"Progressive discipline processes, shall be designed to create the expectation that the degree of discipline will be in proportion to the severity of the behavior leading to the discipline, that the previous discipline history of the student being disciplined and other relevant factors will be taken into account, and that all due process procedures required by federal and state law will be followed." (O.C.G.A. § 20-2-735)
- Each incident of inappropriate behavior is unique in terms of situational variables. Similarly, disciplinary action will reflect consideration of a number of factors specific to the student involved in the misbehavior.
- This model strives for a safe and orderly student learning environment through a systematic process of behavioral correction. ¨ Inappropriate behaviors are followed by consequences. ¨ Inappropriate behaviors are substituted with those that are consistent with the character traits identified in Georgia's Character Education Program.
- Students in violation of the code of conduct cannot be assumed to have had sufficient instruction and/or practice in utilizing the particular character trait(s) related to the misbehavior. As such, disciplinary action should include engaging students in activities/events that reflect desirable character traits.
- Parents are viewed as integral partners to be utilized when addressing students' misbehavior.
- Students who engage in continual minor acts of misconduct, as well as those who engage in even a single act of more serious misconduct, are considered candidates for the school's Behavior Support Processes.
- Disciplinary action shall be in response to alleged violations of the student code of conduct established and approved by local board policies.
- Due process procedures required by federal and state law will be followed. ¨ The degree of disciplinary action will be in proportion to the severity of the misbehavior. Note: Local board policies shall require that, upon finding that a student has committed the offense of bullying for the third time in a school year, such student shall be assigned to an alternative school as minimum punishment. (O.C.G.A § 20-2-751.4)
- In most situations, disciplinary action should reflect both a consequence and an opportunity to be successfully engaged in related character traits from Georgia's Character Education Program.
- It is the policy of this state that it is preferable to reassign disruptive students to isolated and individual oriented in-school suspension programs or alternative educational settings rather than to suspend or expel such students from school.
- All progressive discipline components noted in this section are minimum requirements. Additional components may be set forth by the local board of education.
- Students are responsible to all those with whom they come in contact during the school day. As such, progressive discipline supports granting authority to professional staff members to impose discipline consequences for minor acts of misconduct. (Teachers, for example, may require students to serve a classroom detention after school for a minor infraction occurring during that class.) However, when a student is believed to be engaging in a similar pattern of minor misbehavior, or when a student has committed a more serious violation of the school rules, the principal must assume responsibility for the discipline process.
- Georgia's Character Education Program reflects character traits that must be routinely demonstrated and identified by all stakeholders in the education process.
- Utilization of the Behavior Support Process should be considered for students who repeatedly engage in minor acts of misbehavior and for those who have engaged in behaviors resulting in Level III, IV or V discipline.