This is an example of a condensed Lawbook of similar school in Weschester County, NJ (Longvew School). Our Lawbook while pretty similar will be posted soon.
011. All School Meeting members are responsible for the general welfare of the school, through actions that contribute to preserving the atmosphere of freedom, respect, fairness, trust, and order that is the essence of the school’s existence.
012. The school prides itself on accommodating a large range of behaviors by members of the School Meeting, so long as the behavior of each person shows respect for every other person and for the school community as a whole. At any given period in the school’s history, the school community, acting through the School Meeting may establish boundaries that limit the range of behavior that is acceptable while a person is in attendance. Each individual is expected to act within these limits.
100. NON-SCHOOL LAWS AND STANDARDS
101. This school follows all federal, state, and local laws.
102. People on school-sanctioned trips must behave according to the rules established by the place visited.
103. All Longview community members are required to behave in a respectful manner to members of the community-at-large during school hours or at school functions.
200. MEMBERS RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
211. Activities that are dangerous or could be dangerous to either people or animals are not allowed.
212. School members must be respectful of each other. You cannot make fun of or make any disrespectful comments about race and ethnicity.
213. School members must be respectful of each other’s property and school property.
214. No one may knowingly disrupt other people’s activities in the school or in a vehicle. This includes making repeated noises with other people around who don’t want to hear it.
215. Community members are prohibited from shaming, abusing, harassing, or in any way upsetting other community members.
216. There is to be no threatening. Threatening a person’s life or threatening to hurt someone is considered extremely serious. The age of the person making the threat will be considered in determining the seriousness of the threat. Threatening is allowed in games in which people have agreed ahead of time that threatening is OK in the game.
217. You can only curse if no one in the room objects to it. You can’t curse at anyone. You can’t curse around visitors unless you ask them and they say they don’t mind cursing.
218. Words such as “stop,” “time out–stop,” “I am not playing anymore”, or any other words that mean stop or no more, are to be used to define contact as unacceptable and the person being spoken to must stop what they are doing if it is infringing upon the person who told her/him to stop. If a person is unclear if someone wants them to stop, then they should say, “Do you really mean it?” The stop rule only applies if you are doing something to someone else, annoying someone else or breaking another rule.
221. If someone wants to be alone and wants to do something by themselves, we must respect their wishes and leave them alone.
222. Sexual play and exploration is not allowed. There will be no undressing as any part of sexual play or exploration. There will be no touching of another person’s body as part of any sexual play or exploration. You can only behave (with respect to sexuality and sexual exploration) the way most people would be allowed to behave in their houses in front of their family. These rules specifically prohibit kissing on the lips or any private part of the body. Any violations of this rule require an incident report to be filed by staff. If there is any sexual play and/or exploration at Longview, a confidential investigation will be conducted by staff who will look into the incident and decide whether to handle the write-up through: 1.Discussions with those involved (and complaints with merit, also with the parents of those directly involved), 2. A closed JC meeting, 3. A regular JC meeting or 4. Dismissal of the complaint. Agreement to dismiss must be a unanimous decision of the staff investigators.
224. If you’re using something and someone else wants to use it, you have to work out how many minutes until you can use it, except for computers (which have their separate rule).
225. No lying unless it is part of a game. If it is part of a game, people need to decide ahead of time if it is part of a game.
227. If you want to experiment with fire, you must have a staff person present and a pail of water next to you. Otherwise, no making fires at school.
228. If anyone breaks anything or sees anything broken, they must report it to the physical plant clerk.
231. You must wash your hands with soap after going to the bathroom and also flush the toilet if possible.
233. Everyone, including staff, needs to sign in when they arrive and sign out when they leave on the
days they are here.
234. If you answer the phone, you must say something similar to “Hello. This is Longview School. May I help you?” The person answering the phone is responsible to get the person for the phone call or if the person is unavailable, to take a written message or find somebody else to take a written message.
236. Community members are strictly not allowed to go past the boundaries of school property. Trespassing is a serious offense that will result in suspension. Parents may send a signed note not allowing their child or children to go unsupervised or unaccompanied into the woods or by the brook. If students are going on an outing, they must be accompanied by a parent or staff.
247. When there are visitors, it is to be everyone’s highest priority to be welcoming and to get the
visitors involved so they really want to come back.
270. Forceful Contact
271. No hurting other people on purpose.
274. No hitting, no kicking, no punching, no pushing.
275. If you want to play a pretend fighting game you have to ask each person if they want to participate in a pretend fighting game before you start playing with them.
276. No throwing hard objects including dolls.
278. Only all foam objects can be used for sword fighting where the sword touches a person or another sword. Sword fighting with light sabers with contact to bodies and swords is allowed with soft and slow hits (at least 3 seconds for each hit).
286. No play fighting if people are angry.
303. If someone brings in her/his own computer, anyone must get the person’s permission before using it.
328. Desk space, papers and files in the office need to be treated with respect. If they aren’t, playing in the office will be prohibited.
335. No putting any toys in your mouth.
304. Computers, TV and Music
346. There will be sign-up sheets for each computer. A person can only be signed up once until they’re finished playing and can’t sign up for a different time while they’re playing. Maximum sign-up time is 20 minutes.
375. Everyone needs to clean their spot at each eating table each time they stop eating.
382. Any mess you make after clean-up, you are responsible to clean up before you leave.
384. Clean-up is at the end of the day. It is to be announced and to start at 2:30. Anyone who does
not start to clean at 2:30 PM will be written up. People can’t play until they finish their chore and have been checked off. They must start chores immediately as soon as clean-up is announced. People are responsible for completing their chores according to the Chores Chart.
388. The Chores list will be on a weekly basis and the Chores Clerk will check people off as their jobs are thoroughly completed. When a person finishes her/his job, s/he must tell the chores clerk that s/he is done and then wait for the chore clerk to check the person off.
389. Whenever you take something out to use, you have to put it away whenever you start another activity.
1390. Clean-up Clerk has to number and initial each chore as they are checked off. Extra chores are to be assigned by the chores clerk in order of the first person done, etc. No one besides the chores clerk can tell someone they don’t have to do an extra job.
391. Hurting, scaring or doing anything dangerous to animals is prohibited.
400. School Building
401. No one may obstruct an entrance to the school, or any door or passageway used in the school.
402. Windows shall not be used as exits except in an emergency (i.e., a fire).
405. No closing doors during chasing games.
411. Only one person can be in any bathroom at a time with the door closed.
413. People doing office work can require others to turn down the sound so it is quiet enough for the office work to be done, based on the judgment of those doing the office work. The office is to be used only for office work whenever a clerk or staff member requests it.
422. Boys peeing have to pick up the toilet seat before peeing.
426. No roughhousing in the office.
427. No doors can be slammed in the school.
433. Students on trips must follow the directions of staff.
434. When we go off of school grounds, students always have to be able to see and be seen by a supervising adult unless a supervising adult has given permission otherwise.
500. ALL MEETINGS – POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
503. A person can go outside during meetings under the following conditions:
-The have a note from their parents.
-They are not needed at the meeting as a committee member or expected at a meeting.
-They can go outside only in the fenced in area or outside the library door.
505. The following meetings are mandatory:
-trials and suspension meetings;
-anytime School Meeting Chairperson thinks an issue is important enough to require it;
-any agenda item or entire meeting as agreed upon by majority vote of School Meeting;
-annual meeting or any meeting of the members of the Corporation.”
507. The school needs to schedule at least one official Annual School Meeting a year.
525. SCHOOL MEETING – POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
526. The School Meeting is the highest decision-making body of the school.
527. The School Meeting shall consist of the members of the Staff, the Students and Volunteers, each of whom shall have one vote when present at School Meetings.
528. All normal School Meetings are voluntary. The school can vote to have a mandatory School Meeting when the welfare of the school or one or more of its members is at stake. Normal School Meetings are held weekly.
529. Special School Meetings may be called at any time by the Chair or by majority vote of voting School Meeting members at school at the time of the vote.
530. To vote on an issue at School Meeting, a community member must be present from the time the issue is introduced.
531. Visitors (including parents) do not have the right to vote in School Meeting.
532. If a defendant objects to his/her JC sentence, he/she may appeal to School Meeting, calling an Appeals Meeting, which takes place as soon as is reasonable after the request is made. The sentence shall not take effect until the Appeals Meeting decides on the appeal. All JC procedural laws apply during Appeals Meeting
533. Only School Meeting has the power to suspend a student from the school. Judicial Committee may recommend suspension to School Meeting, and if necessary, convene a Special School Meeting to deal with a matter deemed too urgent to wait until the next regularly scheduled School Meeting.
534. Whoever is present at the entire School Meeting, except the School Meeting Chair Person and Secretary, don’t have to come to the after School Meeting to hear what happened at School Meeting.
535. When the School Meeting Chairperson isn’t present, a substitute is chosen from a list in reverse alphabetical order and the date is put next to the person’s name who has had a turn so the person required to run school meeting is the person with the fewest marks closest to the end of the alphabet.
536. During probationary meetings (part of Sc. Meeting), the person being considered can be there in the beginning to say why they think they should be part of the Longview community or not and to answer questions. Then, the person & any of their parents present must go in the office until a decision is reached.
539. You must put your name after any item on the School Meeting Agenda that you add.
550. School Meeting Officers
551. School Meeting Officers are elected for 2 month periods starting at the first meeting of the school year.
552. The School Meeting Chair is the Chief Executive Officer of the School Meeting. The Chair presides at School Meetings and, in addition to possessing various powers and duties assigned in specific resolutions, is charged with overseeing the smooth functioning of the School Meeting and seeing that the will of the School Meeting (as expressed in the School Meeting’s various resolutions) is carried out in practice.
553. The School Meeting Secretary keeps written minutes of every session of the School Meeting. These minutes contain an accurate report of all actions of the School Meeting. The Secretary certifies that the minutes are a true record by signature.
600. JUDICIAL COMMITTEE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
620. Judicial Committee Function
621. The function of the Judicial Committee [JC] is to receive allegations of violations of School Meeting rules (“complaints”), and to investigate those which it chooses, by vote, to take up.
622. The JC decides by vote on the basis of its investigations what (if any) charge of a violation should be brought, and which School Meeting members should be charged.
623. The JC holds trials if a person charged pleads “not guilty.”
624. The JC imposes sentences on defendants who have been found guilty, by plea or by trial, of violating School Meeting rules.
625. The JC may not suspend or expel a student from school, but may make a recommendation of suspension or expulsion to the School Meeting.
626. JC meets daily as needed, or in the case of an emergency, at the discretion of the JC clerk.
627. When writing people up, a person must first write her/his name on a sheet of paper that will be posted by the JC folder, to notify the person who is being written up.
629. All JC forms must be completely filled out. If they aren’t, the JC clerk may return it to the person who did the write up and they may tear it up.
630. Judicial Committee Membership
631. All rules and JC consequences last until the person leaves school that day unless JC has determined a lesser consequence.
632. No bribing people to throw away JC complaints.
633. The JC Clerk and one staff person will prepare a list of all students and staff to serve on the JC on a monthly rotation. JC will require each person to serve on JC for one month at a time on a rotating basis, and there will be three students on the Committee including the JC Clerk.
635. If someone wants to appeal their JC consequence because they think the consequence is unfair or unjust, the JC clerk should immediately meet with the JC Committee again. If the JC Committee wants to change the original consequence, they do. If they don’t want to change it, they call everyone to a Special School Meeting immediately which everyone must attend to make a final decision about keeping or changing the original consequence.
640. Judicial Committee Officers
641. The Judicial Committee [JC] Clerk is the chief judicial officer of the school and is responsible for overseeing the smooth functioning of the school’s judicial system.
642. The JC Secretary keeps written records of all JC investigations, pleas, trials and sentences and reports the results of these to the School Meeting.
643. The Judicial Committee Clerk’s job is to run all meetings when he/she is in school.
650. Judicial Committee Regulations
652. The JC Records from last year will start fresh each year except for records involving suspensions which will be continued.
653. JC clerks and JC committee members must vote on all JC decisions –no abstentions.
654. You can not serve on a particular JC committee if you are making the complaint, if the complaint is against you or if you are a victim in the complaint.
655. The person who is accused in a JC complaint is never allowed to offer suggestions for their consequence either out loud or whispered.
656. Everyone on JC, the person who did the write up and the person written up must sit at the meeting table during the entire JC meeting.
657. Once JC starts to discuss whether the person broke a rule or consequences, the person who made the complaint, the person the complaint is against and the victim are unable to participate in that part of the meeting except to answer questions asked by the committee.
658. People must describe what happened on their JC Complaint form.
659. JC must decide on the seriousness of an offense (circling it on the JC form). Once a person has a consequence for breaking a rule, JC will take the seriousness of the new offense and their past record into account when deciding on a consequence.
1651. After 3 months (or more) has passed since a person has received a consequence for breaking a rule, then JC can consider warnings and strong warning as appropriate consequences for new violations of that rule.
700. GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE RULES
701. School Corporations, Committees and Clerks may make the rules and procedures they need to carry out their duties.
702. Except in instances specifically enumerated by School Meeting, all meetings of any Corporation, Committee or other official group at school are open to all School Meeting members. Any School Meeting members present at an open meeting are, by and during their presence, full participants in that meeting, except for the right to vote.
703. Student files are confidential except for viewing by the student, their family, and school staff. Families are welcome to receive copies of their file contents. The originals are part of the school’s permanent records.
980. Suspension and Re-admittance Committees
A. Re-admittance Committee Rules
1. Composition of the Re-admittance Committee: JC Clerk, JC Secretary, at least one staff person, at least a total of two students (possibly including the JC Clerk and/or JC Secretary). Others can be added to the Committee at the discretion of JC Clerk, up to a total of four people.
2. The Re-admittance Committee meets only if there is a student requesting re-admittance after the minimum required suspension time and only if at least one of her/his parents/guardians is present for the meeting.
3. Format for Re-admittance Committee Meetings
The meeting is chaired by the JC Clerk who must follow the following this procedure:
Give description of
a. Why the meeting is taking place;
b. The purpose/format of the meeting (to be done by JC Clerk and staff).
Comments by student requesting re-admission must include:
A description of the events leading up to and resulting in the Suspension;
How the person could/should have handled things differently;
Why the student thinks she/he is read for re-admittance.
Questions and comments by Committee members
Question and comments by the parent(s)/guardian(s).
Meeting of Committee alone to decide
If re-admittance is agreed to;
If any conditions will be attached to this re-admittance.
Explanation of Committee decision to the student and parent/guardian.
Acceptance or rejection of decision and conditions.
4. For trial/suspension/expulsion meetings, after the situation is presented to the School Meeting and the School Meeting is making a decision, the person whose consequence is being considered and their parent(s), if present (unless they are staff), will have to wait in the office or outside.
1001. It was voted on and passed that all clerkships must be filled by students except School Meeting secretary. If there are no volunteers, these positions will be filled with an alphabetical list in the order these positions appear on the clerkship list. Those students with the least number of jobs will be chosen first.
1002. Any changes in clerkships need to be approved by School Meeting and needs to be based on a good reason for the change. There must be a volunteer for that position to replace the original person.
1010. Admissions Clerk
1011. Powers and Duties
-To oversee the admissions process.
-To serve as ongoing liaison between parents of students and the school, in particular in response to inquiries made by parents.
-To give tours when people come to visit.
-To keep track of visiting students and help them to meet and get involved with other
– The Admission Clerk has to be certified by a staff person & a committee both, and there has to be a test for the person to pass. The current person needs to pass the test by the end of next week in order to continue to be Admissions Clerk.
1020. Physical Plant Clerk
1021. Powers and Duties:
-To see to it that the physical plant of the school including the building, grounds, fixtures and furnishings are maintained and in satisfactory appearance.
-To supervise improvements of the physical plant.
-To issue such regulations as necessary governing use of the physical plant for the purpose of protecting the integrity of the physical plant and the safety of all persons who come to the school.
1040. Law Clerk
Powers and Duties:
-To maintain the School’s Lawbook.
– To read and report to meetings about what specific laws apply in given circumstances.
1050. Mail Clerk
1051. Powers and Duties:
-To get the school’s mail once a day from our mailbox and take the occasional trip to the post office.
1060. Office Clerk
1061. Powers and Duties:
-To maintain and purchase office supplies.
-To see that all communication with the school are properly handled.
-To maintain the school’s files in good order.
1070. Supplies Clerk
1071. Powers and Duties:
-To keep track of what supplies need replacing.
-To refill supplies as necessary. This includes, but is not limited to, tissues, toilet paper, soap, eating supplies.
-To be responsible for purchasing supplies for the school. This includes, but is not limited to, cleaning, office and medical supplies.
1080. Attendance Clerk
1081. Powers and Duties:
-To be responsible for keeping the official records of the attendance of all students.
1100. Judicial Clerk
1101. Powers and Duties
-To run Judicial Committee and Re-admittance Committee meetings, and to be in charge of making sure these meetings run smoothly.
-To keep track that all JC sentences are carried out.
-To take the necessary actions to make sure the judicial processes of the school are justly carried out.
-To prepare a list in alphabetical order of all students and staff to serve on JC on a
monthly rotation basis.
1110. Town Crier Clerk
1111. Powers and Duties
-Includes but is not limited to reading the agenda before the meeting, announcing clean-up, meetings, leaving for trips, or any information that needs to be disseminated to the Longview Community in attendance.
-If we’re talking about a new rule at School Meeting, Town Crier will blink lights to announce this.
-In the days after a new rule is passed, Town Crier will announce the new rule. (until all children have been in attendance to hear the new rule.
1120. Chores Clerk
1121. Powers and Duties
– Make a chart with the list of jobs that she/he will leave for people to choose what they want to do.
– People should volunteer for alternate for starred jobs, but if no one volunteers for the starred job, the chores clerk should assign someone who does not have a starred job.
-Will check people off as their jobs are completed thoroughly.
– Filling in for chores – When there is a starred job with no one to do it, that must be completed by someone with an unstarred job in addition to their regular job , as assigned by the chores clerk or staff if the chores clerk is not there.
1123. In the case of a vote for chores clerk the candidates will be voted for in pairs.
1130. Fire Safety Clerk
1131. Powers and Duties
-To help train people what to do in a fire drill.
-To help Mark set up an actual place to go when you go outside for a fire drill.
1150. Calendar Clerk
1151. Powers and Duties
-Adjust the daily calendar.
-Reset the monthly calendars.
1160. Birthday Clerk
1161. Powers and Duties
-A person who keeps track of when birthdays come up so we can bake cupcakes or something and have a little party for them.
1170. Consequence Clerk
1171. Powers and Duties
-The consequence clerk will remind people to do their consequences.
-Also, it is people’s responsibility to tell the Consequence Clerk when they complete their consequence. The clerk will then put down the date this was completed on the sheet.