Student Conduct; Best Policies, Practices, and Procedures
Restorative Discipline Practices
In the Oceanside Unified School District (OUSD), we recognize that exclusionary discipline practices, including detention, suspension, and expulsion do little to positively affect student behavior, nor does that assist the student in taking accountability for their actions. In an effort to promote a positive disciplinary approach, OUSD has adopted and implemented Restorative Practices. Restorative Practices are ways of pro-actively developing relationships and community, as well as repairing community when harm is done. After conflict or harm, Restorative Practices provide a way of thinking about, talking about, and responding to issues and problems by involving all participants to discuss their feelings and opinions, identify what happened, describe how it affected everyone, and find solutions to make things better. For the last three years, OUSD has worked with school sites including administrators, counselors, teachers, and staff (with over 500 staff trained) to introduce Restorative Practices with a belief that when successfully integrated throughout the school environment and/or department, Restorative Practices create safe and productive learning and work spaces where people develop social emotional skills, strong relationships, and effective problem solving skills.
In addition to recognizing and affirming the dignity and worth of every student, the fundamental premise of Restorative Practices is to assist students in:
Owning and recognizing their behavior
Making amends with those they have harmed directly and indirectly
Successfully reintegrating back into their classrooms and schools
Whenever possible, students who display inappropriate behavior, or those that violate education code must be offered an alternative to (at home) suspension. Except for single acts which necessitate a mandatory recommendation for expulsion (see below) a student may be suspended only when there has been a determination that other means of correction have failed to bring about proper conduct or that the student's presence causes a danger to other persons. As a result, OUSD has created an Alternative to Suspension (ATS) Program.
Students who violate education code in grades 6-12 may be referred to the ATS Program. Located on the campus of Lincoln Middle School, students who are referred to the ATS Program spend the time they would have been on an at-home suspension working on regularly assigned school work and Restorative Practice Exercises. In addition, when students return to their home school, they meet with an administrator who assists them in addressing the people that were harmed by their behavior and in returning to their classes. Though there is not a formal ATS Program for students in grades K-5, site administrators will employ Restorative Practice Strategies to deal with inappropriate behaviors on site for first time offenses.
Every effort will be made to address student conduct in a positive manner consistent with Education Code 48900.5. Administrators are expected to address disciplinary concerns in a prompt, fair and impartial manner, and all students are afforded due process. An alternative to suspension will be considered before more punitive actions (detention, suspension and expulsion) are taken except for those actions which state law mandates that Administration recommend expulsion to the Board of Education:
48915 c:1 – Possession, selling or otherwise furnishing a firearm
48915 c:2 – Brandishing a knife
48915 c:3 – Unlawfully selling a controlled substance
48915 c:4 – Committing or attempting to commit sexual assault or battery
48915 c:5 – Possession of an explosive
The Search and Seizure Policy – This policy governs the district’s authority to search individual students and their property and the student’s responsibility to submit to searches. Under Board of Education Policy 5145.12 school officials may search when there is a reasonable suspicion the search will uncover evidence that the student is violating the law or rules of the district or school.
Electronic Devices – The violation of the school site’s usage rules of electronic devices may result in confiscation. OUSD is not responsible for electronic devices which are lost or stolen after they are confiscated.
Drug Testing – OUSD recognizes that student athletes who are under the influence of drugs may endanger themselves and others. In order to protect the health and safety of the student athlete, students may be randomly selected or required in certain circumstances to be tested for the presence of illegal and nonprescription drugs and/or alcohol. Parent/guardians and students must sign the “Mandatory Random Drug Testing of Student Athletes” consent form prior to participation in athletics.