Question Detail: My daughter sent a classmate a bitter text message because the girl was bothering her. She sent the message from home after school.

Answer: That's an interesting question and the answer seems to be buried in what code of conduct you agreed to when you enrolled your child. Lately it seems it's being litigated in the area of high school athletes and drinking alcohol off school grounds during their personal time. But codes of conduct seem to apply and without more I would not be able to answer your question other than to refer you to any code of conduct applicable to those high school students. Start there, read it and then research the law applicable to school codes of conduct.

You are going to take her cell phone away from her aren't you? Your child needs to take responsibility for her actions. I suspect if I dig into this I'll find that your daughter is a bully and is using her cell phone as her method of being mean to others. I'm going to guess the school has had enough of her bullying and even though it's happening off school grounds it's carrying over into the school and disrupting the school environment. You making excuses for her isn't going to help her to be a productive adult. She needs to be held accountable when she acts like a bully. So again I ask, you are going to take away her cell phone aren't you?

Code of Conduct – School Rules for Omaha Public Schools

The codes of conduct are designed to set high expectations for student behavior in support of learning.  Expectations for behavior increase with the age and grade of the student.  The codes include graduated sanctions for unacceptable and inappropriate behaviors as they increase in frequency, severity and/or duration.   There are two codes of conduct with links at the bottom of the page to allow review of the complete documents:

  • Elementary Code of Conduct (Grades K-6) 
  • Secondary Code of Conduct (Grades 7-12) 

Each school has the option to set school-specific behavioral expectations consistent with these school board approved guidelines.  The district guidelines were designed to promote consistency of behavioral expectations and of consequences for unacceptable behavior.  Please review your child(ren)'s school handbook(s) to be familiar with stated behavioral expectations and the possible consequences of inappropriate behaviors.  High behavioral expectations also apply when students ride the bus, are on school grounds before and after school, and participate in extra-curricular activities.
The Safe and Secure Disciplined Schools Initiative is also part of our district-wide behavior management plan.

Steve Lombardi
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