eliminating it from the code entirely. The proposed change is in recognition of concerns raised that those who were not drinking at a party should be treated the same as those who were.

See this week's issue of The Star News for the complete story.

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