March 1, 2024

Student Conduct and Discipline

Policy:  Student Conduct And Discipline



It is the policy of the Hartford School District to maintain a safe,

orderly, civil and positive learning environment. In order to ensure that the

school is free from disruptive misconduct, a system of classroom and school

management practices, supported by consistent, clear and fair disciplinary

procedures, will be utilized. The goal of this policy is to create an

environment where the rules for student behavior are clearly stated, are

understood and accepted by students and staff, and are applied in compliance

with due process requirements. This policy is to be applied in conjunction with

the school's overall discipline plan developed pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 1161a.



1)   Weapon means a device, instrument, material or substance whether animate or

inanimate, which, when used as it is intended to be used, is known to be capable

of producing death or serious bodily injury.[2]

2)   School means any setting which is under the control and supervision of the

School District. It includes school grounds, facilities, and school-sponsored

events whether held on or off of school grounds and vehicles used to transport

students to and from school or school activities.

3)   Expelled means the termination of educational services for the remainder of

the school year or up to 90 school days, whichever is longer.[3]

4)   Knife means any instrument that is capable of ready use as a stabbing

weapon that may inflict bodily injury or death.


Student Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of each student to contribute to a safe and productive

learning environment in the school by demonstrating respect and consideration

for fellow students and adults. This includes complying with all policies and

rules of conduct of the School District and individual classrooms.


Administrative Responsibilities

The Principal, in consultation with the educational staff, will develop an

overall discipline plan pursuant to 16 V.S.A. §1161a.


The plan will include clear guidelines for student behavior. The guidelines for

student behavior will include prohibitions against the possession by students of

knives, weapons and dangerous instruments while at school, and shall allow

disciplinary action up to and including expulsion for violations of the

prohibition against knives, weapons and dangerous instruments that are not

possessed at school as part of an educational program sponsored or sanctioned by

the school.[4]  Behavioral expectations, and the consequences of misconduct,

will be stated in the student handbook and other publications distributed to

students and parents/guardians.




      Date Adopted: August 11, 2009

      Legal Reference(s):16 V.S.A. §1161a (discipline)

       16 V.S.A. §1162 (suspension and expulsion)

       20 U.S.C. §§1400 et seq.(IDEA)

       29 U.S.C. §794 (Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973)

       VT State Board of Education Manual of Rules & Practices §4311, 4312,

      4313; 2120.8.12

      Cross Reference: Board Commitment to Non-Discrimination (C6)

       Public Complaints About Personnel (D10)

       Interrogations or Searches of Students by Law Enforcement)

       Officers or Other Non-School Personnel (F4)

       Search and Seizure (F3)

       Alcohol and Drug Abuse (F7)

       Weapons (F21)









[1] There is no clear legal requirement for a school board policy on discipline.

 16 V.S.A. 1161a requires that all schools “…adopt and implement a comprehensive

plan for responding to student misbehavior…”  The State Board of Education

Manual of Rules and Practices includes a school quality standard that refers to

a “safe and orderly school environment,” and refers to the required discipline

plan, but does not require a policy. The Vermont Department of Education has

posted guidelines for discipline plan development and several other resources on

student discipline issues on its website at

[2] See 13 V.S.A. §4016(a)(2) for definition of “dangerous or deadly weapon.”

[3] 16 V.S.A. §1162(a).

[4] The “knives, weapons and dangerous instruments” prohibition in this model

policy is not required by law.  The possession of “dangerous and deadly weapons”

on school grounds by any individual is prohibited by 13 V.S.A. §4004.  This

prohibition does not apply to the possession of firearms in schools for

“instructional or other specific purposes.”  13 V.S.A. §4004(c)(2).