Plano ISD approved a number of revisions to the student code of conduct for the 2019-20 school year at a board meeting Oct. 1. Four of these revisions were made to comply with new state legislation from both the Texas Senate and House.
One law-related change is the addition of specific language that prohibits adverse discipline tactics. The district’s previously outlined discipline practices were not in conflict with the new law, according to a statement by PISD spokesperson Lesley Range-Stanton.
Adverse discipline is defined by House Bill 3630 as a technique or intervention that is intended to reduce reoccurring behaviors by inflicting significant physical or emotional discomfort or pain. Some examples of adverse techniques include ridiculing or demeaning students in a way that affects or endangers student learning or mental health, using restraints to cause pain, releasing unpleasant spray or mist, and using immobilizing devices.
The law had previously required cooling-off time for students receiving special education services. Cooling-off or “time out” periods, is now required to include all students. PISD added more specific “time out” language to the code, which the district had been practicing prior to the law, according to Range-Stanton.
Other law-related revisions include the consideration of homelessness or foster care in campus decisions and the collaboration of campus behavior coordinators and campus safety and security. Both of these were already in practice at PISD, according to Range-Stanton.
The district also updated its existing language that prohibits corporal punishment, although corporal punishment is still allowable by law, Range-Stanton said. Other clarifying, but not policy-changing, adjustments to the student code of conduct can be found in the recommended revisions document.
These revisions were approved unanimously as part of the consent agenda.