Monday, March 19, 2012

Committee to Review HCSD Code of Conduct

The Hudson City School District Code of Conduct is described as "the school district's only student behavior law and the most important document governing student discipline." The document defines the rights and responsibilities of students and the expectations for what it calls "Essential Partners": Parents; Teachers; Aides, Food Servers, Custodial/Maintenance and Other District Personnel; Guidance Counselors; Principals/Assistant Principals; Superintendent; Board of Education. (Curiously, listed first among the expectations for teachers is "Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity"; "Be prepared to teach" comes third in the list of eight.) Much of the thirty-page document is taken up with defining prohibited student conduct and the penalties for such behavior, making frequent reference to New York State Education Law, as well as occasional reference to New York State Penal Law and Criminal Procedures Law.

At its meeting on March 12, the Board of Education appointed board members Peter Meyer and Jeri Chapman to form a Code of Conduct Advisory Committee tasked with the job of evaluating the effectiveness of the Code of Conduct. It is stipulated that the Code of Conduct be reviewed and adopted at least annually by the Board of Education. Since the current document was adopted in January 2010, this evaluation would seem to be somewhat overdue.

Parents, staff, and community members interested in serving on the advisory committee should contact Peter Meyer by email or phone (518 929-6505). The BOE has asked the committee to deliver its report in May. The committee hopes to begin work no later than March 26.


  1. From your description it makes the school sound like a penal colony. Maybe they could word it differently.

  2. I provided the link to the Code of Conduct. I recommend you read it for yourself and form your own impressions.

  3. I was so curious I just had to find out what number 2 on the list was given that being prepared to do their job was only 3d! Here's what it says, in its entirety: "Strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn." So -- what the ^&*(_ is a student's "self-concept?" Perhaps insisting on spending time conceptualizing mumbo-jumbo is what requires such spectacular financial resources from the community to support a failing school system? The fact that a school district requires a 30-page conduct manual is telling: our society is so hopelessly backwards when the district needs to spell out for itself, its employees, its students and their parents what is required of all of them for their work to be successful. It appears we've successfully driven common sense out of the academy.

  4. John, you've really hit the nail on the proverbial head. I hope you'll consider signing up for the committee -- or at least getting on the mailing list while we're in action. Thanks. Peter