Code Of Conduct

  • While the Falmouth Public Schools is committed to this proactive approach, whenever concerns about student conduct arise, school administrators will aim to respond restoratively. When further action is warranted, school administrators will respond as outlined in the following section and within the allowable boundaries of the framework of federal and state law.

Classroom Discipline

  • At the beginning of each school year (and again with the start of new courses/classes throughout the year), teachers will give classroom management plans to families and students. Students are expected to follow the classroom expectations of each of their teachers. In an effort to build positive and supportive relationships with all students, teachers are the first to engage students in conversation about their choices, behaviors, and results of their actions. A teacher referral for administrative support will build off of the teacher’s efforts. An administrator will intervene to support the teacher's efforts to maintain a positive and safe learning environment. 

Sportsmanship Code

  • We welcome all visiting teams as our guests. We will accept all decisions of the officials. We do not utter abusive or irritating remarks or attempt to distract an opposing player. We applaud opponents who make good plays or show good sportsmanship. We strive to win fairly without excuses. We ask that all players and fans help us live up to this code. Students participating in athletics will be expected to:

    1. Exhibit respect for himself/herself, their family, school teachers, community, opponents, and all persons connected with the activity.

    2. Display upright conduct and the spirit of fair play at all times.

    3. Develop self-control, self-direction, and sound judgment.

    4. Refrain from and discourage abusive language and actions at all times.

    5. Win with glory, and if necessary, lose without bitterness.

    6. Play hard to win, but with respect for the rules of the game.

    7. Convince others by example that athletics really promote the physical, mental, social and moral welfare of all concerned.

Corridor Behavior

  • Students must use reasonable caution and common sense when passing from class to class. Running is not allowed in the building, since it could cause injury in the event of a collision with another student. In addition, students should:

    1. Use the most direct route in order to avoid being late to class.

    2. Keep corridors open to traffic by walking to the right. Do not block traffic by standing in groups.

    3. Pass through corridors quietly. Be considerate of others in the halls and classrooms.

    4. Discard trash in the containers provided. Keep the school clean by picking up paper from the floors.

    5. Leave the school building within 15 minutes after dismissal unless under the supervision of a teacher.

    6. Immature behavior such as yelling, hooting, and whistling is not conducive to a sound learning environment and is not allowed.

Display of Affection

  • While the teaching of socialization skills is one of the objectives of our high school, students should also recognize that their behavior reflects upon themselves and their family. Students are required to conduct themselves properly. Public displays of affection constitute improper behavior for the teaching/learning environment and general school atmosphere, and will therefore not be tolerated.

Summary of Infractions and Responses

  • The following table outlines infractions across four levels as well as possible interventions and consequences:


    Level 1 - Infractions Level 2 - Infractions Level 3 - Infractions Level 4 - Infractions
    • Disruptive Classroom Behavior
    • Inappropriate use of electronic devices
    • Excessive tardiness to class
    • Minor insubordination/non- compliance
    • Misuse of pass
    • Class cut (first instance=automatic teacher detention)
    • Class cut (2 or more times, same class)
    • Failure to sign into school
    • Forged note or phone call
    • Illegal parking/parking violation
    • Loitering
    • Tardiness to school (8 times)
    • Skipping teacher detention
    • In unauthorized area without permission
    • Violation of cafeteria rules
    • Dress code violation
    • Failure to identify oneself
    • Skipping administrative detention
    • Defiance/Insubordination
    • Major Insubordination
    • Profane, Vulgar, Obscene Behavior
    • Repeated Violations of the code of conduct
    • Gambling
    • Failure to cooperate during a school emergency
    • Smoking in or out of the building
    • Possession of tobacco/smoking devices
    • Leaving school grounds without permission
    • Inappropriate use of school technology
    • Intimidation, threats, harassment, violation of civil rights, bullying
    • Sexual Harassment
    • Hazing
    • Hate Crime
    • Assault/Fighting
    • Disruption of school environment (fire alarms, etc.)
    • Habitual School Offender
    • Violation of Safety
    • Weapons Violation
    • Possession of fireworks
    • Arson
    • Alcohol/drugs policy violation
    • Knowingly in the presence of drugs
    • Knowingly in the presence of alcohol
    • Vandalism
    • Theft of school or student property
    • Felony/Felony Delinquency
    • Other criminal act


    Level 1 - Interventions Level 2 - Interventions Level 3 - Interventions Level 4 - Interventions

    First Incident:

    • Teacher Conference
    • Parent/Guardian Contact/Conference

    Second Incident:

    • Administrative Conference
    • Referral to Guidance/Adjustment Counselor

    Third Incident:

    • Instructional Support Team (IST) Referral
    • Behavior Plan

    Fourth Incident:

    Moves to LEVEL 2, Second Incident

    First Incident:

    • Teacher Conference
    • Parent/Guardian Contact/Conference

    Second Incident:

    • Referral to Guidance/Adjustment Counselor
    • Instructional Support Team (IST) Referral

    Third Incident:

    Suspension, 1-5 days

    Fourth Incident: 

    Moves to LEVEL 3, Second Incident

    First Incident:

    • Educational Component/Assessment
    • Admin Conference
    • Parent/Guardian Notification/Conference

    Second Incident:

    In-school conference with parent/guardian, administration

    Third Incident:

    School Resource Officer (SRO) Consultation

    Fourth Incident:

    Moves to LEVEL 4

    First Incident:

    • Educational Component/Assessment
    • In-school conference with parent/guardian
    • Referral for treatment/counseling


    Level 1 - Consequences Level 2 - Consequences Level 3 - Consequences Level 4 - Consequences

    First Incident:

    • Lunch Detention
    • Teacher Detention


    Second Incident:

    Administrative Detention (If Teacher Detention Previously Issued)


    Third Incident:

    Administrative Detentions


    Fourth Incident:

    Moves to LEVEL 2, Second Incident

    First Incident:

    • Lunch Detention
    • Administrative Detention
    • Transition


    Second Incident:

    • Behavior Plan
    • Loss of Privileges
    • Administrative Detentions
    • In school conference with parent/guardian
    • In-school Suspension, 1-3 days


    Fourth Incident: 

    Moves to LEVEL 3, Second Incident

    First Incident:

    • Group II Report
    • Behavior Plan
    • Loss of Privileges
    • Transition
    • Suspension, 1-3 Days


    Second Incident:

    Suspension, 3-10 Days


    Third Incident:

    • School Resource Officer (SRO) Involvement
    • Suspension, 5-10 Days


    Fourth Incident:

    Moves to LEVEL 4

    First Incident:

    • Group II Report
    • School Resource Officer (SRO) Involvement
    • Court Involvement
    • Transition
    • Short-Term Suspension (Up to 10 days)
    • Long-Term Suspension (10+ days)
    • Expulsion


    Zero on the assignment in question. First Incident = Warning and education on academic integrity; Second Incident=Notification of Honors Societies

Teacher Detention/Office Detention

  • When a teacher assigns a teacher detention, students are required to stay with the teacher until 3:30 pm. The teacher will assign the date of the detention. The teacher will call the parent/guardian to notify them if the student fails to attend the teacher detention. The teacher will need to seek the assistance of guidance and/or the assistant principal if they are having difficulty in communicating with the parent/guardian. The teacher will then write a referral to the administration indicating that the student has cut their detention. The administrator will discuss the issue with the student and if no legitimate reason is given, the student will receive an administrative detention on the next available Wednesday or Thursday from 2:10 to 4:10 pm. If the student fails to attend this detention, they will be assigned to In-School Suspension. Late bus departs at 4:15 pm.

    Detention Rules

    Detention begins seven (7) minutes after dismissal. There is no entrance after this time without authorization from the assistant principal. Students entering detention late without authorization may be suspended. All school rules apply, which include no cards, no games, no tobacco. Students are allowed to use electronic devices for educational purposes only during detention. All students must be seated at individual tables (if possible) and may not go to lockers during the detentions. Students are expected to do their schoolwork quietly. No food or drinks are permitted. Students who are asked to leave due to their behavior will be suspended. The detention list will be given to the assistant principals’ office and the athletic director and should be posted for all coaches to check.

  • Assault and Battery/Bodily Harm

    • Assaults/fights: causes or attempts to cause physical injury or harm to another person, or intentionally acts in a manner that could reasonably place another person in danger of physical damage or harm. (See also MGL c. 71 § 37H.)

    • Food fight: throws food or other objects in the school cafeteria and/or creates a disruptive environment.

    • Throwing objects (including snowballs): throws an object out of school windows or on school grounds, throws inappropriate objects on the school grounds.

    Possession of Firearms, Dangerous Weapons, Dangerous Objects

    • Weapons: possesses, uses, handles, sells or transmits any firearms or other weapons on school property or at any school activities. (See also MGL c. 71 § 37H.)

    • Firearms: Firearms of any sort are not allowed on school grounds. The definition of firearms includes any pistol, revolver, rifle, or smoothbore arm from which a shot, bullet, or pellet can be discharged by whatever means. (See also MGL c. 269 § 10.) 

    • Fireworks: possesses, uses, or causes to explode any fireworks or chemical. (See also MGL c. 148 § 39.) 

    Controlled Substances, Alcohol, Tobacco

    • Alcohol or Drugs: Knowingly possesses, uses, sells, transports or attends school under the influence of drugs or other related controlled substances. Included as a prohibited practice in this policy is possession of drug paraphernalia, including but not limited to pipes, roach clips, rolling papers, etc. (See also MGL c. 71 § 37H.)

      Use by a student of a drug authorized by a medical prescription from a registered physician in accordance with the instruction for use as prescribed shall not be considered a violation. Being in the “knowing presence” where alcohol or drugs are being consumed, under the influence of alcohol, transporting, distributing, and/or selling is punishable as a major offense. It is required that a student remove themselves from areas or situations where drugs or alcohol are present or in use. The student’s condition will be assessed by the school administrative personnel at the time of the incident and is contestable only at that point in time.

      Students suspended for alcohol or drug offenses will not be permitted to attend any school functions and/or activities for the remainder of the year. Students may appeal this portion of the suspension consequence to the Principal no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the event. The determination of the Principal is final.

      NOTE — MIAA: Drug and alcohol violations under the rules of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association may result in lengthy or permanent exclusion from athletic participation.

    • Smoking/Tobacco/Nicotine Use: Possession and/or use of any of the following is prohibited on school grounds and/or at school-sponsored events:

      Controlled substances, illegal drugs, tobacco/nicotine, alcohol, and any and all related products and/or paraphernalia, including but not limited to alcohol in any form including alcohol in food and/or candy products, any controlled substance or drug not prescribed by a physician for a student, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, bongs, lighters, chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes, vape pens, Juuls, Suorins, vaporizers, hookah pens, drip tips, dabs, dab pens, wax pens, vape pods, vape chargers, vape batteries, vape extractors, vape cartridges, vape atomizers, vape cartomizers, vape clearomizers, vape tank systems, marijuana, rolling papers, pipes, clips, marijuana/cannabis oil, hash oil, hemp oil, THC oil, CBD oil, edibles, chemicals, drips, e-juice, e-oils, e-juice and e-oil containers, vials and bottles, and anything with trace controlled substance, illegal drug, tobacco/nicotine, and/or alcohol residue.

    Felony or Felony Delinquency Charges

    Student has been charged with a felony (or with a felony delinquency for a student under 18); and the Principal, determines and states in writing that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. This offense may result in a suspension pending adjudication of charges. The student may appeal such a decision to the Superintendent. (MGL c 71 § 37H1/2).

    Student has been convicted of a felony (or upon an adjudication or admission in court of guilt for a felony or felony delinquency); and the Principal determines and states in writing that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. This offense may result in expulsion. The student may appeal such a decision to the Superintendent. (MGL c 71 § 37H1/2).

    Falmouth High School cooperates fully with law enforcement agencies regarding felony or other criminal investigations.

    Harassment and/or Violation of Civil Rights

    • Intimidation:- presents any form of behavior that interferes with another person’s sense of safety, dignity, comfort, or productivity in the school environment, such as:
      1. name-calling (verbal/written), teasing, mimicking, slurs, or other derogatory remarks;
      2. offensive graffiti, symbols, posters, pictures, cartoons/caricatures notes, book covers, or designs on clothing
      3. phone calls, e-mails, text messaging, and/or instant messages;
      4. touching of a person or a person’s clothing;
      5. words, pranks, or actions which provoke feelings of embarrassment, hurt, or humiliation;
      6. stalking;
      7. discrimination

    • Threats: suggests verbally and/or physically an intent to harm another person.

    • Harassment: engages in behavior, unwelcome by the recipient, which threatens a person and impairs the learning process, impinging upon the safe climate of the school. Harassing behaviors include, but are not limited to, behaviors that relate to a person’s: gender, race, color, ethnicity/national origin, religion, age, handicap/disability, sexual orientation, physical appearance, physical /mental capacity. (Please see more specific information on the Falmouth High School policy on harassment and discrimination in this handbook.)

    • Hate Crime: commits any criminal act coupled with overt actions motivated by bigotry and bias including, but not limited to, a threatened, attempted, or completed overt act motivated at least in part, by racial, religious, ethnic, handicap or sexual orientation prejudice, or which otherwise deprives another person of their constitutional rights by threats, intimidation or coercion, or which seeks to interfere with or disrupt a person’s exercise of constitutional rights through harassment or intimidation.

    • Hazing: willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Hazing carries possible penalties as described below. The following sections from the Massachusetts General Laws concern the crime of hazing: MGL c. 269 § 17, 18 & 19.

    Penalties will range in nature from parent/guardian conferences up to, and including, exclusion. All hazing allegations will be reported to the police.

    Disruption to the School Environment

    • Responsible Use of Technology: Students may not photograph or record teachers, students, administrators, or other school staff without their written permission, post images of staff or classroom activities on the Internet or any other form of electronic communication, including social networking postings, without written permission. Students may not use any form of electronic communication to harass, intimidate or threaten Falmouth High School students or staff.

      Any student who engages in such inappropriate communication causing a member of the school community to feel harassed, intimidated or threatened, or who substantially disrupts the educational mission of the Falmouth Public Schools shall be subject to the following disciplinary consequences depending upon the severity of the misconduct:
      1. Removal from class or classes
      2. Detention
      3. Suspension
      4. Community Service
      5. Long-term suspension (beyond 10 days)

    • Bomb Scares: Calls in a false bomb report. This action is a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for up to twenty years and by a fine of up to ten thousand dollars (MGL c. 269 § 14A). Persons making such report will be suspended and referred to police.

    • Failure to Identify, Defiance of Authority, Insubordination: Refuses to comply with lawful orders of administrators, teachers or other authorized school personnel while properly under their authority or supervision; refuses to identify oneself or gives a false name or identity when asked by any faculty/staff member. 

    • Fire Alarms: pulls a fire alarm when no fire or other emergency exists. Massachusetts Law provides for imprisonment in a jail or House of Correction for up to one year, or for a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) for anyone who causes to be made a false alarm of fire (MGL. c. 269 §13). Anyone apprehended making a false alarm on school property will be suspended and referred to the authorities for court action.

    • Gambling: gambles and/or sells or distributes gaming cards, football cards, and other gambling materials. All gambling is prohibited on school grounds or at school functions.

    • Leaving School Building Without Permission: leaves the school grounds before the end of the school day without written permission from the Assistant Principal or Principal.

    • Present in an Unauthorized Area: is physically present in an area that is off limits to students.

    • Profanity, Vulgar Language, Obscene Behavior: uses profanity, vulgarity, obscene behavior or obscenities directed at another student or member of the staff upon school premises or at school related events.

    • Failure to Cooperate During a School Emergency: does not conform to established rules regarding leaving the school building or remaining in an assigned location during any emergency or drill for such emergency.

    Repeated Violations of the Code of Conduct

    Repeatedly commits one or more of the offenses described in Sections 1 through 7 above. Consequences for repeated and flagrant violations of the Code of Conduct may result in long-term suspension but not until all other consequences and remedial strategies have been attempted. These consequences and strategies may include, but are not limited to, verbal or written warnings, counseling, parent/guardian conferences, restitution, and restrictions from school activities, behavior contracts, weekly progress/ behavior reports, peer mediation, detention, late detention, and short-term suspension. (See also MGL c. 71, 37H3/4.)

    Notwithstanding the above, the Principal may suspend or expel a student from school, under the provisions Massachusetts General Laws for the following offenses when they occur on school premises, at a school-sponsored or school-related event:

    Procedures for Short-Term Suspension by the Principal or Designee 

    The Principal or Assistant Principals may suspend students for periods of ten days or less, to be served in and/or out of school. When a student is suspended, the following procedures will be followed:

    • Except where the student’s presence endangers persons or property or threatens disruption to the academic process, no student will be suspended prior to having a meeting before an Assistant Principal and/or Principal. At this meeting, the student will be informed of the reason(s) for the proposed suspension, and will be given an opportunity to respond. In an emergency situation that requires the immediate removal of a student, the meeting will be held as soon after the suspension as possible.

    • The Principal or an Assistant Principal will make an effort to notify the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) about the suspension.

    • The Principal or Assistant Principal will send a letter to the parent(s) /guardian(s) confirming the suspension. This notification shall contain:
      1. the number of days of suspension;
      2. the re-admittance date;
      3. the reason(s) for suspension as provided in the Code of Conduct;
      4. a request for the readmission conference, held prior to the student’s return to school, the nature of which will be at the administrator’s discretion (e.g., phone conference, in person meeting, etc.).
    • See also MGL c.71 §37H , 37H1/2 , 37H3/4.

    Procedures for Long-Term Suspension or Expulsion

    When considering expelling or suspending a student on a long-term basis, the Principal will follow the steps set forth below.  An expulsion is defined as a permanent exclusion from the Public Schools and a long-term suspension as suspension exceeding ten (10) school days. (See also MGL c.71 §37H, 37H1/2 , 37H3/4.)

    • Provide written notice of the following:
    1. Charges and a statement of the evidence
    2. Date, time and place of a hearing
    3. Notice of the right at the hearing to:
      1. be represented by legal counsel (at the student’s/parent’s/guardian’s own expense)
      2. present evidence
      3. confront witnesses
    • Provide a written decision setting forth the facts upon which the decision is based.

    A parent/guardian/student may appeal any decision by the Principal to suspend a student on a long- term basis or to expel the student pursuant to MGL c.71 §37H, by sending a written request to the Superintendent within ten (10) days of the notice of suspension/expulsion. The suspension/ expulsion will remain in effect pending completion of the appeal.

Last Modified on September 1, 2023