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Dedham School Committee approves policy on student behavior

Posted by Natalie Feulner  September 6, 2012 10:06 AM

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The Dedham School Committee on Wednesday approved a Memorandum of Understanding designed to hold high school students accountable in and out of the town's borders during the school year.

According to the superintendent’s office, a copy of the final document should be posted on the district’s website by late Wednesday afternoon.

A version of the document was approved in March, but in May, after opposition from several residents and officials regarding year-round reporting, the document was rescinded and a subcommittee was formed to study the policy.

Since that time, several changes have been made, including the elimination of language that mandated year-round reporting and a change to the section regarding students "found in the presence of" underage drinking.

However, in mid-August, a group of about 20 residents and parents still expressed concerns, particularly about a section requiring the reporting of names of both crime victims and perpetrators.

As it reads now, police are required to notify the principal of any student involved in mandatory reportable incidents, including a report of physical or sexual abuse.

In addition, police will report incidents that lead to the student’s arrest or placement in protective custody and if the incident poses a threat to the safety of any member of the school community or school property.

The new document takes effect immediately, and copies will be sent home to all high school students this week, since student handbooks included the memorandum from last year.

Check the Dedham public schools website for a copy of the final document at http://www.dedham.k12.ma.us/.

Natalie Feulner can be reached at natalie.feulner@gmail.com.

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