State law discourages district use of zero tolerance approaches and encourages school administrator discretion in determining sanctions for violations of school policy.
New York Consolidated Laws 2801. Codes of conduct on school property.
For purposes of this section, school property means in or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot or land contained within the real property boundary line of a public elementary or secondary school; or in or on a school bus, as defined in section one hundred forty-two of the vehicle and traffic law; and a school function shall mean a school-sponsored or school-authorized extra-curricular event or activity regardless of where such event or activity takes place, including any event or activity that may take place in another state.
The board of education or the trustees, as defined in section two of this chapter, of every school district within the state, however created, and every board of cooperative educational services and county vocational extension board, shall adopt and amend, as appropriate, a code of conduct for the maintenance of order on school property, including a school function, which shall govern the conduct of students, teachers and other school personnel as well as visitors and shall provide for the enforcement thereof. Such policy may be adopted by the school board or trustees only after at least one public hearing that provides for the participation of school personnel, parents, students and any other interested parties. Such code of conduct shall include, at a minimum:
- a. provisions regarding conduct, dress and language deemed appropriate and acceptable on school property, including a school function, and conduct, dress and language deemed unacceptable and inappropriate on school property, including a school function, and provisions regarding acceptable civil and respectful treatment of teachers, school administrators, other school personnel, students and visitors on school property, including a school function, including the appropriate range of disciplinary measures which may be imposed for violation of such code, and the roles of teachers, administrators, other school personnel, the board of education and parents;
- b. Standard and procedures to assure security and safety of students and school personnel;
- c. provisions for the removal from the classroom and from school property, including a school function, of students and other persons who violate the code;
- d. disciplinary measures to be taken in incidents involving the possession or use of illegal substances or weapons, the use of physical force, vandalism, violation of another student’s civil rights and threats of violence;
- e. provisions for detention, suspension and removal from the classroom of students, consistent with section thirty-two hundred fourteen of this chapter and other applicable federal, state and local laws including provisions for the school authorities to establish policies and procedures to ensure the provision of continued educational programming and activities for students removed from the classroom, placed in detention, or suspended from school;
- f. procedures by which violations are reported, determined, discipline measures imposed and discipline measures carried out;
- g. provisions ensuring such code and the enforcement thereof are in compliance with state and federal laws relating to students with disabilities;
- h. provisions setting forth the procedures by which local law enforcement agencies shall be notified of code violations which constitute a crime;
- i. provisions setting forth the circumstances under and procedures by which persons in parental relation to the student shall be notified of code violations;
- j. provisions setting forth the circumstances under and procedures by which a complaint in criminal court, a juvenile delinquency petition or person in need of supervision petition as defined in articles three and seven of the family court act will be filed;
- k. circumstances under and procedures by which referral to appropriate human service agencies shall be made;
- l. a minimum suspension period, for students who repeatedly are substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interfere with the teacher's authority over the classroom, provided that the suspending authority may reduce such period on a case by case basis to be consistent with any other state and federal law. For purposes of this section, the definition of "repeatedly are substantially disruptive" shall be determined in accordance with the regulations of the commissioner;
- m. a minimum suspension period for acts that would qualify the pupil to be defined as a violent pupil pursuant to paragraph a of subdivision two-a of section thirty-two hundred fourteen of this chapter, provided that the suspending authority may reduce such period on a case by case basis to be consistent with any other state and federal law; and
- n. provisions to comply with article two of this chapter.
New York Consolidated Laws 3214. Student placement suspensions and transfers.
d. [Eff until June 30, 2018] (1) Consistent with the federal gun-free schools act, any public school pupil who is determined under this subdivision to have brought a firearm to or possessed a firearm at a public school shall be suspended for a period of not less than one calendar year and any nonpublic school pupil participating in a program operated by a public school district using funds from the elementary and secondary education act of nineteen hundred sixty-five who is determined under this subdivision to have brought a firearm to or possessed a firearm at a public school or other premises used by the school district to provide such programs shall be suspended for a period of not less than one calendar year from participation in such program. The procedures of this subdivision shall apply to such a suspension of a nonpublic school pupil. A superintendent of schools, district superintendent of schools or community superintendent shall have the authority to modify this suspension requirement for each student on a case-by-case basis. The determination of a superintendent shall be subject to review by the board of education pursuant to paragraph c of this subdivision and the commissioner pursuant to section three hundred ten of this chapter. Nothing in this subdivision shall be deemed to authorize the suspension of a student with a disability in violation of the individuals with disabilities education act or article eighty-nine of this chapter. A superintendent shall refer the pupil under the age of sixteen who has been determined to have brought a weapon or firearm to school in violation of this subdivision to a presentment agency for a juvenile delinquency proceeding consistent with article three of the family court act except a student fourteen or fifteen years of age who qualifies for juvenile offender status under subdivision forty-two of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law. A superintendent shall refer any pupil sixteen years of age or older or a student fourteen or fifteen years of age who qualifies for juvenile offender status under subdivision forty-two of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law, who has been determined to have brought a weapon or firearm to school in violation of this subdivision to the appropriate law enforcement officials.
(2) Nothing in this paragraph shall be deemed to mandate such action by a school district pursuant to subdivision one of this section where such weapon or firearm is possessed or brought to school with the written authorization of such educational institution in a manner authorized by article two hundred sixty-five of the penal law for activities approved and authorized by the trustees or board of education or other governing body of the public school and such governing body adopts appropriate safeguards to ensure student safety.
(3) As used in this paragraph:
- (i) “firearm” shall mean a firearm as defined in subsection a of section nine hundred twenty-one of title eighteen of the United States Code;