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Discipline Policy

At Taft middle school, we strive to create a safe and orderly learning environment for students and staff. Our school community is committed to the development of a discipline policy that creates a positive, safe, orderly, and efficient learning environment free from distractions. Key factors in this philosophy of effective discipline are fairness, firmness, and consistency. The responsibility for developing and supporting this policy falls equally on each member of our community. Students must respect the rights of others, cooperate in following school rules, and put forth their best effort in the classroom. The following consequences have been established for those who choose to disrupt the learning process. In addition to these consequences, guidelines written in the APS Student Behavior Handbook will be followed. The administration has the authority to determine additional consequences when necessary.


“Many of life's circumstances are created by three basic choices: the disciplines you choose to keep, the people you choose to be with, and the laws you choose to obey.”
- Charles Millhuff

Students are responsible for their own actions and behavior


Any offense can fall into an additional category: Cases that are of a particularly disruptive nature, Those that represent a perceived or present danger to students/staff, Disrupt the orderly functioning of the school, or have escalated to a serious degree will immediately be referred to the administration.
TARDIES: It is your responsibility to be on time to class. If you are not on time, the following consequences will occur:

1st-3rd Tardies: Classroom teacher consequence; parent contact on the 3rd tardy.
4th Tardy: Referral to office, 3 days lunch detention, parent contact.
5th Tardy: 5 days lunch detention, parent conference.
6th Tardy: Suspension till parent conference.

Minor Behavior Offences (Level I): The following types of behavior may result in a discipline referral submitted to the office.
Breaking campus and classroom rules, Disrupting the classroom/lunchroom/being disruptive, Violation of dress code, Throwing objects (e.g. papers, erasers, etc. that are a safety hazard), Running in classrooms, hallways, or sidewalks, Being in the hallways or lockers at undesignated times, Horseplaying, Displaying affection in public, Mistreating classroom equipment, Bringing personal items from home (radios, CD players, toys, stuffed animals, wheelies (shoes), skateboards, laser pointers, cologne/perfume, etc.- item will be held by teach-er or in the office until the end of the day), Using cellular phones, iPods, MP3 players, or any electronic device—will be bagged and sent to the office to be picked up by a parent, Having food, drinks, candy, gum, etc. in non-designated area (administrators will use discretion in issuing consequences), Failing to return contracts, parent letters, progress reports, etc. after reasonable reminders and chances have been given, Unauthorized selling (inventory will be confiscated), Misbehavior for a substitute teacher.

Consequences for Minor Behavior Offenses (Level I)

1st offense - teacher consequence with documentation
2nd offense - parent contact; documentation
3rd offense - student contract; parent and student signature required on contract
4th offense - administrative referral (rolls over to 2nd offense level for medium consequences (Level II)

Medium Behavior Offenses (Level II): Medium behavior offenses result in a referral and include:

Obscene language, materials, gestures or behavior, Verbal abuse, gossip, rumors, Verbal harassment including racial, ethnic, disability, or other speech, including drawings, toward student, Attendance problems/ditching, Defiant or disrespectful behavior, Repeatedly breaking campus/classroom rules, Bullying/defiance that disrupts class/threatening/extorting, Excessive horseplay, Throwing objects (e.g. rocks, sharp items, etc. that pose an extreme safety hazard), Fireworks, stink bombs, etc., Deceitful behavior (forgery, lying, cheating, plagia-rism, etc. – restitution arranged), Theft, Cyber Bulling, forwarding offensive pictures, videos, emails or text messages, Taking pictures or videos of fights. *Lunch Detention / Out of School suspension are designated according to severity / intent of incident. All Out of School suspensions require a parent conference and contract with parent and student signature before student is allowed to return to school.

Consequences for Medium Behavior Offenses (Level II)

1st offense - Lunch Detention or Out of School Suspension, parent contact
2nd offense - Lunch Detention or Out of School Suspension, parent contact
3rd offense - Out of School Suspension, parent conference, and contract with parent and student signature


Administrative Lunch Detention Rules: Students must report on time to the designated detention room each day and sign in.
Students are to bring a sack lunch or if eligible (free/reduced meals/prepaid account) the cafeteria will deliver a sack lunch each day of detention. No candy, carbonated drinks, or snack foods, No talking, Remain seated, Bring work or independent reading ***NOTE: Failure to comply with lunch detention rules will result in additional consequences at the discretion of the lunch detention staff or administration.

Major Behavior Offenses (Level III): Major offenses result in a referral and include:

Fighting/battery (employing hostile contact in which at least one party has contributed to a situation like verbal action and/or bodily harm) including participation by observing, making a video of a fight, encouraging, etc., Sexual-harassment, Truancy (by unexcused absences with-in any 20 day period), Off-campus ditching, Endangerment: action which jeopardizes the safety of self or others, Possession and/or use of tobacco or paraphernalia, such as, but not limited to, electronic cigarettes, pipes, lighters, matches, etc.

Consequences for Major Behavior Offenses (Level III)

1st offense - automatic suspension as determined by administrator/re-entry conference
2nd offense - automatic suspension as determined by administrator/re-entry conference, possible district hearing with district hearing officer
3rd offense - 10 day suspension/district hearing with district hearing officer
4th offense - long-term suspension (up to the rest of the term)

Severe Behavior Offenses (Level IV): Severe offenses result in an immediate referral and include:

Bomb threats, False alarms, Vandalism, Graffiti, Assault, Gang related activities (3 or more indicators – see below), Possession, use, being under the influence, sale or distribution of a controlled substance (this includes look-a-like items), Weapon possession (includes but is not limited to a knife, pocketknife, chain, or gun, including look-a-like guns, pepper spray, mace), Stealing, Arson.

Consequences for Severe Behavior Offenses (Level IV)

1st offense - 10 day home suspension/District Hearing/legal referral/restitution if applicable, re-entry conference, possible long term hearing.
2nd offense - long-term suspension (rest of the semester), legal referral, restitution if applicable, re-entry conference.

Please note: If the offense results in violation of the law, APS police, Albuquerque Police Department, or Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department will be contacted and a report of the situation will be made at which time the student and/or parent may be dealing with the local authorities as well as the school. Students could be transported to the juvenile detention center if the violation warrants that action. Also note: a district hearing may result in a variety of outcomes, which may include: Placement at the district alternative middle school, Placement in an alternative educational setting, Transfer to another APS middle school, Home instruction, Expulsion.

Note About Firearms Possession:

Students found to be in possession of a firearm while in school or at any school related event, or at any time when the student behavior hand-book is in force, shall be expelled from the Albuquerque Public Schools for a minimum of one calendar year. Students may not return from expulsion for firearms possession, except at the beginning of the semester. The district shall use the definition of firearm as defined in the federal criminal code.


Concerning Gang Related Activity:

The first two times a school staff member observes what he/she perceives to be gang related activity, administrator will contact that parent and make note of the concern. On the third perceived exhibition of gang related activity, the administrator again will contact the parent. The administrator will use his/her discretion in determining the appropriate level of consequence. Blatant gang related activity is considered a severe misbehavior and will not be tolerated. Gang related activity can be intimidating to students, faculty, and staff and is disruptive to the educational process. Although this list is not all-inclusive, examples of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviors are such things as gang graffiti on school or personal property, intimidation of others, gang fights and or initiation rituals, wearing gang attire or colors.

Since gang behavior, markers, and colors are variable and subject to rapid change, school administrators and staff must exercise judgment and individual discretion, based upon current circumstances in the community. Gang related indicators that will be considered include (but are not limited to): Associating with admitted or known gang members, Wearing attire consistent with gang dress, Displaying gang logos, graffiti, and more symbols on personal possessions, Displaying gang hand signs or signals to others, Talking about gang activity.