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    Preface This STUDENT HANDBOOK contains a summary of rules governing discipline in the Bridgeport Public Schools. The STUDENT HANDBOOK is intended to provide a clear and concise description of student disciplinary offenses, penalties for those offenses, and the procedures to be followed in handling disciplinary problems. Because of space limitations, the HANDBOOK does not contain the complete description of the disciplinary offenses, penalties, and procedures. These complete descriptions, along with details and examples, can be found in the CODE OF DISCIPLINE STAFF MANUAL. The MANUAL is available for inspection in the Board of Education offices at City Hall or in the principal's office in any school. It is the policy of the Bridgeport Board of Education not to discriminate on the basis of sex in any of its educational programs, activities, and employment policies as required by Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments. EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY No student shall be excluded by removal, suspension, or expulsion or otherwise disciplined on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, poverty, pregnancy, parenthood, marriage, handicapping condition, special needs, or language difficulty. DISCIPLINE POLICY The policy of the Bridgeport Board of Education is that school discipline and due process are essential to equality of educational opportunity and to a safe and effective educational environment. It is the Board's policy to encourage teachers to handle discipline problems in the classroom and to employ all possible, positive, productive, progressive, and preventive alternatives, approaches, and avenues prior to the imposition of disciplinary penalties. The Bridgeport Board of Education further views school discipline as a partnership of shared responsibilities among the students, the school, and the parents. Parents are encouraged to play an active role in the discipline of their children and will be called upon by the school to assist in' and attend disciplinary proceedings. Parental cooperation, communication, contact, and conferences are critical if a child's behavior problems are to be controlled and corrected. The schools cannot do the job alone. The Code is to be implemented in a fair, consistent, and equitable manner, mindful of the rights of students, as well as the security, safety, and educational interests of the schools. Accordingly, the Board believes this Code is one step in creating an atmosphere in the schools to improve learning, build morale, and teach 'students responsibility and accountability for their own conduct and education. Established rules and regulations as defined in this Manual shall also apply to persons enrolled in adult education and continuing education programs.