Discipline – Code of Discipline

It is impossible for teaching or learning to take place in a classroom unless good order is maintained. Students are reminded that they must adhere to a code of good behavior, not only for their own benefit, but for the benefit of others as well. Students should behave in a manner that will be a credit to themselves and our school.

It is important that every student and parent read and become familiar with the contents of the Hingham Public Schools Code of Discipline that will be distributed at the beginning of the school year. Parents and students should be aware that, when traveling to and from school, the students will be held accountable for their actions under the Code of Discipline. If you have any questions, speak with a teacher, counselor, assistant principals and/or the principal. If you have further questions, you may contact the Superintendent of the Hingham Public Schools at 781-741-1500.

Student Behavior

A town-wide Code of Discipline has been distributed to each family. Parents and students should note that misbehavior while traveling to and from school is punishable under the Hingham Code of Discipline.

When disciplining students with special needs, Hingham Middle School will follow state and federal laws, regulations and guidelines including:

  • Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1997 (IDEA)
  • Massachusetts General Laws (chapter 69-78A)

Due process stands as a protection of all rights. Formal due process procedures are provided for the more serious school infractions that could result in suspension or expulsion from school or the loss of school privileges. The purpose of due process is to protect students from the arbitrary exercise of authority over them. Less serious infractions will be resolved in a more informal manner between the student, teacher, and administrator.

The following actions are examples of unacceptable behavior that could result in detention, parent notification, parent conference, suspension or expulsion.

  1. Disrespect for school staff
  2. Disrespect or intimidation of fellow students
  3. Bullying
  4. Inappropriate language
  5. Locker misuse
  6. Continued littering
  7. Extreme dress or appearance which is disruptive to the educational environment
  8. Gambling
  9. Fighting
  10. Theft
  11. Inappropriate physical contact
  12. Dumping books
  13. Harassment as described in Code of Discipline.
  14. Hazing as defined in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269.
  15. Possession of weapons or items that
  16. Drugs or drug paraphernalia.

Bullying and Harassment

The Hingham Public Schools strive to maintain an environment free of harassment and bullying. Students and staff are expected to treat adults and students with courtesy and respect at all times. Harassment includes but is not limited to threats, unsolicited remarks, gestures, physical contact, or the display or circulation of written materials or pictures derogatory in nature or related to gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, or disability. Bullying is defined by MGL C71S 370. Harassment or bullying of any type must be reported immediately to a school counselor or administrator who will conduct an investigation and take steps to resolve substantiated claims. If the problem persists or if an individual is not satisfied with the resolution of the complaint at this level, he/she should pursue the matter with the principal or with the Superintendent if the problem remains unresolved. In serious situations, DCF and/or the police may be notified.

It is the policy of the Town of Hingham to promote and maintain a working and educational environment, which is free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment violates state and federal law; and, therefore, the policies of the Town of Hingham. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment, or success as a student; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting such individual; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive education environment.

Care of School Property

Students are responsible for the proper care of all books, supplies, and furniture supplied by the school. Students who disfigure property, break windows, or do other damage to school property or equipment will be subject to the Code of Discipline and required to pay for the damage or replace the item. Remember, this is your school and every person is expected to show concern for its upkeep.

Detention

All students are expected to report after school when required by a teacher. Detention takes precedence over all other school and non-school activities. Students who do not report must have a note the next day from a parent explaining the reason for failure to report.

Students sent from class for disciplinary reasons will report immediately to the school’s office and sign in. These students will meet with the teacher and an administrator immediately after school on the day of the incident. In cases of serious infractions, other actions may be taken at the discretion of the administration.

Expulsion and Records

According to the Massachusetts Educational Reform Act of 1993 – students may be subject to expulsion from school by the school principal for the following reasons:

a. possession of a dangerous weapon including but not limited to a knife or gun.

b. assault of a member of the educational staff on the school premises or at any school sponsored event.

Additionally, a student transferring into a local school system must provide the new
school system with a complete discipline record. Said record shall include, but not be
limited to, any incident involving suspension or violation of criminal acts or any incident reports in which the student was charged with a suspendable act. Complete copies of the new law are available at the Superintendent’s office.

Memorandum of Understanding

A Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed to and established between the Hingham Public Schools and the Hingham Police Department. Copies are available at the school.

Physical Restraint Policy

Hingham Public Schools’ students may in rare circumstances require physical restraint when non-physical interventions would not be as effective and the student’s behavior poses a threat of imminent, serious physical harm to self and/or others. Such physical restraint should be limited to the use of such reasonable force as necessary to protect a student or another member of the school community from assault or imminent, serious physical harm. Such incidents of restraint must be reported to an administrator and a report filed.

Safety Environment

The middle school is committed to maintaining a safe and caring environment. The principal of the school will require an outside risk assessment of any student who possesses a threat to the safety of others or the school. When a student makes a threat, uses threatening behavior, or if there is concern that the student’s behavior indicates an escalation for violence; these concerns may include:

  • Student directly or indirectly threatens to harm person, group, and/or entire school
  • Artistic, written or symbolic expression with disturbing and/or violent content is presented
  • Belief that someone possesses a weapon in school.
  • Possession of a weapon
  • The student is demonstrating any imminent warning signs or a cluster of early warning signs
  • Student makes threat to harm or kill self or (along with indicators of harm to others)
  • Student has escalating pattern of behavior that has been resistive to intervention at school
  • Other reason for assessment as determined by principal