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A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 2 AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO LOCAL STANDARDS OF STUDENT 3 CONDUCT.

4 The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts: 5 SECTION 1.(a) G.S. 115C-390.1 reads as rewritten: 6 "§ 115C-390.1. State policy and definitions. 7 … 8 (b) The following definitions apply in this Article: 9 (1) Alternative education services. – Part or full-time programs, wherever 10 situated, providing direct or computer-based instruction that allow a student 11 to progress in one or more core academic courses. Alternative education 12 services include programs established by the local board of education in 13 conformity with G.S. 115C-105.47A and local board of education public 14 school unit board policies. 15 … 16 (4) Educational property. – Any school building or bus, school campus, grounds, 17 recreational area, athletic field, or other property under the control of any local 18 board of education or charter school.public school unit. 19 … 20 (9) Principal. – Includes the principal and the principal's designee.designee, or if 21 there is no designated principal, the staff member designated by the public 22 school unit board with the highest decision-making authority at an individual 23 school. 24 (9a) Public school unit board or board. – The governing entity of a public school 25 unit. 26 … 27 (11) School personnel. – Any of the following: 28 a. An employee of a local board of education.public school unit board. 29 b. Any person working on school grounds or at a school function under 30 a contract or written agreement with the public school system unit to 31 provide educational or related services to students. 32 c. Any person working on school grounds or at a school function for 33 another agency providing educational or related services to students. 34 … H.B. 247 Mar 9, 2021 HOUSE PRINCIPAL CLERK General Assembly Of North Carolina Session 2021 Page 2 DRH30140-MT-57A 1 (14) Superintendent. – Includes the superintendent and the superintendent's 2 designee.designee, or if there is no superintendent, the staff member with the 3 highest decision-making authority and that staff member's designee. 4 …." 5 SECTION 1.(b) G.S. 115C-390.2 reads as rewritten: 6 "§ 115C-390.2. Discipline policies. 7 (a) Local boards of education Public school unit boards, in consultation with teachers, 8 school-based administrators, parents, and local law enforcement agencies, shall adopt policies to 9 govern the conduct of students and establish procedures to be followed by school officials in 10 disciplining students. These policies must be consistent with the provisions of this Article and 11 the constitutions, statutes, and regulations of the United States and the State of North Carolina. 12 Prior to adopting these policies, public school unit boards shall review current federal guidance 13 on school discipline practices issued by the United States Department of Education. 14 (a1) No later than September 1 of each year, each public school unit board shall provide 15 the Department of Public Instruction with a copy of its most up-to-date student discipline 16 policies. 17 (b) Board policies shall include or provide for the development of a Code of Student 18 Conduct that notifies students of the standards of behavior expected of them, conduct that may 19 subject them to discipline, and the range of disciplinary measures that may be used by school 20 officials. 21 (c) Board policies may authorize suspension for conduct not occurring on educational 22 property, but only if the student's conduct otherwise violates the Code of Student Conduct and 23 the conduct has or is reasonably expected to have a direct and immediate impact on the orderly 24 and efficient operation of the schools or the safety of individuals in the school environment. 25 (d) Board policies shall not allow students to be long-term suspended or expelled from 26 school solely for truancy or tardiness offenses and shall not allow short-term suspension of more 27 than two days for such offenses. 28 (e) Board policies shall not impose mandatory long-term suspensions or expulsions for 29 specific violations unless otherwise provided in State or federal law. 30 (f) Board policies shall minimize the use of long-term suspension and expulsion by 31 restricting the availability of long-term suspension or expulsion to those violations deemed to be 32 serious violations of the board's Code of Student Conduct that either threaten the safety of 33 students, staff, or school visitors or threaten to substantially disrupt the educational environment. 34 Examples of conduct that would not be deemed to be a serious violation include the use of 35 inappropriate or disrespectful language, noncompliance with a staff directive, dress code 36 violations, and minor physical altercations that do not involve weapons or injury. The principal 37 may, however, in his or her discretion, determine that aggravating circumstances justify treating 38 a minor violation as a serious violation. 39 (g) Board policies shall not prohibit the superintendent and principals from considering 40 the student's intent, disciplinary and academic history, the potential benefits to the student of 41 alternatives to suspension, and other mitigating or aggravating factors when deciding whether to 42 recommend or impose long-term suspension. 43 (h) Board policies shall include the procedures to be followed by school officials in 44 suspending, expelling, or administering corporal punishment to any student, which shall be 45 consistent with this Article. 46 (i) Each local board shall publish all policies, administrative procedures, or school rules 47 mandated by this section and make them available to each student and his or her parent at the 48 beginning of each school year and upon request. This information shall include the full range of 49 responses to violations of disciplinary rules, including responses that do not remove a student 50 from the classroom or school building. Public school unit boards may require students and General Assembly Of North Carolina Session 2021 DRH30140-MT-57A Page 3 1 parents or guardians to sign an acknowledgement that they have received a copy of such policies, 2 procedures, or rules. 3 (j) Local boards of education Public school unit boards are encouraged to include in their 4 safe schools plans, adopted pursuant to G.S. 115C-105.47, research-based behavior management 5 programs that take positive approaches to improving student behaviors. 6 (k) School officials are encouraged to use a full range of responses to violations of 7 disciplinary rules, such as conferences, counseling, peer mediation, behavior contracts, 8 instruction in conflict resolution and anger management, detention, academic interventions, 9 community service, and other similar tools that do not remove a student from the classroom or 10 school building. 11 (l) Board policies shall state that absences under G.S. 130A-440 shall not be suspensions. 12 A student subject to an absence under G.S. 130A-440 shall be provided the following: 13 (1) The opportunity to take textbooks and school-furnished digital devices home 14 for the duration of the absence. 15 (2) Upon request, the right to receive all missed assignments and, to the extent 16 practicable, the materials distributed to students in connection with the 17 assignment. 18 (3) The opportunity to take any quarterly, semester, or grading period 19 examinations missed during the absence period. 20 (m) Nothing in this section or any section of this Chapter shall be construed as regulating 21 a public school unit board's discretion to devise, impose, and enforce personal appearance codes." 22 SECTION 1.(c) G.S. 115C-390.3 reads as rewritten: 23 "§ 115C-390.3. Reasonable force. 24 … 25 (c) Notwithstanding any other law, no officer, member, or employee of the State Board 26 of Education, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, or of a local board of education, public 27 school unit board, individually or collectively, shall be civilly liable for using reasonable force 28 in conformity with State law, State or local rules, or State or local policies regarding the control, 29 discipline, suspension, and expulsion of students. Furthermore, the burden of proof is on the 30 claimant to show that the amount of force used was not reasonable. 31 (d) No school employee shall be reprimanded or dismissed for acting or failing to act to 32 stop or intervene in an altercation between students if the employee's actions are consistent with 33 local board policies. Local boards of education Public school unit boards shall adopt policies, 34 pursuant to their authority under G.S. 115C-47(18), or as otherwise provided by law, which 35 provide guidelines for an employee's response if the employee has personal knowledge or actual 36 notice of an altercation between students." 37 SECTION 1.(d) G.S. 115C-390.4 reads as rewritten: 38 "§ 115C-390.4. Corporal punishment. 39 (a) Each local board of education public school unit board shall determine whether 40 corporal punishment will be permitted in its public school administrative unit. Notwithstanding 41 a local board of education's board's prohibition on the use of corporal punishment, school 42 personnel may use physical restraint in accordance with federal law and G.S. 115C-391.1 and 43 reasonable force pursuant to G.S. 115C-390.3. 44 … 45 (c) Each local board of education public school unit board shall report annually to the 46 State Board of Education, in a manner prescribed by the State Board of Education, on the number 47 of times that corporal punishment was administered. The report shall be in compliance with the 48 federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, and shall include the 49 following: 50 …." 51 SECTION 1.(e) G.S. 115C-390.6 reads as rewritten: General Assembly Of North Carolina Session 2021 Page 4 DRH30140-MT-57A 1 "§ 115C-390.6. Short-term suspension procedures. 2 … 3 (e) A student is not entitled to appeal the principal's decision to impose a short-term 4 suspension to the superintendent or local board of education. public school unit board. Further, 5 such a decision is not subject to judicial review. Notwithstanding this subsection, the local board 6 of education, public school unit board, in its discretion, may provide students an opportunity for 7 a review or appeal of a short-term suspension to the superintendent or local board of 8 education.public school unit board." 9 SECTION 1.(f) G.S. 115C-390.8 reads as rewritten: 10 "§ 115C-390.8. Long-term suspension procedures. 11 (a) When a student is recommended by the principal for long-term suspension, the 12 principal shall give written notice to the student's parent. The notice shall be provided to the 13 student's parent by the end of the workday during which the suspension was recommended when 14 reasonably possible or as soon thereafter as practicable. The written notice shall provide at least 15 the following information: 16 … 17 (6) The extent to which the local board policy permits the parent to have an 18 advocate, instead of an attorney, accompany the student to assist in the 19 presentation of his or her appeal. 20 … 21 (8) A reference to the local board policy on the expungement of discipline records 22 as required by G.S. 115C-402. 23 (b) Written notice may be provided by certified mail, fax, e-mail, or any other written 24 method reasonably designed to achieve actual notice of the recommendation for long-term 25 suspension. When school personnel are aware that English is not the primary language of the 26 parent or guardian, the notice shall be written in both English and in the primary language of the 27 parent or guardian when the appropriate foreign language resources are readily available. All 28 notices described in this section shall be written in plain English, and shall include the following 29 information translated into the dominant non-English language used by residents within the local 30 school administrative unit:public school unit: 31 … 32 (d) The formal hearing may be conducted by the local board of education, public school 33 unit board, by the superintendent, or by a person or group of persons appointed by the local board 34 or superintendent to serve as a hearing officer or hearing panel. Neither the board nor the 35 superintendent shall appoint any individual to serve as a hearing officer or on a hearing panel 36 who is under the direct supervision of the principal recommending suspension. If the hearing is 37 conducted by an appointed hearing officer or hearing panel, such officer or panel shall determine 38 the relevant facts and credibility of witnesses based on the evidence presented at the hearing. 39 Following the hearing, the superintendent or local board shall make a final decision regarding 40 the suspension. The superintendent or board shall adopt the hearing officer's or panel's factual 41 determinations unless they are not supported by substantial evidence in the record. 42 (e) Long-term suspension hearings shall be conducted in accordance with policies 43 adopted by the board of education. public school unit board. Such policies shall offer the student 44 procedural due process including, but not limited to, the following: 45 … 46 (g) Unless the decision was made by the local board, the student may appeal the decision 47 to the a local board of education in accordance with G.S. 115C-45(c) and policies adopted by the 48 board. public school unit board. Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 115C-45(c), a student's 49 appeal to the board of a decision upholding a long-term suspension shall be heard and a final 50 written decision issued in not more than 30 calendar days following the request for such appeal. 51 … General Assembly Of North Carolina Session 2021 DRH30140-MT-57A Page 5 1 (i) A decision of the local board to uphold the long-term suspension of a student is 2 subject to judicial review in accordance with Article 4 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. 3 The action must be brought within 30 days of the local board's decision. A person seeking judicial 4 review shall file a petition in the superior court of the county where the local board made its 5 decision. Local rules notwithstanding, petitions for judicial review of a long-term suspension 6 shall be set for hearing in the first succeeding term of superior court in the county following the 7 filing of the certified copy of the official record." 8 SECTION 1.(g) G.S. 115C-390.9 reads as rewritten: 9 "§ 115C-390.9. Alternative education services. 10 (a) Students who are long-term suspended shall be offered alternative education services 11 unless the superintendent provides a significant or important reason for declining to offer such 12 services. The following may be significant or important reasons, depending on the circumstances 13 and the nature and setting of the alternative education services: 14 … 15 (5) Educationally appropriate alternative education services are not available in 16 the local school administrative public school unit due to limited resources. 17 … 18 (b) If the superintendent declines to provide alternative education services to the 19 suspended student, the student may seek review of such decision by the local board of education 20 public school unit board as permitted by G.S. 115C-45(c)(2). If the student seeks such review, 21 the superintendent shall provide to the student and the local board, in advance of the board's 22 review, a written explanation for the denial of services together with any documents or other 23 information supporting the decision." 24 SECTION 1.(h) G.S. 115C-390.10 reads as rewritten: 25 "§ 115C-390.10. 365-day suspension for gun possession. 26 (a) All local boards of education public school unit boards shall develop and implement 27 written policies and procedures, as required by the federal Gun Free Schools Act, 20 U.SC. § 28 7151, requiring suspension for 365 calendar days of any student who is determined to have 29 brought or been in possession of a firearm or destructive device on educational property, or to a 30 school-sponsored event off of educational property. A principal shall recommend to the 31 superintendent the 365-day suspension of any student believed to have violated board policies 32 regarding weapons. The superintendent has the authority to suspend for 365 days a student who 33 has been recommended for such suspension by the principal when such recommendation is 34 consistent with board policies. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the superintendent may modify, 35 in writing, the required 365-day suspension for an individual student on a case-by-case basis. 36 The superintendent shall not impose a 365-day suspension if the superintendent determines that 37 the student took or received the firearm or destructive device from another person at school or 38 found the firearm or destructive device at school, provided that the student delivered or reported 39 the firearm or destructive device as soon as practicable to a law enforcement officer or a school 40 employee and had no intent to use such firearm or destructive device in a harmful or threatening 41 way. 42 … 43 (c) Nothing in this provision shall apply to a firearm that was brought onto educational 44 property for activities approved and authorized by the local board of education, public school 45 unit board, provided that the local board of education public school unit board has adopted 46 appropriate safeguards to protect student safety. 47 (d) At the time the student and parent receive notice that the student is suspended for 365 48 days under this section, the superintendent shall provide notice to the student and the student's 49 parent of the right to petition the local board of education public school unit board for readmission 50 pursuant to G.S. 115C-390.12. 51 …." General Assembly Of North Carolina Session 2021 Page 6 DRH30140-MT-57A 1 SECTION 1.(i) G.S. 115C-390.11 reads as rewritten: 2 "§ 115C-390.11. Expulsion. 3 (a) Upon recommendation of the superintendent, a local board of education public school 4 unit board may expel any student 14 years of age or older whose continued presence in school 5 constitutes a clear threat to the safety of other students or school staff. Prior to the expulsion of 6 any student, the local board shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the student's continued 7 presence in school constitutes a clear threat to the safety of other students or school staff. The 8 student shall be given reasonable notice of the recommendation in accordance with 9 G.S. 115C-390.8(a) and (b), as well as reasonable notice of the time and place of the scheduled 10 hearing. 11 (1) The procedures described in G.S. 115C-390.8(e)(1)-(8) apply to students 12 facing expulsion pursuant to this section, except that the decision to expel a 13 student by the local board of education public school unit board shall be based 14 on clear and convincing evidence that the student's continued presence in 15 school constitutes a clear threat to the safety of other students and school staff. 16 (2) A local board of education public school unit board may expel any student 17 subject to G.S. 14-208.18 in accordance with the procedures of this section. 18 Prior to ordering the expulsion of a student, the local board of education public 19 school unit board shall consider whether there are alternative education 20 services that may be offered to the student. As provided by G.S. 14-208.18(f), 21 if the local board of education public school unit board determines that the 22 student shall be provided educational services on school property, the student 23 shall be under the supervision of school personnel at all times. 24 … 25 (b) During the expulsion, the student is not entitled to be present on any property of the 26 local school administrative public school unit and is not considered a student of the local board 27 of education. public school unit board. Nothing in this section shall prevent a local board of 28 education public school unit board from offering access to some type of alternative educational 29 services that can be provided to the student in a manner that does not create safety risks to other 30 students and school staff." 31 SECTION 1.(j) G.S. 115C-390.12 reads as rewritten: 32 "§ 115C-390.12. Request for readmission. 33 (a) All students suspended for 365 days or expelled may, after 180 calendar days from 34 the date of the beginning of the student's suspension or expulsion, request in writing readmission 35 to the local school administrative public school unit. The local board of education public school 36 unit board shall develop and publish written policies and procedures for the readmission of all 37 students who have been expelled or suspended for 365 days, which shall provide, at a minimum, 38 the following process: 39 (1) The process for 365-day suspended students. 40 a. At the local board's discretion, either the superintendent or the local 41 board itself shall consider and decide on petitions for readmission. If 42 the decision maker is the superintendent, the superintendent shall offer 43 the student an opportunity for an in-person meeting. If the decision 44 maker is the local board of education, public school unit board, the 45 board may offer the student an in-person meeting or may make a 46 determination based on the records submitted by the student and the 47 superintendent. 48 … 49 c. A superintendent's decision not to readmit the student may be appealed 50 to the local board of education public school unit board pursuant to General Assembly Of North Carolina Session 2021 DRH30140-MT-57A Page 7 1 G.S. 115C-45(c). The superintendent shall notify the parents of the 2 right to appeal. 3 … 4 (2) The process for expelled students. 5 a. The board of education shall consider all petitions for readmission of 6 expelled students, together with the recommendation of the 7 superintendent on the matter, and shall rule on the request for 8 readmission. The board shall consider the petition based on the records 9 submitted by the student and the response by the administration and 10 shall allow the parties to be heard in the same manner as provided by 11 G.S. 115C-45(c). 12 … 13 c. A decision by a board of education to deny readmission of an expelled 14 student is not subject to judicial review. 15 d. An expelled student may subsequently request readmission not more 16 often than every six months. The local board of education public 17 school unit board is not required to consider subsequent readmission 18 petitions filed sooner than six months after the previous petition was 19 filed. 20 … 21 (b) If a student is readmitted under this section, the board and the superintendent have the 22 right to assign the student to any program within the school system public school unit and to 23 place reasonable conditions on the readmission. 24 …." 25 SECTION 1.(k) G.S. 115C-391.1 reads as rewritten: 26 "§ 115C-391.1. Permissible use of seclusion and restraint. 27 … 28 (b) The following definitions apply in this section: 29 … 30 (9) "School personnel" means: 31 a. Employees of a local board of education.public school unit board. 32 b. Any person working on school grounds or at a school function under 33 a contract or written agreement with the public school system unit to 34 provide educational or related services to students. 35 c. Any person working on school grounds or at a school function for 36 another agency providing educational or related services to students. 37 … 38 (j) Notice, Reporting, and Documentation. 39 (1) Notice of procedures. – Each local board of education public school unit board 40 shall provide copies of this section and all local board policies developed to 41 implement this section to school personnel and parents or guardians at the 42 beginning of each school year. 43 … 44 (5) No local board of education public school unit board or employee of a local 45 board of education public school unit board shall discharge, threaten, or 46 otherwise retaliate against another employee of the board regarding that 47 employee's compensation, terms, conditions, location, or privileges of 48 employment because the employee makes a report alleging a prohibited use 49 of physical restraint, mechanical restraint, aversive procedure, or seclusion, 50 unless the employee knew or should have known that the report was false. General Assembly Of North Carolina Session 2021 Page 8 DRH30140-MT-57A 1 (k) Nothing in this section shall be construed to create a private cause of action against 2 any local board of education, public school unit board, its agents or employees, or any institutions 3 of teacher education educator preparation programs or their agents or employees or to create a 4 criminal offense." 5 SECTION 2. This act is effective when it becomes law. Section 1 of this act applies 6 beginning with the 2021-2022 school year. G.S. 115C-390.2(a), as amended by this act, shall 7 apply to material changes to policies existing on July 1, 2021, or new policies adopted on or after 8 July 1, 2021.

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