CPS Proposes Revisions to Student Code of Conduct

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Chicago Public Schools proposed progressive revisions to its Student Code of Conduct (SCC) to build on the district’s restorative approach to discipline, promote equitable practices, and ensure all students have access to safe and supportive learning environments. These improvements will adjust suspension practices to further address racial disparities, protect students from bullying or harassment based on immigration status, and formalize the role of the new Office of Student Protections and Title IX in addressing student-on-student sexual harassment, bullying, assault, and abuse.

Proposed Changes to the SCC Include:

Helping Address Racial Disparities in Suspension Practices
In order to increase clarity of documentation and reduce racial disproportionality in out-of-school suspension practices, the district is proposing network-level approval for violations that fall under “catch-all codes” (Sections 3-6 and 4-9 that both refer to “any behavior not otherwise listed”) to ensure that the use of suspensions is appropriate, equitable, and employed as a last resort. While these codes are intended for rare instances to account for infractions that do not squarely fit into other categories, the district is proposing network approval because approximately 1 out of every 4 out-of-school suspensions in the district were issued using SCC Section 4-9, resulting in inequitable and inconsistent disciplinary practices. 

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Incorporating the Student Support Role of the Office of Student Protections and Title IX 
Designed to help safeguard and advocate for students, the newly created Office of Student Protections and Title IX (OSP) will provide direct support and assistance to schools in responding to allegations of student-on-student sexual harassment, assault, abuse, and bullying. The district is proposing updated SCC language to provide clear guidance on OSP’s critical role coordinating the response and supports for all sexual harassment, abuse, or bullying incidents where students are potential victims.  

Strengthening Anti-Bullying Policies and Safeguarding Against Discrimination
Every CPS student, regardless of their background, deserves to have a safe and supportive learning environment free from bullying and harassment. The district’s proposed revisions strengthen anti-bullying policies by providing schools with a step-by-step protocol and guidance for responding to allegations of bullying, which includes the role of OSP. The policy updates also codify the district’s values and current practices by explicitly adding prejudice and bias as a form of bullying, and explicitly adding immigration status as a protected student group, in addition to the following groups that are already included: race, color, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, gender identity, gender expression and disability.

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