The Discipline Committee is a student-faculty committee that hears cases concerning students suspected of violating, or found in violation of, the school’s major rules. The committee’s role is to listen to the evidence, ask questions concerning the evidence, deliberate, and make recommendations to the head of school. The Discipline Committee is comprised of two faculty members and three students who rotate from an elected group of ten students . Additionally, there are two faculty members and three house faculty members who rotate on the committee from September to June. A dean serves as the non-voting convener of each committee meeting and approves the recommendation before sharing it with the head of school. The convener reviews disciplinary procedures with the committee at the beginning of each committee hearing.
During the 2016-2017 school year, disciplinary procedures will generally follow these protocols:
- A case of violation of one or more of the school’s major rules is usually reported to the acting director of student life, who will inform the head of school and the assistant head/academic dean. If the head of school is unavailable, the assistant head/academic dean will perform the function(s) of the head of school as described in these procedures;
- A dean will convene the Discipline Committee and arrange the time and place of the hearing. In addition, the dean will inform the student, the student’s advisor, and all persons presenting evidence of the charges. These arrangements will be made at least two hours before the hearing takes place. The dean will notify the Discipline Committee members and the head of school. The student, in the presence of the dean, will be required to notify their parents;
- In the case of a boarding student, they may be housebound after the notification and prior to the hearing. However, they may attend classes and meals. In the case of a day student, they may be restricted from campus, except for attendance at classes and lunch. All exceptions to this policy will be determined by a dean;
- The Discipline Committee or the dean may excuse any person whose presence is not needed;
- To open the hearing, the dean will introduce the Discipline Committee members, the student, all persons presenting evidence of the infraction, advocates of the student, and witnesses, if appropriate. The student may be accompanied by one faculty and one student advocate. The dean will serve as the non-voting convener of the hearing and will keep a record of the proceedings;
- The dean will ask for the student’s statement, a statement about the infraction, and, as available, statements from advocates. The Discipline Committee members may pose questions to the student and those persons presenting information. The student is expected to answer all questions completely and honestly and may also ask questions;
- After participants are excused, the Discipline Committee will begin discussions and may refer to precedents on file and the guidelines proposed by the committee and ratified by the head of school. If necessary, the Discipline Committee may solicit and question other members of the school community in order to better clarify their understanding of the infraction. Decisions of the Discipline Committee are based upon committee guidelines; therefore, cases that are not be within the scope of the guidelines may be referred to the head of school;
- Upon reaching a decision, the Discipline Committee will make its recommendation to the head of school. The dean will summarize the discussion leading to the decision and may ask the head of school to meet with the committee. If the head of school does not accept the decision and recommendation of the committee, the decision of the head of school will prevail;
- Once a decision has been finalized, the dean will inform the student, the student’s parents, and the student’s advisor or advocate. Additionally, the dean will inform all faculty members affected by the decision (e.g., the student’s teachers, if the decision is to suspend or restrict the student);
- A member of the Discipline Committee will be chosen by the committee to present a summary of the case at the next scheduled announcements period;
- The student may appeal the decision of the Discipline Committee to the head of school within one week of the original committee meeting. The head of school has the sole discretion to accept or deny an appeal. If the head of school accepts an appeal, they will review relevant material, particularly if disciplinary procedures were not observed or if new evidence has been discovered, and may either reconvene the Discipline Committee or refer the appeal and case to the full faculty;
- The dean will confirm with the head of school that the terms of the decision and the subsequent punishment (e.g., tasks, restrictions, suspension) have been met.