In every learning institution, there must be a set of rules and regulations governing the interaction of people interacting with one another present (Skiba et al.). Without such rules, it would be impossible to govern such educational establishments. There are many diverse regulations covering a lot of areas in these institutions. This paper will focus on one area of discipline, i.e. a school conduct. The paper will look at the placement of students, their suspension and transfers. It will delve into these issues starting from a building level, first of all, before covering a district stage. To do so, the ELCC standards will be applied here as the basic guidance principles for the cases of this particular nature. To understand comprehensively their applicability to this case, these standards have been discussed in the following paragraphs below.
The ELCC Standards
The abbreviation of the ELCC stands for the Educational Leadership Constituents Council. This is a council that offers the Standards for Advanced Programs in Educational Leadership (“NYS Ed. Law”). The aim of these standards is to channel out the leaders that have the capacity and capability to offer their quality services to students in all aspects of that word. There are seven well laid down principles of the ELCC. They are discussed in the paragraphs listed below.
The First Standard
The candidates undertaking this program become educational leaders equipped with knowledge, the ability and capacity to indulge into the promotion of success for all of their students. They are expected to do this through employing some measures to facilitate the development, implementation and governance of a specified learning objective that the particular school community supports. In other words, these leaders help to diversify and enable the attainment of vision of the school community they are operating in.
The Second Standard
The candidates undertaking and completing this program are transferring into educational leaders, which obtain the know-how and capacity to enable the promotion of success for these students. This is implemented via a concept of promoting the positive school culture and provision of an effective instructional program. They also indulge in the application of best practices in the market for enhancing the students’ learning as well as formulating a clear and comprehensive growth strategy for the teaching staff.
The Third Standard
The candidates undertaking this program till its completion are becoming educational leaders equipped with the knowledge, capacity and capability for promoting the success of all their students. This is done through the process of good organization management, effective operations strategies and the resources’ application in such a way that leads to the promotion of a conducive, safe, effective and thoroughly efficient learning environment.
The Fourth Standard
The candidates undertaking this course till the very completion become educational leaders equipped with the know-how, capacity and capability of promotion of the success for all students. This is possible by coordinating the collaboration with other families as well as with other members of community they are living in. They do this in such a way that they can achieve an increased responsiveness to many needs and interests prevailing in the community as well as ensuring the community’s resources effectively mobilized for the attainment of goals.
The Fifth Standard
The candidates undergoing this program to the completion become the leaders with the knowledge and ability to promote the success for students through the notions of acting with fairness, integrity, equity and in an ethical manner.
The Sixth Standard
The candidates completing this program become well-equipped with the knowledge and ability to enhance the promotion of success for all students through employing some measures. They have to be sure that they understand, respond and have the capacity to influence on political and socio-economic, cultural and legal set ups of the community
The Seventh Standard
The candidates undertaking this program are required to go through internship. Their internship is significant as it provides these applicants with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and practice they have learnt during classes. Also, they may use the standards that have been identified above. This is done through laying down the substantial and well sustained principles based on real-life situations and following a clear guideline provided by the institution a candidate is attending for the internship.
The Provisions of NYS Ed Law 3214 on the Students’ Placements, Suspensions and Transfers
The NYS Ed Law 3214 offers a number of provisions concerning the placement of students, their suspensions and transfers. Some of these provisions are being discussed here. Those pupils below the age of seventeen are considered as truants and irregular while attending their classes. They are classified as delinquents; the special days should be assigned to them as well as special classes.
Suspension and Transfer Terms under the NYS Ed Law 3214
According to this law, a principal has the authority to suspend a pupil if such pupil is found to behave in the violent manner or in such way that may lead to the disruption of a peaceful and safe-learning environment.
If this happens, the student is suspended for a period not exceeding five school days. He or she is issued with a notice of the charged misconduct. In case the pupil is suspended for more than five days, he or she is entitled to a fair hearing and even the representation of a counsel. The student has the right to question witnesses against him or her or display his or her own witnesses. If the pupil has been suspended by a board of education, the board reserves its right to either hear the case itself or appoint a hearing officer conducting the process of hearing. After the officer has heard the case, he or she writes a HI report and makes a recommendation. Thus, the board has the liberty to confirm, discard or modify the report presented by the hearing officer on the matters of transfers and placements. Once the principal has written his or her recommendation for the transfer and tried to push it through, the person being in the parental relationship to this pupil transferred is entitled to a written notification. The pupil is then entitled to the fair hearing through the representation by his own counsel or by the counsel provided by the community. The notice of transfer shall give the time period of ten days to the parent or the student to request for the hearing. The proposed transfer shall not be affected, except upon the written consent of the parent or the elapsing of a ten day space. It depends on the condition which is being the first. If the fair hearing is requested, the transfer is kept on hold until a formal decision after the hearing given. The provisions also specify that the act of consent from parents shall not be interpreted as the green light for the waiver of the right for the fair hearing.
Suspension and Transfer Terms under the Commissioners’ Regulations 100.2 (1)
The commissioners’ regulation means that when a student is suspended from school for the period not more than five days, the school district officials are being under the obligation to notify the person of the parental relationship to the student with a written notification immediately. The notice shall not take more than twenty four hours from the moment the decision has been made. A telephone call is also used in case such details are being available. The notice will bear the reasons for the suspension call and also give a directive to the parents how he or she is going of the petitioning for reversing the suspension. This could be done via an informal meeting with the principal of school in accordance with provisions of the Education Law 3214 (3) (b). The informal meeting should take place prior to the suspension. Only if the continued stay at school of this student does not pose a security threat to other students.
Jimmy’s Case Study and the decision made
Jimmy was suspended from school after he was accused of stabbing a fellow schoolmate, Timmy. From the ELCC standards and the NY Ed laws, Jimmy’s action was definitely lined up for the suspension from the school. He was suspended at the district level as opposed to the building level.
The building level is the suspension not exceeding five days and that is given at the school level. This is approved by the board of education. The district level suspension is more severe; it may take longer. This is approved by the board of education at the district level. During the hearing, the principal’s recommendation to expel Jimmy was a little tough. Once indicted, a student has the liberty to ask for the suspension. The board of education after that looks at the evidence presented by both parties during such appeal and takes the measures accordingly.
The Critique of the Building Administrator’s Response
A building administrator was as well quick in rushing into a decision to have Jimmy suspended and to approve the recommendation for his expulsion. He should have, first of all, looked at the facts from both parties. He had to give the pupil a benefit of doubt subject to the fair hearing.
Building Strategy to Reduce Violence in the Building
A number of strategies can be employed at the building level aiming at the decrease a concept of violence occurring at school. The ELCC standard and elements at the building level could be utilized to help mitigate cases of violence in the building. The particulars of the elements that need to be implemented will be highlighted in the following discourse;
With reference to ELCC building level element 2.1 which states that the candidates are required to make sure that the school culture is well sustained and instructional programs in the building are kept conducive to the student learning through the process of collaboration, trust and personalization of the learning environment. The candidates could be forced t observe this element in full notice that failure to do so culminates into suspensions or even expulsion in extreme cases.
Another ELCC element, 3.3 can also be applicable to this particular scenario. The element states that candidates should be made to understand and promote the school-based policies and procedures which protect the welfare and safety of other students as well as staff in the school. If this element is well inculcated into the system, the students will feel the need to be caretakers of their fellow students as well as their teachers and this may in one way or the other lead to the mitigating of violent activities at the building level.
District Strategy to Reduce Violence in the district
This is a higher level than the building as it encompasses much more than the building in terms of geography and technicality. The ELCC standards at the district level that could be applied to the minimization of violence in the district are outlined in the ensuing discussion;
ELCC standard 2.1 which outlines that candidates should be made to understand, advocate, nurture and help in the sustenance of a district culture and instructional program that is aimed at producing a conducive student learning environment in the district. This is done through a spirit of collaboration, trust and having a personalized learning environment where there are very high expectations of the students. The high expectation of the student form the society may hinder them from engaging in such acts of maliciousness.
Element 3.3 of the ELCC standards at the district level could also be applied in this scenario. The element stipulates that candidates should be made to have an understanding of the district policies and procedures so that they can be able to protect the welfare of the students as well as staff across the district. Once the students are made to understand that they play a big role in ensuring safety of themselves and others in the district, they might decide to reduce their radical perspective approach. This prevents such acts as bullying in the district if the students become minders of each other’s affairs as well as antisocial behavior.
Moral and legal consequences of the commissioner’s decision at the building level
The decision made by the commissioner on the Jimmy’s case study could have implications that leer in both directions. At the building level, the other colleagues of Jimmy could learn from his lesson and stick to more upright behavior to avoid such a situation as his. The direct effect of the decision is felt here since Timmy and Jimmy are school and even classmates
Moral and legal consequences of the commissioner’s decision at the district level
At the district level, due to the expanse of the scenario geographically, a bigger effect could be felt. This could be in a case where parents of children in the district zone where Jimmy hails from could gang up and petition in masses against the decision made by the commissioner on the Jimmy case, citing the punishment too large for the extent of committed crime.
Trends at the national level that influence building decisions
Some trends at the national level may lead to an influence on the building decisions. Some acts that have been formed and adapted into laws and bills in the legislative houses may have an impact on the way decisions are made at the building level. An example of such trends would be the creation of national events aimed at harmonizing the schools in the country. An event such as the music festivals and contests could be ideal as it leads to team building at the building level as the candidates work together
Trends at the national level that influence district decisions
At this level, a number of trends could be established. With the inclusion of the above mentioned event in the building level, other events could be events like debate contests all over the nation, passing of acts that promote peace in schools such as Guns free and drugs free Acts.
Notably, there could be so many other events and trends that would in one way or the other lead to the sustenance of peace and safety within our schools both at the building as well as at the district levels.