Discipline Policy


At MHS we believe that school discipline should help nurture all aspects of a student's growth. School rules are created first to protect persons and property, and second to protect the rights of all students to participate in every facet of the educational program. Students are responsible for their behavior to and from school.

Our discipline policy specifically limits the right of any individual student to disrupt the educational opportunities of other students. Our policy also protects the student whose behavior may be detrimental to his/her own educational growth. We believe discipline exists as an integral part of the educational program and serves to protect the welfare of those who participate in the program.

This discipline policy is based upon the acknowledgement of humanitarian principles and ideals and loyalty to the principles of justice, equality and individual freedom. It recognizes the inherent dignity and rights of each individual. Its primary goal is to engender student direction and self-discipline. We believe students must learn to accept the responsibility for their own behavior. This policy is the result of an attempt to meet our community's expectation of MHS.

Sexual Harassment

Definitions - Sexual Harassment is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of an individual's employment or status in a course, program or activity; or,

2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment or educational decisions affecting an individual; or,

3. Such conduct has the purposes or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or educational performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

The Grievance is a written complaint.

1. Grievant is any student, employee or parent aggrieved by a decision or condition falling under the guidelines of Federal and/or State anti-discrimination laws.

2. The administrators and the faculty will adamantly pursue any complaints and provide opportunities for all students to learn about their rights to protect themselves from sexually harassing behavior.

We encourage students to report to a responsible adult any incident that they are aware of as soon as possible. Your reporting will be handled discreetly.

Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying or Cyber-Bullying

The Board of Education prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying of a pupil. The board has determined that a safe and civil environment in school is necessary for pupils to learn and achieve high academic standards, and for staff to educate pupils effectively. Harassment, intimidation or bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors, is conduct that disrupts both a pupil's ability to learn and a school's ability to educate its pupils in a safe and disciplined environment. Since pupils learn by example, school administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers should be commended for demonstrating appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

Please note the following Board Policy P-5512 which is available on the Montclair Public Schools website under District Board Policy (Revised/Approved September 19, 2011) to include the following:

  • Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying definition
  • Pupil Expectations
  • Consequences and Remedial Actions
  • Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying off School Grounds
  • Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Reporting Procedure
  • Anti-Bullying Coordinator, Anti-Bullying Specialist and School Safety Team(s)
  • Harassment, Intimidation, and bullying Investigation
  • Range of Responses to an Incident of Harassment, Intimidation, or Bullying
  • Reprisal or Retaliation Prohibited
  • Consequences and Appropriate Remedial Action for False Accusation
  • Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policy Publication and Dissemination
  • Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Training and Prevention Program
  • Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policy Reevaluation, Reassessment and Review
  • Reports to Board of Education and New Jersey Department of Education
  • Reports to Law Enforcement
  • Collective Bargaining Agreements and Individual Contracts
  • Pupils with Disabilities

Drugs/Alcohol Policy

Any use, possession or sale of drugs/alcohol by a minor is a violation of state law; consequently, any student found in violation of this law on or near school grounds, in school vehicles, at school activities or at school athletic events may be:

  • Subject to suspension/expelled according to Policy #5114(b) of the Board of Education Policy Manual;
  • Counseling as deemed necessary by the administration and excluded until meeting this requirement as per Board of Education;
  • Subject to future random urine screenings;
  • Required to undergo a physical examination within two hours of suspicion of drugs and 1 hour for suspicion of alcohol. The examination may be performed by a physician selected by the parents/caregiver or by a school designated health provider, including but not limited to: Immedicenter in Bloomfield or Clifton.
  • The pupil and parent/guardian will be advised by the SAC of available counseling and support services in the community. In the case of a positive lab result indicating use.
  • Required to undergo drug/alcohol assessment at a pre-agreed upon school provider or at an outside facility of their choice, at their own expense;
  • Banned from participating in school athletics or activities;
  • Expelled from school
  • Additionally, concerns over pupil use of chemicals, alcohol or steroids outside of school (memorandum of agreement between law enforcement and education) may be passed on to a Student Assistance Counselor, school nurse or any administrator who can follow through on the process of investigating non- emergency cases of suspected chemical/alcohol or steroid use.

Weapons and Dangerous Instruments

Many times you will be aware of serious problems that may have happened in the community the night before and spill over into school the next day. We encourage you to inform a responsible adult of any prior knowledge of anything that you suspect could lead to a threat to yourself or others. Confidentiality of the source of information will be maintained whenever possible.

Weapons brought to school shall be confiscated by school personnel and reported to the police. In the event a student should threaten another person with a weapon, the incident must be reported immediately to an administrator. All serious incidents are to be reported to the Superintendent and police for immediate action.

Search and Seizure

Police can enter school if they have a warrant for arrest, or search students if a crime is committed on school property. They may also come if school officials invite them. The Principal or his designee may inspect lockers or any other storage facilities provided for use by students.


Dress Code

Because no dress code can be all-inclusive, the administration reserves the right to make the final decision on all attire. Students must wear clothing that is safe and not disruptive to the learning environment. Students have a responsibility to attire themselves in a manner that is conducive to an instructional and professional environment. For example:

  • Hats, caps, wave caps, and all other types of head coverings are not to be worn inside the Montclair High School buildings. All head coverings will be confiscated or student will be sent home with an unexcused absence. Religious and medical exceptions must be recorded in the Main Office.
  • Clothing and/or accessories must not display/advertise that which could be considered by some to be lewd, offensive or insensitive. This includes, but is not limited to references to sex, drugs and alcohol, discriminatory/inflammatory/prejudicial statements about race, ethnicity or gender, violence or gang affiliation or sexual orientation, religion, and/or disability.
  • Clothing must not be unduly revealing or distracting. Attire shall be sufficient to conceal undergarments. Short shorts, half-shirts or tops, strapless tops, spaghetti strap tops, bare midriffs, low-cut or revealing tops, off-the-shoulder tops, and fish-net type tops or shirts, tube tops, tank tops or see-through tops are examples of prohibited clothing. Shoe attire - thong sandals and platform shoes are discouraged for safety reasons and shoes with wheels are prohibited.
  • Sunglasses shall not be worn anywhere in school. No student is permitted to wear dark glasses unless doctor approved for medical reasons, prescription sunglasses or heavily tinted glasses will be considered as dark glasses.
  • Jewelry that has projectiles is not permitted.
  • Gang related attire, paraphernalia, beads or colors are not permitted.
  • In instances where inappropriate attire is worn, parents may be contacted and asked to bring appropriate clothing to school or to escort their child home to change clothes. When other alternatives are not feasible, students may be held in the office until parent contact can be made or the school may provide appropriate clothing for the day.

Extreme Dress Code Violations

  • 1. Sagging Pants, Exposed Undergarments
  • 2. Sleeveless Tee-Shirts, Exposed Arm Area
  • 3. Short Skirts, Exposed Undergarments. Skirts should be worn at finger tip length with no slits.
  • 4. Short Shorts, Exposed lower body. Shorts should be worn at finger tip length with no slits.
  • 5. Plunging Neckline, Over Exposed Shoulder, Chest
  • 6. Plunging Backline, Over Exposed Back or Midriff



In Compliance with P.L. 1989 C.96 of New Jersey, a district policy to prohibit smoking including e-cigarettes has been approved by the Board of Education. These regulations are to be observed:

Smoking is not permitted in any area of any district building, on or near building grounds or in district vehicles. The state had mandated that smoking in a public school is cause for a fine of up to one hundred dollars.

In the spirit of the law and for the benefit of all, the following rules must apply:

Offending students

First offense: 1 day In-School Suspension, Parent/Caregiver contact, Refer to SAC

Second offense: 2 day In-School Suspension, Parent/Caregiver contact, Refer to SAC

Third offense: 1 day Out-of-School Suspension

Athletes will be referred to the Assistant Principal in charge of Athletics for further discipline.

Distribution of Literature by Students

(As per Montclair Board of Education: Policy 5145.2)

The preparation, publication and distribution of newspapers, magazines and other literature are an exercise of freedom of speech and of the press. This freedom to express one's opinions goes hand in hand with the responsibility for the published statement.

Place and Manner of Distribution

The school setting requires reasonable guidelines establishing the places and manner of the distribution of materials and for defining fair standards for their content. Students may distribute literature on the school sidewalk, in front of the main entrance to any school building and, in addition, at the high school on the walk in front of the gym lobby. In case of bad weather, only two pupils may be permitted in the main entrance and/or the gym lobby. Blocking pedestrian traffic or entrances to a building is prohibited.

Disruptive Literature

If a building administrator determines that literature is causing or is about to cause a material and substantial disruption to the requirement of appropriate discipline or the educational process, he or she will prohibit distribution. "Hate" literature, which scurrilously attacks ethnic, religious and racial groups; publications aimed at creating hostility and violence; pornography; and/or libelous materials are likely to cause a material and substantial disruption to the school process. The district reserves the right to discipline any student who distributes material which causes such a disruption or which is otherwise prohibited by law or this policy.

Partisan Literature

Literature which in any manner and in any part thereof promotes, favors or opposes the candidacy of any candidate for election at any annual school election, or the adoption of any bond issue, proposal, or any public question submitted at any general, municipal or school election may not be distributed to students as proscribed by N.J.S.A. 18A-42-2.

Commercial Literature

Commercial literature, such as to advertise a product or service for sale or rent, or literature designed to solicit funds, may not be distributed unless approved by the Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee.

Symbolic Speech

Students may wear or display buttons, armbands, flags, decals or other badges of symbolic expressions, unless the manner of expression materially and substantially interferes with the orderly process of the school or the rights of others.


Persons distributing material must remove all distributed items, which are dropped or otherwise littered in the immediate area. For example, all litter on the front sidewalk and lawn or the inside lobbies and adjacent corridor (up to 75 feet) must be kept litter free. Wastebaskets will be provided upon request.


We would hope that very few students would be involved with this section of the handbook. It is added as reference in case you find yourself in a situation where you might want to ask yourself the questions, what would happen if I did X, Y or Z?

After School Central Detention (ASCD)

The After School Central Detention program will be a silent study hall under the direction of a teacher. Detentions will be held Tuesday through Thursday excluding early release days and holidays from 2:40pm to 3:20pm (40 minutes). The ASCD will be assigned by the Assistant Principal to students who have infractions of the MHS Discipline and/or Attendance Policy.

After School Detention Rules

1. Students must report on time or will not be permitted to stay and serve.

2. Students must bring enough school-related work to occupy them the entire detention time.

3. Students may not eat, drink, talk, or sleep in detention.

4. Students who do not attend detentions on their assigned date will be assigned to the In-School Suspension Program.

5. Any infraction of ASCD rules may result in dismissal from ASCD and further disciplinary action.

In-School Suspension

The In-School Suspension Program is held in Room 2B, Periods 1 - 8 as an alternate option to Out-of-School Suspension. Students will be assigned to the Program for 1 to 3 days. The In-School Suspension Program will be assigned to students who have infractions to the Montclair High School Code of Conduct & Attendance Policies. Students will be responsible for bringing work to the In-School Suspension classroom to complete.

Criteria for Assigning In-School Suspension

Please note Montclair High School Discipline Code of Conduct & Attendance Policies.

Conduct in In-School Suspension

  1. Student will write a one-page essay explaining why they were assigned In-School Suspension and how they plan to avoid being reassigned in the future. This essay will be placed in students individual discipline file.
  2. Student must bring academic work to do (i.e., book or magazine to read, homework). If a student is without work, an additional assignment will be given that must be completed.
  3. Student must be prepared to work (i.e., pencil, paper, necessary text).
  4. Student will not bring food, drink, cell phone, MP3 players, iPods, iPads, etc.
  5. Student will not sleep.
  6. Student will not talk.
  7. Student will be permitted to use the bathroom during scheduled times.
  8. Students who arrive tardy or who are disruptive will be assigned an additional full day of In-School Suspension.
  9. Students will eat lunch in the ISS setting at their own desks. (This is not a social period)
  10. Attendance in ISS is for a full day.

Activity Restriction

Students are encouraged to take part in the wide variety of out of classroom activities offered at MHS. These include, but are not limited to, clubs, sports, service organizations, theater activities, field trips, dances, proms, etc. However, students may also be restricted from participation in these activities as a consequence of inappropriate behavior. The imposition of such a restriction will be by administrative decision where necessary or in place of other types of disciplinary consequences when deemed more effective or convenient. The goal of this action is to help students see the relationship between their privileges and their responsibilities. Often students will participate in activities where they represent MHS. Our standards must be consistent and maintained at a high level.

Out-of-School Suspension

Students are not allowed on school property and cannot participate in nor attend interscholastic sports or other school activities when they are serving an Out-of-School Suspension. Suspensions are in effect until the morning of the day you return to school. Suspensions can last from one to ten days. A parent/caregiver conference is required prior to re-admittance from an Out of School Suspension. Seniors should be cautious in assessing multiple disciplinary infractions as they may jeopardize the privilege of prom attendance and participation in the 12th Grade Career Internship Program.

Offenses Resulting in an Out-of-School Suspension

Please note the Montclair High School Code of Conduct & Attendance Policies.

Students returning from an Out-of-School Suspension are responsible for approaching each of their assigned teachers to retrieve missing assignments. Students will have one week to make up missing work. Students, where possible, may also e-mail teachers during the Suspension to retrieve missing assignments. Under no circumstances should students come into school to retrieve assignments from teachers, other students or from their lockers; it is however, acceptable for parent/caregiver. Remember to take all books that will be needed with you when leaving school grounds for your suspension.


Every organization establishes norms of acceptable behavior that serve as guides for adjusting our personal deportment and interactions with others.

The Montclair Board of Education and the Superintendent have required all schools to establish codes of conduct that create safe learning environments for all students. Remember, the Code of Conduct are based on the values of respect for self, respect for others and civic responsibility. Please review the attached chart of unacceptable behaviors and their consequences; however, please pay specific attention to the following:

  • All students are requested to be aware of their use of profanity. The use of profanity between peers and adults is not acceptable.
  • The style of young men wearing pants below the hip or young women wearing revealing clothing is not acceptable dress for our students.
  • Violence and sexual harassment of any kind will not be tolerated in the hallways or at school functions. This includes pushing, grabbing, unwelcome touching, etc.
  • All students are expected to treat peers and adults with respect.
  • Bullying, Cyber bullying and the use of Electronic Technology Devices used to intimidate are not acceptable.

We want every student regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity to feel valued and safe.

MHS Code of Conduct Chart

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