The Discipline Policy of Geneva Academy applies to students on or immediately adjacent to school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided transportation or any official school bus stop. This policy has been adopted by the Board of Directors so that more serious infractions are dealt with consistently, calmly, and biblically. Overall school discipline is accomplished by students, parents, and staff united in the desire to provide a serious, safe, rigorous, and yet joyful Christian education for the children enrolled.
Most student conduct that falls short of school rules or ordinary biblical standards will be handled routinely in the classroom by the student’s teacher. Examples might be lapses in treating other students with respect, being careless in words or deeds, or responding poorly to correction in class or on the playground. These situations will be dealt with according to biblical principles such as making restitution, asking and granting forgiveness, overlooking faults, applying grace, etc. Students pledge in the Enrollment Form to strive for virtuous living in thought, word and deed. The Board recognizes that children are yet learning and expects minor issues as an ordinary part of Christian discipleship.
Occasionally, however, a student exhibits more serious attitudes or commits more serious infractions. The Board has outlined seven categories of behavior that may necessitate discipline from the Headmaster. Those behaviors are as follows:
1. Disrespect shown to any staff member
2. Dishonesty in any situation while at school, including lying, cheating, and stealing
3. Rebellion, i.e. outright disobedience in response to instructions
4. Fighting, i.e. striking in anger with the intention to harm another student
5. Using obscene or profane language or gestures, or taking the Lord’s name in vain
6. Harassment, intimidation or bullying, which may have the effect of harming a student or a student’s property, placing a student in fear of the same, or creating a hostile educational environment
7. Accessing sharing, or displaying obscene or inappropriate materials, regardless of the means of doing so
Complaints of serious misconduct may be made by school officers, instructors and staff, as well as by parents, chaperones, and students. All complaints will be investigated by the Headmaster, who will submit a written report to the Board regarding the complaint, the findings from investigation, and any actions taken. Anonymous complaints will be investigated but will not constitute sole grounds for discipline.
I. Office Visits
If a student receives discipline from the Headmaster, the following will be observed:
- First office visit: The students parents will be contacted immediately afterward and given the details of the visit. The parents’ assistance and support in averting problems will be sought.
- Second office visit: The students parents will be contacted immediately afterward and given the details of the visit. The parents’ assistance and support in averting problems will again be sought.
- Third office visit: The Headmaster will call a meeting with the parents and any teachers involved.
- Fourth office visit: A two-day suspension will be imposed on the student and all missed work must be made up entirely by the dates set by the teachers involved.
- Fifth office visit: The student will be expelled upon a fifth visit.
In the course of the office visit or shortly afterwards, the Headmaster will determine the timing, scope, and nature of any punishment. The Headmaster may require restitution, punishment or penalties administered by parents, janitorial work, parental attendance during the school day with their student, or other measures deemed necessary within biblical guidelines. The Headmaster will discuss with parents the reason for the punishment and take into consideration the parents’ suggestions.
Geneva Academy realizes that expelling a student from school is a very serious matter and should always be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Forgiveness and restitution are fundamental to our total discipline policy. However, should a student and his parents not be able to eliminate behavioral problems before a fifth office visit, the student will be expelled.
III. Severe Misconduct
Should a student commit an act with such grave consequences that the Headmaster deems it necessary, the office visit process may be by-passed and suspension or expulsion imposed immediately. Examples of such misconduct could include: acts endangering the lives of other students or staff members, gross violence/vandalism to school property, and violations of civil law. Students may be subject to school discipline for severe misconduct which occurs after school hours. The Board will review any situations requiring such suspension or expulsion.
IV. Re-admission Following Expulsion
Should an expelled student desire re-admittance at a later date, the school Board, or its delegated committee, will make a decision based on the student’s attitude and circumstances at the time of reapplication.
V. General Re-enrollment
If a student has had several office visits and/or the student’s family has not worked in partnership with the school to address the behavior, the Headmaster may deny the student’s re-enrollment for the next school year. In such a situation, the Headmaster will communicate to the parents the reason for the denial and, if desired by both parties, the steps required to reverse the denial.