Biblically based plans and procedures are developed that educate the school community regarding harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
Adopted by the Board on 9-11-18
Student Standard of Conduct Printer friendly version
We expect our students to act in a manner worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ and an important part of our mission as a school is to train our students to become mature, responsible, and generous adults marked by their love for others. We have however, put in place disciplinary procedures that we will endeavor to follow when a student’s behavior violates this handbook and the Student Standard of Conduct set out in this handbook.
The behaviors described below take away from the dignity of both victims and perpetrators and may lead to their psychological or physical harm. These actions offend our Lord and greatly corrupt the Christian community and society at large. As a Christian community, we must be about the promotion, not diminution, of human dignity.
Therefore, the Cornerstone Christian School community remains committed to its standard of conduct:
CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL seeks to prepare young people for living according to Christian principles, and here and now we seriously intend to be a community that lives together in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Specifically, we share the values of:
• Glorifying God: We seek to glorify God in all activities and relationships;
• Respect: Each person is created in God’s image and therefore will be treated with respect;
• Honesty: Our relationships and academic performance will be based on honesty and fairness.
We also affirm God’s righteousness as the foundation of our belief and practice. The Scriptures remind us of God’s creation of all human beings in His image, His acknowledgment of human diversity, His unconditional love for His people in Christ, and His command that we love likewise and act justly.
Since harassment-type behavior not in keeping with these imperatives, CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL will not condone nor tolerate harassment of one member of the community by another, including physical or sexual harassment, racial or ethnic innuendoes and derogatory remarks, or any other such activity which tends to defame, ridicule, demean, intimidate or embarrass a community member.
Harassment-type behavior, in this document, shall cover single instances as well as repeated incidences of such behavior.
The following sections address the school’s standards concerning harassment, bullying, hazing and sexual harassment each of which conflict with the Standards of Life and Conduct at CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL and are expressly prohibited.
Harassment pertains to actions, words, or other verbal, non-verbal, and physical interactions of a derogatory, defamatory, hostile, or offensive nature based on an individual’s sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, or any other category protected by law.
Bullying is hostile behavior that a student intentionally or knowingly directs toward another student. This behavior also is characterized by some of the following:
Verbal hostility: including name-call, teasing, racist comments, and threats
Sexual harassment: inappropriate comments, touching, or other behavior as defined by the Harassment Policy
Social or relational hostility: isolating a person from the group to inflict emotional habitually spreading rumors, gossiping, or intentionally excluding that person
Cyber-bullying: any of the above actions taken through electronic media such as, social networking sites, email, or instant messages
Physical hostility: poking, pushing, shoving, kicking, hitting a fellow student, or seizing his belongings
An implicit threat of further hostile behavior.
Hazing is any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. The victim's consent to being subjected to this behavior will not make this behavior allowable.
This behavior is also characterized by some of the following:
whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather
forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance
harassing or demeaning younger or less experienced members of a club or team by verbal or physical intimidation, which includes demanding any duties of them because of their age or lack of experience
any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or Cornerstone Christian School of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.
Incidents of bully and hazing are serious violations that threaten the security and well being of the CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL community. Students should report incidents of such behavior to a teacher, a staff member, or the administration.
The Principal will investigate any report of bullying or hazing.
Consequences for the offending student(s) will seek both to ensure that the School is a place where all of its members are safe and to promote the growth and maturity of the offending student. The consequences for such behavior will take into consideration the nature of the offense and may result in suspension from school and/or required counseling for the offending student.
Notwithstanding any of the above, the Principal has the discretion to expel a student for a serious offense or repeat offenses.
Each student must sign a statement regarding hazing annually.
Sexual harassment conflicts with CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL'S standards of conduct, and it will not be tolerated.
Sexual harassment refers to any type of behavior of a sexual nature, intentional or unintentional, that is unwelcome and that has the purpose or effect of creating an academic environment that is hostile, offensive, or coercive.
Sexual Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
Unwelcome sexual advances
requests for sexual favors, sexual slurs, jokes or innuendoes
displays of sexually suggestive objects or pictures
discussions of one's sexual activities
sexually suggestive language or gestures
physical abuse or sexual assault
inappropriate petting, touching or pinching
other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature where:
Submission to such conduct is either an expressed or implied term or condition of academic progress;
Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as basis for academic progress, affecting the harassed person; or
such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's academic performance or creating and intimidating, hostile or offensive academic environment.
Except as set out elsewhere in this Handbook, following procedure shall apply to any disciplinary process against a student. It should be noted, however, that CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL reserves the right to, as the occasion requires and in its sole discretion, deviate from the processes set out below.
1. Reporting the incident or behavior.
It is important for students who think they have suffered harassment, bullying, hazing or sexual harassment to promptly report the incident and file a complaint. Any such complaint shall be pursued according to the procedures described below. All such allegations will be immediately investigated.
In addition, any other student who suspects or has knowledge of an incident of harassment, bullying, hazing or sexual harassment is required to report that information to the Principal immediately and to fully cooperate in the investigation of the incident.
Any other claim that a student has violated the Standard of Student Conduct shall be reported and handled as set out below.
CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL will not tolerate either mishandling of complaints by authorized personnel, or negative behavior responses to student after making a complaint.
Complaints against employees of CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL shall be handled under the policy found in the Employee Handbook, as amended from time to time.
Allegations in Bad Faith
CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL also recognizes that knowingly false accusations, especially of sexual harassment, may have serious effects on innocent persons. Students found to have knowingly made false accusations of Harassment, Bullying, Hazing and Sexual Harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including suspension, or expulsion.
Please note: This is not meant to include allegations that were made in good faith and reasonable belief of their accuracy, but which were later determined to be insufficient or unsubstantiated so as to not prompt remedial action, in which the complainant had done nothing improper. This provision is meant only to cover allegations which the accuser knows to be false at the time they are made or makes them with reckless disregard for the truth.
A formal complaint should be filed with the Principal. In all cases the complainant shall present in writing a description of the problem. Written complaints shall be filed as near in time to the actual incident(s) as possible.
Any member of the staff, administration, or faculty may file a formal complaint or otherwise initiate the disciplinary process against a student.
3. Fact-finding, Hearing and Decision.
The Principal, his/her delegate, or other appointed person will either personally investigate or appoint an official or committee (“Fact-finder”) to investigate any complaint of a violation of the Standards of Life and Conduct. That fact-finder, will initiate an investigation including discussion with all parties.
At an appropriate point in the process as determined by the Fact-finder, the accused person will have an opportunity to present his or her side of the story including to present witnesses and any photographs, documents or other tangible evidence. The admittance and consideration of any such evidence is entirely up to the discretion of the Fact-finder.
The accused person shall not be permitted to have an attorney present except where there are pending formal criminal proceedings against a student relating to the substantive disciplinary matter, in which case an attorney may attend but shall not participate in any hearing at which the student is present. The student’s parent(s) or legal guardian will have the opportunity to meet with the Fact-finder (or member of the fact-finding committee) prior to a decision being rendered that would result in expulsion.
In the event of a claim of plagiarism, the matter will be referred to a committee made up of the Principal, Personnel Chair, Curriculum Chair, and the classroom teacher.
Neither audio recording nor audiovisual recording of any hearing shall be permitted without the written authorization of the Fact-finder. Such recording shall be controlled by the Fact-finder.
The Fact-finder will render a decision ordinarily within 10 working days of the date the complaint was submitted. The complainant will be informed of the resolution of the matter, as deemed appropriate in the discretion of the Principal. The decision may but need not be written.
Whether a decision becomes a part of a student’s academic record is a matter within the discretion of the Principal.
4. Potential Sanctions
Possible sanctions against violation of the Standards of Life and Conduct may include, but are not limited to, detention, probation, suspension, or expulsion.
A. Detentions may be imposed by any staff, administration, or faculty member for violations of the Standards of Life and Conduct. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary above, no complaint, fact finding or hearing is required before imposing detention.
At CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL there are four levels of detention:
I. Personal, with a teacher after school
II. Office: after school, 20 minutes
III. Office: after school, 60 minutes
IV. Saturday, 8am – 12pm
Students will be notified of detentions in advance so arrangements can be made for transportation, if necessary. Personal detentions and twenty-minute Office detentions will be served the day of the infraction, or on a day determined by the Principal. Sixty-minute Office detentions must be served during the next scheduled afternoon detention period. For all detentions the following priorities must be followed.
Rules of priority for after-school responsibilities:
1. classes and scheduled academic extra-help sessions
3. extra-curricular activities (including sports)
A student who skips detention without prior arrangements having been made with the Principal potentially will serve double the original time assigned.
More detailed instructions for serving detentions may be posted.
B. Probation can result from a more serious violation or repeated violations of the Standards of Life and Conduct. The Principal may put a student on probation to signal clearly that unless change takes place, the student will be permanently separated from the student body. A student on probation will receive a letter explaining the terms of the probation: its duration and consequences of further infractions. Other consequences, such as community service, mentoring, and counseling by a professional, may also be required.
C. Suspension from CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL can result from a more serious violation or repeated violations of the Standards of Life and Conduct. The Principal may suspend a student to signal clearly that unless change takes place, the student will be permanently separated from the student body. Other consequences, such as community service, mentoring, and counseling by a professional, may also be required.
D. Expulsion from CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL is the result of serious offenses or for failure to respond to detentions and suspensions. Expulsions are decided by the Principal.
No limitation. Nothing herein shall be interpreted to limit CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL to those above sanctions. CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL reserves the right, without obligation, to fashion other sanctions for violations as appropriate. By example only, in the case of plagiarism, CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL may require additional academic work, may require the student to retake the course and/or may render a grade for the course commensurate with the violation.
Other redress. This policy is CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL’s internal policy and is only intended to address student violations of the Standards of Life and Conduct. With respect to certain violations, there may be other external means of address and nothing herein is intended to replace any statutory rights of redress either under state or federal law.
A student may appeal a sanction of suspension or expulsion to the Principal. The Principal shall review the Decision and the record of the disciplinary process. In his sole discretion, the Principal may, but shall not be required to, speak to one or more of the parties involved, any witnesses or the official rendering the decision. The principal’s decision on any appeal shall be final.
6. Modifications of the Procedures.
The above procedures are designed to promote fairness, and will be adhered to as faithfully as possible. Exceptional circumstances may dictate variation from these procedures but no variation will invalidate a decision unless it prevented a fair hearing.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Principal believes that a student's presence poses a significant threat to his or her physical or emotional Cornerstone Christian School or well-being, or may disrupt the Cornerstone Christian School or well-being of another student, faculty, staff, guest, or other school community member, CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL may take any action that it believes to be appropriate and reasonable under the circumstances without respect to the Disciplinary Procedures.
In addition, CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL reserves the right to take unilateral action against students for off-campus conduct that has an adverse effect on CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL community, or in the event that a student is charged with or convicted of a crime. Under those circumstances, CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL may suspend the student immediately.
Reinstatement shall be at the sole discretion of the Principal.