A drinking incident last fall involving the police chief’s son influenced the proposed new discipline policy at the Coeur d’Alene School District.
That policy and other old, new and revised policies in the district’s 630-page manual are up for adoption at tonight’s school board meeting.
Under the new policy, athletes won’t be able to avoid discipline by turning themselves in for violating the athletic code.
That’s what happened after Labor Day weekend, when police cited three Coeur d’Alene High School football players for underage drinking.
Mark Scates, a starting linebacker and son of Chief Dave Scates, turned himself in to school administrators after the weekend, thereby avoiding a 14-day suspension from football.
Though the discipline policy allowed administrators to waive punishment, “A lot of people were second-guessing it,” said Coeur d’Alene High Principal Steve Casey. “The criticism was he was one step ahead of the paper.”
Overall, Casey said, he’s happy with the revised policy manual. The school board has been discussing changes in the manual for almost a year.
“I really appreciate them supporting strengthening the discipline policy,” Casey said. “The concern I had was don’t tighten it down so tight that we don’t have any flexibility.”
The board added more specific language about conduct and discipline in the draft manual, outlining 15 acts that can result in suspension from school.
Parent Simone Kincaid was urging the school board to include even stronger language in discipline and other policy areas. But overall, she said she’s satisfied.
“I felt like they listened to the parents,” Kincaid said of the school board. “The board put in a major effort to get through something that hadn’t been done in many, many years.”
Other proposed policy changes include:
Adding a new policy that outlines how to administer pilot projects, which are experimental educational programs and instructional methods.
Increasing the number of exchange students allowed in each high school from three to five.
Complying with federal law by adopting an expulsion policy for students who bring dangerous weapons to school.
Putting into policy form a yearold administrative directive not to show R-rated movies to students.
Revised school rental policy that gives high priority to district-related organizations, and requires $1 million in liability insurance.
The policy manual is a “living, breathing” document that can be revised and updated on a continual basis, school officials said.
In other business, the school board tonight will consider extending the rental agreement for Vineyard Fellowship, which is using Coeur d’Alene High School while it builds a church.
The board will also hear information on Kids Voting, a program that allows children to go to the polls during elections and vote on unofficial ballots. The ballots are then counted separately from the official ballots.
The school board meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the school district headquarters, 311 N. 10th St.