Download This Version in Microsoft Word format
TO ESTABLISH A PROCEDURE FOR DISCIPLINING A STUDENT IN A CHARTER SCHOOL IN A CHARLESTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT; TO PROVIDE THAT THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF A CHARTER SCHOOL MAY REFUSE ADMISSION TO A STUDENT WHO HAS BEEN SUSPENDED OR EXPELLED; TO PROVIDE THAT A CONVERTED CHARTER SCHOOL THAT UTILIZES THE EXISTING BUILDINGS IS NOT REQUIRED TO PAY FOR THE USE OF THE EXISTING BUILDINGS OR PREMISES AND TO PROVIDE FOR AN APPEAL OF A DECISION OR DISPUTE REGARDING THE USE OF THE EXISTING BUILDINGS OR PREMISES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. (A)(1) The board of directors of a charter school in a Charleston County school district may authorize or order the expulsion, suspension, or transfer of a student for the commission of a crime, gross immorality, gross misbehavior, persistent disobedience, or for violation of adopted rules and promulgated regulations established by the board of directors of the charter school, the county board, or the State Board of Education, or when the presence of the student is detrimental to the best interest of the school. An expelled student may petition for readmission for the next school year. Expulsion or suspension prohibits a student from attending day or night school functions, riding a school bus, or entering the school or school grounds, except for a prearranged conference with an administrator. This subsection does preclude enrollment and attendance in an adult or night school.
(2) If a procedure for expulsion is initiated, the parent or legal guardian of the student must be notified in writing of the time and the place of a hearing before the board or the board's designated person or committee. At the hearing the parent or legal guardian has the right to legal counsel and to other reasonable legal rights, including the right to question witnesses. If the hearing is held by an authority other than the board of directors of the charter school, the right to appeal the decision to the board is reserved to either party. The hearing must take place within fifteen days of the written notification at a time and place designated by the board and a decision rendered within ten days of the hearing. The student may be suspended from school and school activities during the time of the expulsion procedures. The action of the board may be appealed to the proper court. The board permanently may expel an incorrigible student.
(3) The board or a designated administrator may transfer a student to another school instead of suspension or expulsion only after a conference or hearing with the parent or legal guardian. The parent or legal guardian may appeal to the board a transfer made by an administrator.
(4) The board of directors of the charter school shall expel for at least one year a student who brings a firearm to a school or another site under the jurisdiction of a local board of trustees or board of directors. The expulsion must follow the procedures established pursuant to this subsection. The one-year expulsion is subject to modification by the district superintendent of education on a case-by-case basis. A student expelled pursuant to this item may receive educational services in an alternative setting. The board of directors of a charter school shall establish a policy requiring a student so expelled to be referred to the Charleston County office of the Department of Juvenile Justice or its representative.
(5) The board of directors of a charter school may not authorize or order the expulsion, suspension, or transfer of a student for a violation of Section 59-150-250(B) of the 1976 Code.
(B)(1) In determining if a student meets the standards of conduct and behavior promulgated by the board of directors of the charter school necessary for first-time enrollment and attendance in a charter school, the board shall consider nonschool records, the student's disciplinary records in a school in which the student was enrolled previously as these records relate to the adjudication of delinquency in a jurisdiction, within or without Charleston County and this State, of violations or activities which constitute violent crimes pursuant to Section 16-1-60 of the 1976 Code, and adjudications for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, the unlawful use or possession of weapons, or the unlawful sale of drugs, whether or not considered to be drug trafficking. Based on this consideration of the student's record, the board may bar his enrollment in the charter school.
(2) If the board bars a student from enrolling pursuant to this subsection, the board shall provide notice to the student's parent or legal guardian, and the student is entitled to a hearing and other procedural rights afforded pursuant to state law to a student subject to expulsion.
(3) The bar to enrollment allowed by this subsection applies for a maximum of one year. After the bar is lifted, a student may reapply for enrollment, and the board shall order the student enrolled if he otherwise meets enrollment criteria.
(C)(1) The board of directors of a charter school in a Charleston County school district may confer upon an administrator the authority to suspend a student from a teacher's class or from the school for not more than ten days for an offense and for not more than thirty days in a school year. The board shall approve the administrative suspension of a student from school during the last ten days of a year if the suspension makes the student ineligible to receive credit for the school year, unless the presence of the student constitutes an actual threat to a class or a school or a hearing is granted within twenty-four hours of the suspension.
(2) If a student is suspended from a class or a school, the administrator shall notify his parent or legal guardian in writing, giving the reason for the suspension and setting a time and place that the administrator is available for a conference with the parent or legal guardian. The conference must be set within three days of the date of the suspension. After the conference, the parent or legal guardian may appeal the suspension to the board of directors of the charter school or to its authorized agent.
(D) The board of directors of the charter school may provide corporal punishment it considers just and proper for a student.
(E) The board of directors of a charter school may regulate, control, or prohibit clubs or other activities on school property or during school hours.
(F)(1) For purposes of this subsection:
(a) "Student" means a person enrolled in a charter school.
(b) "Superior student" means a person who has attended the charter school longer than another person or who has an official position giving authority over another student.
(c) "Subordinate student" means a person who attends a charter school and is not a "superior student" as defined in subitem (b).
(d) "Hazing" means the wrongful striking, laying open hand upon, threatening with violence, or offering to do bodily harm by a superior student to a subordinate student with the intent to punish or injure the subordinate student, or other unauthorized treatment by the superior student of a subordinate student of a tyrannical, abusive, shameful, insulting, or humiliating nature.
(2) Hazing at a charter school in a Charleston County school district is prohibited. If an investigation discloses substantial evidence that a student has committed an act of hazing, the student must be dismissed, expelled, suspended, or punished as the principal considers appropriate.
(3) The provisions of this section are in addition to the provisions of Article 6, Chapter 3, Title 16 of the 1976 Code.
(G)(1)The board of directors of a charter school in a Charleston County school district shall adopt rules that address student possession of a paging device. This rule must be included in the school's written conduct standards. If the rule includes confiscation of the paging device, it must provide for the return of the device to the owner.
(2) For purposes of this subsection, "paging device" means a telecommunications device, to include a mobile telephone that emits an audible signal, vibrates, displays a message, or otherwise summons or delivers a communication to the possessor, as defined in Section 59-63-280(A) of the 1976 Code.
SECTION 2. If a charter school in a Charleston County school district suspends or expels a student, the board of directors of the charter school may refuse admission to the student.
SECTION 3. (A) For purposes of this section, "facilities" means the building or buildings and premises used by a public school before it converts to a charter school pursuant to Section 59-40-100 of the 1976 Code.
(B) An existing public school in a Charleston County school district that converts into a charter school pursuant to Section 59-40-100 of the 1976 Code may continue to utilize the facilities used before its charter conversion without a requirement by the school district that the converted charter school lease or purchase the facilities. An existing public school that converts into a charter school pursuant to Section 59-40-100 of the 1976 Code must not be required by the school district, as a consideration of its right to continue to use the facilities, to pay rent, a purchase price, or other compensation for the facilities it used before its charter conversion. A converted charter school in a Charleston County school district is exempt from the payment of rent or other compensation to the school district for the use of the facilities.
(C) A decision or dispute regarding the use by a converted public school of the facilities it used before its charter conversion may be appealed to the state board pursuant to Section 59-40-90 of the 1976 Code.
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
This web page was last updated on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 2:25 P.M.