STUDENT DISCIPLINE: MESSING WITH MASKS
One aspect of the DOE guidance mandating that students wear face coverings at all times, except for certain limited circumstances, that has gotten less attention is the potential need to address situations in which one student interferes with another student’s ability to wear a face covering.
For example, Student A could remove or try to remove Student B’s face covering without their consent, or Student C could intentionally damage or hide Student D’s face covering. Aside from the health and safety risks involved, these situations could also impact upon student discipline.
Such conduct will fall under current discipline numbers depending on the severity:
- #6 general misconduct (interference with the education of another student/disruptive behavior)
- #10 Inappropriate contact (messing with someone’s mask, trying to remove, hide, etc)
- #12 Reckless endangerment (removal of masks, unsafe behavior)
- #18 theft or vandalism of another student’s private property
- #16b HIB (continual abuse or messing with someone's mask for a discriminatory reason)
- #29 School uniform violation (use of inappropriate masks, no political statements, language, skulls, etc)
Situations will fall under the existing code of conduct where applicable. Progressive discipline sanctions could include out-of-school suspensions (keeping in mind that home instruction shall be provided within five school days of the suspension); an involuntary transfer to remote instruction consistent with district’s remote instruction policy; and perhaps even expulsion for egregious* or repeated offenses.