Handbook Discipline

MNPS’ Discipline Philosophy

Discipline is the opportunity to intervene, teach, and shape the future of the student. Discipline should be administered with equity, dignity, freedom from bias and respect for all parties.

Student Disciplinary Practices and Procedures

Rules and behavioral expectations designed to promote a healthy environment for all participants are hallmarks of an orderly and democratic society. Monitoring and meeting those expectations are the responsibility of all who participate.  

Discipline is to be viewed not as an opportunity to punish, but rather as an opportunity to teach appropriate behaviors and restore the student to the school community. We are not only responsible for contributing to students’ intellectual development, but also for their social and emotional development. 

As you review this information, remember that the well-being of each student individually and all children collectively is our greatest consideration.   

Discipline Responses

Toxic stress and traumatic events faced by students outside of the school setting can impact brain development and health, availability for learning, and behavior. In fact research shows that, in comparison to students with no known Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), students with three or more ACEs are three times more likely to experience academic failure, five times more likely to have chronic absenteeism, six times more likely to have serious school disciplinary concerns, and four times more likely to exhibit somatic health complaints (e.g., headache, stomach ache). 

Students and staff are expected to demonstrate mutual respect for themselves and others at all times. When students are disruptive or act inappropriately, school staff and principals are expected to respond logically, appropriately and consistently. The MNPS Discipline Table describes five types of behavior, increasing in seriousness from a Type 1 behavior to a Type 5 behavior. For example, a dress code violation is a Type 1 behavior, while bringing a firearm to school is a Type 5 behavior. 

The Discipline Table also includes five levels of possible responses to inappropriate behavior (Levels A through E) and an additional potential response (Level T) for behavior on the bus. Each behavior is assigned to one or more of these levels of intervention and response. Principals and school staff may use only the levels provided for each behavior. Only one response letter may be chosen. Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSResponses and interventions are to be progressive. If a behavior is assigned to two or more levels of response, the lowest level of intervention should be used for the first occurrence of behavior. 

Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSWhen choosing a higher-level response within the range of possible responses, an administrator must consider: 

  • Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSthe student’s age, health, disability, decision-making ability and prior intervention history 

  • the student’s willingness to repair the harm 

  • the seriousness of the act 

  • the harm caused or the potential to cause harm, including any injuries caused 

  • Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSthe extent of actual disruption to the learning environment 

An administrator must clearly document the reasons for using the selected response by citing the factors above in the discipline referral. In each case, MNPS administrators and staff will ensure consequences applied will minimize the amount of instructional time lost. Suspensions and expulsions are measures of last resort. An administrator is never required to expel a student unless the behavior is a Type 5 Zero Tolerance Offense. 

Except for Type 5 Behaviors, students in Pre-K through Grade 4 will not be expelled. Except for Type 5 behaviors, law enforcement will not be called to make an arrest for elementary students.  

“Informal” suspensions – suspensions that are not documented in the student management system (Infinite Campus)—are prohibited. A parent may not be called to pick up their student for disciplinary or behavioral reasons unless the incident and the suspension are documented. Parents must be provided a copy of the student’s discipline referral when a suspension occurs. 

Unless otherwise noted, all codes apply to behavior at school, on the bus, or at school-sponsored activities. 

Interventions and Responses to Student Behavior

Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSSchool discipline is best accomplished by preventing misbehavior before it occurs; and using positive, safe, and respectful interventions after it occurs in an effort to promote new, more adaptive skills and prevent future challenging behaviors.

Schools must balance accountability with an understanding of the origins of challenging behavior, including an understanding of the impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress on behavior. Training about ACEs and Trauma-Informed School Practices is recommended and readily available for all schools. Schools should incorporate a trauma-sensitive approach within a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) that incorporates positive behavior interventions and supports (RTI2B), restorative practices, and social emotional learning foundations at the Tier 1 universal level of prevention. Essential elements of a strong Tier 1 include:

  • teaching and reinforcing school and classroom rules and expectations,

  • Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSestablishing clear and consistent consequences,

  • providing explicit expectations and training for staff on building positive relationships with students,

  • and teaching and providing opportunities for students to engage in social emotional learning practices focused on stress reduction (e.g., regulating breaks) during the school day.   

After challenging behavior warranting disciplinary action occurs, schools should draft and implement individualized student success plans (Tier 2) or behavior intervention plans (Tier 3) that explicitly include trauma-informed strategies with an emphasis on positive relationships and emotional and behavioral regulation. Examples may include pairing students with supportive adult mentors and teaching and practicing stress reduction/regulation skills to promote self-management. Trauma-informed specialists, behavior analysts (behavior support team and exceptional education coaching team), restorative practices specialists, and social-emotional learning specialists are available to assist school staff with development of individual student plans. 

Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSA restorative and consistent approach is preferable to utilizing suspension and expulsion. Suspension and expulsion are never required, except for Type 5 offenses. Length of in-school suspension (ISS) and out-of-school suspension (OSS) may not exceed the days allowed in  this handbook.  

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

In MNPS we use a positive approachBắn Cá Hải Tặc iOS to discipline when possible. We provide clear behavior expectations that are consistent throughout our schools. We provide increasingly intensive intervention to support our students. When students are receiving intervention, we monitor their progress to determine if they need additional interventions and support. While receiving intervention, it is preferable to use a restorative approach to discipline.   

Disciplinary Process & Procedures

A suspension of more than 10 days.

Disciplinary action will be initiated at the school level. The principal/designee will investigate a student’s alleged misconduct and determine whether disciplinary action is necessary. The principal/designee will provide due process by explaining the school’s view of the offense, the information gathered during the investigation, and the length of the suspension/expulsion or other behavioral intervention as determined by the principal. The principal/designee will allow the student to explain his/her side or view of the offense.

If the principal/designee has knowledge of any serious student misconduct, the principal/designee may immediately remove the student to restore order, to further investigate the misconduct or to protect persons on the school grounds. The principal/designee may suspend the student immediately for a maximum of two days (summary suspension). If it is determined that disciplinary action is not warranted, the incident will be deleted and the suspension days will be changed to excused absences.

Upon suspension of any student other than for in-school suspension of one day or less, the principal/designee will, within 24 hours, notify the parent or guardian. If the parents are unable to come for their student, the student must remain on school property until the close of the school day. Parents should be provided written notice of the suspension or expulsion.

If a suspension is for five or more days, the principal will develop and implement a plan for improving the behavior which will be made available for review by the director of schools upon request. The student will be provided the opportunity to make up missed work at the discretion of the principal/designee.

An expulsion is defined as a suspension of more than 10 days. On the same date the principal/designee makes the decision to expel a student, the principal/designee must immediately give written or actual notice to the student, the student’s parents and the Discipline Office of Support Services of the expulsion and the parent or guardian of their right to appeal the expulsion. In the event actual notice is given, a written notice of the alleged misconduct will be provided in a timely manner and will include the rule allegedly violated and a brief description of the misconduct. Parents and students must also receive the information related to their right to appeal an expulsion.

A written notice will also include the name and contact information for the discipline director as well as the requirement to contact the discipline director within five days of actual or written notice of expulsion to request an appeal of the expulsion. MNPS Translation and Interpretation services are available for families during the appeal process.

If a student has received an expulsion (suspension of more than 10 days), the parent or legal guardian may contact the discipline director for further questions. Please call the Family Information Center at 615-259- 4636 (INFO) or the Discipline Office at 615-259-8757. Prior to any appeal hearing, but at no time later than 15 minutes before the appeal hearing begins, the parent/ guardian will provide copies to the discipline director of all written evidence that the parent or guardian will introduce at the hearing. Requests on behalf of students for copies of evidence prior to the date of the appeal hearing must be made to the Discipline Office and will be granted if practical. Any records provided prior to the date of the hearing may be supplemented on the day of the appeal hearing. Evidence that is protected by FERPA, such as the identity of third party student witnesses, cannot be released by MNPS.

Suspended or expelled students are not allowed to be on any MNPS school property or participate in any MNPS school-sponsored activity/event (for example, graduations, athletic events, etc.). If a student is suspended on an instructional day that is cancelled because of inclement weather, any scheduled suspension days must be made up on the days following the inclement weather days.

If school is dismissed by the Director of Schools for inclement weather or extenuating circumstances during a student’s suspension, any days beyond 10 consecutive days of dismissal from school will count as part of the student’s suspension.

If school is dismissed by the Director of Schools for inclement weather or extenuating circumstances during a student’s expulsion/remandment, any dismissed days of school will count toward satisfying the student’s expulsion/remandment.

See more: TCA 49-6-3401 (b)

A suspension of more than 10 days.

There are three levels of appeals:

  • Level 1 is to the Hearing Authority
  • Level 2 is to the executive officer of support services/designee
  • Level 3 is to the MNPS Board of Public Education.

Upon making a decision to expel a student, the principal/ assistant principal or dean will immediately give written or actual notice to the parent/guardian and the student of the right to appeal the decision to expel (suspend for more than 10 days). The decision from the Level 1 or Level 2 appeals may affirm the decision of the principal, order removal of the suspension unconditionally or upon such terms and conditions as it deems reasonable, assign the student to an alternative program or suspend/expel the student for a specified period of time. Expulsions for Zero Tolerance (ZT ) offenses may only be modified by the director of schools on a case-by-case basis.

All appeals of disciplinary decisions associated with expulsion (suspension of more than 10 days) must be filed, orally or in writing, within five days of written or actual notice of the decision to expel. If the appeal is not filed within the five days, the right to appeal is waived. Notice of the parent or guardian’s intent to have legal representation must be given to the Discipline Office at the time the appeal is requested, to allow for the district to also have legal representation. Each appeal hearing is recorded.

LEVEL 1 – Appeal to the Discipline Hearing Authority
The appeal from this decision will be to a disciplinary hearing authority and the director of discipline appointed by the Board of Education. The hearing will be held no later than 10 days after the beginning of the expulsion (suspension of more than 10 days). The disciplinary hearing authority will give written notice to the time and place of the hearing to the person requesting the appeal and the principal or assistant principal who ordered the expulsion. During deliberations, all parties will be excused, excluding the hearing authority and the director of discipline. Failure to attend this appeal may constitute a waiver of the student’s/parent’s right to appeal. Extenuating circumstances will be considered by the discipline director.

A written record of the proceedings, including a summary of the facts and the reasons supporting the decision, will be made by the disciplinary hearing authority.

LEVEL 2 – Appeal to the Executive Director of Support Services/Designee
A Level 2 appeal may be requested based on the following reasons:
  • Parent/student believes due process rights have been violated.
  • New evidence will be presented that was not presented at the Level 1 appeal hearing.
  • A plea for leniency.

At this level, the expelling school is represented by either the principal or assistant principal. This representative explains the incident to the executive director of support services/designee, including the facts discovered and the terms of the expulsion. Attendance, cumulative records (grades and transcripts), discipline records and any special information will be brought to the appeal to address questions that may be asked by the executive director of support services/designee.

In the case of a Zero Tolerance (ZT) offense, the executive director of support services/designee will make a recommendation to the director of schools who will then make the final decision.

LEVEL 3 – Appeal to the MNPS Board of Public Education
The Board of Education may grant or deny a request for a board hearing and may affirm or overturn the decision with or without a hearing before the board.

See more: TCA 49-6-3401(4) (B-D)

Alternative Learning Centers for Expelled Students

Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSAlternative Learning Centers (ALC) are available for elementary, middle and high school students who have been expelled (suspension of more than 10 days). Attendance for expelled elementary, middle and high school students is mandatory. Please contact the Discipline Office at 615-259-8757 for placement. 

Students in grades K-4 are subject to suspension and/or expulsion of up to one calendar year for violation of codes listed in the Student Parent Handbook. Students in grades K-4 who are in violation of a Zero Tolerance infraction or are recommended for expulsion are required to have an expedited review of their disciplinary record. The executive director of student discipline or designee, will conduct an expedited review of the case and make a recommendation for further action. Any student recommended for expulsion following the expedited review process will be referred to the Department of Support Services Discipline Office for a Level 1 disciplinary appeal hearing if requested by parent or guardian. Students in grades K-4 who have been expelled for up to one calendar year will be assigned to an ALC specified for elementary age children. 

Probation Contracts

Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSPrincipals/designees have the right to place a student on a school-based probation without notification to the Department of Support Services Discipline Office. The time and conditions of the probation will be clearly stated. School-based probation is separate and apart from probation issued by the Department of Support Services Discipline Office. Probation contracts will not exceed one calendar year. 

Modification of Expulsion Request

A request for modification of an expulsion is a request for the director of schools/designee to change the terms of the expulsion, including but not limited to the length of the expulsion or the school assignment. At any time after the conclusion or waiver of the appeals process, a parent or guardian and/or student may submit to the director of schools a written request for modification of the student’s expulsion. The director of schools has the power to modify any expulsion on a case-by-case basis at any time after the completion of the appeal process or wavier. The written request should include a statement of reasons supporting the modification. The director of schools/designee will respond to the request with his/her decision within a reasonable time, which will not exceed 21 calendar days from receipt of the request. The director of schools/designee is not required to provide an explanation of the decision. Please contact the Discipline Office at 615-259-8757 for address information.