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  • Section J: Students


Promoting ethical and responsible student behavior is an essential component of the RSU 21 Board’s educational mission. 

RSU 21 is committed to maintaining a supportive and orderly school environment in which students may receive and staff may deliver a quality education without disruption or interference and in which students will develop as ethical, responsible and involved citizens.

To achieve this goal, the Board has developed this Student Code of Conduct with input from school administrators, staff, students, parents and the community.  Based on values identified as essential to ethical and responsible behavior, the Code articulates the RSU 21 Board’s expectations for student conduct. 

The Board believes that each member of the school community should take responsibility for their own behavior.  To that end, the Board recognizes the need to define unacceptable student conduct, identify the possible consequences for unacceptable conduct, and ensure that discipline is administered fairly, promptly, and appropriately.

 The Student Code of Conduct applies to students who are on school property, who are in attendance at school or at any school-sponsored activity, or whose conduct at any time or place directly interferes with the operations, discipline, or general welfare of the school.

The Student Code of Conduct shall be distributed to students, parents and staff through handbooks and/or other methods deemed appropriate by the Superintendent and building administrators.

Standards for Ethical and Responsible Behavior

The Code of Conduct is intended to support and encourage students to meet the following standards for ethical and responsible behavior:

Respect:  treating themselves, others and the environment with consideration

Honesty: acting truthfully in all academic endeavors and interpersonal relationships

Compassion: responding with care and concern when dealing with the limitations and sufferings of others

Fairness: showing integrity in all dealings with others

Responsibility: being accountable for personal actions, both as an individual and as a member of the community

Courage: behaving with conviction in the face of personal or ethical challenges 

Code of Conduct

All students are expected to comply with the Code of Conduct and all related Board policies and school rules.  The Code applies to students:

·      On school property,

·      While in attendance at school or at any school-sponsored activity, or

·      At any time or place that such conduct directly interferes with the operations, discipline or general welfare of the school.


General Behavior Expectations and Discipline Policies

The following expectations for student behavior are fundamental to the safe, orderly and respectful environment in our schools.  Each student should:

1.     Be courteous to fellow students, staff and visitors.

2.     Respect the rights and privileges of other students and school staff.

3.     Obey all Board policies and school rules governing student conduct.

4.     Follow directions from school staff.

5.     Cooperate with staff in maintaining school safety, order and discipline.

6.     Attend school regularly.

7.     Meet school standards for grooming and dress.

8.     Respect the property of others, including school property and facilities.

9.     Refrain from cheating or plagiarizing the work of others.

10.  Refrain from vulgarity, profanity, obscenity, lewdness, and indecency.

Violations of the Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action.  Disciplinary consequences depend upon the seriousness of the violation and the student’s prior disciplinary record.  Consequences will range from a verbal warning for minor violations up to and including expulsion for the most serious offenses.  Behavior that also violates the law may be referred to law enforcement authorities.



The following is a summary of the school unit’s expectations for student behavior.  In many cases, the Board has adopted policies that address these expectations in greater detail.  Students, parents and others should refer to the policies and student handbooks for more information about the expectations and consequences.  In case of an inconsistency between the Code of Conduct, Board policies and/or school handbooks, the Board’s policies will prevail.

A.    Violence and Threats

Students shall not engage in violent or threatening behavior.  Prohibited behavior includes fighting, assault and/or battery, taking hostages, threats to commit violence against persons or property, or threats, intimidation, or harassment.  Violations may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

B.      Weapons

 Students shall not possess or use weapons of any kind (examples include but are not limited to firearms, explosives, and knives).  Students also shall not use any object, although not necessarily designed to be a weapon, to inflict bodily harm and/or to threaten, intimidate, coerce or harass another person (examples include but are not limited to bats, lighters, tools, and toy weapons).   Firearms violations will result in expulsion in accordance with state and federal statutes; other weapons violations may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

C.    Bullying

Bullying is not acceptable conduct in RSU 21 schools and is prohibited.  Any student who engages in conduct that constitutes bullying shall be subject to disciplinary consequences including suspension and expulsion.  A student’s bullying behavior may also be addressed through other behavioral interventions.

D.      Hazing

Hazing is prohibited.  Maine law defines injurious hazing as “any action or situation, including harassing behavior that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health of any school personnel or a student enrolled in public school.”  No student shall plan, encourage, or engage in such activities in connection with any school program or activity, including extracurricular, co-curricular and athletic activities.  Students who engage in hazing activities are subject to suspension, expulsion and/or other appropriate disciplinary measures.

E.     Discrimination and Harassment/Sexual Harassment

 Students should not discriminate against other students on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation or disability.  Nor should students harass one another on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, or national origin, sexual orientation or disability.  Sexual harassment is also prohibited.  Harassment is grounds for disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

F.      Drug and Alcohol Use

 Students shall not distribute, possess, use or be under the influence of “bath salts” or of any alcoholic beverage, drug, or look-alike substance as described in Board policy.  Violations may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from school.      

G.  Tobacco Use

 Students shall not smoke, use, possess, sell or distribute any tobacco products including electronic smoking devices.  Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from school. 

H. Conduct on School Buses

Students must comply with all school rules while on school buses.  Students who violate these rules on a school bus may have their riding privileges suspended or revoked, and may also be subject to additional disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion, depending upon the particular violation.

I.  Computer/Internet Use

 Students may use school computers, networks and Internet services only for educational purposes.  Students shall comply with all policies and rules governing acceptable use.  Unacceptable use may result in suspension or cancellation of computer privileges as well as additional disciplinary and/or legal action.

J.  Athletic/Extracurricular Activities

 Students must follow all RSU 21 Board policies and school rules while participating in athletics and extracurricular activities.  Students who violate policies and rules may be subject to suspension or removal from the team/activity as well as additional disciplinary action under applicable Board policies and/or school rules.

Removal of Disruptive/Violent/Threatening Students


1.     Students who are disruptive, violent or threatening death or bodily harm to others may be removed from classrooms, school buses, or other school property when necessary to maintain order and safety.  The staff member who orders the student removed should arrange to have the student escorted to the office or other designated location. 

2.     If a student does not comply with a staff member’s order to leave, the staff member will contact an administrator, or, if not available, another suitable person, who shall respond promptly.

3.     Staff members should not use force or restraint, except only to the minimum extent necessary to protect any person from imminent physical harm.  Staff members are not required to take action that puts them at risk of serious injury.

4.     The responding administrator will take appropriate action.  If the student fails to obey verbal directions, force or restraint may be used only to the minimum extent necessary to protect any person from imminent physical harm or to quell a disturbance.  Whenever practicable, law enforcement should be called to restrain or physically remove the non-compliant student.  The administrator may invoke the school unit’s emergency management plan if appropriate.

Special Services


1.     Referral.  The school unit has adopted policies and procedures for determining when a student shall be referred for special services.

2.     Review of Individual Educational Plan.  The school shall schedule a meeting to review the IEP of a student who has been removed from class when: a) school officials and/or the parent believes the student may present a substantial likelihood of injury to himself/herself or others; b) the class removals are sufficient to constitute a change in the student’s special education program; or c) school officials or the parent believes that the student’s behavior may warrant a change in educational programming.

Referrals to Law Enforcement Authorities

The Superintendent and principals have the authority to seek the assistance of law enforcement authorities when there is a substantial threat to the safety of the schools, students or staff.  The Superintendent/principals may also inform law enforcement authorities when they have reason to suspect that a student or staff member may have violated a local, state or federal statute.  All serious offenses, as determined by the Superintendent, must be reported to law enforcement authorities.

Dissemination of the Student Code of Conduct

The Student Code of Conduct and summary of consequences for violation of the Code of Conduct shall be distributed to staff, students and parents through handbooks and/or other means selected by the Superintendent and building administrators.


Legal Reference:   20-A M.R.S.A. §§ 254(11); 1001 (15)

Legal Reference:   20-A MRSA §§ 254 (11); 1001 (15)

                                 Standards for Ethical and Responsible Behavior in Maine Schools and Communities (Report of the Commission for Ethical and Responsible Behavior, 2/01)


Cross Reference:  AC - Nondiscrimination/Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

                                 ACAA/ACAA-R - Harassment and Sexual Harassment of Students

                                 ACAD - Hazing

                                ADC - Tobacco Use and Possession

                                 EBCC - Bomb Threats

EEAEF/JICC- Student Discipline on School Buses and Use of Video Cameras on Transportation Vehicles

EEAEF-R/JICC-R - Transportation Rubric for Corrective Action

                                 IHBAA – Referral/Pre-Referral of Students with Disabilities

                                 IHBAC - Child Find

                                 IJNDB – Student Computer and Internet Use

JICIA - Weapons, Violence and School Safety                                 

JICH - Drug and Alcohol Use by Students

                                 JICK - Bullying

                                 JK - Student Discipline K-12

JKAA - Use of Physical Restraint and Seclusion

JKAA-R Procedures on Physical Restraint and Seclusion

                                 JKD - Suspension of Students

                                 JKE - Expulsion of Students


Adopted:   3/15/10

Revised:    1/23/17



  • Section J