State law requires districts to refer students to local law enforcement for any offense that may be a violation of the criminal code.
Code of Alabama 16-1-24 Reporting of property damage and physical assaults on students and school personnel; legislative intent; penalties.
(a) For purposes of this section, the following words and phrases shall have the following respective meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
- (1) INCIDENT. Any act of physical violence, with or without a weapon, trespass, vandalism, or property damage which occurs.
- a. On school property; or
- b. During school activities, on or off school property; or
- c. At any other times when such incident can be reasonably related to school functions.
Provided, however, that incidents involving only students from the same school wherein no dangerous weapon was involved and no bodily injury requiring medical attention occurs shall not be required to be reported as provided herein. All attacks or incidents involving teachers or other school personnel shall be promptly reported.
(2) PRINCIPAL. The principal or top administrator of any public elementary, junior or senior high school at which the incident occurred.
(3) SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION. The superintendent of the county or city board of education in the county in which the school is located.
(4) REPORT. A written narrative report of an incident, the number and names and addresses of persons involved in the incident, the type of any weapon involved and a description of any injury or damage resulting from the incident. Said report shall contain the names and addresses of all known persons present at the time of said incident.
(5) TEACHER AND OTHER SCHOOL EMPLOYEE. An employee of any public elementary, junior or senior high school at which the incident occurred.
(6) SCHOOL BOARD. The board of education.
(7) COUNTY SHERIFF. The sheriff of the county in which the public school is located.
(b) It is the intention of the Legislature by passage of the section to require principals, teachers and other school employees of public elementary, junior and senior high schools to make reports of violent disruptive incidents occurring on school property during school hours or during school activities conducted on or off school property after school hours or at any other time when such incident can be reasonably related to school or school functions and to provide for penalties for failure to report such incidents.
(c) Principals shall file a report within 72 hours with the superintendent of education of any incident of which they have knowledge. A copy of the report shall also be furnished members of the school board and the county sheriff by the superintendent of education.
(d) Teachers and other school employees shall immediately report to the principal any incident of which they have knowledge. Said teacher and employee shall assist the principal in the preparation of the report required under subsection (c) of this section.
(e) Any superintendent of education, principal, teacher, or employee who violates the provisions of this section by failure to file a required report shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.
Code of Alabama 16-1-24.1 Safe school and drug-free school policy; treatment of policy violators; promulgation and distribution of discipline policy; liability limited for discipline actions; local boards may adopt more stringent guidelines.
(f) The local school board shall adopt and make available to all teachers, school personnel, students, and parents or guardians, at the beginning of the 1992-93 school year and each school year thereafter, a code of student conduct developed in consultation with teachers, school personnel, students, and parents or guardians. The code shall be based on the rules governing student conduct and discipline adopted by the school board and may be made available at the school level in the student handbook or similar publication. The code shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
- (1) Specific grounds for disciplinary action.
- (2) Procedures to be followed for acts requiring discipline.
- (3) An explanation of the responsibilities and rights of students with regard to attendance, respect for persons and property, knowledge and observation of rules of conduct, the right to learn, free speech and student publications, assembly, privacy, and participation in school programs and activities.
(g) Except in the case of excessive force or cruel and unusual punishment, no certified or noncertified employee of the State Board of Education or any local board of education shall be civilly liable for any action carried out in conformity with state law and system or school rules regarding the control, discipline, suspension, and expulsion of students.
(h) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a local board of education from promulgating more stringent rules and regulations than those adopted on the state level, in order to foster and maintain a safe and drug-free environment in the public schools.