Legal Notices

Copyright notice

Alabama Educator Code of Ethics

Non-Discrimination Policies

It is the policy of the Dothan City Board of Education that no student will be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in any program or activity on the basis of sex, race, religion, national origin, disability, age or color. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Dr. Dell Goodwin, Personnel Officer, 793-1397, ext. 250.

Section 504:34 CFR 104.4(a)
Title II:28 CFR 35.130(a)
Guidelines IV-N
"No qualified person with a disability is excluded from, denied benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any course, program, service, or activity solely on the basis of disability."

Section 504:34 CFR 104.34(a)(b)
Title II:28 CFR 35.130(d)
OCR Guidelines VI-A, 44FR 17167
"Disabled secondary students with disabilities must be placed in the regular environment of any vocational, academic, or other school program or activity to the maximum extent appropriate to their needs with the use of supplementary aids and services."

Weapons in Schools (Act 94-817)

"No person shall knowingly with intent to do bodily harm, carry or possess a deadly weapon on the premises of a public school. Possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to do bodily harm on the premises of a public school or school bus is a Class C felony."

Gun Free Schools Act of 1994

"In compliance with the Federal Gun Free Schools Act of 1994 and with Alabama law, it is the policy of the Dothan City Board of Education that any student determined to have brought a weapon/fireman, as herein defined, to school shall be expelled from the regular school program for a period of not less than one year. Expulsion is defined at a minimum as removing a student from the regular school where the violation occurred. Any school administrator having knowledge of a student possessing a weapon or fireman must follow disciplinary actions outlined in Class III offenses in Code of Student Conduct. However, the expulsion requirement may be modified for a student on a case-by-case basis by the Board. Also, discipline of students with disabilities who violate this policy shall be determined by the Board on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act."

Parental Responsibility (Act 94-782)

"The Alabama Legislature passed Act 94-782 stating that parents are responsible for enrolling their children in school, ensuring that they attend school regularly, and that they conduct themselves properly as pupils.
The Dothan City School System recognizes the privilege and the responsibility of parents and guardians in supporting and demanding responsible behavior from their children. In an effort to ensure parental awareness and acceptance of that responsibility, reasonable efforts will be made to contact parents regarding Class II and III misconduct. Reasonable efforts will be made on Class I offenses if such misconduct is continuing and notification is needed.
Reasonable efforts may include one or more of the following: telephone calls, copies of referrals, parental conferences, letters to parents, registered mail, and when possible, home visits. In the event of continued misbehavior, parents may be asked to sit in class with their child. Petitions may be filed with the Juvenile Court if the child is in need of supervision beyond that given by the parent or guardian. Warrants may be filed requiring the arrest of parents and guardians who do not require their children to properly conduct themselves in school. Parents will be responsible for conducting themselves in an orderly manner while on school campus for conferences and any other school-related activities. Parents conducting themselves in a disorderly manner are subject to the Criminal Codes of Alabama.
Alabama Act 94-782 requires each local Board of Education to adopt and distribute to parents, guardians, and others a written policy of its school behavior standards; requiring parents, guardians, and others to document receipt of the plan. Each parent or guardian or other person having custody or control of any student required to attend school who fails to require the child to regularly attend the school or tutor or fails to compel the child to properly conduct him or herself as a pupil in any public school in accordance with the written policy on school behavior adopted by the local Board of Education pursuant to the session and documented by the appropriate school official which conduct may result in suspension of the student, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) and may also be sentenced to hard labor for the county for not more than 90 days. The absence of a child without the consent of the principal, the teacher of the public school he or she attends or should attend, or the tutor who instructs or should instruct the child shall be prima facie evidence of the violation of this section."

Parental Responsibility for Child's Damages (Vandalism) (Act 94-819)

"The parents, guardian, or other person having control of any minor under the age of 18 with whom the minor is living and who has custody of the minor shall be liable for the actual damages sustained to school property plus court costs caused by an intentional, willful, or malicious act of the minor."

Notification of Rights Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)

PPRA affords parents and students who are 18 or emancipated minors ("eligible students") certain rights regarding our conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to:

· Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas ("protected information survey") if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) -

1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student's parent;
2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student's family;
3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
5. Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
6. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or
8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.

· Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of -

1. Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;
2. Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State law; and
3. Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students
marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.

· Inspect, upon request and before administration or use -

1. Protected information surveys of students;
2. Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes; and
3. Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.


Notification of Rights under FERPA for Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age ("eligible students") certain rights with respect to the student's education records. These rights are:
(1) The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the school receives a request for access.
Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
(2) The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate.
Parents or eligible students may ask the school to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write the school principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
(3) The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate
educational interests. A School official is a person employed by the school as an administrator, supervisor,
instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the school has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Upon request, the school discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll (NOTE: FERPA requires a school district to make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent or student of the records request unless it states in its annual notification that it intends to forward records on request.)
(4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

PPRA Notice and Consent/Opt-Out for Specific Activities

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), 20 U.S.C. 1232h, requires Dothan City Schools to notify you and obtain consent or allow you to opt your child out of participating in certain school activities. These activities include a student survey, analysis, or evaluation that concerns one or more of the following eight areas ("protected information surveys"):
1. Political affiliations or beliefs of student or student's parent;
2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student' family;
3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
5. Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
6. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or
8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
This requirement also applies to the collection, disclosure or use of student information for marketing purposes ("marketing surveys"), and certain physical exams and screenings.

Search and Seizure/Safe and Drug Free Schools

In conformance with State Board of Education Resolution 1-2-g and Alabama State Board of Education Administrative Regulation 290-010-020-01, law enforcement agencies shall be allowed to make periodic, unannounced visits to any local public school for the purpose of detecting the presence of drugs.
Lockers, desks, parking lots, and any other fixture or facilities provided for the students are the property of the school district. Also, students are subject to searches by school officials with reasonable cause. School officials may conduct searches or use other detection devices within the facilities or on the school campuses at any time that it is felt that alcohol and other drugs, weapons, or any object considered to be harmful to the safe environment of the school may be present. Such visits may include the use of drug-sniffing dogs in schools and classrooms as appropriate.

16-1-24.1 (1975)

Automobile Search: Any automobile entering Dothan City School property is subject to a search of the entire vehicle.
Technology: The use of the Internet and e-mail through the DCSNet is a privilege; thus, Dothan City Schools reserves the right to read and retain any electronic messages transmitted via the DCSNet.

Tobacco-Free Environment

The Board of Education is dedicated to providing a healthful, comfortable, and productive work environment for its employees.
The United States Surgeon General, in a 1986 report The Health Effects of Involuntary Smoking; concluded that:

· Involuntary smoking is a cause of disease, including lung cancer, in healthy non-smokers.

· The simple separation of smokers and non-smokers within the same air space may reduce, but does not eliminate the exposure of non-smokers to environmental tobacco smoke.

In light of these findings, Board of Education facilities shall be entirely tobacco-free, effective July 1, 1995.
The use of any tobacco products will be strictly prohibited within all schools and other buildings owned by the Board of Education including: offices, hallways, waiting rooms, restrooms, lunchrooms, elevators, meeting rooms, and all community areas. This policy applies to all employees, students, salespersons, and visitors. Principals may designate an area outside the school building and adjacent to the school campus where employees may smoke out of view of students.
Copies of this policy shall be distributed to all employees. "No Smoking" signs shall be posted at all building entrances and throughout each building.
The success of this policy will depend upon the thoughtfulness, consideration and cooperation of smokers and non-smokers. All employees share in the responsibility for adhering to and enforcing the policy. Any problems should be brought to the attention of the principal or superintendent and handled through the normal chain of command. Employees who violate this policy will be subject to the same disciplinary actions that accompany infractions of other Board of Education policies.


Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement officers have the right to come on campus to interview students as suspects or witnesses.
The Board of Education authorizes building administrators to release minor students into the custody of a law enforcement officer upon presentation of a court order or warrant for the student's arrest. The student may be removed from school premises if the officer or school administrator has reason to believe that the student has violated the law.
The police department, juvenile court services, or other law enforcement agencies may be informed regarding the misconduct of a student. Such notification may result in an arrest, a petition, a complaint, a warrant, a conference with law enforcement officials and/or other actions deemed appropriate by the agencies involved.

Fines for unlawful possession of contraband

Any tobacco or tobacco product found in the possession of a minor is contraband and subject to seizure by law enforcement. Any minor violating Section 28-11-13 shall be issued a citation similar to a uniform non-traffic citation and shall be fined not less than ten dollars ($10) nor more than fifty dollars ($50) for each violation. The minor shall not be required to pay any other court costs or fees. Any statue or law to the contrary notwithstanding, disposition of any violation shall be within the jurisdiction of the district or municipal court and not the juvenile court. Violations shall not be considered criminal offenses and shall be administratively adjudicated by the district or Municipal Court. (Acts 1997, No. 97-423, p. 721, 14)

Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act Notice

"All buildings used by the Dothan City Schools are free of friable (easily air-borne) asbestos. Most buildings built before 1985 contain some forms of non-friable asbestos (most commonly found in floor tile). This asbestos is managed according to an approved management plan that may be examined in each principal's office. The Dothan City Schools are in full compliance with A.H.E.R.A. (the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act) and asbestos-containing material is inspected on a regular basis as required by law."

Alabama Nurse Practice Act Notice

In accordance with the Alabama Nurse Practice Act (section 34-21-1) and the "Guidelines for Delegation of Nursing Functions to Assistive Personnel" (1993) the school nurse, if available, may assist with administration of medications, but may not directly delegate this responsibility to unlicensed personnel., the official web site of the Dothan City Schools, has been online since August 12, 1997.

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