School board approves changes to dress code, student code of conduct
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove Independent School District Board of Trustees approved changes to the CCISD student code of conduct and received the proposed budget for the 2017-2018 school year at its monthly meeting held Tuesday evening.
The board approved changes to the Student Code of Conduct to include changes from the 85th
State Legislative Session, adding cyberbullying to the list of items over which districts will have disciplinary authority; to the mistreatment of others list; added information to the Misuse of Technology Resources and the Internet to cover cyberbullying off campus as per SB 179; added cyberbullying to the list of misconducts where an ARD must occur before disciplinary consequences are issued for students with disabilities; and added “engaging in bullying that encourages suicide, inciting violence through group bullying, and releasing or threatening to release intimate visual materials” to the list of expellable offenses.
The board also added or changed the definition of the following in the glossary: Breach of Computer Security, Bullying, Cyberbullying, Improvised Explosive Device, Indecent Exposure, Intimate Visual Material, Location Restricted Knife, Look Alike Weapons, Prohibited Weapons, Public Lewdness, and Title 5 Felonies.
These changes are a direct result of legislation passed during the 85th Texas Legislative Session, according to CCISD superintendent Joe Burns.
The Legislature redefined bullying to be a single significant act or a pattern of acts whereas previously the district had to show a pattern or that the behavior was pervasive enough that it created an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment, according to the student handbook.
Also included in changes to the student handbook were dress code changes for junior high and high school students. For junior high, the dress code allows frayed jeans but removed leggings, jeggings and workout pants as being allowable under a skirt, blouse or top. It also added that all tattoos must be covered. The high school dress code allows tank tops with straps that are the width of a campus ID as being acceptable, but removed the requirement for the base layer shirt to be at least fingertip length when wearing leggings; removed the clause regarding tops meeting the beltline “when seated”; added shorts to the list of apparel that must fit at the waist; and added that leggings, jeggings, or workout pants may be worn with a skirt, blouse or top garment that meets or exceeds the tips of the finger when arms are fully extended. The dress code also now states that the face must remain visible under the hair policy and that tails and ears are considered costumes and are not allowed.
The 2017-2018 budget, included in the report items on the agenda, shows $71,890,339 in revenue from a combination of state funding, local revenue, Federal funds and in TRS in-kind funds. The budget has an estimated ending fund balance of $64,843,255 for general operating funds.
Included in the report is also the proposed tax rate of $1.22 per $100 valuation, which is unchanged from previous, with $1.04 per $100 for maintenance and operations and $0.18 per $100 for the district’s debt service. There will be a public presentation of the district’s budget August 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Administration Building on W. Ave D explaining the budget in more detail.
The board also approved the election order for the November 7 election of three school board members- Place 5, an unexpired term currently occupied by Bob Weiss; Place 6, currently occupied by Jim Copeland; and Place 7, currently occupied by Karen Harrison. The election will be conducted under a joint contract with the city of Copperas Cove and Coryell County (and CCISD and Bell County), which the board also approved at Tuesday’s meeting for a cost of $5,098 for Coryell County and $300 for Bell County.
The board recognized Cpt. Armando L. Diaz, Commander of Headquarters Company, 62nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, for his support of the Ranger Reading Camp held in July. They also recognized community partners who contributed to CCISD’s new teacher orientation including Bush’s Chicken, the Copperas Cove Public Education Foundation, Chick-fil-A, Jersey Mike’s, Educator’s Credit Union and Girl Scout Troop #6120.
The Campus Communications Liaisons for the 2016-2017 school year were also recognized with the Newsmaker Award. According to CCISD public information officer Wendy Sledd, the district was featured in 2,189 articles in the newspapers- not including sports coverage- during the 2016-2017 school year, something she attributed to the different liaisons.