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Threats Against Schools and False Allegations

 

Public Schools of Robeson County Staff, Students, Parents, and Community Members:

 

The safety of our students and staff is of paramount importance. We always take any kind of threats against our schools and false allegations very seriously. The Public Schools of Robeson County will exhaust every resource imaginable and will continue to investigate all threats to the end in partnership with law enforcement and school communities. Students who make threats, substantially interfere with the educational process and/or disrupt daily operations of the Public Schools of Robeson County will face disciplinary consequences as well as potential legal consequences.

 

Public Schools of Robeson County administrators, staff, and school resource officers will remain on high alert due to recent events. We will continue to review and revise school safety plans, use metal detectors intermittently, and practice safety drills. We are working to coordinate violence prevention programs for our school leaders, staff and students. When there are active threats extra school resource officers will be present.

 

We believe school and class attendance are critical elements of the educational process, however, we encourage parents and students to always make the best decisions they can for themselves.

 

Relevant PSRC Policies:

 

Policy Code: 3225/4312/7320 Technology Responsible Use

 

  • The board provides its students and staff access to a variety of technological resources, including school-owned devices, mobile phones, email and instant messaging, Internet, Intranet, social networking sites, video and photo sharing websites, blogs, etc. These resources provide opportunities to enhance learning and improve communication within the school community and with the larger global community.
  • The board intends that students and employees benefit from these resources while remaining within the bounds of safe, legal, and responsible use.
  • This policy applies regardless of whether such use occurs on or off school system property, and it applies to all school system technological resources, including but not limited to computer networks and connections, resources, tools, and learning environments made available by or on the networks, and all devices that connect to those networks.

 

    • The use of school system technological resources, including access to the Internet, is a privilege, not a right.
    • Individual users of the school system’s technological resources are responsible for their behavior and communications when using those resources.  
    • Responsible use of school system technological resources is use that is ethical, respectful, academically honest, and supportive of student learning.  
    • Each user has the responsibility to respect others in the school community and on the Internet.
    • Users are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette.  General student and employee behavior standards, including those prescribed in applicable board policies, the Code of Student Conduct, and other regulations and school rules, apply to use of the Internet and other school technological resources.
    • No user of technological resources, including a person sending or receiving electronic communications, may engage in creating, intentionally viewing, accessing, downloading, storing, printing, or transmitting images, graphics (including still or moving pictures), sound files, text files, documents, messages, or other material that is obscene, defamatory, profane, pornographic, harassing, abusive, or considered to be harmful to minors.
    • Users of technological resources may not send electronic communications fraudulently (i.e., by misrepresenting the identity of the sender).
    • Teachers shall make reasonable efforts to supervise students’ use of the Internet during instructional time.
    • Views may be expressed on the Internet or other technological resources as representing the view of the school system or part of the school system only with prior approval by the superintendent or designee.
    • Students, employees, visitors, and other users have no expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, send, delete, receive, or display when using the school system’s network, devices, Internet access, email system, or other technological resources owned or issued by the school system, whether the resources are used at school or elsewhere, and even if the use is for personal purposes.
    • The school system may, without notice, (1) monitor, track, and/or log network access, communications, and use; (2) monitor and allocate fileserver space; and (3) access, review, copy, store, delete, or disclose the content of all user files, regardless of medium, the content of electronic mailboxes, and system outputs, such as printouts, for any lawful purpose.
    • Each principal may establish rules for his or her school site as to whether and how personal technology devices (including, but not limited to smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) may be used on campus.  
    • Students’ devices are governed also by policy 4318, Use of Wireless Communication Devices.  
    • The school system assumes no responsibility for personal technology devices brought to school.
    • The superintendent may use any means available to request the removal of personal websites that substantially disrupt the school environment or that utilize school system or individual school names, logos, or trademarks without permission.
    • Though school personnel generally do not monitor students’ Internet activity conducted on non-school system devices during non-school hours, when the student’s online behavior has a direct and immediate effect on school safety or maintaining order and discipline in the schools, the student may be disciplined in accordance with board policy. 

 

  • Employees’ personal websites are subject to policy 7335, Employee Use of Social Media.(Revised:  November 20, 2018)

 

 

Policy Code: 4318 Use of Wireless Communication Devices

 

  • The board recognizes that cellular phones and other wireless communication devices have become an important tool through which parents communicate with their children. Therefore, students are permitted to possess such devices on school property so long as the devices are not activated, used, displayed, or visible during the instructional day or as otherwise directed by school rules or school personnel.  
  • Wireless communication devices include, but are not limited to, cellular phones, electronic devices with internet capability, paging devices, two-way radios, and similar devices.
  • Administrators may authorize individual students to use wireless communication devices for personal purposes when there is a reasonable need for such communication.  Teachers and administrators may authorize individual students to use the devices for instructional purposes provided that they supervise the students during such use.
  • School employees may immediately confiscate any wireless communication devices that are on, used, displayed, or visible in violation of this policy. 
  •  Absent compelling and unusual circumstances, confiscated wireless communication devices will be returned only to the student’s parent.
  • The disciplinary consequences for violations of this policy will be consistent with Section D of policy 4300, Student Behavior Policies.
  • The following factors should be considered when determining appropriate consequences:  whether the wireless communication device was used 
  1. to reproduce images of tests, obtain unauthorized access to school information, or assist students in any aspect of their instructional program in a manner that violates any school board policy, administrative regulation, or school rule;
  2. to bully or harass other students;
  3. to send illicit text messages;
  4. to take and/or send illicit photographs; or
  5. in any other manner that would make more severe disciplinary consequences appropriate.
  • In accordance with policy 4342, Student Searches, a student’s wireless communication device and its contents, including, but not limited to, text messages and digital photos, may be searched whenever a school official has reason to believe the search will provide evidence that the student has violated or is violating a law, board policy, the Code of Student Conduct, or a school rule.
  • The school system is not responsible for theft, loss, or damage to a cellular phone or other personal wireless communication device. (Revised:  August 9, 2011; November 20, 2018)

 

Policy Code: 4300 Student Behavior Policies

 

  • All decisions related to student behavior are guided by the board’s educational objective to teach responsibility and respect for cultural and ideological differences and by the board’s commitment to create safe, orderly, and inviting schools.  
  • The reasons for managing student behavior are to (1) create an orderly environment where students can learn; (2) teach expected standards of behavior; (3) help students learn to accept the consequences of their behavior; and (4) provide students with the opportunity to develop self-control.
  • Students must comply with the Code of Student Conduct in the following circumstances:
  1. while in any school building or on any school premises before, during, or after school hours;
  2. while on any bus or other vehicle as part of any school activity;
  3. while waiting at any school bus stop;
  4. during any school-sponsored activity or extracurricular activity;
  5. when subject to the authority of school employees; and
  6. at any time or place when the student’s behavior has or is reasonably expected to have a direct and immediate impact on the orderly and efficient operation of the schools or the safety of individuals in the school environment.
  • Serious violations that threaten to substantially disrupt the educational environment may result in long-term suspension, and serious violations that threaten the safety of students, school employees, or school visitors may result in long-term suspension or expulsion.  
  • Certain violations involving firearms or explosive devices may result in a 365-day suspension.  
  • Further information regarding the standards and procedures for long-term suspensions, 365-day suspensions and expulsions is provided in policies 4351, Short-Term Suspension, and 4353, Long-Term Suspension, 365-Day Suspension, Expulsion.  (See also policy 4333, Weapons, Bomb Threats, Terrorist Threats, and Clear Threats to Safety, for information regarding 365-day suspensions for certain violations involving firearms or explosive devices.) [Legal References: G.S. 115C-47, -276(r), -288, -307, -390.1, -390.2; Revised:  August 9, 2011; November 20, 2018]

 

Policy Code: 4315 Disruptive Behavior

 

  • An orderly school environment is necessary for teachers to be able to teach and for students to be able to learn.
  • Principals and teachers have full authority as provided by law to establish and enforce standards and rules as necessary to create orderly schools and classrooms.
  • Students are prohibited from disrupting teaching, the orderly conduct of school activities, or any other lawful function of the school or school system. (Revised:  August 9, 2011; November 20, 2018)

 

Policy Code: 4342 Student Searches

 

  • School officials have the authority to conduct reasonable searches of students and to seize students’ unauthorized materials for the purposes of maintaining a safe, orderly environment and upholding standards of conduct established by the board or school.
  • This policy applies to searches conducted on school grounds, in school facilities, or at school-sponsored events.
  • Policy 3225/4312/7320, Technology Responsible Use, not this policy, applies to the search of school system-owned technological resources and the data located on school system-owned electronic equipment.
  • A student or the student’s possessions may be searched when a school official has reasonable suspicion that the search will turn up evidence that the particular student has violated or is violating a specific law or school rule.  This reasonable suspicion must be based upon specific and articulable facts, which have been acquired through reliable and/or corroborated information from employees, students, law enforcement officers, or other credible sources, or upon visual or other evidence (e.g., the smell of alcohol or marijuana, an alert from a metal detector or drug dog) viewed in light of the totality of the circumstances and the school official’s professional judgment.  The scope of the search and the methods used to conduct the search must be reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the infraction.
  • Reasonable suspicion is not required if a student freely and voluntarily consents to the search of his or her person or possessions.
  • In an effort to maintain a safe, drug-free, and weapon-free learning environment, school officials may conduct certain types of general, suspicionless searches in the schools.  All general searches must be conducted in a minimally-intrusive, nondiscriminatory manner (e.g., all students in randomly selected classrooms, every third individual entering a school-sponsored extracurricular activity) and may not be used to single out a particular individual or category of individuals.
  • When conducted in accordance with the standards described above and any corresponding procedures, the board authorizes the following types of general, suspicionless searches.
  1. Searches of Desks and Lockers
  2. Point-of-Entry Metal Detector Searches
  3. Use of Trained Dogs
  • A student’s failure to cooperate with a reasonable search or seizure as provided in this policy will be considered a violation of the expected standard of behavior, and will subject the student to appropriate consequences.
  • Any person who is not a student who refuses to permit a general metal detector search of his or her person and/or belongings at the point-of-entry to a school-sponsored activity may be denied entry to the activity. (Revised:  November 20, 2018)