Carson City schools working to update student discipline regulation

Training for Carson City school administrators started this week and the Carson City School District will be creating a board policy and plan for driving efforts on restorative justice for students in need of disciplinary removal.

The Carson City School Board also received an update on student discipline last week on proposed changes to the district’s regulations based on provisions in state law. The Nevada Legislature in 2019 through Assembly Bill 168 prohibits the suspension and expulsion of students younger than 11 years old and limits the total number of days for which special education students receiving individualized education plan services can be suspended.

The changes being implemented provides the district a chance to ensure it is in compliance with its own discipline procedures as Nevada law requires with a special emphasis on short-term suspension for students who could be removed for a period of more than 10 days or expelled.

District legal counsel Ann Alexander said this type of restorative justice has been taking place in Carson City School District for some time and guarantees school administrators have the behavior support mechanisms in place. The method is meant to help see that student behaviors, as well as the circumstances leading to them, are actually being changed.

“It’s an attempt by our state Legislature to make sure that schools are working with students and families and not simply expelling them, not simply suspending them but trying to work to change the circumstances that lead a student to be in that position in the first place,” Alexander said.

However, the other changes to the regulation are more obvious, Alexander told the school board. Preventing students under the age of 11 from suspension or expulsion has one exception, and that is if they’re in possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon, she said. Any child found to be carrying such items can be suspended or expelled at any time with the school board’s approval, and Alexander said Carson City’s administrators have been working to make these changes for a year and district employees have been in compliance with state law since it was enacted.

Also, students receiving IEP services cannot be suspended for more than five days per incident of misconduct or they can be permanently expelled. Alexander said a review is required by the federal Individual with Disabilities Education Act, the legislation that makes free public education accessible to special education students, before even a half-day suspension is implemented.

Tasha Fuson, associate superintendent of educational services, said the district will be seeking for feedback from parents and staff by Nov. 15, and plans are required to be distributed to employees.


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