Student Conduct: What to Expect

Two girls leaning against lockersThe district’s Student Handbook and Code of Conduct will help you learn about your school’s policies, rules, services, and activities. Reading these documents before your child begins school will help set your expectations, answer any lingering questions, and avoid unwelcome surprises. 

Student Handbook

Many districts have their Student Handbooks available for download on their websites. Some schools will give you hard copies of the Student Handbook when you enroll your child. Popular questions, such as, “Can my child wear flip-flops to school?” and “How will parents be notified when the school is closed for bad weather?” are addressed in the Student Handbook.

Topics usually explained are:

  • Absences and tardies
  • Bus/transportation service
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Dress code
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Emergency procedures
  • Food service/meals
  • Grades and grading
  • Personal electronic devices
  • Student records
  • Student services (bilingual programs, 504 plans, counseling)
  • Textbooks
  • Visitors
  • Weapons

Student Code of Conduct

The law requires the district to define misconduct that may—or must—result in a range of specific disciplinary consequences, including removal from a regular classroom or campus, out-of-school suspension, placement in a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP), or expulsion from school. This is what the Student Code of Conduct is for: it outlines which behaviors are prohibited and what the consequence is for each violation.

The Code provides methods and options for managing students in the classroom and on school grounds, disciplining students, and preventing and intervening in student discipline problems.

For example, Texas school districts have bullying prevention policies which include specific methods for reporting and investigating bullying incidents. The consequences for bullying are outlined in the Code of Conduct. The Student Handbook also addresses bullying, including student transfers and the reporting and investigation procedures. 

The Code is posted at each school campus, available for review at the campus principal’s office, and posted on the district’s website.