State law requires districts to limit use of out-of-school suspension and expulsion based on factors such as student age or offense type.
200-RICR-20-10-1.3.2 Supportive and Nuturing School Community
B. Safe and Respectful Environment
- Each LEA shall build a safe and respectful learning environment by addressing the components described in 1.3.2(A) through (F) of this Part.
C. Freedom from Discrimination.
- Each LEA shall identify and remove barriers to students and adults that are based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, language, gender, religion, economic status, disability, or sexual orientation.
- Each LEA shall comply with all relevant state and federal statutes and regulations regarding discrimination.
D. Right to a Safe School.
- Each LEA shall ensure that students who are on school grounds before, during, and after school, during recess, and during other intermissions are appropriately supervised by adults.
- Each LEA shall follow state Statutethat states that each student and staff member has a right to attend or work at a school that is safe and secure, that is conducive to learning, and that is free from the threat, actual or implied, of physical harm.
E. Prevention of Bullying, Harassment, Hazing, Teen Dating Violence, and Sexual Violence.
- Each LEA shall:
- a. Prevent and respond appropriately to incidents of bullying, hazing, teen dating violence, sexual violence, and related issues;
- b. Promote nonviolent conflict resolution techniques in order to encourage attitudes and behaviors that foster harmonious relations;
- c. Provide professional development, training, resources, and other means to assist students, staff, and other adults in the school building or at school sponsored activities in carrying out these responsibilities; and
- d. Comply with relevant state and federal statutes regarding these issues.
F. Positive Behavioral Supports and Discipline.
State of 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 Standard set forth in § 16-2-17(a) or the student represents a demonstrable threat to students, teachers, or administrators.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 16-21-34. Statewide bullying policy implemented.
(a) The Rhode Island department of education shall prescribe by regulation a statewide bullying policy, ensuring a consistent and unified, statewide approach to the prohibition of bullying at school. The statewide policy shall apply to all schools that are approved for the purpose of § 16-9-1 and shall contain the following: (5) The range of disciplinary actions that may be taken against a perpetrator for bullying or retaliation; provided, however, that the disciplinary actions shall balance the need for accountability with the need to teach appropriate behavior; and provided, further: (i) A parental engagement strategy; and (ii) A provision that states punishments for violations of the bullying policy shall be determined by the school's appropriate authority; however, no student shall be suspended from school unless it is deemed a necessary consequence of the violations.