Model Student Code of Conduct
Each school district and each public school in Georgia is required to have a written student code of conduct that includes behavioral expectations and the potential disciplinary consequences for violations of such expectations. These codes are provided to all students and their parents at the beginning of each school year. Georgia law also provides that the Georgia Department of Education is to create a Model Student Code of Conduct that can be used as a guide for local school districts. No such Model Code is now available. Georgia Appleseed seeks to partner with the state agency and other stakeholders to craft a Model Code that reflects current best practices and that supports our commitment to Effective Student Discipline: Keeping Kids in Class.
Laying the Groundwork
Our lead pro bono firm, Troutman Sanders LLP, completed a detailed literature review to assess best practices in place in school districts around the country and to review model codes that have been prepared by different education advocates.
With Troutman Sanders, Georgia Appleseed reached out to three school districts to suggest a collaborative assessment of the districts’ student codes of conduct. The school districts agreed. Detailed written assessments of the codes together with recommendations for revisions were submitted to the districts in early 2015. Feedback from the school districts has been very positive to include requests for examples that they could use as they consider revising their codes.
Georgia Appleseed will continue its efforts to work collaboratively with multiple stakeholders toward the development of a 21st Century Model Student Code of Conduct. Our commitment has been reinforced by the belief that a detailed review and revision of the student code of conduct can be a critical step in reducing disproportionality and improving equity in the application of student discipline.