New School Policy to Hold Students Responsible Over Summer

The Dedham School Committee will vote Wednesday on a policy that will extend its violence, drug and alcohol policy to year-round.


Students who violate the Dedham Public Schools' rules on violence, drugs and alcohol during the summer could receive suspension from school activities the following school year, if the Dedham School Committee approves the new policy Wednesday evening.

Currently, the school district only holds students responsible to these rules during school months.

Offenses could include anything from drug and alcohol use to bullying and other violent offenses, according to a document posted on the school district's website Tuesday morning.

The year-round policy will require cooperation to alert the district when a student is involved in an incident.

"In order to achieve the goal of a safe, drug‐free community, the cooperation of the community and coordination of its resources is essential," the policy states.

School Committee members who revamped the policy aimed to clarify procedures of due process and close gaps in the policy, said committee member Mayanne Briggs.

"It's about what will happen and is much more clear to parents and students about what is expected," Briggs said.

The Dedham School Committee will vote on the policy at its meeting on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at .

The policy includes the district's , and the committe has plans to review it every couple years, Briggs said.

A copy of the proposed policy has been attached to this article.

Elizabeth A. Doris-Gustin March 21, 2012 at 05:48 PM
This is a huge over-reach on the part of the Dedham School Committee. In reading the "policy" it appears that the Dedham police and schools will be the judge and jurors when any Dedham student appears to be detained due to or found in the presence of drugs or alcohol. Where is the due process? Why are the courts not rulling first? Where is the privacy of the juvenile Courts? Furthermore, if the offense does not occur on Dedham School property the school department should not be involved at all.
steve March 21, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Huge over-reach what my children do on vacation is no business of the school. Anything that happens I will correct not the school when its not even on school grounds or during school. I will fight every aspect of this rule if that means the court system then so be it. Just remember you are just a school committee not the law so stop thinking you are important and let the people who are capable of making these decisions make them ie courts and parents. Let parents vote on it
karen March 22, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Too much power for the school committee. Let the parents handle it
BC March 23, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Huge overreach with major implications of privacy & due process. So wasn’t there a party earlier this year and kids were caught off school grounds, names were given to the school by the police, but not all kids initially received punishment until a parent said something (why is my child being punished and XYZ isn’t). Then some student athletes had to miss games and some lost their ‘captain’ status…. Parents went nuts and then those “captains” were reinstated…..all this off school grounds. I say if this policy passes apply it to all discipline cases that happened this year and let the kids sit out graduation. See how parents respond then
Eileen Kelly April 16, 2012 at 12:14 PM
I am pretty darn sure that this is illegal. BC's comments about what happened recently and how police and school officials cherry picked who was to be punished is just one more reason why I will not allow the school to raise my children. I dole out the punishment not June Doe or the School Committee.
Avon Barksdale April 16, 2012 at 03:06 PM
You're sure that it's illegal? Which part? Based on what precedent?
Eileen Kelly April 16, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Minors records are not public.
Avon Barksdale April 16, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Dozens of schools have information-sharing MOUs with local police. Most have a clause like this one from Needham: "In the event that a student under the age of 17 is arrested or an application for delinquency complaint is filed against him/her, the information may be shared with school officials subject to applicable statutes and regulations governing confidentiality." My impression is that they can share basic information such as name of the student, nature of charged offense, date of offense, etc. but they cannot share evidence obtained in the course of a criminal investigation or provide direct access to the case file. I also believe that this is a special provision for that was implemented post-Columbine to facilitate intergovernmental information sharing ... so it's not like you or I can walk up to the police station and demand juvenile crime info. Just appropriate school officials.
Edna April 18, 2012 at 11:13 AM
The Dedham MOU also has schools learning when students are the victims of crimes. No privacy or confidentiality. Very troubling.


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