Rhode Island - Limits on Exclusionary Discipline: Prohibitions or Restrictions

Area: 
Prohibitions Or Restrictions
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law requires districts to limit use of out-of-school suspension and expulsion based on factors such as student age or offense type.

Basic Education Program 200-RICR-20-10-1.3.2 Supportive and Nuturing School Community

  1. Each LEA shall ensure that schools promote a positive climate with emphasis on mutual respect, self-control, good attendance, order and organization, and proper security. Each LEA shall develop protocols that define a set of discipline strategies and constructs that ensure that students and adults make positive behavioral choices and that are conducive to a safe and nurturing environment that promotes academic success.
  2. Each LEA shall ensure that:
    -- Schools engage in a participatory process (involving students and staff) to assess periodically the school climate and to adopt or develop strategies to improve conditions (see the Board of Regents Policy Statement on Student Rights);
    -- Students and parents/guardians are notified of district and school rules related to conduct and shall receive regular instruction regarding these rules. In addition, parents/guardians, and students shall be provided with information about early warning signs of harassing and intimidating behaviors, such as bullying, as well as prevention and intervention strategies;
    -- Schools provide a structure of incentives that adequately reward students for their efforts and achievements. Attention shall be given to rewarding a diversity of accomplishments and to broadening the availability of rewards;
    -- Schools have a clearly delineated system for ensuring compulsory attendance for children six (6) to sixteen (16) that includes:
    • a) Procedures for noting daily absenteeism and investigating unexcused absences;
    • b) Procedures for noting the required period of attendance of students attending at- home instruction approved by the school committee or at a private day school approved by the Commissioner of Education; and
    • c) The appointment of truant (or attendance) officers whose duties shall include referring truant students to appropriate school support services and procedures for enforcing any given case through civil action filed in Family Court;
      -- Disciplinary actions are fairly administered for all students and comply with state laws mandating that certain violations be considered on a case by case basis; recognizing that there is no mechanism in Rhode Island law for expulsion of students; and
      -- Schools shall provide a continuum of interim alternative educational placement options to continue a student's education while suspended that ensure the safety of the student and the school community.

Rhode Island General Laws § 16-2-17.1. In school suspensions.

Suspensions issued shall not be served out of school unless the student's conduct meets the standards set forth in § 16-2-17(a) or the student represents a demonstrable threat to students, teachers, or administrators.
Rhode Island General Assembly

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